Music Monday with PLC is a weekly feature written by my husband, Pat.
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Dum Dum Girls
I remember having to go to the doctor when I was a kid. Mind you, this was in the time when kids' bicycle helmets were a rarity, and seat belts were just things kids used to vault themselves into the back of the station wagon as it was flying down the freeway. Everything was copacetic. Well, our doctor’s yearly hearing “test” consisted of the child standing in the corner of the room while covering one ear. The doctor would then go to the other end of the room and whisper numbers for you to repeat back to him. You would then cover the other ear and repeat the same process. Point being that if a kid could hear a whisper from across a room, then his or her hearing was just fine enough to grow up to be a productive member of the community. Headphones, electronic beeps, and hand raising be damned. The best part was, at the end of the exam he would get down a Pinocchio candy jar and let you pick out a dum dum pop of your choosing. After selecting a cherry or root beer, I would then whisper “thank you” to him from across the room. “Huh, what did you say?” would always be his response.
Dum Dum Girls are a band out of California, and their 2nd album Only in Dreams (Sub Pop 2011) sounds like the dream you would have if you fell asleep listening to the Ramones and the Ronettes at the same time. While keeping the Ramones’ feel for modern interpretation of classic 60’s pop, Dum Dum Girls slow down the tempos just a bit, keep the boom bat drums, but trade in some of the power chords for a reverb-for-days guitar sound, and substitute the jeans and leather jackets for a look more suitable for Robert Palmer’s backing band. When the girls sing in harmony and add their many awesome hand claps, the spirit of the Ronettes are alive and well, and doing just fine. Check out “Bedroom Eyes” for their modern take on a classic sound -
A big piece of the Dum Dum Girls puzzle fits together when you see that this album was expertly produced by Richard Gottehrer. Mr. Gottehrer is a legend: not only did he cowrite one of the best songs of all time, the 60’s classic “My Boyfriend’s Back”; but he also had a huge hand in the careers of Blondie and the Go-Go’s. The combination of Mr. Gottehrer’s girl pop skill and Dee Dee’s fearless delivery makes for a timeless sound. One that will will overload the Flux Capacitor and make the DeLorean go to the past and future at the same time. Here they are rocking out “Teardrops On My Pillow” as proof -
Dum Dum Girls slightly trippy sound strikes me as the musical equivalent of a David Lynch movie. Things may seem pretty normal on the outside, but baby, underneath it can get real strange. Just relax, enjoy, and go along for the ride - everything is copacetic.
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