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Radar At CMJ NYC Part 4: Backstage with Dum Dum Girls, The Smith Westerns, Small Black and more...

By Jaimie Hodgson

Posted on 26 Oct 09

 
 

I met up with Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls on my last night of CMJ. She surprised me, with the whole latest wave of permeating no-fi rock'n'roll (Captured Tracks, Woodsist etc) being as cool and aloof Rude Dog (of And The Dweebs notoriety)

I was expecting their main breakthrough talisman (or taliswoman, is that even a term?) to communicate in some specially developed language of lash flicks, fringes and fear. Not so, she was really sweet. We had an excellent conversation about Lady Gaga, and the overplayed comparisons she draws to Madonna.





Here's some band recommendations from the lady herself. If you're a female watching this the likelihood is you'll finish it wishing with every fibre of your being that you were her... Don't worry it's perfectly normal. Even I kinda do, ahem, anyways...





Earlier she'd played one of her first ever live shows at New York's Mercury Lounge (where the Strokes got signed'n'that). She only finished putting the band together three days before. Considering that, well, it was pretty fucking stunning.



Earlier in the day I went to a massive dank, dilapidated warehouse in downtown Brooklyn. It had bars over the windows, absolutely no lights and massive floral murals over the walls. There was an all-day showcase on there with a few names I wanted to see. But we arrived early and ended up watching Highlife. Which is essentially a tubby white dude that looks like a giant gerbil, wears his auntie's hand-me-down blouses, and plays limp cod-reggae equipped with idle wailing. It was this moment that I reached the epiphany that this was in fact the most trustifarian moment of my entire life...



Small Black played next, they were actually pretty good. It was groove-driven inertia-pop with a grounding in Billyburg indie. I liked the way they all looked like they were more into latino rap than any guitar music that'd be gracing a midday bill in an abandoned shit-hole warehouse.



Next was another vaguely surreal comedy moment. A band called Javelin were also billed. They pretty much embodied every single hilarious Brooklyn hipster dosser band stereotype: mindless keyboard demo backing track, completely superfluous electronic percussion that doesn't seem to be making any inflection on the song being played, shoe-horned ironic R&B references (that's 'Fantasy' by Mariah Carey he's chanting) gross-looking saggy Nineties t-shirts, oh and creepy man-boy facial hair. Top marks lads.



The best band of that weird showcase thing were Chicago's The Smith Westerns. They were all kinds of ace. It's of course buried beneath the same blanket of lo-fi fuzz that every single new band in the world world seems to be cuddling up to, but it was glammy, urgent yell-punky and lazy stoney. But most importantly the had massive bin-liners full of tunes. Proper choons. And they looked cool as fuck... I mean, check the guy with the sheep-collar flight jacket casually tossed over his shoulders throughout the show, and check the floppy glossy mop of that dreamboat singer. Oh yeah, and they're all like 17 years old. DING DING! Stars incoming! They just did a single through great UK label Transparent, so I'd be checking that if I were yous...

 
 
 
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