They're just a duo banging on their guitar and drums, but comparing Darren Jackson and Ian Prince to, say, the White Stripes or other similar bands is a mistake. Kid Dakota's bite is far worse than its bark, and don't think for a second they'll have some silly-ass color-coordinated outfits. Jackson's measured, careful way with songs (that tend to be mercurial and heartfelt all at once) and Prince's efforts behind the kit, which remind one of the Muppets' Animal, converge to create a whole that's much larger than the sum of its parts. There's all manner of loneliness and isolation at work in many of the songs, the type of isolation that makes you feel right at home--the kind of feeling you're not familiar with if you didn't grow up on the dusty Midwestern plains. Broken chunks of country and folk surface in the churning sea of power-pop, lending depth and a level of sophistication to many of the songs--something that often is lacking in the "Crank this riff to 11 and we'll figure the rest out later" power-pop genre. Great riffs are great riffs, but mean nothing if you can't back them up.
Tuesdays, 10 p.m. Starts: May 5. Continues through May 26, 2009