Music Picks: Dum Dum Girls, Tricky, Leon Russell, OFF! 

Also, Peaches, Killing Joke, Albert Lee and others

Thursday, Dec 16 2010

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click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY TYSON WIRTZFIELD - Dum Dum Girls. See Tuesday.
  • Dum Dum Girls. See Tuesday.

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Jeffertitti's Nile are the kind of (freak)folk that call their EPs things like Hypnotic River of Sound, so they make for a fitting closer for a bill that includes Entrance Band's head shaman (and home decoration porn website The Selby fashionplate!) Guy Blakeslee. It will be interesting to see Blakeslee get his neo-psychedelia on without the bass grounding of Entrance Band partner-in-crime Paz Lenchantin, but he's usually fascinating to watch, particularly when he's in an out soloing mood. (Gustavo Turner)

Also playing Sunday: CROM, IT'S CASUAL at the Echo (early show; see Music Feature); SLITS/ARI UP TRIBUTE (PART TIME PUNKS) at the Echo (late show; see Music Feature); A FINE FRENZY at Largo; MONSTERS OF ACCORDION at the Troubadour; LOS LOBOS, RUBEN GUEVARA at House of Blues.




When Silver Lake's Michael Nhat says his main motivating forces are "loneliness, rejection and guilt," he's not being glib or pretentious. In a recent interview, Nhat explained that he survived a plane crash as a child, though his mother didn't, and he subsequently ended up in foster care. Life with an abusive stepbrother and racist adoptive family followed, so it's no wonder the man's songs sport titles like "Falling Down a Bottomless Pit," "All I Hear Is Silence" and "Replacing Their Owners [sic] Heads." Nhat is releasing his third album in just over a year on Tuesday via I Had an Accident Records. Dubbed Just Plain Dying, it sports a sound that could only be described as "classic Nhat" — an inimitable mix of beats that ranges from spare and light to black and clanging, and his unusual raps, which pour forth in an urgently percussive tumble. Fans of Busdriver, Shapeshifters and early Anticon take note. (Chris Martins)

Also playing Monday: BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA CHRISTMAS SHOW at Walt Disney Concert Hall; SHADOW SHADOW SHADE, RUMSPRINGA at the Echo; MIDNIGHT MAGIC at Bardot; SWEATERS at the Satellite.




When it comes to classic New Jack Swing, it doesn't get much better than Bel Biv DeVoe's 1990 debut, Poison. The album contained not only that percussive, swooning title single but the era's ultimate sex jam, "Do Me!," plus "BBD (I Thought It Was Me)" which includes Michael Bivins' near-perfect line, "My waterbed/Kept us afloat." Their 1993 offering Hootie Mack was solid, too — perhaps New Jack's last gasp — featuring the street-ball anthem "Above the Rim" and slowed-down Babyface collabo "Something in Your Eyes." But then came 2001's BBD, an incredibly cheap approximation of the group's former glory that traded in the winkingly sensual raps and yearning, harmony-laden choruses for blatant come-ons and trite hooks. That's the nice thing about reunion tours — the entire production is an act of pandering, so all you're likely to hear are the hits, and the pre–21st-century output of BBD is nothing but butter-smooth examples thereof. (Chris Martins)


Dum Dum Girls started as a one-woman band led by Dee Dee Penny, but the punk-pop group have since expanded to a four-piece outfit. As they've grown, so has their sound, which has evolved from crude, tinny and shadowy blasts into more diverse and melodic styles on their recent Sub Pop CD I Will Be. But these gals aren't getting slick or dum-dumbing down their sound; Dee Dee's songs are still shrouded in massive layers of rust, reverb and echo, coming off like a girl-group version of the Jesus & Mary Chain marooned in a fallout shelter. And, apart from all of the punky soul-clanging, there are also icily beautiful tunes, like their cover of Strawberry Switchblade's "Trees & Flowers." Expect more growing pains and even deeper maturity when Dum Dum Girls return to action at Check Yo Ponytail tonight, after they had to cancel a fall tour following the death of Dee Dee's mother several weeks ago. (Falling James)


L.A. Weekly collaborator Kevin Bronson, of the Buzzbands.LA website, is hosting his annual holiday party at the Echo this year, benefiting Silver Lake's own Pablove Foundation and featuring the diverse talents of an all-L.A. lineup with Lonely Trees, Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits, John Carpenter and Non Ultra Joy. Lonely Trees's atmospheric sound features ex-members of Monsters Are Waiting and Campfire Girls in boy/girl harmonies (think Blonde Redhead, with hints of School of Seven Bells). Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits make introspective California shoegaze and dreampop and are fronted by Jack Burnside, formerly of Mezzanine Owls. John Carpenter will steal the show, with a long track record of shredding with his four-piece band, and singing bleak and spooky songs rising from the shadows of a seedy dive bar. Non Ultra Joy describe themselves as "The Cure mugging Dinosaur Jr." but with Guided By Voices showing up every once in a while to get in on the fight. Five bucks gets you all this and more (treats have been promised!) and it's for the best of causes, going straight to support the Pablove Foundation's fight against childhood cancer. (Lainna Fader)

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