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Deerhoof - Bibidi Babidi Boo

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Artist: Deerhoof

Album: Bibidi Babidi Boo

Label: Kill Rock Stars

Review date: Nov. 8, 2004

In its attention-deficient deconstruction of stadium rock, Deerhoof exists as a cuddlier, less offensive counterpoint to the sneering chaos of US Maple. The mild backlash to this year’s Milk Man was less surprising than the fact that Deerhoof became an unavoidable college radio staple in the first place. Usually, a Deerhoof song lurches between five or six passable hooks in under a minute, unable to stay put or drop anchor. Always, the vocals sound like the work of a timid-but-caffeinated toddler, no doubt the offspring of two enormous Velocity Girl fans. Like the Japanese prog-meisters in Ghost, Deerhoof became required listening for indie snobs more by virtue of its connections than by any prerogative to please.

I’ve never heard anyone posit a sturdy case for or against Deerhoof without lapsing into first person, and, as my best friend in high school once told me, I’m not that special… When I read borrowed back issues of The New Yorker while listening to Deerhoof, I retain none of the words but all of the ideas. Deerhoof scrambles and heightens my perception like an X-ray kaleidoscope. I once got to third base while the band’s hallmark kickshaw Apple O’ spun in the background, and fell immediately in love. And yet, I can think of no more frustrating band to hear while keeping company with those who don’t “get it.” It’s like trying to explain a dream.

For those of us who’d like to evangelize for Deerhoof, Bibidi Babidi Boo ain’t going to help. But it’s a fine distillation of the Deerhoof experience. This is the ’Hoof at its most spare and immediate, without the studio filter. There isn’t much crowd noise – you can almost hear the bad dates checking their watches. When the songs take a moment to rock, there’s none of the ersatz conviviality you get with most good concert records, but hearing the band thrown into the drink, flailing so gracefully, is a thrill in itself. The drums hold everything together, as much as needed.

Bibidi Babidi Boo is available, in its half-hour entirety, for free download at the Kill Rock Stars website. If you don’t like it, you can always write “Magnetic Fields” on it and give it to a bad date.

By Emerson Dameron

Other Reviews of Deerhoof

Apple O'

Milk Man

Green Cosmos

The Runners Four

Friend Opportunity

Offend Maggie

Deerhoof vs. Evil

Breakup Song

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View all articles by Emerson Dameron

Find out more about Kill Rock Stars

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