CMJ Music Marathon | 10.18.12

cmj2012Deap Vally is what rock music in this generation should look and feel like.



Dum Dum Girls

Thursday night at CMJ 2012 started out pretty slow for me. After catching a meal with a friend who studied at Washington University but now attends Columbia Law, I took the 1 down to Columbus Circle, where Dum Dum Girls and The Walkmen were playing a show nearby. In Terminal 5, where the show was to take place, there were a sufficient number of people already in the venue, eager to see the bands but equally disappointed that The Walkmen were going on so late.

Around 8:50 p.m., Dum Dum Girls came on stage. Despite the two or three songs that got the crowd going, the set wasn’t exactly fulfilling. Singer/songwriter Dee Dee Penny, now a blonde and quite the change, is beautiful on stage—almost ethereal—but despite her beauty, and the songs’ solid lyrics and melody, there was a massive disconnect between what the crowd thought Dum Dum Girls would be like and what they were actually like. Penny moved around the stage here and there, but mostly robotically danced in place: a little sway here and there matched with a little shuffle of her feet. The rest of the group literally stayed in place the entire show. The crowd enjoyed hearing songs from the Girls’ new EP, End of Daze, yet the only real time the group gave Terminal 5 a rockstar vibe, with guitar riffs and emotive movement, was at the end of the set. While Dum Dum Girls’ carefully crafted, somewhat soft, melodic music doesn’t quite warrant the stage styles of full-on rockers, what they did give was underwhelming, and most showgoers would agree. There were the “They could’ve given more, but I get it because of how their music is,” comment of the night.

Next, I headed off to Bowery Ballroom to catch some newer acts on the scene with a lot of soul. The real hero of the night was from Deap Vally, a duo from Los Angeles that is 2012’s answer to Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. These girls have it, from the barefoot drumming of Julie Edwards, working a low-cut sparkly top and curly red hair that she slams back and forth as she plays, to guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Troy, who pranced up and down the stage barefoot, stroking the mike, shuffling her hair, and playing like she was the female version of Jack White on her guitar. The songs “Gonna Make My Own Money” and “End of the World” have been receiving a lot of attention, both in the States and in the United Kingdom, as the girls just finished playing major festivals in the U.K. They’ve managed to play the sultry up without neglecting the artistic talent, and the crowd was blown away at the craftsmanship, dancing to every song and clapping so loudly at the end we were sure an encore was to follow. Deap Vally is what rock music in this generation should look and feel like.

MS MR followed Deap Vally and rode the good vibes of the crowd from start to finish. The singer rocked the stage, straddled the mike, placed her foot on the speakers, and danced with the keyboard player, having fun with her band and the crowd. They did songs from their new EP Candy Bar Creep Show, including “Dark Doo Wop,” and ended the set with their first single, “Hurricane.” Someone near me likened the pinkish-blonde singer to a rock ’n’ roll Adele. The New York duo has been on tour with GROUPLOVE since September 2012, playing shows from London to Knoxville. While I didn’t get a chance to catch loads of shows yesterday, The Bowery Ballroom did it for me: The packed venue featured a range of musical talent. I didn’t want to leave. | Kristyn Potter

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