WHY? with Dosh

First Avenue Presents

WHY? with Dosh

Sat, March 18, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Cedar Cultural Center

Minneapolis, MN

$17 General Admission

This event is all ages

This is a standing show with an open floor.

Tickets are ​only ​available​ through First Avenue​ online​ (click the "Buy Tickets" button above)​, at Electric Fetus, ​and The Cedar during shows.​
 

 

WHY?
The final words sung on the sixth album by WHY? are an apt place to begin: "Hold on, what's going on?" Because while there's much familiar about the oddly named Moh Lhean—mastermind Yoni Wolf's sour-sweet croon, his deadpan poet's drawl and ear for stunningly fluid psych-pop-folk-whatever arrangement—a great deal has changed in the four years that've passed since 2012's Mumps, Etc., an LP that honed the band's orchestral precision and self-deprecating swagger to a fine point. It's significant that this is the first fully home-recorded WHY? album since theproject's 2003 debut. Made mostly in Wolf's studio and co-produced by his brother Josiah, the result is obsessive, of course, but also intimate, and flush with warmth and looseness. But the biggest transformation is a bit subtler. After years of eying his world, in part, with a cynical squint, Wolf here learns a new mode. While Moh Lhean never stoops to outright optimism, it chronicles our hero finding peace in the unknowing, trading the wry smirk for a holy shrug, and looking past corporeal pain for something more cosmic and, rest assured, equally weird.

A low tone opens the album on "This Ole King" as acoustic pluck and upright bass form a Western bedrock beneath Wolf's fragile voice. But as the song pushes on, the playing gets brighter and the vocal becomes a mantra-like hum inspired by Ali Farka Touré's blues, before rolling into a second part rich with chiming keys and twisting harmony—Brian Wilson's kaleidoscopic vision of pop. If there's new litheness here, it's probably because Wolf spent much of the time between albums collaborating—with ex/muse Anna Stewart as the fuzz-pop duo Divorcee, and MC Serengeti as the puckishly depressive Yoni & Geti. And if there's a lithe newness, it may be that Wolf excised some nostalgia via his 2014 solo tapes—one re-recording choice raps from his own catalog, and another covering cuts by artists like Bob Dylan and Pavement. It's no wonder, then, that "The Water" handily morphs a moody folk tune into some strange new form of full-band dub. Or that "One Mississippi" bounces along happily over a flurry of bizarre percussion, whistled melodies, and trippy synthesizer blips. Perhaps most impressive is "Consequence of Nonaction," which vacillates between a quiet meditation for guitar/voice/clarinet, and wild, sax-strewn astral art-funk.

Movement is a key theme of Moh Lhean. It's a breakup album without a romantic interest—coded within the lyrics is a tale about fleeing the seductions of a wintry figure for something synonymous with spring. "Easy" plays like a ward against the old ghost who haunts "January February March," while "George Washington" places our host in a tiny watercraft, "paddling for land/hand on heart and heart in hand" as that faceless malevolent force stays ashore. While writing these songs, Wolf suffered a severe health scare far from home. Rather than drive him to depression, his brush with mortality imparted an incongruous impression of peace and connection to the living. At the end of "Proactive Evolution," wherein WHY? enlists mewithoutYou's Aaron Weiss to celebrate the stubborn persistence of humankind, Wolf samples not only thinkers like Sharon Salzberg and Ram Dass, but his actual doctors—the voices that helped shape his new outlook. Sure, Wolf poses as many questions as ever. Moh Lhean's gorgeously psychedelic closer, "The Barely Blur" with Son Lux, puzzles over the nature of existence. But rather than leave us with the macabre chill of death, as many a WHY? LP has, the song dissolves into the infinite—the sound of the Big Bang.

Don't bother asking Wolf what "Moh Lhean" means. He won't tell you. It's the name of his home studio, where friends and family—WHY? regulars Josiah, Matt Meldon, Doug McDiarmid, Liz Wolf, and Ben Sloan, plus a handful of Ohioans—gathered to record this (and also at Josiah's studio, dubbed El Armando). And like the titles of Alopecia and Mumps, Etc., it references a concrete thing that Wolf experienced. Most likely it's something to do with letting go, rebirth, coming home to a familiar feeling, or venturing out to discover a new one. Or maybe it's just a yoga pose. But there's something in Moh Lhean, even with all its mysteries and all its differences, that's both ephemeral and distinctive, like something the Wolf Brothers might've heard on a praise album in their father's synagogue as kids, or on some '60s hippie LP they thrifted in their teens, or, perhaps, on the other side of the records they've been making their entire adult lives. Thus, it seems appropriate to conclude with some words sung on the very first song of WHY?'s sixth album, Moh Lhean: "One thing, there is no other. Only this, there is no other.... Just layers of this one thing."
Dosh
Dosh
There he was, this musically lucked child of a once-priest and a near-nun, 12 years old and piled high with a Radio Shack combo stereo, stacks of records, and pockets full of dubbed tapes. It was 1984 and Martin Dosh was orchestrating the soundtracks to his junior high school dances, playing only the choice cuts for the budding romantics and perspiring wallflowers: Run DMC, Prince, Devo, the Cars, New Order... At age 3, Marty had started harassing his folks to bone up for piano lessons (after three years of persistence, they gave in); that he'd developed considerable musical taste before hitting puberty should come as no real surprise.

Call him a one-man band, a virtuoso, a gifted collaborator or a family man, Martin, Marty, Dosh or Dad, our subject has gotten to now by what seems an uncanny path (perhaps call it fate). When they met, Dosh's father was a Catholic priest with pile of degrees, and his mother was living in a convent in Minneapolis preparing herself for nunhood. They left the fold for marriage; subsequently the elder Dosh found himself blacklisted from local employment, and so they left Minnesota as well. Martin was born in the greater Los Angeles area, but at age 2, his health problems and the city's endless sprawl delivered the family back into the musically nurturing arms of the Twin Cities.

Returning to the Midwest, Martin was enrolled in a Montessori school (and piano lessons). By comparison high school was, "academically, horseshit" so Dosh seized his destiny at 16 and moved east to study jazz and drums at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Massachusetts. What followed was a flurry of summer jobs, road trips to see the Grateful Dead, van living around various college outposts in Mass and NY, Zappa-esque noodling in his band Como Zoo, further schooling, the requisite amount of pot, and a little too much partying. But Dosh wanted more for his music and less for his student debt, so he swallowed his pride and returned (at 25) to his parents' in Minneapolis.

He figured the move would be temporary -- he'd save up money and practice drums until he became a self-sustaining virtuoso --but Dosh was going to shows every night and meeting more and more people in the local music-rich scene (a collision of avant jazz, freewheeling rock and progressive hip-hop), quickly realizing that what he needed had been there all along. And throughout his dedicated solo drum-and-keyboard sessions in mom and dad's basement, he'd record, record, record, accumulating a massive library of sound. Soon he'd be a touring member of Andrew Broder's Fog, and full-time player in their instrumental counterpart Lateduster.

In 2003 Anticon proudly released Dosh's virtuoso debut, Dosh, a loop-building collage of shimmering Rhodes, atypical drumming grounded in groove, field recordings and spontaneous performance (much of the album was pieced together using the 100-plus hours of tape he'd recorded at his parents'). By then he'd developed his untouchable live one-man show (swiveling on his drum stool between a kit, his modified Rhodes piano, a few pots and pans, and a simple looping pedal with a 12-second recording limit), and took to the road. Back in Minneapolis, the city he'd finally recognized as home, Dosh had been teaching drum lessons to children and falling in love on the side. He formed a family with his wife Erin (who he'd wooed by handing her a copy a song called "I Think I'm Getting Married") and her 6-year-old son Tadhg. Soon he'd be composing a track titled "Building a Strange Child," and so they would. Dosh's second full-length, Pure Trash was inspired by his life's most pleasant turns, and though the album was instrumental (minus cameos by Erin, Tadhg, the newborn Naoise, and his students), it emoted all the warmth and anticipation, fear and relief that comes with building a family.

Dosh's third album, The Lost Take, showcases the man's unique approach to sound with an expanded musicality and growing guest-list including Andrew Bird and members of Tapes 'N Tapes.

His Fourth record, Wolves And Wishes, adds to the ever-impressing oeuvre with the explorative wonderment of a debut album. To date Dosh has recorded with Bonnie 'Prince' Billie, Fog, Jel, Odd Nosdam, Neotropic, Andrew Bird, Redstart, Vicious Vicious, Poor Line Condition, Lateduster, Why?, the Interferents, members of Tapes 'N Tapes, and just about any Twin Cities band with a collective ear for good taste and experimentation. He has shared the stage with Andrew Bird, Wilco, WHY?, Damo Suzuki, Gary Wilson, Golden Smog, Sole, My Morning Jacket, Tapes 'n Tapes, cLOUDDEAD, Sage Francis, Devendra Banhart, Kid Dakota, Alias, Themselves, Peanut Butter Wolf, P.O.S., Happy Apple, Joseph Arthur, Pizza Boys, the Bad Plus, The Jayhawks, Atmosphere, DJ Vadim and many more.
Venue Information:
Cedar Cultural Center
416 Cedar Ave S
Minneapolis, MN, 55454
http://www.thecedar.org/

ticinfo

Ticket options and info

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are not always available at Depth of Field, Electric Fetus & The Cedar.

Check the top of this page under the “Buy Tickets” button for up-to-date ticket information.

  • Phone: 612-338-2674 ext 0 between 12 noon and 4pm M-F ($2 fee per ticket)
  • In person: Tickets can be purchased at The Cedar when we are open for shows. Check our calendar for show dates and door times  (no fee; cash, check, credit card). Our other ticket outlets are Depth of Field (no fee; cash or check only), and Electric Fetus (approximately $2 fee).
  • Online: (On Ticketfly, typically $2–$3 fee/ticket) until 2 hours before door time on day of show
  • The Cedar is an all ages venue
  • Discounts: Students with ID, seniors over 65, and children under 12 may purchase tickets at a discount at the door (subject to ticket availability).
  • Access: The Cedar strives to make our facilities and programming available to as many community members as possible and will accommodate special requests to the best of our ability. To request special accommodations or seating at an upcoming Cedar show, please contact our box office at 612-338-2674 or info@thecedar.org.