My arrival timing for events is usually pretty hit-or-miss, but this last Saturday I lucked out at PS14. I had headed over to check out Notorious Nastie's/Astari Nite's occasional Static Interference event, which was supposed to start at 10 p.m. I arrived just after 11, and nothing had started -- which was just fine, because I was happily surprised by the very first band, the Microdots.
A minimalist-looking foursome, first of all, they have a great name: no weird spellings, short, easy to remember, and kind of nostalgically funny -- whither actual microdots in 2008? Also, though this is likely unintentional, it also reminds me of the Eighties English/Dutch act the Legendary Pink Dots. Not a bad thing, considering both acts hold in common a dark, wistful, slightly psychedelic sound and mood.
The Microdots have obviously chewed and digested a whole lot of Echo and the Bunnymen and company. In fact, they displayed their musical pedigree pretty bluntly with their closing number, a cover of The Church's "Under the Milky Way" (recognize that, Donnie Darko fans?). But what impressed most was the band's extreme live polish, with a jangly, spacey sound that perfectly captured that trebly, reverb-heavy guitar quality of the best post-punk. In any event, it was refreshing to hear someone around town take up post-punk with a less dance-y, chant-y (okay, Interpol-y) tack, and sound really, really surprisingly good while doing it.
You should check out the Microdots' MySpace page here. It appears that the band doesn't have many shows scheduled coming up, and that an actual EP is in the works, but I'll post news here as soon as I get it. -- Arielle Castillo