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Music as dominoes

Daniel Francis Doyle doesn't need no stinkin' band

Daniel Francis Doyle: one man band. Photo by Ben Aqua/MySpace

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Have you longed for the quirky emotionalism of Jonathan Richman to careen headlong into noise-rock? Sure you have. You just never knew it.

Now, once those two sounds have been precariously welded together, how would you prefer them to be thrown at your head? If you said, "By way of a mad one-man-band who utilizes prickly looped guitar, furious drumming, and panic attack vocals shouted into a headset microphone!" then I'd say you're very good at this guessing game. ...

And I'd like for you to meet Daniel Francis Doyle.

Doyle's origin story of forming his "one-man-band" (a term he doesn't cotton to, by the way) is the kind of Spinal Tap punch line you'd expect, but never hear, from this kind of venture: his band quit.

Naturally, then, Doyle just soldiered on by himself.

"My band broke up, so I decided to duct tape a couple guitars to some amplifiers," says Doyle. "I'd have a distortion pedal next to my foot, and I'd just play drums and do some distortion blasts and yell. Eventually I got the loop pedal. ... That kind of took over, and took me to where I'm at now."

Ah, yes - where Doyle is at now. When you see him perform it's not quite the plate spinning we usually associate with one-man-bands. When you watch Andrew Bird utilize the loop pedal, it's an awful lot like a high-wire act; but Daniel Francis Doyle approaches his songs like a trail of dominoes. You watch him lay down every intricate guitar line, tension building and building. When he steps to the drums, the sounds collide together in cacophonic headlong motion. The fact that that Doyle intersperses this with plaintive and simple pop songs only adds to the freefall dizzy spell. 

It's confusing, entrancing and utterly unique.

[Northern, with Big Banginest, Wednesday, May 12, 8 p.m., all ages, $6, 321 Fourth Ave., Olympia,]

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