Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
The demented punk-pop of Dizzy Spells Martian is like a cheery, hand-scribbled K Records valentine frayed at the edges by New York cynicism. The delightfully sloppy, ill-recorded three-piece is led by Cake Shop cohort Isabel Martin, a former member of crisp Austin indie crew Yellow Fever. This band shows Martin unshackling herself from form, but keeping all the catharsis of pop song-writing intact: bubblegum twee is wiggled out on untuned guitars, drumbeats are supplied by tapping a glass, out-of-range notes are attempted and wavered, a bastardized version of the Oscar Meyer jingle is screamed, and one 8-second songlet is just the nonsense scrap “Rose Rose” barked four times. September-anticipating bummer jam “Summer” is a little more polished by comparison, but no less twisted. It’s a slab of ultra-harmonized ’60s Spector-pop distorted to all hell, and imbued with Devo’s sense of irony. The song certainly sounds cheerier than anything the no-fi Reatards are pouring out, and still a deep-seeded NYC jadedness seeps in with a hilarious lyric turnaround: “Summer’s always done/Summer’s almost fun.”
What is “Summer” about?
I guess it’s about a collective impression that summer is sort of a different and exciting terrain, both mentally and physically. There’s an excitement in the air, flesh is bared, people wearing sandals, even New Yorkers, full moons, bike riding. It’s sort of about casting off cynicism and indifference in hope of adventures. It’s also about young love, I guess, and the nervousness of that–summer camp, first adventures.
What was the inspiration?
I guess I was trying to write a song that sounded like the Turtles. They have songs with some pretty weird chord progressions and harmonies, and their lyrics are kind of too clever. Tender, but with a very light touch. I was also inspired by my friend Jason Pearson. He’s kind of the inspiration for all of my music. He uses simple chord progressions as a base for beautiful melodies, complex arrangements and thoughtful lyrics. He also has a light touch. Some of it is very funny.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about summer?
My favorite things about summer are riding my bike around, perfectly comfortable in sweltering hot nights under a blazing orange full moon near the beach and over tiny bridges that look like they belong in computer games. Also, I like Italian ices. And I like people in good moods, in sunny, er, dispositions. My least favorite thing about summer is da bugs.
What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
I don’t eat out much, especially in Brooklyn. I usually stick to lentils and oatmeal and such other ascetic grains and legumes. However, the bodega across the street from my apartment–off the Jefferson stop–has some pretty amazing Mexican food.
What is the most misunderstood thing about your music?
I don’t know. I don’t think I fully understand it. I’m still evolving.
Dizzy Spells Martian plays The Cake Shop tomorrow with Soft Black and A Fermata.