What is Deerhoof?

Photo from last night’s Deerhoof show in Brooklyn via WNYC

This Wikipedia description of Deerhoof, which seems to have been removed, does about as good a job as possible at describing the band:

Although typically classified as an indie rock band, due to their having been on an indie rock label (Kill Rock Stars) for the entirety of their career, the mercurial and unconventional nature of Deerhoof’s music makes genre identification difficult, and perhaps inappropriate. But several recurring features can be said to constitute Deerhoof’s distinctive sound: unassuming vocal delivery set against hyper-expressive instrumental playing; an elastic approach to group dynamics and rhythm more akin to the rubato of classical music performance practice than rock; odd yet highly memorable melodies; harmonic sophistication and dissonance; disjointed, condensed, asymmetrical and otherwise unconventional song structures; raw and at times strident sound surfaces; improvisation; and general creative restlessness.

I saw Deerhoof last night over at Celebrate Brooklyn and, good cripes, were they stellar.  They’ve added a fourth member, guitarist Ed Rogriguez, and the interplay between him and John Dieterich definitely kicked things up a notch compared to the show I saw last summer (ed: whoops, it was two summers ago). Lead singer/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki was as adorable and captivating as ever and, man, Deerhoof’s founding member Greg Saunier is just a flat-out amazing drummer.  Possibly the best working the indie rock circuit these days. What he accomplished on stage last night with just a bass drum, snare and cymbal was inconceivable. They’re not really touring right now, but If they play near you anytime soon, make sure you go.

Here’s a great 9-minute doc about Deerhoof that includes concert footage with the band’s current lineup. Check it out:

MORE: Too funny.  Last night I announced to some friends and my wife Chris that I had developed a man crush on Saunier after watching him play.  It looks like I wasn’t alone:

...and though ive been a fan of Deerhoof as a collective force i also have an established man/crush [ on the basis of musical skill, silly ] on drummer Greg Saunier.

Posted by Kevin K. on 07/19/08 at 11:55 AM • Permalink

Categories: MusicLive Music ReviewsLocal Music -- NYCMusic VideosYouTubidity

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Thanks for posting this. I will certainly watch for Deerhoof to make their way out here to the heartland. The docu-format of the clip reminds me of this trailer about a group of indie rockers who beat the system. It’s a great story and an excellent DVD, well worth the price.

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