Song of the Week: "Fannie"


It is rare that both Dusty and I would never have heard of a group, particularly a successful one: between us, we know almost every artist in almost every genre. For my part, I am particularly familiar with rock, progressive rock and neo-progressive rock, as well as many "world music" artists. As for Dusty, he basically knows every group in every genre. In fact, we have even been trying to stump each other lately to see if the other person has heard of a particular artist. We are tied right now.

And we remain tied, since neither of us had heard of Dopapod before Dusty received this wonderful song from one of his contacts. I am particularly embarrassed, since Dopapod is a neo-progressive band -- and a remarkably good one. Indeed, I can tell that they will quickly become my favorite "new" band.

As their name suggests, Dopapod loves palindromes. Most of their album titles are such: Emit Time, Megagem, Never Odd or Even, Redivider, Drawn Onward, Radar, even the somewhat tortuous I Saw Live Dopapod Evil Was I. It is the kind of quirk you would expect from this group of highly accomplished musicians, and their quirky approach to progressive rock.

Indeed, the two influences I hear most overall (not on "Fannie," but after listening to several of their compositions available on YouTube) are Frank Zappa and Gentle Giant (both of whom have a humorous quality to their writing), with a little bit of King Crimson in some of the heavier songs.

"Fannie," from their upcoming self-titled seventh album, is actually among the band's less progressive tracks, being built around a somewhat simple blues guitar figure, a slow walking beat, and some nice atmospherics, including a "twinkling" keyboard. It is nevertheless a well-written, nicely arranged, and plain-out fun piece of songwriting. The lyrics are about the title character, and all the things the narrator would love to give her. (In some cases, he cannot -- for humorous reasons.)

It should be noted that the video for "Fannie" is the fourth nicely animated video in an ongoing series called Building a Time Machine.

Whether or not you like this particular song (and I do!), I highly recommend looking into Dopapod if you like your progressive rock music with a touch of humor.

Check them out on tour this summer. They'll be opening for George Clinton at Central Park SummerStage on June 15th.

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