Dum Dum Girls, Blouse, Radar Eyes | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Dum Dum Girls, Blouse, Radar Eyes Early Warnings (Music) Sold Out (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Mon., March 31, 9 p.m. 2014

On her latest album, Too True (Sub Pop), Dee Dee Penny (aka Kristen Gundred) lets go of the 60s girl-group elements from earlier Dum Dum Girls records to tighten her embrace of the 80s. Again working with Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes and veteran producer Richard Gottehrer, Penny channels the plush yet steely croon of Debbie Harry to deliver her moody, catchy melodies; descending chord progressions and effects-heavy guitar dominate the gothy songs. Penny’s approach is retro but not merely imitative—her glossy hybrid sound has a precise snap and hazy beauty all its own, and Too True has burrowed its way into my head.

On their second album, Imperium (Captured Tracks), Portland trio Blouse shifted gears, ditching the synth-pop of their debut in favor of a guitar-driven sound influenced by 80s and 90s Britpop—it’s situated somewhere between Lush and the Shop Assistants, with some of the elegance of Broadcast—as well as the churning loud-soft-loud dynamics of the Pixies. The album is pleasant, dreamy, and forgettable. —Peter Margasak Dum Dum Girls headline; Blouse and Radar Eyes open.

Price: sold out

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