Empty set

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

No name, no face. When the enigmatic one-man band known as Blank Dogs lit up the underground with a prolific series of releases last year, the musician behind the project was as devoid of identification as his band's name suggests.

But in perhaps the most important way, the music was hardly anonymous. The series of singles, EPs and albums cohered into an unmistakable signature sound. It was as if Mr. Blank Dog had lured sleek-sounding new-wave tracks to his house to smoke pot, only to curb-stomp them in the back alley, leaving them as filthy and toothless as the scruffiest basement recordings.

The apotheosis of this lo-fi sound came with the release of full-length masterstroke On Two Sides. The record found Mr. Blank Dog's melodic sensibilities in full bloom, his sleepy Ian Curtis-style vocals haunting the crevices between simplistic drum machine beats and muffled-but-majestic swashes of guitar and keyboard. A forthcoming 20-song LP called Under and Under promises much more sweet static later this year.

At long last, Mr. Blank Dog has started showing his countenance so that he can go on tour, including a stop at The Summit. This city's own lo-fi pop heroes, Times New Viking, will perform too, plus Woods and Naked on the Vague.

What: Blank Dogs

When: 10 p.m. Monday, March 16

Where: The Summit, Campus