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It’s Complicated: El Ten Eleven, September 27 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-09-15 13:56:18

El Ten Eleven. Photo by Amanda Fogarty.It’s a sentiment that should come standard-issue with any virtuosity.

“I do have to check myself, because sometimes I can find myself doing overly complicated things, and I think, ‘Wait, am I doing this because it makes the song good or because I’m trying to show off?’” said Kristian Dunn in a recent phone interview. “It usually ends up being the latter, and it gets cut. You’ve got to be tough with yourself in this kind of situation.”

“This kind of situation” is pretty funny, because it’s unlikely that El Ten Eleven has much company in what it does. An instrumental duo featuring Dunn on guitars (often a double-neck) and drummer Tim Fogarty, the band makes extensive use of looping and effects pedals to build tunes that would seem to need three or more players. “Fat Gym Riot,” from 2008’s These Promises Are Being Videotaped, climaxes with thick bass and twin (or perhaps triplet) lead guitars.

But when El Ten Eleven returns to RIBCO on September 27, there will be just Fogarty and Dunn and the latter’s 13 pedals, trying to make the extraordinarily complicated seem like merely good music.

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