"I am a player and I will not lie / I have a couple of girls on the side", so begins Fingerpaint, the most recent offering from Sacramento's shamanic one-man-band Doofy Doo. Hell, if I could sound this much like a Collective of Animals (specifically a Panda Bear) I'd probably be seeing a lot more action myself. However, in just under 17 minutes, Fingerpaint is able to evoke the absolute best of all of its influences, and evens takes things to a new level by lightening the mood and never dwelling in one place for longer than absolutely necessary.
Fingerpaint is a psychedelic tapestry of sound. It's so unique and brief, it's more of an event than an album. "Whoa, did you hear that?" "What just happened?" Come to think of it, it seems perfectly designed in both length and mood for a salvia trip (although, speaking from experience, I can't recommend salvia to anyone but psychonaut masochists).
It hasn't been long at all, before "Hands" explodes into this incredible reverb-soaked sonic landscape of jangling guitar, howling vocals and crashing cymbals. It's so uplifting and exciting that it makes it difficult to sit with my arms crossed like the jaded hipster douche bag I sometimes worry I am. The music video Doofy and his friends made really captures the intensely joyous mood of this song.
The title track is also worth noting for it's kaleidoscopic quality. Gentle arpeggios and a brisk drum beat set the mood nicely for the choir of heavenly angels that descend to sing/ask "Do you like playing with fingerpaint?" The music evokes a strange nostalgia and reminds me of being a little kid, laying on my back on the grass and watching the clouds. It's hard to believe so much can be done in under two minutes...but that might also be because I keep listening to it over and over again. In fact, this album sort of demands repeated listening, and my one and only gripe is that it's so short. Whenever this guy takes the time to record a full length LP, he's got the potential to create a real masterpiece.
Tracks like "Fingerpaint" and "DeeGeeEmBeEs" really showcase Doofy's agile and creative drumming abilities. He is also known as Drew Walker, contributor to one of the tightest rhythm sections I know in his band, The Happy Medium. On this record, he demonstrates that he's also a very skilled guitarist, singer, and manipulator of pedals and various looping devices. However, what's even more impressive is the fact that he can do this sort of thing live, and with what looks like a lot less gear than you might expect.
I look forward to (finally) seeing one of his live shows, and if you take 17 minutes out of your day to listen to this strange, hypnotic and oftentimes hauntingly beautiful album, you certainly will too. - Matt