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The holiday weekend's top shows: Japandroids, Dum Dum Girls

November 26, 2009 |  2:59 pm

Although Thanksgiving isn't traditionally a rock 'n' roll holiday -- Beyonce's ABC television special notwithstanding -- there are a couple of strong music options over the next few days, at least for those who can escape the family duties.

Japandroids at the Echo. "Let's get to France," the duo of Brian King and David Prowse holler in "Wet Hair," kicking up a racket of guitar-and-drum noise. The pounding rhythms and distortion-drenched riffs may hint at a garage-punk anthem about escaping their Vancouver, Canada, homes for Europe, but it's really just youthful longing that permeates the songs of the Japandroids. What's in France? "French girls." Loud and fast, the Japandroids at times recall the early '90s with their low-fi, scuzzy-sounding anthems, but once one adjusts to the rush, there's brisk hooks and sharp one-liners to be found beneath the thundering notes. On "Heart Sweats," for instance, King yowls, "You're such a mess," through gritted teeth, all while the song threatens to devolve into one. But his put-downs are researched. "I should know; I used to date a stylist." The Echo, 1822 W. Sunset Blvd. Tickets are $10. 

Dum Dum Girls at Spaceland. Recent signees to Sub Pop, the Dum Dum Girls were earning raves from the New York Times before taking over the local scene. Essentially the project of  Kristin Gundred, of San Diego's defunct Grand Ole Party, the Dum Dum Girls will release their debut album in 2010. Sub Pop doesn't have a release date yet, but is keeping an air of mystery around the act, politely denying Pop & Hiss' request to profile the Dum Dum Girls before this weekend's gig. But one doesn't need to know the Dum Dum Girls' back story to fully enjoy the act's slightly sleazy, heavily distorted, fast and scruffy melodies. Reference points include the Vaselines and the Jesus & Mary Chain -- and more recently the Vivian Girls -- as hooks are buried in shots of hazy guitar tones. Stylish in heels and tights, the Dum Dum Girls reveal a sinister streak via Gundred's sweetly deadpan delivery, as if she's channeling the ghosts of girl groups past. Spaceland, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd. Tickets are $10.

-- Todd Martens