Dum Dum Girls’ cover of The Smiths’ “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”

Dum Dum Girls

Perhaps you do not know The Smiths. I suppose that could make sense if you’ve never listened to alternative music pre-your own existence. Or maybe you did not read the teen favorite The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (“Charlie” waxes poetic about the song “Asleep”) or seen (500) Days of Summer (good actors, but the silly script/premise and faux-indie exterior make it less than awesome. Fun fact: this song may be the tune that Zooey Deschanel sings a bit of to Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the elevator of the latter). Well, if the mastery of Morrissey and Johnny Marr has eluded you, listen up. The original version of “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” was written by the two aforementioned members of the group and was released on the album The Queen Is Dead in 1986.

It’s a solid cover. The integrity of the lyrics is certainly not lost, although the meaning is altered by the female voice. Case in point: Dee Dee singing Morrrisey’s morbid verse over heavier instrumentation becomes more of a call to arms than a melancholic introspection.

He Gets Me High is the E.P. of Dum Dum Girls. It drops via Sub Pop March 1 with this song and three originals by the band. Hear the cover for yourself at http://hypem.com and download the title track “He Gets Me High” at http://stereogum.com.

Pains of Being Pure At Heart: “Belong”

Pains of Being Pure at Heart

This is the title track of the band’s forthcoming album. Their sound resembles that of My Bloody Valentine like guitars (see Loveless and listen to “When You Sleep” and try to imagine it without the male vocals). This alter-nineties sound strays from the 80s vibes of their previous album Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Download it for free at http://stereogum.com.

The Strokes: “Under Cover of Darkness”

The band released a 30-second clip of this song. Oh, how deliciously understated, Strokes. Way to keep us guessing. The full song became available on February 9  for free at The Strokes’ website (http://new.thestrokes.com). If the song is any indication, this new album will sound a lot more like The Strokes’ pre-First Impressions of Earth and I, for one, am okay with that. (For those who are confused, check their debut album Is This It.) The Strokes’ new album Angles is dropping via RCA on March 22.

The Black Keys: “Howlin’ For You”

The Black Keys dropped the official video for “Howlin’ for You.” Best part? The fact that the video is in faux movie trailer form of a Tarantino-esque flick. Or maybe the fact that Dan Auerbauch and Patrick Carney are dressed as mariachi band members (equipped with appropriate facial hair). Maybe it’s just the deep-voiced announcer who provides all the necessary background on Alexa Wolf, “a sexy assassin with a troubled past.” The cameos of Frank the Funkasaurus Rex (if you do not know who this is, check The Black Keys videos for “Tighten Up” and “Next Girl”), Shaun White (right?), and Sean Patrick Flannery (who has sadly gone downhill visually since the first Boondock Saints) surely make it worth a look (assuming that you needed more convincing after the Tarantino reference).

Seriously, stop reading and watch the video. It’ll make your day. I guarantee it. Watch it on YouTube. If you’re feeling adventurously odd, you could also watch the video that Modest Mouse did for “Fly Trapped in a Jar.” The subtitle is “Alien Musical.” It appears as if the extra-terrestrials in Isaac Brock’s mind resemble Seuss-like individuals with stripes of black across their eyes and major music and dancing talent.

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