Photos by Aaron Richter
The Showcase: Levi’s/FADER Fort, 3.20.10
The Set In a Few Sentences: By setting the scene with a sinister version of the Stones’ “Play With Fire,” the Dum Dum Girls delivered both a come-on and a word of warning to all the weak-kneed critics in the audience. That’s the difference between Dee Dee’s guitar-toting gang and the sloppy, overrated group they’re often unfairly compared to, the Vivian Girls: the former’s got a tougher-than-leather look and high octane sound that’s effortless and edgy without slipping into self-parody. More importantly, they don’t have to hide behind crappy production values or irritating “shitgaze” techniques because Dee Dee can actually sing. If anything, that was the one thing that jumped out about the Dum Dum Girls’ SXSW set–the fallen angel feel of her lead vocals and the backup harmonies that swoop in from all sides, as if they’re trying to cut Back From the Grave versions of “My Boyfriend’s Back.” (No wonder why the producer of that golden oldie, Richard Gottehrer, worked on the Dum Dum Girls’ Sub Pop debut.) And considering the fact that these particular Girls just started playing together last fall, things can only get better from here.
And a Letter Grade: B+