International Scouting: The Dø, Andy Votel, Boogarins
The Dø – Shake Shook Shaken
The Dø’s 2011 album, Both Ways Open Jaws, is one of my favorite releases of the last five years. While their follow-up, Shake Shook Shaken, was released in France early autumn 2014, it wasn’t scheduled to hit the States until February 2015. Well, I couldn’t wait that long and, while visiting Paris last November, I hopscotched record stores until I found it. The fact that I couldn’t wait a few more months for the vinyl/CD boats to arrive on U.S. shores should indicate my devotion to this band and their wholly unique sound and energy.
The Dø has helped broaden my musical horizons, presenting electro-pop in an organic, darker, more moody package. For rock purists, don’t let the polished image scare you away. Give The Dø a shot, maybe starting with Both Ways Open Jaws (check out the Pigalle sessions on YouTube). The Dø is a pure and true vision that contains some of the most exciting songwriting of the last five years. There’s no reason they shouldn’t rule the world within the next five years. Now’s your chance to say you knew them when.
Find in iTunes: Shake, Shook, Shaken – The Dø
Andy Votel – Brazilika
In the 60s and 70s, Brazil churned out some of the most intriguing rock music in the world. From Novos Baianos and Os Brazões to Tim Maia and Sidney Miller, there are several roads you can venture down, getting lost amongst the psychedelia. So, if you’re unfamiliar, the question isn’t “Where can I find it?” Rather, it’s “Where do I start?”
Fortunately, Andy Votel – a self-professed “psychedelic rock librarian” – has done much of the hard work for us. With Brazilika – Subtropical Sunstroke Psych-out, Votel provides not just a thorough introduction to part of the scene but also an awesomely executed DJ-style mix. I’m not usually one for DJ mixes, but this compilation is so seamless you will listen for 20 minutes and be completely lost in the track listing, which is a good thing.
Votel has produced several archive releases that are invaluable to anybody looking for the unusual in rock and beyond, whether it’s from Brazil or any of the million corners of Earth. Check out his archival collective, Finders Keepers, which is a seal of approval unto itself.
Find in iTunes: Andy Votel Presents Brazilika
Boogarins – As Plantas que Curam
Going to a bar to see a band can feel like a chore, with the potential for two or three opening acts that will delay the headliner until midnight or later. But it’s always a great surprise when one of those openers just floors you. Such was the case when I caught Boogarins opening for Temples at the Record Bar in Kansas City.
Boogarins are carrying the torch of their 60s and 70s Brazilian psychedelic forebearers, as As Plantas que Curam is full of both fuzzy and jangly guitars and rolling drum beats.
The fact that bands like Boogarins are opening for openers to a crowd of just a couple hundred in a midwestern American bar on a weeknight goes to show that Brazil is still absolutely vital in providing much of the world’s best rock music.
Find in iTunes: As Plantas Que Curam – Boogarins