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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Listen To This While High: I Am The Dot's 'We Have Not Arrived'

Posted By on Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 3:18 PM

click to enlarge I Am The Dot's Zach Tipton
  • I Am The Dot's Zach Tipton
Listen to this while high:  "We Have Not Arrived," by I Am the Dot, courtesy of Knox Road.

Behind the buzz: The one-man band of Denver's Zach Tipton, I Am the Dot drops another tuneful noise-pop EP every few months. This song is off his latest, a four-track cassette and digital release of the same title due on Nov. 23. Tipton calls what he does "experimental soul," and there's a certain spry retro-melodic élan reminiscent of pop maudits as diverse as Tim Hardin or Garland Jeffreys, though other Tipton joints show strong influences of Bowie and The Police. It's oddly comforting to know that some plainly talented composer is sitting Syd Barrett-like out in the Mile High City, pondering the higher aesthetic mysteries of old James Coburn movie soundtracks before trying his D.I.Y hand at experimental music.

Today's weed: A spicy-smelling hybrid named Maui Dog. This stuff has a distinct bitter aftertaste, a blowback effect worthy of Old Overholt, and packs an unusual number of giggles per dose.

click to enlarge I Am The Dot's Zach Tipton
  • I Am The Dot's Zach Tipton
I Am The Dot's Zach Tipton
Psychoactive verdict: This particular dope badly tests the powers of sustained concentration -- you wind up staring at the screen a prisoner of fancies too entrancing to allow for hitting the play button. But this song conjures up pleasant images of some whacked-out martini-drenched 1960s movie parody, a feeling heightened by the spooky, gorgeous "We have not arrived/To the place, the place where you will die" refrain. This is a deft, intriguing production, full of the kind of nuance dopers, audiophiles, and other obsessionists can happily pick over through multiple hearings.

The part where you know you're high: The part about "Carrying written instructions" brings to mind both Warren Zevon and The High Llamas, a heroic split-brain mashup of the kind you only get while high.

The part where you wish you were higher: The piano figure at the very end, walking you gently out the door pole-axed and smiling.

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Ron Garmon

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