On The List :: The Dodos @ SF MOMA [1.15.10]

It's clear from the line wrapped around not one, not two, but three sides of the block demarcated by 3rd, Minna, Montgomery and Howard Streets that 1,000 of our closest friends will be joining us on the list tonight. More accurately, a great many of SF MOMA's good acquaintances also received an invitation (+1!) to opening night of the 75th anniversary show with special guests including Jackson Pollock (deceased), Dorothea Lange (deceased), and The Dodos (alive; on stage).

We couldn’t care less about The Dodos. We don't really care about the art (although the show turns out to be excellent. If you'd like to go, you can borrow our membership card.) We are here ostensibly for the potential of meeting girls but honestly for the certainty of free drinks promised by the invite.

By the time we navigate the line, however, tickets entitling one to a free glass of Korbel are no longer available at the door. Dewar's, however, is only six bucks. We settle.

Two choices present themselves: Upstairs to the art, where no drinks are allowed, or right into a hot room where The Dodos, accompanied by The Magik*Magik Orchestra, play.

The triumvirate of Scotch, rocks, and music triumphs.

The band fits the role of local favorite well. (We later learn one of them lives within a couple blocks of us and held a Halloween party where he played drums while wearing a purple dress. This anecdote, while having no bearing on the content of this review, seems worth sharing.) The front few rows dance as much as they deem appropriate given the setting. The rest of the crowd oscillates between paying attention while trying hard to look like they are not and enjoying themselves while attempting to look like they aren't paying attention.

We pay attention. Almost immediately, The Dodos remind us of The White Rabbits. Tribal drumming and a singer who resorts to a strained voice will do that. (See "Men" for further proof.) The San Francisco version favors leading with a guitar and letting the drums take over, while the boys from Brooklyn launch into the skins from the get go, but the distinction is simply semantics. They are brothers from a different coast.

The Dodos play two sets, of which we catch probably seven songs. (At some point, we feel obliged to wander through the galleries upstairs.) At 10:30, they finish, SF MOMA begins to shut down, and we leave.

But the beat goes on, da da dum da dum da da.

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