Dosh keeps it interesting, plays Saturday at the Cedar

Martin Dosh makes music that's wonderful to listen to and impossible to categorize.  It's avante-garde without being difficult, electronica but not really, and lyricless yet wholy expressive.  I sat down with Dosh at Common Roots Cafe in anticipation of Saturday's show at the Cedar Cultural Center and we talked about everything from Andrew Bird to Bugs Bunny (a gift for his son) to David Foster Wallace (loves Girl with Curious Hair).
Dosh's star has been in the ascendant since he met Andrew Bird a few years ago and the two began collaborating.  "He was playing a show here," says Dosh on how he and Bird got hooked up, "And got a stack of records, looking for an opener.  He thought I used a drum machine, did laptop stuff."  Since that show the two have worked together on each other's records and on tour.  Dosh used to have a day job teaching music, but now, he says, "Andrew Bird is my day job," looking happy about it.  "After awhile, I burned out on the teaching."

Wolves and Wishes, Dosh's most recent album, came out back in May.  The title plays on a dichotomy between wolves as evil and vicious, "think Cheney," and the hopeful naivete of wishes.  "It could have been Wolves vs. Wishes, but and sounds better."  Since Dosh's songs are instrumentals, their titles provide hints or clues into their themes.  "First Impossible," for instance, is taken from a Sun Ra poem commissioned for when man landed on the moon.  Dosh came up with "Food Cycles" while viewing hundreds of aboriginal paintings in Australia.

As his titles are hints, listening to the songs themselves is like a process of discovery.  Dosh eschews standard conventions of songwriting and considers his method a lot like sculpture.  What we hear on his discs is as much a testament to what's not there, what's been hewed away.  "I just try to keep it interesting," he says -- an understatement.

With a new Andrew Bird record coming out on January 20th -- on which Dosh has again collaborated -- Dosh is going to be a busy man, touring like crazy, including a gig at Carnegie Hall.  Asked how he likes the touring life, he says, "I'm just glad I have a job that pays well in these tough times.  If I was in the military I'd have to be gone all year."

Dosh plays Saturday night at the Cedar Cultural Center with Dark Dark Dark.

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