Dosh at recordBar, 2011 April 8

“I think this is the first time I’ve played Kansas City,” Martin Dosh told the crowd at recordBar Friday night at the end of his set.  “Maybe the second?”

“We would remember!” shouted a girl from the back of house, perfectly capturing how we felt about the music we’d just seen and heard.

Seeing Dosh perform adds a dimension to the experience of his one-man gonzo hybrid jam music; a live-sampling concoction that takes the loops of electronic or dance music, the free, improvisational spirit and melodic sensibility of post-bop jazz, some noise, sets them against a hip-hop backbeat, and sounds a billion times warmer and better than any genre-referencing description I can write.  He sits in a cockpit of drums, Rhodes, synths, pedals, effects, and a master mixer, assembling and tearing apart his compositions piece by piece.

After opening with his trademark “Hi, I’m Martin Dosh … I’ll talk to you again in forty minutes,” we were treated to five or six pieces, the maestro doffing his hat after each.  I have never been in a crowd of KC kids so unabashedly enthusiastic about music; the applause was the most genuine I’ve heard in this town, and people were gathered up front, packed in, gently dancing, nodding, or still and mesmerized by Dosh’s hands flying from drums to keys to knobs and back again, tapping pedals the whole time.  Dosh’s music is my ultimate self-soothing jam; I zoned, just water in hand, absorbing it, and grateful; it’s been six years since I heard him last (at the Uptown Bar) and who knows how long it might be again.

(Update: The best free introduction to Dosh is to down his Daytrotter live sessions here and here. -h)

Openers Roman Numerals finally clicked for me; I am converted, after thinking they were overrated for a long time.  Maybe it was the great sound (thanks, Duane), maybe they have solidified as a live unit, or maybe I finally understood that they’re not trying and not quite succeeding at being a pop band.  The deconstructive aspect of their 80s-revivalism is intentional, and not as far from those classics (I’m thinking Songs from the Big Chair here) as it may seem at first.

I had a good night bringing albums home, too:

From Halcyon, on vinyl:

  • R.E.M., Reckoning
  • Thin Lizzy, Live and Dangerous (I’ve been hunting for this!)
  • Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath

From Dosh at the show: Dosh, Triple Rock

From Half Price books:

  • The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema
  • R.E.M., Murmur
  • $2 rack: The Millions, Raquel (Good find; classic Lincoln indie band)
  • $2 rack: Roman Numerals, Roman Numerals
  • $2 rack: The Black Crowes, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
  • $2 rack: Boyz II Men, Cooleyhighharmony (the bonus track version.  I remember Mom buying it for me at Homer’s across from Gateway on “O” St.  I’m sure I was in middle school.)