Dirty deeds

NYC’s Dirty Dishes to dish it out at Blind Bob’s

By Gary Spencer

Photo: Dirty Dishes will perform on Nov. 17 at Blind Bob’s

Sometimes bands form in the strangest ways. Such is the case for Dirty Dishes, a New York City based, Boston formed duo comprised of Alex Molini (synth and bass) and Jenny Tuite (guitar and vocals). Based on the band’s founding in Bostan in 2010, the “dirty” part of their moniker is very appropriate.

“Alex threw up on my shoes at a party,” Tuite explains.

It must have been love at first vomit, as Molini reportedly offered to buy Tuite a new pair of shoes the next day but instead they started making music together (if only puke could bring more people together…sigh). But make music they did, and the band has developed a rather unique sound, blending together elements of hazy rock, Krautrock and shoegaze while not directly referencing any specific influences—a rare feat. These sounds are well on display on their debut full length entitled Guilty, which was released in January of this year on Exploding in Sound Records. The album has earned the band accolades such as the description by Stereogum saying that listening to their music is akin to “enduring a waking dream—it’s both a harrowing and totally beautiful experience.” However, Tuite is quick to dismiss any potential reference or influence points for what Dirty Dishes does musically.

“We usually just say we are a rock band. We like Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, stuff like that,” Tuite says.

Saying that Dirty Dishes is a mere rock band does not do the band justice. While hints of Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead do turn up on Guilty, the duo takes these influences and run in their own direction with them. The majority of the songs on Guilty, while ’90s-esque, have a modern feel to them which opens their appeal to both millennials and 30-somethings. The songs cover a range of moods and approach: the opening track “Thank You Come Again” is a short, fuzzy, punk-y number with a catchy refrain that you can totally rock out to, while the disc closer “Deer in Headlights” is a drippy, dreamy, down-tempo number that builds into a stunning finale. According to Tuite, the making of Guilty was one of the band’s greatest accomplishments, given that the group split their recording time between studios in California and Massachusetts with a no-frills recording approach that lets the variety of songs that Dirty Dishes write speak for themselves.

“Finishing our most recent record was a milestone for us,” Tuite says. “First we recorded tracks 5-9 in Chelsea, Massachusetts at Studio 1867. The songs we did there were tracked live to tape. The building is really cool; it’s a converted Masonry building which gives it a sort of a creepy vibe. Most of the songs we did there went on the B-side which is more sparse and slower than the A-side. We tried to get a little away from the rock sound and fuzzed out stuff we usually play mostly just to see what we could do with it and to keep ourselves from getting bored. The more straight- forward rock songs on side A were tracked by Chris Thompson in his garage (in California). It took a really long time to make and it was nice to get it back on vinyl as a whole album and feel.”

And while the sound of the band isn’t too off the beaten path, Dirty Dishes’ lyrical content veers between straight to the point on some occasions, while sometimes exhibiting a more stream of consciousness feel. Tuite explains that her method of lyric writing sometimes takes on an unusual shape.

“Lyrics usually come last,” Tuite explains. “I like making the music speak the emotion of the song more so than the words. A lot of people usually assume that songs are about romantic relationships. I rarely write about that sort of thing. A lot of it is people observation and a lot of times I speak from another person’s perspective as if they were the first person, not me.”.

After multiple listens to Guilty, it should be interesting to see this range of sound that Dirty Dishes has put on wax come off in the live setting when the duo makes their debut performance in the Gem City at Blind Bob’s. Tuite herself had a very specific opinion on this matter.

“The sparser songs tend to translate better live than recorded,” Tuite says. “I think the whole experience is usually better live. Unless we fuck up.”

This is a not-to-miss performance by an intriguing, up and coming band before they blow up and start playing larger venues. And while such an accomplishment sounds good to Tuite, she says the duo has an even bigger personal goal that they’d like to achieve.

“Our dream would be to play a hockey game!” Tuite says.

And if you’re reading this and still need a little extra encouragement to go check out Dirty Dishes live, Tuite suggests that this occasion will be much like the time that her and musical co-conspirator Alex Molini met:

“Because it’s going to be sick!”

Dirty Dishes will perform Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. in downtown Dayton. Show begins at 9 p.m. Stove and Dead Sea Gold are also on the bill. Admission is $5 for patrons 21 and older. For more information, please visit dirtydishes.bandcamp.com.


Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Gary Spencer
Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at GarySpencer@DaytonCityPaper.com

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