February 8, 2012


10 Reasons to See Dum Dum Girls Live

Lauren Dukoff
Lauren Dukoff

Dum Dum Girls are an all-girl quartet from San Diego, who are part Ramones, part Ronettes and part Mazzy Star, all dolled up in red lipstick and matching vintage dresses. It’d be adorable if it didn’t also just rock, beautifully and infectiously. 

When I heard Dum Dum Girls were kicking off their tour at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg, a short walk from my apartment, I bought a ticket (sorry, but this is a big deal for us spoiled industry folk). Even better was that another awesome lady-led band, Widowspeak, were opening. The stars were in alignment. The morning after, I’m still a little buzzed from the show. Here are 10 reasons why you should see ‘em in your hometown (or at Sasquatch Fest or SXSW).

No. 10: Because, damn, the four ladies of Dum Dum Girls—led by singer-guitarist Dee Dee—look so cool. They took the stage in matching virgin-white gowns and stood mostly stoic throughout the set. And that’s a good thing, befitting the music and adding an emotional intensity. Their guitars look cool, too, especially the white Airline played by lead axelady Jules (and, yes, they all have first-name-only monikers, which is also cool).

No. 9: Because when your co-worker asks, “Hey, what did you do last night?” over at the water cooler, you’ll have the best answer ever. 

No. 8: Because the band's leader Dee Dee is married to Brandon Welchez, who is in another San Diego band, Crocodiles. They play grit-nasty garage pop, which you should also check out. That is all.

No. 7: Because Dum Dum Girls’ latest album, Only in Dreams (out on Seattle’s Sub Pop label), has me hooked. It’s 10 tracks of simple surf- and girl-group-inspired guitar pop with simple melodies, simple drum beats and simple guitar lines, all gussied up with pretty reverb. It’s simply great.

No. 6: Crowd source an idea for your next tattoo!

No. 5: Their atmospheric cover of “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” by the Smiths, found on the Girls’ He Gets Me High EP. They didn’t play it last night—bummer—but they’re bound to at some point. And when they do, it’ll rock.

No. 4: Dum Dum Girls’ new bassist, Malia. You’re tall and cute and curvy and you do an adorable little swaying dance thingy when you play. Hhhhhhhiiiiiiiii.

No. 3: “Dream Away Life.” It’s just… really, really pretty. I can’t even tell what she’s singing, exactly, but I don’t care. I bet it’s romantic and tender and exactly what I want a girl to sing to me every night before I go to sleep. Can we arrange that, actually?

No. 2: Of course it’s the sole encore of the set—“Coming Down,” a gorgeous dose of narcotic bliss, custom made to make a lasting impression that’ll have concertgoers heading straight to iTunes when they get home. It’s also just… really, really pretty. Ooof.

No. 1: Widowspeak. Okay, okay—Dum Dum Girls are rad. But, yes, the best thing about their show might have been the opener. With their ‘90s-nostalgic, Mazzy Star-gone-twee sound, this Brooklyn outfit are one of my favorite new bands. Their self-titled new album is a must—seriously, stop what you’re doing and get it now. Then listen to the song “Gun Shy.” It’s what inspired me—tipsy and dancing amongst the cross-armed hipsters at Music Hall of Williamsburg—to write this on my Facebook: “Widowspeak sound like how I feel about certain people.” Yep. You know who you are.