Friday, October 3, 2014


Dig the band from Dondero High School Their version of "Immigrant Song" has all sorts of earnest stuff going on. There are parts that are comical, particularly when the vocalist tries to hit the high notes, but everyone seems to be giving it their best. The bass player shows off his best Flea. The very audible drummer seems to be giving his kit a sufficient bashing, The guitarist, when given his opportunity, shreds, in the way that the best  guitarist in your school shreds. I can't put my finger on it, but there's something there that really is the essence, It's sloppy in parts, but can tell that these kids practiced their asses off, In a perfect world, that best guitarist on campus would see more action than the entire football team.

Oh hell yeah, I just took a side trip to Internet Archive, looking for more of that Dondero High's stuff. There's seven entire concerts, hours and hours of musicians on the cusp of confidence. Can it get more honest? And the song selection is varied, Abba to Lou Reed, with the requisite Fifth Dimension, which must be the band director's litmus test, because the "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" medley appears at the end of several, if not all, of the concerts. (I haven't looked at all of them yet.). Their interpretations of songs are raw enough that I found a cover of "Roundabout" listenable, and I hate the original. Oh, and don't let the "A Capella Choir" in the titles fool you. There's a band on every one, and a pretty wicked one in places. This is good stuff, not all of it, but enough to let it ride while you go about your business.

Note: Once you get to the pages for individual concerts, the streaming versions are at the top, scroll down for mp3s.

Dondero High School - Immigrant Song mp3 at Internet Archive From Pop Concert 2004
Dondero High School - I Hate My Generation mp3 at Internet Archive From Pop Concert 1996
Dondero High School - Fox On the Run/Sunshine of Your Love mp3 at 365 Days project 2004
The whole shooting match:
Dondero High School's A Capella Choir - Pop Concerts 1994 - 2004 at Internet Archive 
Note: Once you get to the pages for individual concerts, the streaming versions are at the top, scroll down for mp3s.
Dondero High School A Capella Choir and Pop Concert at YouTube A hour and a half, from the collection of band director Rick Hartsoe
Dondero Pop Concert Alumni Celebrate Rick Hartsoe at YouTube
Viva Bondero! at Pop Music As Pornography Guess I'm late to the party
Band Director Rick Hartsoe at Facebook

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