I'm a latecomer to this whole Deerhoof thing. But after seeing the Bay Area trio at the Walker Art Center last night, I'm a convert. Any description you read of the band mentions the impossibility of categorizing their music, yet still pondering the performance, words are all I've got, so... They're an art-house geek-rock, free jazz, Zebulon Pike-meets-Bad Plus, J-Poppy, semi-Dada power-rock trio with serious case of pranksterism.
OK, maybe that's trying too hard. Nonetheless, the show was fantastic. Bassist/singer Satomi Matsuzaki was enigmatic and funny, singing behind a guitar that seemed twice her size. Guitarist John Dieterich, who went to college here, had some scorching guitar work, but with a slightly dorky stance I found endearing (no Townsend windmill power strums here). But drummer Greg Saunier was the most amazing. He must've splintered five drumsticks in the course of his playing, which while always precise seemed at times the result of demon possession or of a tad too much whiskey (my money's on the former).
Definitely one of the best shows ever.