Local Band Spotlight: Dreamgoatz

Dreamgoatz has a sound that is so unique they had to invent a new genre to describe it: folktronic-junk pop. With a sound that mixes a keyboard, guitars, accordions,  sound bites, a loop machine, and vocals and harmonies, it’s easy to see how one might find it difficult to classify them. The band strives for one thing above all else – uniqueness.

“They have a real original sound,” said Max Garcia, a studio art senior who saw them perform at the Arcata Theater Lounge over the summer. “They were making something that is truly unique.”

Dreamgoatz began in the Bay Area in 2006 when Oren Beckman and Tom Vidosh first met through a mutual friend. Both were in high school at the time and bonded instantly over their love of music. Their love of musical experimentation eventually blossomed into the band Dreamgoatz.

Beckman, a College of the Redwoods English student, provides vocals, drum machine and guitar. Vidosh, a journalism senior, provides vocals, loops, keyboards and occasionally the accordion. Erika Bojnowski, a friend who still lives in the Bay Area, sings on the tracks thanks to the trusty postal service. “We all add stuff to each other’s songs,“ said Beckman.

The songwriting process is a team effort. The important thing to the band is how the track turns out, not who gets the credit.

The band is currently working on their fourth album. The band self-releases all of its albums under their own label, Gotohawaii Recordings. The albums themselves showcase Dreamgoatz experimental sound, with a heavy emphasis on mood.

The band’s influences range from Brian Eno’s experimental recording of the 70s, to the Talking Heads. The lyrics are few and far between and are almost childlike in their innocence. Some of the tracks are only 20 seconds long, because the albums are meant to be listened to as a whole, with each song bleeding into the next.

The music is the easy part, the band insists. The most difficult thing for the band is drawing a crowd, not an easy feat when your band is relatively unknown, as many local bands can attest.

“We have not been blessed by the Audience Gods,” joked Beckman. “Most of our shows collect a pretty small audience. It usually ends up being just our roommates and random people who come and go.”

Their last gig at Blondies on Sunday night was no exception. Michelle Morales, a Blondies employee who worked that night felt bad that people did not show up. “I like it when bands come and play here,” Morales said. “It’s better than the radio.”

Regardless of the size of the audience, Dreamgoatz soldiers on. The band has played a variety of venues around town, including Arcata Theater Lounge, The Little Red Lion Tavern, the Green House, and some scattered house shows as far as the Bay Area, Oakland, and even Seattle.

Last Halloween the band drove to Seattle to play a house party. The band that played before them was a metal band whose lead singer, while trying to “get his hardcore on” kicked Beckman in the chest trying to get people riled up for the show. The first band didn’t stop playing until midnight, and then the cops showed up and most of the party-goers left, leaving Dreamgoatz to play to a mostly empty room.

It was a very tense and silent drive back to Humboldt for the band. “We were feeling shitty,” said Beckman. “We drove all the way to fucking Seattle and didn’t even get to play, really.”
Dreamgoatz made an effort to not let this get them down for long, and played house shows again soon after arriving back in Humboldt. “Every performance where people are digging the music makes it all worth it,” said Beckman.

Next on the agenda of the lads behind Dreamgoatz is a forthcoming hip-hop project “Popol Dullbeer.” It is an album/comic book that contains elements of film noir, Charles Bukowski, Mayan cosmology and a loosely interpreted biography of John Dolbeer, a Humboldt inventor who created the “steam donkey” back in 1881, which was used as a logging engine.

The band believes that it is our duty as human beings to create something that will live on past our deaths. For Beckman and Vidosh, this is Dreamgoatz.

(Previously published in The Lumberjack Newspaper on Dec 2nd, 2009. Photo by Cassandra Hoisington. Band website: http://www.myspace.com/dreamgoatz)