Having turned 21 a mere 10 months ago, I certainly can’t consider myself a bar aficionado (despite some impressive efforts). However, after stepping into Bob’s Java Jive a few weeks ago and entering its still, hushed atmosphere, I knew something was amiss. My friends and I came to see a handful of beloved local bands play in this equally beloved local spot, and our late arrival during Polka Dot Dot Dot’s performance explained why we entered this eerie air of silent captivation. As we got nearer, we saw the Olympia-based band’s three members standing in a corner — no, swaying, and slapping and clapping — as they performed one of their many soothingly harmonious songs.
Listening to their album Syzygy later, I discovered that their music’s almost magical presence is not limited to their live performances, as songs like “I Ran Downhill” and “Invisibrother” seamlessly carry out the double duty of beautifully-sung melodies with head-bopping beats (to snaps, claps, and other tender forms of unobtrusive percussion).
Polka Dot Dot Dot’s chirping vocals and sweetly natural sounds remind me of a flock of birds — not those obnoxious crows that squawk outside my bedroom window, but more like those cheery blue birds in Cinderella, the ones that help her get showered and pick out her clothes and stuff.
OK, fine, so Polka Dot Dot Dot’s music doesn’t get me dressed in the morning, but waking up to it certainly makes the day a whole lot brighter. As one burly pool player at Bob’s Java Jive succinctly put it, “They rock.”
Hear them play in Seattle on Jan. 16 at a house show (check MySpace for details) or Jan. 17 in Olympia at The Loft on Cherry.
Amanda Hart is the a public marketing director at KUPS 90.1FM in Tacoma.