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Dntel [rank: 347]

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Dntel

"James Scott Tamborello, more commonly known as Dntel, is an electronic music artist. He is sometimes cited as James Figurine, the co-programmer and vocalist for the electropop outfit Figurine. Other projects include Strictly Ballroom and The Postal Service. Dntel is pronounced din-tell. Tamborello admitted that the name was not intended to mean anything. When asked to create a meaning for it, he quoted it as a shortened version of 'Don't Tell' although he admits that this meaning is a bit of a stretch.

Tamborello first began creating music in 1989, when he was in Junior High School in Santa Barbara, California. His father — a jazz saxophone player and flautist — bought Tamborello a drum machine, a sequencer, a keyboard and an eight track recorder, primarily for the possibility to create music on his own. He was a key songwriter for many Santa Barbara bands including Skillet, Chia Band, and Monkeydogg (with David Figurine, Lael 'Scraps' Waqeneck, and Marc Hawthorne of the Onion A/V Club). He recorded an album under the pseudonym Antihouse in 1993, and released it in 1994. He began work on the first Dntel EP in 1994, which was not released until later.

He released his full-length album Life Is Full of Possibilities (2001). The album contained a slew of guests, playing vocals, guitar and others, including Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Mia Doi Todd, fellow Figurine member Meredith Figurine, Chris Gunst of Beachwood Sparks, Brian McMahan of Slint and The For Carnation, and Rachel Haden of That Dog. Probably the most well-received song was the Ben Gibbard collaboration '(This Is) The Dream of Evan and Chan', which led to a single in 2002, and later, the forming of the band The Postal Service with Ben Gibbard. Tamborello is also credited for programming 'Take It Easy (Love Nothing)' a Billboard chart topper for Bright Eyes."

[reproduced or excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Dntel" and its use is thus licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License]

 

Bandega Interview with James Tamborello of Dntel (January 2008)

James Tamborello of Dntel drinks to not disappoint you.

Q: How have your shows changed over the years? Has your perspective on performing live changed?
A: Since I started doing Dntel shows in 2001, my basic method hasn't really changed that much. It's all based around just using my laptop like a multi-track recorder and then mixing, adding effects and playing little bits of keyboard. Usually I'll have at least one other person on stage doing something - singing or playing guitar. It's nice to have visuals of some sort too, for something extra for people to look at. It was more exciting early on but in the last few years I've almost completely stopped playing live as Dntel because it's not very satisfying. I need to figure out a different way to present this stuff.

Q: Describe the most memorable live show you've played.
A: Playing at the Sonar festival in Barcelona in 2002 was probably the most memorable. It was the final show of my first European tour as Dntel and we were surrounded by all this other music I loved and the turnout and the response were really good.

Q: What venue do you consider to be your "home", where you feel most comfortable, with the crowd and the place itself?
A: I don’t feel that comfortable playing live anywhere. I always feel like I’m disappointing everybody, and there’s usually something weird with the sound that throws me off, like the monitors aren’t right or something. Really the key for me is to drink at least two or three drinks before I play!

Q: Describe the most enjoyable show you've ever experienced as a fan.
A: There’ve been so many that have been enjoyable or memorable for different reasons. I feel like stuff I saw when I was younger left the biggest impressions. Maybe the best was the Cure, the Pixies, Love and Rockets and Shelleyann Orphan at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. I can’t stand big stadium shows now but back then it was part of the excitement I think. My friends and I had just started listening to Doolittle and this was our first chance to see the Pixies. And then the Cure played for three hours and plus it was the Disintegration tour.

Q: You've spoken in past interviews about taking different approaches when writing songs for Dntel vs. The Postal Service. Do you also approach live performances differently for each?
A: I do about the same stuff live in both bands, but in The Postal Service I get to stay in the background more because Ben and Jenny are both great live performers.

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