about the band
Mental 99 is an instrumental rock duo from San Francisco. The group consists of guitarist Joe Gore [Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman, Maryanne Faithfull, Eels, DJ Shadow, Courtney Love] and drummer Dawn Richardson [Four Non-Blondes, Tracy Chapman, Martinis, Angel Corpus Christi].
Mental 99 is a mere duo, but they conjure vast panoramas of sound. Their music can be eerie or funny, abrasive or beautiful, and sometimes all those things at once.
While Joe and Dawn use no prerecorded backing tracks, they employ “live looping”— recording passages of music as they perform them, and then improvising new layers over them. They’re like ambitious trapeze artists: Sometimes they fall on their asses, but when they’re good, they’re breathtaking.