With the almost constant presence of “Dizz Knee Land” on FM radio, it hardly seems possible that 20 years have blinked by since the release of dada’s 1992 debut album Puzzle and its ubiquitous single.
From the very start, dada crafted a unique sonic identity that defied comparison to their AltRock/Grunge peer group. The Los Angeles trio — vocalist/guitarist Michael Gurley, vocalist/bassist Joie Calio and drummer Phil Leavitt — offered a sophisticated blend of Prog’s complexity and precision, Power Pop’s sunny melodicism and Psychedelia’s swirling abandon, fully aware of the fate that befalls that kind of eclecticism in the mainstream marketplace. In spite of it, dada gained airplay and attracted a large and slavishly loyal fan base with their diverse Rock hybrid, crystalline vocal harmonies and nudge/wink sense of humor; the most delicately constructed song on their sophomore album, American Highway Flower, was titled “Scum.”
In 1999, dada went on hiatus while the trio explored a variety of other musical directions that resulted in a broad range of solo and band projects, including Butterfly Jones, X Levitation Cult and Mike Gurley and the Nightcaps. The band regrouped to tour behind 2003’s dada Live: Official Bootleg (Vol. 1), which was followed by the archival compilation How to Be Found in 2004 and the new A Friend of Pat Robertson EP in 2006.
In 2011, dada booked studio time, but the result was a Calio/Leavitt Psych/Blues project called 7Horse; the band will open all of the shows on this tour. With nothing new to promote, dada will be rewarding the faithful by digging deep into their catalog for the 20th anniversary tour, their first full U.S. circuit in nearly a decade.
DADA performs Tuesday, Feb. 12 at The Mad Frog in Corryville with 7Horse and Jerad Finck. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.