Wednesday, August 11, 2010
dada returning to The Coach House
This is a longer version of the dada preview published on The Orange County Register Web site earlier today.
I took these photos of dada in the recording studio on Thursday night, July 1, 2010.
With: Groove Kitty, Hobs Row
Where: The Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano
When: 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13
How much: $20
Info: Call the Coach House at 949-496-8930 or visit: www.thecoachhouse.com
dada is the rare band that combines stunning songwriting and inventive harmonies with virtuoso musicianship, and also delivers concerts that seemingly outdistance their flawless studio efforts.
Since emerging on the music scene in 1992 with their successful commercial debut album Puzzle (featuring radio favorites “Dizz Knee Land” and “Dim”), singer-guitarist Michael Gurley, singer-bassist Joie Calio and drummer Phil Leavitt have released five outstanding albums and built a reputation as one of rock’s most-consistently impressive concert acts.
Those who haven’t witnessed dada in action can catch the trio at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano on Friday night, Aug. 13.
Although dada hasn’t released a full-length studio album since 2004’s How to be Found (although the five-song EP A Friend of Pat Robertson was issued in 2006) followers of the band will be happy to learn dada is back in the studio working on an as-of-yet untitled new studio album. The nearly-completed song “Mercury Down” is an epic and powerful track that continues to showcase dada’s undeniable blend of classic Beatles psychedelic rock and post-Nirvana alt rock sensibilities all mixed up with touches of jam rock, jazz, folk, alt-country and blues.
“We don’t want to do anything less than an ‘Abbey Road’ from now on,” Calio told me in July, when dada made a rare invitation for this writer to visit them at producer Scott Gordon’s Santa Monica recording studio. Watching the trio work on new material – some of it nearly complete and other in a development phase – was thrilling and shed additional light on the band’s formidable talents.
“We hope to get this (the recordings) done by the end of the year,” Leavitt explained.
While Gurley and Leavitt live in the Los Angeles area, Calio calls the state of Washington home. So since February, Calio has been coming down for intensive one-week stints to work with the other guys on the new tracks.
The breaks also allow the members to step away from the studio and then re-examine tracks a few weeks later with a fresh set of ears to see if they pass their high standards or are scrapped.
“The songs are interesting; we are doing a lot of improvisation,” Leavitt said.
Indeed, over the course of five hours or so that I spent at the studio, Calio completed his driving bass tracks for a new song (possible title “I Need a Moment in the Sun”) before the full trio suddenly shifted sonic gears and had Gordon begin recording several extended jams that could well develop into finished songs as the process goes forward.
“By the end of the week, everybody is ready to go home,” said Leavitt, adding the marathon-length recording sessions routinely stretch out long after midnight.
“We’re at our best when we’re playing without any outside influence.”