Get wet and wild with Don & The Quixotes, Portland’s premiere instrumental 17th-Century-Spanish-literature-themed surf guitar party band! Featuring twangy cover songs from the 1950s-present and/or reverbed-out originals! Entertaining ages 2-92 in gold-sequined style since 2007.
Before you color outside the lines, you have to learn to color inside the lines. Otherwise, you’re just making a boring, undisciplined scrawl. When garage bands incorporate surf into their sound, they frequently seem to think that thrashy is good. No. Thrashy is lazy. I want my surf music served up with precision and authority, like a monster 10-foot curl breaking at the end of a set at Zuma Beach.
Portland’s Don and the Quixotes understand surf music so well that they can slingshot it right back with tons of humor and attitude, but without losing that twangy backbone and articulated delivery that define the genre. All the important guitar elements are there: gurgly Fender tones, woozy vibrato and oceans of reverb. Their authentic sound allows them to layer on the quirky laughs, and these guys might be the best surf-rock jokesters since The Trashmen confounded a nation of radio listeners with “Surfin’ Bird” in 1963.
Their last release, 2013’s Teflon Don, pushes the boundaries of surf, while still sounding like it could have emerged from some lost studio tapes found in Dick Dale’s attic. The James Bond-ish surf noir of “Strangers In the Night” and an inspired take on Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” (“Surfer Elise”) from 2012’s My Name Is Don are perfect examples of how a band can use every color in the box, bend the borderlines to their will, and then eat the crayons.”
--BOB WIRE, Missoula Independent, 4/30/15
“Many bands these days employ the trappings of surf music to evoke a trendy, lackadaisical aesthetic, but Don and the Quixotes are one of the rare gems that actually walk the walk. Every song on the Portland group’s debut album is soaked in vintage twang, from straightforward throwback instrumentals (“Orbiter”) to numbers that curl at the edges with derisive rock and roll (“The Cactus”), and even one clever take on a classical song (“Surfer Elise”—get it?). The album sails on an undercurrent of literary references—especially that windmill wrangler of Spanish lore—on tongue-in-cheek opener “My Name Is Don!” and scintillating closer “Lore ‘n’ Legend.” With a live show that promises polyester suits and a stellar lineup of likeminded local acts, Don and the Quixotes mean to get you drenched.”
--MARANDA BISH, Portland Mercury, 3/29/12
“Portland quartet Don and The Quixotes makes its mission abundantly clear on the title track of its debut, _My Name Is Don!_: “My name is Don, we are The Quixotes/ We came to play surf music and we/ Insist that you get out of your seat/ So we can rock this little party.” What follows is a mostly instrumental surf odyssey marked by a quirk (dig the Ventures-ified take on Beethoven), a little sleaze, a lot of love and a glaze of grit. Consider the party rocked.”
--AP KRYZA, Willamette Week, 3/28/12