Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Dodos: too good for extinction

By Meredith Deliso

When The Dodos come to Brooklyn, they hope they get here in one piece.

“We’ve had some pretty big scares recently on tour,” says Meric Long, lead singer and guitarist of the San Francisco-based band, which has been on the road in support of their newest album. “There were some pretty bad flights where we had to land early or at a different airport because of some f---ing malfunction with the airplane. That never used to happen. Maybe we cursed ourselves.”

With their latest album called “Time to Die,” you would think the band has some serious mortality issues (insert extinct dodos joke here), but the name has more to do with getting older and increasing expectations.

“It started out as a dumb catchphrase that I would say,” says Long. “For me, it means committing to something, which is representative of getting older.”

After their second full-length album, last year’s buzz-stirring breakthrough “Visiter,” the band also felt the pressure heading into the studio this time around.

“With the pressure and expectation that we were coming off of from my last record, this is a mantra for me,” says Long. “Just trying to have an attitude of, well, f--- it, we’re going to make this record, we’re going to do what we want, and we’re just going to commit to it whether we’re doing the right thing or not.”

So far, the band doesn’t have anything to worry about. Their third album, out mid-September on Frenchkiss Records, has gotten positive reviews from tastemakers like Pitchfork and Prefix, and comparisons to The Shins, Fleet Foxes and Bands of Horses (which, with Phil Ek, who’s produced for those bands before, on “Time,” isn’t a stretch), without losing their distinct charm.

“I feel like every album is a chance to improve upon things,” says Long, who’s joined by Logan Kroeber on drums and new Dodo Keaton Snyder on the vibraphone. “I wanted to work on certain things in the band, because I felt like I had suffered from touring off of ‘Visiter.’ Unless we were really careful about it, the show fell into this kind of rut of ‘This is what we do.’ I just wanted to take a step back.”

Touring almost nonstop since 2006, the band took some much-needed time off to record “Time,” but of course are back on the road, coming here October 13 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Let’s hope they do make it in one piece.

“I really have my fingers crossed for this one,” says Long. “I hope I can make it through the show alive.”

The Dodos play Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 N. 6th St.) October 13 at 9 p.m., with Ruby Suns. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 the day of the show. For more information call 718-486-5400.You can also catch them the next night at Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey St.), doors at 8 p.m., also with the Ruby Suns. Tickets are $15 in advance, $!7 the day of the show. For more information, call 212-533-2111.


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