The Dodos are the San Francisco–based duo of singer/guitarist Meric Long and percussionist Logan Kroeber, on the road somewhere between Reno and Las Vegas when we talk. “I’m so glad you didn’t ask me to define what we sound like,” says Kroeber from their van. “It’s so hard, dude. I’ll say too many things, and it’ll just sound stupid.”
We agree that attempting to describe the Dodos’ sound may be an exercise in futility, but I’ll take a shot: jangled, random roots-blues played with acoustic guitar on top of primitive drumming reminiscent of the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson. Kroeber has a stripped-down kit made of three floor toms and a snare. “You can do away with a lot of technique,” he says. His drum fills range from very ’60s to very primal. “When Meric and I are jamming in the studio, it’s like I’m playing with my hands on a tabletop.” The Dodos tour with support — in the past, a vibraphonist; currently, an electric guitarist.
Long released his solo Dodo Bird in 2005, and Kroeber joined him soon after. They released their first CD together, Beware of the Maniacs, in 2006. “When I first met Meric, our shared influences came together through his guitar playing.” Kroeber names pickers such as John Fahey and Leo Kottke. “Stuff like that. It quickly spiraled out from there.” They’d both played harder music in high school. “We were able to suffuse growing up playing punk and metal with more craftsman-like things. It’s kind of been getting heavier since then.”
Reading Rainbow also performs.
DODOS: The Casbah, Saturday, April 9, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $14.