Best shows to see: Dum Dum Girls, Rich Halley 4 | Bleader

Monday, March 31, 2014

Best shows to see: Dum Dum Girls, Rich Halley 4

Posted By on 03.31.14 at 12:34 PM

Dum Dum Girls
  • Dum Dum Girls
Today is opening day for the MLB; if you haven't filled up on beer and Cracker Jacks by the end of the afternoon and are in the mood to keep the celebrations going there are some great shows to see tonight and in the coming days.

Tonight Todd Rundgren performs at SPACE. Tomorrow night Iron Chic headlines the late show at Township and . . . And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead plays 2002's Source Tags & Codes in its entirety at Empty Bottle. On Wednesday there's Trentemoller at Concord Music Hall.

There are plenty more concerts to see this week—head to Soundboard or read on for a couple Reader picks.

Mon 3/31: Dum Dum Girls at Empty Bottle

"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," writes Peter Margasak. "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." Blouse and Radar Eyes open.

Mon 3/31: Rich Halley 4 at Skylark

Margasak writes that Seattle postbop tenor saxophonist Rich Halley has thrived despite operating in a scene that's focused on the mainstream and is minuscule compared to New York's. "He's released plenty of excellent quartet material on his own Pine Eagle label, and this weekend he rolls through town on a rare midwest tour with his superb working group—drummer Carson Halley (his son), Los Angeles trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, and bassist Clyde Reed," Margasak writes. "Halley's scrappy recordings, among them the recent Crossing the Passes, sound a lot like the brawny, unfussy postbop that’s popular around these parts. He balances melodic generosity against a biting tone, which complements Vlatkovich's garrulous, fatback sound; the two horn men dash off wry contrapuntal lines, comment upon or prod each other's improvisations, or simply trade phrases. Reed's muscular presence keeps the group anchored even at its most frenzied moments, driving each tune inexorably forward. Sometimes Carson Halley pushes a loping funk groove that's a bit on the extroverted side, even for his father's catchy compositions, but most of time he locks in with an aggressive swing."

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