Before they played their songs at today’s noontime free in-store at Amoeba Hollywood, Wayne Kramer and Billy Bragg talked about Jail Guitar Doors. The organization was started in England by Bragg, with the intent of raising money to give guitars to prisoners. Not so they’ll be musicians when they are released but so that they have a creative outlet for the rest of their lives. Of course, its namesake is a song by The Clash, and when Bragg was telling the MC5 guitarist about the cause and the tune, Kramer’s response was something like, “That song is about me!” Bragg was embarrassed but excited when the Detroit musician agreed to sign on to spearhead the U.S. arm of the group. When the British punk/folk singer relayed the story to Mick Jones, the singer of “Jail Guitar Doors” didn’t even remember that Kramer was in it!
If you read this blog, you’ve probably gathered that I fully advocate supporting bands by purchasing records from merch table, cool shops, or the labels themselves. Downloading free MP3s is strictly for bootlegs, demos, and so on. But I have no qualms about attending free shows–especially ones that I can take my four-year-old daughter to. And what could be better than a trip to see one of Eloise’s three favorite groups (Dum Dum Girls) at one of her favorite places (The Getty)?
The Dum Dums kicked off the museum’s free Saturday evening concerts two weekends ago with a full set of dreamy, goth-y, garage-y rock. The band has been touring in support of its excellent second album with its extra lush sound for a while now. So of course they sound as great as ever, but there are extra hints at showmanship this time around. Members step up, back, and converge in the middle of the stage. New bassist Malia fits right in, and Eloise and her cousins rocked out nonstop after the sun went down and the volume turned up. So rad to get an hour-long fix in such a setting, and Eloise even got a heads-up from her Facebook/Instagram fans Sandy and Dee Dee. Gotta find out when Sandy returns to town for a Fiore date, and keep checking the Getty’s Saturdays Off the 405 schedule as the summer goes on.