Martin Dosh is probably not a name most people are familiar with. He may be most well-known in connection with Andrew Bird, often co-collaborating with Bird and playing in his live band. However, Martin Dosh is also a solo artist who goes simply by, Dosh. When performing solo, Dosh is essentially a one man band playing mostly instrumental music.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to see him live for a second time and as I expected it was a sight to behold. That particular night he was playing The Whole and was set up on one side of the stage surrounded by his signature drum kit and Fender Rhodes electric piano. He also had a small sound board, a few electronic gizmos, a small synthesiser and a variety of pedals for looping, sampling and effects. And this is how Dosh creates music. He sits at his little station on stage and pieces together his songs from the bottom up, weaving and layering sounds along the way. It’s amazing to see someone do this on stage completely in their element, completely focused. There is so much for him to keep track of include mixing live on stage, but it doesn’t see to phase him. He’s like wizard in a way, working his magic as we the audience watch and listen, in awe. The result is a  mix of sounds and genres ranging from electronic, jazz, rock, dance and ambient. Dosh is easily in my top five best live acts of all time. He plays fairly often around the Twin Cities so if you get a chance I hight recommend checking him out. Here is a video to give you a little taste of what he does. In this video he’s playing with saxophone and bass guitar extraordinaire Michael Lewis. Enjoy!   

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Another Thought on Pregnancy

As I watch Rachel growing bigger and bigger one thought I’m often struck with is, as a man I’ll never experience what she’s experiencing. I’ll never know what it’s like to have a human being growing inside me or feel a kick from within or experience the physical and emotional ups and downs of giving birth. I’m not saying I wish I could have that experience, but it’s interesting to me that it is something completely unique to women. I could never say, I know what that’s like. As I said in my previous post, pregnancy and ultimately birth is such a mysterious and miraculous thing. I think it may be God’s most beautiful of creations and I’m glad I get to experience it, even from a male perspective.

Any Day Now

I’m hoping to have a new Music Monday blog post all ready to go for next week, but in the mean time I wanted to write a little bit about an unborn baby whose father I will be.

From the time my wife Rachel and I first learned she was pregnant until a few months ago I was primarily thinking about parenting and specifically how to be a good father. I’ve known ever since I was very young, that whenever I had kids, I wanted to be the best possible father I could be. The thought of being a parent is a scary one, especially when you have really high expectations for yourself. I didn’t think it would be something I would be able to shake, but recently my focus has changed.

We are literally in the final days of Rachel’s pregnancy and I haven’t really thought much about being a good father, at least in a broad long-term sense. Obviously it’s something I still strive for and I’m sure once the baby is here we’ll have many parenting decisions to make and discussions to have. But now my focus has been on Rachel and being completely supportive of her and her birthing preparations. She’s planning to do a natural birth so there are a lot more things to think about and prepare for. Along those same lines I’ve been thinking about the birth itself. This will be our first child and when it comes to birth you really don’t know specifically what’s going to happen or even when it will happen. Then, I’ve been thinking about the baby. The weird thing about having a baby is that one day they’re not here and the next day they are. We’ll have a tiny person coming home to live with us. It’s pretty wild! We don’t even know what he’ll look like. It’s such a mysterious miraculous part of life. I’ve also thought about what the day-to-day will be like with him around and how to take care of him and now that I think of it these are all the beginning stages of parenting. So even though the focus of my thoughts have changed I supposed they are still related to striving to be a good parent. I think perhaps I’m less scared about it now too. I know I don’t have to do it alone and I’m so excited to meet our little boy.

Music Monday – Noah and the Whale

My wife Rachel and I just got back from a brief trip to Montana to visit my family, which I plan to write about later this week. While on the way home yesterday I thought it would be fun to stop at the Electric Fetus in St. Could. The Electric Fetus is a small chain of record stores here in the Minnesota and the one in Minneapolis is my favorite record store and is where I buy most of my music. They also have a location in Duluth which I’ve been to, but I’ve never been to the one in St. Cloud. Another reason I wanted to stop there was to pick up the new album by Noah and the Whale.

The main reason I know of Noah and the Whale is because Laura Marling used to be a member of the band. This fact fixed Noah and the Whale onto my radar even though I didn’t know much else about them. Several months ago I learned they would be releasing a new album and had released a music video of their first single called “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” The song had me hooked with its catchy chorus and was enough to convince me to buy the album.

After I picked up the album entitled Last Night On Earth at the St. Could Electric Fetus, Rachel and I got in the car to drive the rest of the way home to Minneapolis. I put the album on and immediately Rachel says, “What is this music? It’s so 80s.”  A couple songs later she asked half joking half serious, “Why do you like this?” And honestly I didn’t have a response, like I said; I’d only heard the one song before. But now that I’ve heard the whole album I can say, I do like it, at least for now. It certainly does have an 80s vibe as Rachel pointed out, punctuated by keyboard and drum synths. I also noticed that they remind me of Tom Petty in a lot of ways. There are elements of folk and country influences on this album as well and from what I’ve heard those are sounds that were more prominent in Noah and the Whale’s early work. All these elements combined made for a good first impression and I’m going to go ahead and recommend this album. The verdict is still out on whether or not it will have lasting appeal, but I guess you’ll have to wait and see if it makes my EOTY list or not.

Below I’ve posted the video to the song, “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.” I mentioned earlier. On its own I’d say this is one of the best songs of the year so far. Also, I’ve included an older Noah and the Whale song featuring Laura Marling. Oh, and if you don’t know who Laura Marling is, you should check her out, she’s an amazing folk singer and songwriter.

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