This holiday season has been busier than most. Still, with the historical election and the tanking economy taking priority over most things musical, it's easy to overlook the plethora of cool bands making their way to our area.
Case in point: Los Angeles' El Ten Eleven making its way to The Cavern this Friday.
Described as post-rock (whatever the hell that means), the dynamic duo of Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty has been gleefully confounding critics since 2003. Why? Well, because, sometimes, El Ten Eleven comes off a bit like Calexico--while at other times, Tortoise or even Sigur Ros are better references.
Whatever the comparison, Dunn and Fogarty make cerebral rock you can dance to; something that hasn't really been (successfully) accomplished since Gang of Four, I don't think. And These Promises Are Being Videotaped, the band's most recent effort, is packed full of jerky rhythms and interesting guitar riffs, all played with an awe inspiring, lock-step precision.
Dunn's become something of a musician's musician with his prowess on his instrument--a double neck, guitar/bass combo--but don't get to thinking that El Ten Eleven is just for high brow elitists. This is fun, fascinating stuff.
Mostly instrumental, this is the rare case where a band can have absolutely nothing to say and everyone is better off. --Darryl Smyers