As the holidays bring about good times between families and long lost friends, drummer and electronic musician Martin Dosh is busier than ever preparing for his annual year-end show to the Cedar Cultural Center.
This year Martin reaches far back into his career with a group he helped put together, one that represents the Twin Cities experimental music scene's nascent phase. The band Lateduster brought together like-minded multi-instrumentalists that were a part of a groovy improv scene and series of nights that happened in the later half of the '90s at venues like the Front and the Dinkytowner.
With a bubbling hip-hop scene and jazz impresarios and electronic music catching fire, bands like the Sensational Joint Chiefs, Phull Surkle, Atmosphere, Fog, and Happy Apple often shared stages and members, cross-collaborating and ultimately laying a foundation of appreciation and multi-genre respect that is much more commonplace in the scene today.
For their first show in nearly six years, Lateduster, which features James Everest, Bryan Olson, and Andrew Broder, have been shaking off their cobwebs and will be warming things up and perform as the centerpiece of this year's annual Dosh show.
Fresh from a solo tour of Europe, I had a chance to get Martin Dosh on the phone and ask him about his old band's resurrection, his music, and what's in store for the Cedar gig that's happening this Friday night (plus, the inevitable topic of saunas).
Hey Martin, it's always fun to see what you put together for this show -- and what a surprise to see Lateduster getting back together this year. How did that come about?
Martin Dosh: Well, it's not necessarily a nostalgia thing for us. I just really miss playing with those guys. We have talked about doing something for a while and worked out right this year.
I really think of that band as being the beginning for a lot of the experimental and improv scene here.
Yeah, the band really came out of the Front Freeloaded nights. I had just moved back to town and started checking Happy Apple and all the other bands and thought I really need to get involved with this somehow. Eventually we came together as Lateduster and at that time it was a 6 piece with Stage One on turntables and Damon front Joint Chiefs also playing drums which allowed me to play Rhodes. It was really the beginning of my career for me. What I do now wouldn't have been possible without that band.
So how long was Lateduster around then, and when was your last time playing together?
We first started in 1999. Eventually we honed it down to just the four of us. Then Andy started working on Fog more full-time and bowed out. We continued as a trio up until 2003 when we did the music for a dance performance that James' wife, Emily Johnson.
So this show has sort of become an annual holiday tradition for you then?
Yeah, it's like my fourth annual, yearly non-demnominational holiday show or something like that. It's definitely the biggest show I do every year. It's always fun to bring people out that I like and make a cool evening of it. In the past I had Dark Dark Dark before they really got going and then one year was with Skoal Kodiak and that was insane. This year I invited this band from Madison I played with, All Tiny Creatures, who I know people will like. Then Lateduster will play another set before I do my solo thing and then who knows what will happen, very likely something with everyone together.
So you are pretty much a one man band these days? You had Mike Lewis playing with you for a while.
Mike was crazy busy the past year with Bon Iver and I have been pretty much keeping things as a solo performer for the last year and a half, like this tour I just got back from in Europe was just me.
Very cool, where did you play over there?
Man, all over the place. Moscow, Poland, France, Germany, Amsterdam.
I bet that was amazing. Any highlights from those shows?
Well it's always a surprise and some nights are better than others. Like the night I played in the small room of this club, Paradiso in Amsterdam. James Blake was in the main room and they had me go on right after his set. Eventually my room filled up with people and it became this wild dance party for an hour as I got stuff moving from the more ambient to dancier stuff. That almost never happens in Minnesota.
It's tough to get a crowd moving here sometimes for sure. But that's always so cool how you can react to a room. You can compliment musically a mellow scene or reflect what's going on or in that case inspiring it. With your music and the audience how do you approach it? I mean do you think of it that way or do you have a definite intention of what you are going to play?
It's a combination of all that. Often times it's a quiet show, they might not know my stuff and the vibe is really dead. I think to myself, 'How am I going to get through this?' and I just have to play my music. Other times everything falls into place and you get a real connection with the audience. That's always the best shows.
I have some friends who love saunas and run a website, saunatimes.com, we consistently listen to Dosh because it seems to be the most perfect music for taking a sauna. Are you into that scene?
Well yeah, I suppose. I mean when I have an opportunity to take a true sauna at a lake, in the woods or something I am definitely into that.
Do you see your music as being similar to taking a sauna?
Sure, I mean it's me in an enclosed space in my basement. Twiddling knobs. It can be very meditative. Often time passes by and it's like 3 in the morning and I'll have been down there for hours and think, 'Shit, I have to take the kids to school in a few hours!' Coming up with new music is the hardest and most rewarding thing there is though.
Dosh, All Tiny Creatures and Lateduster perform Friday December 16 at the Cedar Cultural Center. 7pm. All Ages.