DEATH VALLEY GIRLS – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE”
with DEATH VALLEY GIRLS

Death Valley Girls photograph by Michael Haight

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today in a slight format buck since rules are there to be broken, especially by punks, it’s not one musician it’s a whole band collectively selecting a tune – we’re joined by LA garage band par excellence, dystopian glum meets euphoric glam – a big welcome to the Death Valley Girls. I’d known about this bunch from them playing gigs supported by my buds Table Scraps, but it seems like they’ve got friends in far more esteemed places – the patronage of Iggy Pop secured and redoubtably displayed in the Death Valley Girls’ latest video “Disaster (Is What We’re After)” where Jim reluctantly eats a burger (that’s the kind of personal sacrifice he’s willing to make for this band). After all Iggy’s body is a temple these days, but with the accompaniment of the Death Valley Girls it’s the temple of doom! Doom punk that is. And of course it’s a homage to the famous performance art “Andy Warhol Eats A Hamburger” which shows this band’s cultured smarts (along with the tune of course, with it’s James Chance meets “Oh Bondage Up Yours” brass, Saints meets Stooges squall and T-Rex swagger). Check it out right here…

Death Valley Girls are on their third album “Darkness Rains” (out on 5 October on Suicide Squeeze Records) and their line-up is an expanding and contracting hydra based around a core of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bonnie Bloomgarden and guitarist Larry Schemel plus at the moment completed by bassist Alana Amram, drummer Laura Harris, and a rotating cast of guests like Shannon Lay, The Kid (Laura Kelsey), and members of The Make Up (wow!), The Shivas, and Moaning. It’s like a travelling circus of garage rock firebrands leaving a smouldering trail of embers in their wake, with all the primitive rage of an In The Red band combined with the studied intelligence of a Dischord band like Slant 6 and the earth moving oomph of X-Ray Spex. So I was intrigued to find what their hive mind would choose as their “song for ewe” and I wasn’t disappointed, it’s off the beaten track but it kicks like a irascible mule…which is fitting for Death Valley Girls “song for ewe”…

“The Avengers – Second to None

The Avengers are one of our favorite bands and one that Bonnie and I bonded over when we first formed Death Valley Girls. I was just revisiting them this week and the song “Second To None” has been on repeat, with lyrics written by a then 19 year-old Penelope Houston and music co-written by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols.

The Avengers had just played with the Sex Pistols at their last gig at Winterland in SF so Steve Jones stayed behind and produced some Avengers songs for an EP in early 1978. He also played this song in his band,The Professionals, under the title “1,2,3”. Both versions of the tune are great but it should have been a hit for The Avengers – inspiring stuff!”

THANKS TO DEATH VALLEY GIRLS AND FRANKIE DAVISON OF STEREO SANCTITY 

“DARKNESS RAINS” IS OUT ON 5TH OCTOBER, YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT HERE:

http://smarturl.it/DeathValleyGirls

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS ARE ON TOUR IN THE US…

09-13 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriets *
10-03 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom **
10-04 – Tustin, CA @ Marty’s on Newport **
10-05 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah **
10-18 – Riverside, CA @ Aurea Vista
10-19 – Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse Saloon
10-20 – Phoenix, AZ @ Yucca Tap Room
10-21 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
10-23 – Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
10-24 – Dallas, TX @ Regal Room
10-25 – Norman, OK @ Opolis
10-26 – Memphis, TN @ The Hi Tone
10-29 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery #
10-30 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie #
11-01 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge #
11-02 – Cleveland, OH @ The Winchester #
11-03 – Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx #
11-04 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen #
11-05 – Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club #
11-07 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge #
11-08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge #
11-09 – Boise, ID @ The Olympic #
11-11 – Chico, CA @ Duffy’s #
11-13 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios #
11-14 – Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret #
11-15 – Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown #
11-16 – Seattle, WA @ Freakout Festival
11-17 – Eugene, OR @ Old Nicks #
11-20 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop #

* w/ L.A. Witch
** w/ Roky Erickson
# w/ Gymshorts

Author: Nick Hutchings

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