Have I mentioned how my mildly (ha!) obsessive-compulsive nature manifests itself in my car? Well, firstly, it shows up in my serial purchasing of the same car. (Corollas ain't sexy, but boy, are they dependable.) In my annoying moving-around of objects (garage-door clicker, change for meters, Stim-U-Dents) from one storage cubby to another in search of the ergonomically perfect resting place.
But mainly, it manifests itself in the constant replaying of whatever CD "sticks" in the player. For awhile, I listened to a lot of Madeline Peyroux. Before that, I listened to even more William Shatner.
Lately, as in, for the past month, it's been all about the Ditty Bops.
As usual, I am late to the game. I first heard of them via Koga on my other bloggy home, b.la. Koga is both way geekier and way cooler than I can ever hope to be, so you know the Ditty Bops are happening. But according to The BF, The DBs have also been featured on Prairie Home Companion, which is, um, pretty dorky and not very hip, albeit groovy in its own way.
So you see, the Ditty Bops are clearly the perfect band: quirky, musically adept and unclassifiable. They are certainly a little bit country, there's a lovely little waltz called "Two Left Feet" and plenty of pickin' & strummin' throughout. But they are also a little bit Hawaiian ("Wishful Thinking"), a little bit Tin Pan Alley (nifty nouvelle-vaudeville cover of "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate") and plenty perverto-pop, that cheerful, foot-tapping stuff that has one smiling and singing along, even as it diverts immediate attention from the smart, darker lyrics.
The Ditty Bops remind me a lot of another fave weirdo girl group, The Roches. Close harmony, a multiplicity of influences, an appreciation for old and useful things, a deft hand with lyrics and arrangement (both musical and vocal) and that occasional freaky-deaky stress on the odd syllable. Maggie, Terre and Suzzy (kick-ass in concert, btw, which I understand the Ditty Bops are, too) came out of the gates so strong with their first two albums, it was almost inevitable that follow-up albums fell a bit short.* It'll be interesting to see where the Ditty Bops take their act.
In the meantime, of course, I'll just hit "replay"...
*If anyone can lend me the later/newer albums so I can be proved wrong, I will gladly fork over the dough to buy them ALL!