The Dum Dum Girls played Bowery Ballroom on Friday evening, as part of CMJ, and they saved their best for last. While “Bedroom Eyes,” “Teardrops on My Pillow,” and “Always Looking” are all delectable gloomy girl-pop singles, all from the recent Only in Dreams, and all played at the Bowery, the band’s set can sometimes sound too much of the same, especially when the focus shifts to I Will Be tracks like “Bhang Bhang, I’m a Burnout” and “Jail La La.” Only in Dreams was a major step forward for Dee-Dee & Co., who were decked out in their customary all-black outfits, and it was shown most concisely with set-closer “Coming Down,” a seven-minute slow-burner of a ballad; the woozy music came in waves (think Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”) and Dee-Dee’s voice sounded fragile, yet commanding when she sang, “By tomorrow, I’ll be leaving/By tomorrow, I’ll be gone/If you want to tell me something/You had better make it strong.” It’s a rather remarkable achievement for a group that only a year ago was writing songs mentioning Nancy Drew, and the moment where Dee-Dee stretches out the final word of “There I Go” was maybe my single favorite moment of CMJ. They also played “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” and it sounded exactly like what you’d expect the Dum Dum Girls covering the Smiths would sound like. That might have been my second favorite. Royal Baths and Crocodiles opened, and below are photos from all three groups, courtesy of Nadia Chaudhury.
Dum Dum Girls