Thursday, March 13, 2014

Iska Dhaaf album release with Don't Talk to the Cops at Neumos on My Birthday

Iska Dhaaf's CD Release Show with Don't Talk to the Cops is on my birthday! I love that lineup.
I didn't get video, just some cell phone shots.

I didn't even get cell phone photos of Don't Talk to the Cops, I was too busy dancing and moshing and having fun. I first saw Don't Talk to the Cops at Reverb in October 2011.
They had Hollis with them for a couple numbers, fun show!
I kept track and went to see them again when I got the chance like at Bumbershoot in 2012: and at Heartland last year: not to mention a few Vera Project shows.
One show in particular - at the Redmond Firehouse, a classic DTTTC show with Mash Hall overtones, great sweaty show with the audience dancing and having a great time:
There was an opening act I'd never heard of called "Iska Dhaaf" and they stood out immediately, their song "Happiness" is a haunting instant classic:
Droney guitar, up front percussive work - stripped down lineup, each instrument prominent, simple and powerful. The vocals and especially the occasional two part sections and tasty reverb and echo give it a dreamy indirect feeling. The dynamics, the transitions from the haunting quieter bit to the louder more percussion driven sections and the final bridge of happiness gives it more progression, more of a completed arc. This song slips into your emotions and memories like the soundtrack for the bit that was about happiness, but wasn't really very happy at all. You're glad it's the bittersweet echo of that feeling, better in retrospect than while you're living through it.

After the fact I read that Nathan Quiroga (I saw him quite a few times as Buffalo Madonna in Mad Rad) and Benjamin Verdoes of local indie favorites Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band are Isk Dhaaf, so they're a bit of a Northwest indie super-group, which is cool.

I was looking forward to the birthday show, and they didn't let me down. I didn't record any videos, but the show was great and we had fun, good sweaty fun.

I posted the videos from the Redmond Firehouse show a year ago and never paid too much attention after that. When I was writing this I noticed that I have 1,687 views of the youtube video from the Iska Dhaaf show at the Redmond Firehouse. I never gave it much promotion or anything, probably just mentioned it once or twice on a blog, but that's a high level of viewing - for, me at least. I only have one video with more views (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis from 2 years ago) so that's quite a few views for a fairly unknown band.

I suspect Iska Dhaaf may be breaking out quickly to regional success, and with their contacts and history I wouldn't be surprised to see national success pretty soon. Success is a fickle and unreliable thing, you never know how it will go, so I hope they're enjoying playing cool music for appreciative audiences as much as I enjoyed getting to hear it!

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