Dresden Dolls

This is probably a surprise to nobody, but owning a nightclub tends to suck right out of you any desire to go out to clubs other than your own. Those other clubs all start to look like "work" after a while, except you can't go in back and check your email when you get bored. So, despite that, I dragged my ass out to Du Nord tonight.

An illusion of which I have now been disabused: "Hey, the opening act is a puppet show, that might be entertaining." Unless by "entertaining" you mean "intolerably tedious." The second act was some godawful a capella off-key caterwauling that -- I swear -- might actually have been worse than Apocalypse Theatre.

So I was seriously starting to rethink the wisdom of this "leaving the bunker" plan.

But the headliner, The Dresden Dolls, were absolutely fantastic, and even made it worth suffering through the puppet show. They were two of them (drums and piano+vocals) and they played this agressive cabaret kind of thing. She has a great voice, the music was really complex, and they were very tight; lots of changes within a song and stop-on-a-dime silent bits. Very entertaining lyrics too: "Coin Operated Boy" was especially funny.

They have CDs for sale on their web site; as your attorney in this matter, I advise you to purchase them.

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23 Responses:

  1. ioerror says:

    Or rather, I would have been if they had played at a place that could fit more than 70 people in the doors. I was cursing their choice of venue when I heard they sold out.

    A small band from Boston (great, but still small) shouldn't sell out in San Francisco like this show did.

    Since you actually were able to see them in person, I have to ask a few questions.

    Did they dress similar to their album/website artwork?
    Are they entirely silly not unlike Rasputina?

    Oh yes, I nearly forgot, did they bring the coin operated boy?

    • jwz says:

      I think there were probably ~250 people in there, but yeah, I also didn't expect it to sell out. I actually had to pull rank to get in! I hate doing that. It pierces my carefully-constructed veil of anonymity.

      They had whiteface and he wore a bowler. However, there were no robots to be seen.

      They were not as silly as Rasputina, but Rasputina are Very Silly Indeed.

  2. hotnickels says:

    I regret not knowing that they came :(


    didn't get in.


    • pygmalion says:

      You should have stuck around. I saw a few people who were outside begging for tickets inside. I am sure Whitney could have pulled something off for you. Sorry you missed it, it was good. But then again, you are going to BM, so I am not sorry for a damn thing.

      • i couldn't even DEAL with the size of the lineup outside. packed cramped shows where you can't even see make me raaaaaaaaaaage, far far too much. *shakes fists*

  4. greyface says:

    Hooray for the Dresden Dolls. Saw them Wednesday (which makes sense, considering I live in Los Angeles).

    My only proper addition is, (at least here) the crowd reaction is sort of peculiar, so... they're punkish... but it's not really music to tear shit up too... and they're emotionally raw, but... this is a standing-room-mostly GA venue... so it's not really, sit in your seat like chamber music.

    Uhh, rock out while remaining respectfully quiet? *gives up*

  5. badger says:

    I saw them last March when they came through here for the first time. Easily one of the best live shows I've seen in the last few years, and I found the CDs great too. Add another attorney's recommendation in this matter.

  6. bitpuddle says:

    The galleries on their site are fantastic.

  7. grahams says:

    I'm glad people outside of Boston are starting to recognize the band... when I first heard the whole concept of the band, I was really afraid of hokeyness, but when I heard their work, I was completely taken with it....

  8. g_na says:

    owning a nightclub tends to suck right out of you any desire to go out to clubs

    Sadly, working at one for any length of time tends to do the same thing. Hrmpf.

    • rzr_grl says:


      I saw DD on TV the other night. I suspected I liked them, but feared they might be overly coy. She made funny faces, however, and I'm a big fan of that.

  9. tjcrowley says:

    I have been spewing my adoration for the Dresden Dolls ever since one of my early Nocturnia patrons ( <lj user=whittles> ) made me listen to them back in February. I have followed them since then, and was eagerly awaiting this show. I didn't really expect them to sell out either -- the show wasn't that well promoted, and most of the promotion seems to be online or on Livejournal. I guess if you actually have talent the Internet CAN help you.

  10. defenestr8r says:

    this was another one of those instances where living in this wicked little down means one gets deprived of all things fun. i was very sad to miss their california shows since they are coming nowhere near me.

    if anyone wants a clearer idea, there is a video for Girl Anachronism that should pretty well sum it up.

  11. lars_larsen says:

    If you think annoying puppets are bad. Imagine "Atari Teenage Riot" at 150 decibels. Fuck that, I'm not sticking around for the main act.

  12. fantasygoat says:

    Yes, very much agreed - "Coin Operated Boy" is especially catchy; I couldn't get it out of my head for days no matter how many other memesongs I played to get rid of it.

    Most excellent.

  13. bostonista says:

    They are great! Good musicians, and nice people to boot. They live around the corner from me.

    They deserve every bit of success they get.

  14. chrome_halo says:

    yeah, I saw them at the troubador awhile back. exceptionally good at what they do.

  15. omarius says:

    They were on one of the late-night talk shows last week. I was impressed; they obviously practice a LOT. Or really are machines. I like the idea of a robot Captain and Teneille playing modernized 80's synth pop. Dresden Dolls, I embrace you.

  16. zapevaj says:

    Wasn't the second act Charming Hostess? I heard a track of theirs a few days ago, and I believe that caterwauling you're talking about is actually Finnish women's chanting. Devon would be able to confirm or deny.

    Also something Devon would know- didn't Shadow Circus perform at the second Monolith? (the one in November 2001). I -know- there was a puppet troupe there, and they were most certainly not tedious. I got to Lucci's mid-act, just as and Devon and girl-Raven were going outside because it grossed *them* out. Something about a puppet fucking a Thanksgiving turkey.

  17. postmaudlin says:

    it was good seeing you at the show -- would it be alright if i added you to my friendslist?

  18. endico says:

    According Rolling Stone's rss feed, the Dresden Dolls will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday, August 31.

  19. xxanathemaxx says:

    whoever you are, you are awesome. girl anachronism is a great song, dresden dolls kick SO much ass. :) yeah.