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Dum Dum Girls “filled” me with joy at the Empty Bottle

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The Empty Bottle is simply a dive bar and a surprisingly relaxing and fun music venue located in Chicago, Illinois. This is one of the coolest venues for Chicago’s alternative music scene. The place hosts several kinds of music. There is plenty of indie-rock, punk, metal, rock’n’roll, hip-hop, electronic, experimental, ambience and jazz. This club/bar opened in 1992 and was originally a regular neighborhood bar. There’s plenty of CHEAP beer too! It’s like being in a large basement with brick walls and little coves that sneak around corners.

Pinball games, Ms Pac-Man arcade for only a quarter, a pool table and several water jugs strategically place all around the place with plastic cups stacked near them too. Its a nice gesture to offer free water to someone low on cash but just plain thirsty. They also just have a really nice space that’s conducive to having a lot of different experiences. It is hard to have a bad view of the stage where artists perform, whether you are early or late to the show. I definitely need to return.

Now let me cut right to the chase. My wife and I celebrated a special anniversary on this day of March 31st. We met on a train 7 years ago and celebrated by attending a Dum Dum Girls show. Who are they you ask? Dum Dum Girls are an American rock band, formed about six years ago. In the beginning, it was a bedroom recording project of lead singer and songwriter Dee Dee Penny in Los Angeles. She is currently living in New York City. I try to keep up with today’s music. These four talented females have very nice glossy melodies that you don’t hear from today’s bands. It rocks, it waves, it pounds through awesome songwriting!

This music they play is slick and focused. Post punk, garage punk, dreamy and pouty 80’s pop. That’s essentially how I would describe their music. Fuzzy guitar riffs, eyeliner distortion and 1960s girl-group sensibilities.Too True, their newest album, toggles between ethereal and punk, gothic and 80s dance party, and provides a strong and welcomed addition to the Dum Dum Girls catalog. The name pays homage to The Vaselines’ album Dum Dum and an Iggy Pop song called “Dum Dum Boys”. Dee Dee Penny’s stage name was not inspired by Dee Dee Ramone. It’s a coincidence.

Appearance-wise onstage they are quite a sight. Short skirts and long legs. Leather outfits. I am reminded of those imfamous Robert Palmer ADDICTED TO LOVE videos. You know? The ones with the sexy girls pretending to play guitars? Only these girls are most definitely playing vintage Silvertone guitars through glorious RAT amps. The stage is smokey blue with christmas lights dangling from the ceiling. A large BLUE lit up cut-out heart is draped in the background. Their microphones are donned with fiberoptic roses and spare red picks arranged all pretty-like. The whole thing was mesmorizing and a real nice trip back in time to that underground gothic-like and dreamy-like club.

Songs like “Too True To Be Good,” “Rimbaud Eyes,” “Lost Boys & Girls Club” and “Are you Ok” were intense highlights! DEE DEE and the ladies are obviously a big fan of the cooler music that came out of 80s/early 90s and it comes through in their music. Sometimes I am reminded of Chrissie Hynde (of the Pretenders) vocals. Penny’s voice is quite stellar. She opens up her sound on large and gorgeous ballads like “Coming Down.” The show hypnotized me and then I had to drive home at 1:00 a.m.

But I was left with incredible memories and hard rocking chicks! Here’s a video that gives you a better idea of their awesome sounds going down:

By christophernoe

Writer, Poet and Music geek

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