CMJ ’09: Dum Dum Girls | Mercury Lounge | 10.24.2009

 Dumdumgirls_cmj

This was the first day of Dum Dum Girls existence as a live band, but clearly they spent a lot of time working out the details, from the look — bangs, gorgeous Silvertone guitars and bass, extremely short black dresses and stockings — to the sound, which is somewhere between the Velvet Underground and '60s girl groups. It was an impressive debut, hot and cool at the same time. I kept thinking, "this is what the Velvet Underground might sound like if all the members were Nico."

Now technically Dum Dum Girls played before Saturday, at the Woodsist / Captured Festival, and some West Coast dates, each with different line-ups. Which could happen again. But this felt like the first real version. The Woodsist fest Dum Dum Girls featured Crocodiles' Brandon Welchez on guitar, Blank Dogs' Mike Sniper on Bass and Dee Dee (who is Dum Dum Girls on record and is married to Welchez) not donning a guitar. That version, which you can see video of, was much more a post punk / goth sort of sound; here the songs felt like a dream, an ethereal haze of reverbed guitars and pristine harmonies. An impressive debut.

Apart from Dee Dee, the only constant between the two line-ups is drummer Frankie Rose who brought some new beats to the mix, along with her signature driving motorik style she perfected in Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts. She'll play some East Coast dates where Dum Dum Girls will open for King Kahn and the Shrines. She's old pals with Dee Dee, but Frankie's got her own band now so don't expect her to be a regular member.

Also, if you missed Dum Dum Girls on Saturday, they're playing tonight at Bruar Falls with Girls at Dawn (not bad when the opened for Fresh & Onlys recently) and Reading Rainbow. Now the BF website tries to be sly about it — "EXTRA SPECIAL SMART SMART GUEST BAND" — but both Girls at Dawn and Dum Dum Girls' have it on their MySpace pages, so the cat's officially out of the bag.

MP3: Dum Dum Girls – Jail La La

Jail La La

Look for DDG's Sub Pop Debut sometime early 2010. Also at the show: Music Snobbery, Amrit of Stereogum, and the NY Times. A lot of people kept saying this would be hard to get into, but I think there were so many things going on Saturday night it kept attendance down.

One more interesting note. On my way into the city to head in for the Brooklyn Vegan day party on Saturday, I walk right past a Dum Dum Girls photo show under the JMZ. Of course, I snapped a quick pic:

 Dumdumgirls_JMZ 

Tour dates after the jump…
 

Dum Dum Girls 2009 Tour Dates

Oct 26 BRUAR FALLS w/ Reading Rainbow & Girls At Dawn Brooklyn, New York
Oct 28 PEARL STREET NIGHTCLUB w/ King Khan & BBQ Show Northampton, Massachusetts
Oct 29 MIDDLE EAST DOWNSTAIRS w/ King Khan & BBQ Show Cambridge, Massachusetts
Oct 30 BOWERY BALLROOM w/ King Khan & BBQ Show Manhattan, New York
Oct 31 BELL HOUSE w/ King Khan & BBQ Show Brooklyn, New York
Nov 1 FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH w/ King Khan & BBQ Show Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nov 12 BELLY UP TAVERN w/ The Raveonettes & Crocodiles Solana Beach, California
Nov 28 SPACELAND

5 Comments

  1. "This was the first day of Dum Dum Girls existence as a live band"
    DDG had done *at least* two shows on the west coast with this band—one in san diego and one in san fran—before these CMJ shows.
    otherwise, nice write-up.

  2. @david,
    you are right of course, and i even knew that as my friend toby saw them in seattle and wrote about it on his blog, the finest kiss… http://finestkiss.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/my-wee
    i was talking to frankie after the show and she said to me "not bad for our third show, right?" so i had that stuck in my head not thinking she meant with her playing drums.
    the real moral to this story: never blog after 2am. I've edited this post to reflect correct info.

  3. For their two gigs in Seattle the rhythm section was guys, it looks likes she's gone for with an all girl line-up for the east coast, eh? Seems like Dum Dum Girls live is whoever is available.
    What was the best thing/discovery you saw at CMJ this year?

  4. Its really good. They have this kind of 60's-esque sound going on, but at the same time its just modern enough to fit, and the harmonies are really nice.

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