The Dont's
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The Dont's

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"West Coast Performer"

"Inner El Camino is a clamorous exploration of noise and improvisation with undeniable funkified dance elements veiled by raw "freak pop." The Dont's have an effortless talent when it comes to producing melodies that flow naturally, giving their sound a certain surreal Sonic Youth aura."
-Jen Tartaglione

- West Coast Performer

"Noise Pop 2009 Live Review: French Kicks, Broken West, The Dont's at the Indie"

"The pure truth is that all four bands gave it their all to a gradually filled-in house (the show sold out at about 4pm on day of show). The Dont’s were up first, and played to perhaps the most enthusiastic group of the show. But then again, audience interaction is their specialty, with clapping, yelling, and even a few audience percussionists. They showed off a good amount of new material, and featured the addition of a keyboard player, which really filled out the sound nicely and added to the energy. The quirky nature of this band’s lyrics (and the, ahem, mask and cape) don’t distract from the fact that these guys are all top-notch musicians."

Written by Emily Logan · Filed Under Day 2, News, Noise Pop 2009
- The Bay Bridged

"East Bay Express"

"Indie rock" is a frustratingly vague term, even for those who deal with it every day. As the genre grows, it seems to become definable only by what it’s not. But even that method of exclusion becomes useless when famously "indie" groups like Modest Mouse sign to major labels and still release killer material. San Francisco's the Dont's leave no question as to what they are: an independent rock band that deliberately departs from the mainstream. The unsigned band's latest release, INNER EL CAMINO, officially due out January 30, honors the patron saints of indie rock - groups like the Fall (check out opener "Blah Blah Blah" at and the aforementioned Modest Mouse - without sounding derivative. Instead, it sounds edgy and wildly creative. Who cares what bands influenced the Dont's? Only those too jaded to realize this is a fantastic indie rock record.
- Nate Seltenrich - MP3 of the Day: The Dont's


"Descriptions of the Dont's inevitably reference a heady group of experimental and post-punk innovators - Can, Wire, et al. While the San Francisco quartet certainly draws inspiration from these bands, it's not content to merely ape their singular achievements. Filtering Krautrock grooves through compact indie-pop songs that flirt with (but don't revel in) the jagged noise of post-punk, the Dont's most resemble the Fall in lead singer Johnny Don't's hyperactive staccato yelps. The band also plays up their affection for the prettier side of '90s indie rock, making for a sound that's at once wild and welcoming." - San Francisco

"In Music We Trust"

"The Dont's have created an unusual indie-rock blend...lots of noise with plenty of spacious quiet moments..." - Alex Steininger

"Delusions of Adequacy"

"The Dont 's make great sense out of a couple of decades of indie- rock... hectoring Fall vocals, extended Can jams, and tense but eloquent Modest Mouse guitars..." - Chuck Zak

"Tiny Mix Tapes"

"The Dont's sound like Can meets the Replacements. It makes me almost wet myself..." - Matt Weir

"CMJ / Sonicbids Artist of the Week!"

"Fusing some '90s alt-rock with Talking Heads quirkiness, The Dont's create a truly eclectic sound from improv sessions in their San Francisco studio.
The winner of this week's CMJ SonicBids Spotlight is San Francisco freak-rock get-up the Donts.
Check the SonicBids link on for more information.

The Don’ts Do Win Sonicbids Spotlight

2007-02-09 10:43:41.090,
Story by: Taylor Mason
- CMJ / Taylor Mason

"San Francisco Chronicle"

"San Francisco indie rockers The Dont's are the apple of the local music press' eye. Just before Christmas, the band was included in a "Best of 2006" podcast compiled by Bay Area music Web site the Bay Bridged. You can check that out at A few weeks later, "Blah Blah Blah," from the Dont's just-released debut album, INNER EL CAMINO, was named "MP3 of the Week" by the East Bay Express. And, most recently, footage from the local indie rockers' Jan. 6 show at El Rio was featured in a Webisode of Pacific Noise. To watch The Dont's perform the unreleased track "Keep the Faith," go to - Bill Picture

"Pop Matters"

"Ranging from rock to pop to splashes of jazz and ambient, the group thrives on challenging the listener....sounds like a cross between At the Drive-In and James Brown...and the quirky “Worldview” sounds like a cross between the Flaming Lips and the Hold Steady on sedatives." - PopMatters -


Those Delicate Chemicals (2010)
Inner El Camino (2007)
Misc Radio Leakage (2005)



The Dont's improvise cures for tomorrow in their sonic laboratory in San Francisco, amassing hundreds of hours of experimental recordings since forming in 2004.

The Dont's third record, Those Delicate Chemicals, encompasses the band's blend of an 80s/90s post-punked heyday that still nods to the Fall, Replacements and Talking Heads, but ultimately dowses itself in a distinctly original 21st-century haze of interstellar bass, washed out and brittled guitars, thunderous drums, and arcs of lyrical madness and self-reflexive epiphany. TDC is refined one moment, reckless the next, and astutely sequenced in three phrases of chemical bliss to caustic comedown.

After their record Inner El Camino hit the streets in early 2007, they were named CMJ Artist of the Week, showcased at CMJ 2007 New York and SF’s Noise Pop 2008 and 2009. They have had the good fortune to share stages with notable touring acts Ted Leo, French Kicks, and the Octopus Project.