If it's hard to regard the Dum Dum Girls' moody, distortion-drenched pop as anything more than the hipster flavor of the month, it's probably because of the creative left turn taken by frontwoman Kristin Gundred.
She was the straw that stirred the drink as drummer-singer in Grand Ole Party, wailing over that trio's urgent indie rock, and in her new persona as the Dum Dum Girls' "Dee Dee" she's still the focus. Now, guitar in hand, she's icy and über-cool as she leads her black-clad quartet through their fuzzy, lovelorn ditties.
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The foursome's debut I Will Be came out this spring on Sub Pop, and Dum Dum Girls have become globetrotters in supporting it. Tonight's date at the Echo -- with Crocodiles, the band fronted by Gundred's husband Brandon Welchez -- presages a festival-filled European tour this summer and fall dates that include an opening slot on the Vampire Weekend/Beach house tour.
Elsewhere: The sixth annual Also I Like to Rock series kicks off a four-Thursday run at the Hammer Museum; the free, all-ages shows in the Hammer courtyard start at 7, and local rockers Saint Motel and Kitten play tonight's opener. ... Former Hotel Cafe regular Gary Jules returns to the Cahuenga Boulevard venue. ... And, on Canada Day, Canadian power-poppers Sloan play the House of the Blues.
Also: Four venues host Gulf Coast Benefit shows, with proceeds going to the Gulf Restoration Network to help those affected by the oil spill. At the Mint: Kaki King, Ben Lee, Carina Round, Rachael Cantu and the Silverlake Chorus. At the Roxy: Rebelution, Cisco, Shwayze, Yeti Beats and Fat Lip. At the Viper Room: Mickey Avalon, Beardo and others. At Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach: Iglu & Hartly.
And: Year Long Disaster at Spaceland; See Spot at the Troubadour; the Adicts at the Key Club; the Foreign Resort at the Silverlake Lounge; and Ostrich Eyes at the Smell.