The Donkeys spread goodwill wherever they go. It’s just a fact. They recently went into University of Oregon — Eugene’s KWVA’s studio where the interviewer/DJ Thor Slaughter (yes, that is his actual name and we’re enormously jealous of it) was so inspired by his time with the band that he wrote us the kindest email to simply sing their praises. We asked Thor* if he would extrapolate a bit on his Donkey love. And below you will find his recollection The Donkey’s KWVA visit to Eugene on their latest tour. You can also read about it at the KWVA site HERE. Also, The Donkeys are on tour in July and August, sharing a stage with the excellent (and very public Donks fans) The Hold Steady. Peep those date HERE. And now, ladies and gents, I give you Thor Slaughter:
*You should also check out Thor’s great band Le Fiction HERE.
It was five minutes ’til The Donkeys were supposed to arrive. With my cell phone in-hand I waited in the studio anxiously for the band to arrive. I was supposed to interview them while they were in Eugene for a show later that night at a local hot-spot bar.
It had been a little over a year since I saw The Donkeys open for Deerhoof in Portland, Oregon. A fond experience, not only because of the music but because it was one of the my first few concerts I had to travel for. The Donkeys played their hearts out, throwing it all out there for an audience to delve into. They blew the previous band out of the water and set the stage for Deerhoof, no easy task. With their San Diego charm; sitar jams that built up like a George Harrison take on a Who song; lyrics about lost love and fun times; and a crowd-pleasing explosion of radness that was a great cover of “Gloria” that got the crowd on their feet shouting along to the letters. They won me over enough to buy their album that they were still supporting, 2008’s Living on the Other Side. Flash forward an entire year and I’m no longer a kid from high school, but Music Director at a campus radio station that jumped at an opportunity to drag The Donkeys into the studio.
When The Donkeys played here in Bloomington last month, drummer Sam Sprague was nearly clean shaven. The beard you will see upon Sam’s face in the above video from an East Village Radio performance is a testament to the road work San Diego’s finest have put in this spring supporting their latest longplayer, Born With Stripes. Here in the East Village Radio studio, we get a minimal take on Born With Stripes‘ “West Coast Raga” with members Jesse Gulati and Antony Lukens trade shreds — on sitar and Rhodes respectively. It’s just a small dose of the joy these gentlemen bring to a stage.
The band has West Coast dates now-into-July, and will hit the road again in August to open for The Hold Steady. See all upcoming dates HERE.
A few weeks ago The Donkeys played here in Bloomington, and I don’t know if I’ve had more fun at a show all year. I was even inspired to jot down notes on my iPhone saying “If you want to see a band perform every song like it’s their last, GO SEE THE DONKEYS!” Well, while nothing can quite match the experience of seeing these guys live, you CAN check out The Donkeys live session on East Village Radio’s Beyond Beyond is Beyond HERE and capture some of that magic. The Donkeys make an epic swing through the Lone Star state this weekend swinging through Denton Friday, before playing the Free Press Fest in Houston Saturday, followed by the Choas in Tejas fest in Austin on Sunday. You can also catch a special FREE in-store performance by The Donkeys at End of An Ear in Austin at 3pm on Sunday. Check out full tour dates, including new dates w/ The Hold Steady in August HERE.
Above is The Donkeys new video for “Don’t Know Who We Are” off of their new album Born With Stripes, which is out this week. The video was directed by Jeff Lowe and features pinatas, psychedelia, and some cool looks at street art around the band’s hometown, San Diego.
Speaking of San Diego, The Donkeys will be all over the city this Saturday (4/30) playing three in-store performances at Cow Records (noon PT), M-Theory (1:45pm PT), and Record City (3:30pm PT) before heading to Sushi Arts that evening for their official record release show.