Part 4 of a 70 part series where we evaluate an artist or group performing at this year’s Sasquatch Festival against meaningful to ridiculous criteria.

Today, we examine Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele.

This is one of those rare bands whose name pretty well explains everything you need to know about said band. Dent May? Check. Ukulele? Check. Mellow pop songs? Check.

Dent May and his entourage play on day one (Saturday) of Sasquatch.

Cultural Upbringing
Mr. May is from Mississippi. Did you know that the sale of sex toys is illegal in Mississippi? It’s true, I read it on Wikipedia.

Anyways, back to the point: it doesn’t seem like Mississippi has had a musician of renown in some time. The state that is home to Elvis, Bo Diddley, Tammy Wynette, and a plethora of influential Blues musicians has more recently produced mostly pop country starlets like Faith Hill and LeAnn Rimes, as well as national treasures like Lance Bass and Britney Spears.

I don’t know if Dent May is on a mission to save music in Mississppi, but if not let me do it for him: Mr May, if you fail, I will officially declare music dead in your home state.

No pressure! ;-)

Totally rad! He’s like Elton John and John Denver’s love child.

Some band thrive in their self-imposed constraints (c.f. The White Stripes), which others burn out after a couple of great albums (i.e. The Inbreds, Ben Folds Five). Which will Mr. May be? How long can he keep up the ukulele gimmick?

Actual Music Ability
Before you even play one note of his music, you can probably guess more or less exactly what he sounds like. Once you learn that he’s signed to the same label as Animal Collective, well, you’re 95% there.

That’s not to say Dent May’s music is boring or predictable. He writes lovely, quirky pop tunes, with melodies that wander into unexpected and delightful places. But I secretly wish he’d plug his ukulele into a distortion pedal and fuck with our expectations.

Sasquatchability: Medium. Will make a nice middle afternoon act to chill out with while we rest up for King Khan, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Animal Collective.

You can listen to more of Dent May at his MySpace page.