Want to catch all the music this weekend? Try cloning
My heart belongs to dada
The band dada took its name from one of the most symbol-laden and surreal of art movements.
The group stole my heart with its commingling of looney lyrical absurdity and polished, tightly harmonized pop/rock craftsmanship, starting in 1992 with the tongue-in-cheek anthem “Dizz Knee Land,” from the gold-weight “Puzzle” album.
Three more discs of wry and musically adept pleasures followed, until dada’s label went through the usual corporate shuffling and roster-dumping, and the group decided to, um, do other things.
Michael Gurley (guitar/vocals) and Phil Leavitt (drums/vocals) were later part of the sadly short-lived Butterfly Jones. (Look for the album in the discard bins!) Leavitt also worked with Blue Man Group, while Joie Callo (vocals/bass) put out an OK solo album that recently brought him to town.
So what a surprise it was to find a “new” dada album in the mailbox a couple weeks ago, accompanied by word the band would be in town tomorrow at North by Northwest as part of a U.S. reunion tour.
In fact, “How To Be Found” (Blue Cave Records) appears to be constructed of leftovers from earlier records: There’s a courtesy thank you to Geffen Records and a notation “Under license from Universal Music Enterprises.”
And how many indie-label packages bear the production stamp of heavyweight mixers Bob Clearmountain, Scott Gordon and Tom Lord-Alge, who make dada sound a lot bigger than three players have the right to be.
The pickings are often choice – from the typically dada-esque “The Next Train Out of My Mind” to the anthemic “Guitar Girl.”
And the stinging, snaky guitar lines and tight vocal harmonies on songs like “Blue Girl” remind anew how much these guys are really in the sweetly snide pop tradition of the Beatles, still a noble pursuit (10 p.m. tomorrow, North By Northwest, 7165 Germantown Ave., a few tickets left at $18, 215-248-1000).
- Jonathan Takiff
Source: Philadelphia Daily News