Music News

Critic's Choice

In today's climate of indie-rock sarcasm, a band called Destroyer plays sweet, sophisticated pop, while groups with names like Sparkles play music that's more bludgeoning than brass knuckles. But there's nothing tongue-in-cheek about the Oregon combo All Girl Summer Fun Band (which will perform Thursday, September 18, at the Larimer Lounge, with Life and Times and the May Riots). Created by former and current members of the Softies, the Thermals and Cherry Ice Cream Smile, AGSFB has the power to magically transform the beer-bilged floor of any dingy rock club into a sun-baked boardwalk. The group takes its song titles as literally as it does its name: "Video Game Heart" is perforated with joystick-guided laser noises; "Jason Lee" is an open love letter to the pro-skateboarder-turned-movie-star, in which singer/guitarist Kim Baxter chirps, "Jason Lee/Doing kick flips in my dreams." The sound, although firmly embedded in the bubblegum-pop tradition, is more Go-Go's than Ronettes, more Ramones than Beach Boys. These ladies might dig through the same thrift-store racks as more '60s-styled, indie-pop bands like Dressy Bessy, but they leave the paisley on the hanger in favor of the Cyndi Lauper T-shirts. Girls just want to have fun.