Dntel and friends jam at the EARL

Live review: Dntel, The One AM Radio, Geotic at the EARL in Atlanta, 8/21/11

Jimmy Tamborello is the one-man-band known as Dntel, now touring in support of his recent EPs, After Parties I & II (Sub Pop). Tamborello is not new to the indie electronic music scene. Maybe best known for his collaboration with Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard on the Postal Service album Give Up, he has been a well-respected DJ/artist for nearly 20 years.

Packing little more than a Mac and a synth, Dntel brought heavy atmosphere to the EARL, performing many well-known songs from his repertoire, including “(This Is) The Dream Of Evan And Chan,” “Rock My Boat,” “Dumb Luck” and “Roll On.” During the show, Tamborello rarely looked up from his instruments, except to acknowledge applause with a glance and a finger wave. He seemed to be in the zone. Known for having guest stars sing on many recordings, he welcomed members of the opening acts to the stage to play guitar or sing at different points. All were talented and heightened the quality of his presentation.

On deck were fellow L.A.ers The One AM Radio, who brought their lush sounds to Atlanta. The trio, made up of Hrishikesh Hirway, Fontaine Cole and Scott Leahy, offered up a plate of delicious electronic indie pop (with one foot in the 80s). Musicianship, vocals and lyrics were all top-notch and most likely had many in the audience scratching their heads saying, “How have I not heard of these guys?” This was minimal gear night at the EARL, as The One AM Radio also created awesome sounds using next to nothing but raw talent. Hirway has singlehandedly made this group what it is since it’s beginnings at Yale University back in 1999.

For some indie pop flavor, watch “Credible Threats

Opening the show was the Will Wiesenfeld project Geotic. It’s actually a side project, because he has become associated with his main project, Baths. Wiesenfeld was alone on the stage with only a guitar and some pedals as the small room at the EARL slowly filled. Once in, though, listeners stood mesmerized at what this kid was doing. Ambient and atmospheric, the music was rich enough to fill the room and then some. On the self-released Mend from earlier this year Wiesenfeld must be asking himself, “Where are all the labels?” Or not. Whatever the case, this is some terrific sonic therapy for what ails you. For free downloads (donate, you slackers!), go to: Geotic.

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