Don Caballero — Awesome New Album, Tour

Ah, nothing sweeter than a return to form…Don Caballero has a new album coming out August 19th, Punkgasm (not a big fan of the name, but hey). From what I’ve heard it sounds a bit like the amazing What Burns Never Returns. Their last effort World Class Listening Problem is pretty good sounding too. Yeah yeah yeah, the don’t have Ian Williams anymore–but post-Ian Williams Don Caballero is so much more appealing to me than the music of Battles, which I find just so…eh, uninspiring. Don Caballero is still on their Captain Beefheart meets Mahavishnu Orchestra trip, which is a Good Thing in the world of music.

Boy, did Steve Albini fuck up the recording on American Don compared to the amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing recordings by Al Sutton of What Burns Never Returns and Don Caballero 2 and World Class Listening Problem. Listen to the drum recording on What Burns Never Returns, then listen to the drum recording on American Don and weep…same with everything else on that album, Steve Albini made it sound like crap. I could listen to the harmonics coming off of Damon Che’s snares on What Burns Never Returns for days, even when the rest of the band isn’t playing. Look at Nirvana’s in Utero too…I think Steve Albini secertly just says “f*ck it” when recording certain bands, and puts in like zero effort to get a good sound, or secretly sabotages recordings by bands that have a certain amount of unique sound and flair for some reason. Thanks a lot pal. C’mon, can anyone say that the American Don album comes anywhere near putting the music in as good of a light as Al Sutton’s recordings did? I doubt it. Tragedy. Listen to the recording on their last album, World Class Listening Problem. Oh it sounds pretty f*cking great doesn’t it? Oh, it’s because it’s produced by Al Sutton, they didn’t let Steve Albini get his hands on it after the American Don production debacle.

Don Caballero Myspace page!!!

Aug 19 2008 8:00P
IOTA Club & Café Arlington, Virginia
Aug 20 2008 8:00P
Sonar Baltimore, Maryland
Aug 21 2008 8:00P
Steppin Out Virginia Beach, Virginia
Aug 22 2008 8:00P
Johnny Brendas Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Aug 23 2008 8:00P
Knitting Factory New York, New York
Aug 24 2008 8:00P
Harper’s Ferry Boston, Massachusetts
Aug 25 2008 8:00P
Club Lambi Montreal, Quebec
Aug 26 2008 8:00P
Lee’s Palace Toronto, Ontario
Aug 27 2008 8:00P
Casbah Hamilton, Ontario
Aug 28 2008 8:00P
Call the Office London, Ontario
Aug 29 2008 8:00P
Pike Room Pontiac, Michigan
Aug 30 2008 8:00P
Subterranean Chicago
Aug 31 2008 8:00P
Turf Club St. Paul, Minnesota
Sep 2 2008 8:00P
The House Cafe Dekalb, Illinois
Sep 3 2008 8:00P
Bluebird St. Louis, Missouri
Sep 4 2008 8:00P
Northside Tavern Cincinnati, Ohio
Sep 5 2008 8:00P
Cafe Bourbon St Columbus, Ohio
Sep 6 2008 8:00P
Mr. Smalls Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

3 Responses

  1. Wow, I googled “don caballero captain beefheart” and got this. I LOVE mahavishnu orchestra and am so thrilled to find THAT combined with captain beefheart = don cab. But then, who ARE you to bash on American Don, the best “album” of my life (excludes, somehow, albums by minimalist composers)! turned my world upside down. And “What Burns..” is genius too. What underground noise you rattle! The whole fucking explosion is genius! Albini highlighted something you missed, apparently. Admittedly I was more inclined to hear the “harmonics” of a guitar than of a drum, I am a late bloomer to the tonalities of an instrument made for marking points in time. I only ever learned to appreciate drums through imagining, half-perceiving, melodies in them. Damon Che definitely is all over the drums and is great. But why must you trash. Why any trash? Just beauty! On my worst nights I can hate battles too, but I just don’t always see, am not always ready! Beefheart is good stuff. Mahavishnu too. Any idiot who bashed one over the other was.. not listening.

    • er shit, but to clarify, AMERICAN DON was THE ALBUM that MADE ME LOVE THE FUCKING DRUMS. Not to mention a lot of other things, but Jesus. I think Albini’s goal is clear and well-stated — to represent the band AS IT PLAYS. And I heard those drums, and I love those drums. I listen to What Burns and guess I don’t find any lack of availability.. I find all instruments at my disposal and fucking brilliant. The only thing that puts American Don over WBNR for me is that the bass and guitar were INTIMATE FRIENDS, and I dont know how Albini missed that for you. Damon Che definitely caught it, was right at the root of it. Punkgasm is good stuff too (better than WCLP, taking more risks like Battles is retarded enough to take).

  2. Hmm…well, I have a great live video of Don Caballero playing the Fireside Bowl in Chicago, here’s one song from the video (, concert was mostly American Don material…and I love the songs, and I love the sound. And I saw them play many times around that time period. BUT Steve Albini’s recording on American Don **does not** sound at all like what they sounded like live at the time to me, maybe you would agree from even just watching the video–Steve Albini put the guitar way out front on the album, almost separated entirely from the bass and drums, which it definitely did not sound like live, IMHO.

    From all the times I saw them and the video, Al Sutton really captured what Don Cab sounded like live, where the instruments blended together spatially a little more. It’s weird. That’s just my opinion though. And I agree, I LOVE the songs on American Don, they’re many of their best–but that’s why I wrote the post, because if you have a DVD of the whole live show from that period, it sounds perfect, like Al Sutton would have recorded it, but Steve Albini put out a record that sounded quite unlike their shows from that period.

    But I think it’s like a common occurrence with some bands, I would ask them NOT change their producers who produced some of their best albums. Like Voivod Nothingface–great producer/great album, Jesus Lizard–a string of great albums with Steve Albini, and Don Caballero with Al Sutton–they all had great albums with a great producer, then changed producers, and got a new sound which was a pretty bad fit. OH YEAH like Metallica going from whoever produced their old stuff to Bob Rock too, that is one of the biggest examples in my mind. YUCK, to the detriment of their sound, in my opinion. That’s life though!

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