Think of the Ditty Bops as the house band for a hipster-idealized version of A Prairie Home Companion. With their blend of, pardon the phrase, old timey music, youthful verve, and pseudo tounge-in-cheek kitsch, the duo of Abby DeWald and Amanda Barret is perfect for audiences simultaneously in love with the romance of yesteryear, and the freedom and fancifulness of childhood. Listening to the Ditty Bops is a bit like being 80 and eight at the same time. Borrowing from early vocal jazz, ragtime, bluegrass and Western Swing, the band focuses on tight harmonies and lively arrangements, with lyrical motifs that further solidify the old/young character of the music, tackling complex and very adult themes with a firm sense of whimsya word which may describe the band better than any more bombastic elaboration. Further encouraging the carnival feel, DeWald and Barret frequently incorporate elements of theatrical burlesque into their live performances, with puppets, elaborate costumes and props frequenting the stage. Formerly with Warner (one can imagine the Bops hosting a cartoon hoedown with Yacko, Wacko and Dot), the band is now independent and delving into the world of art and literature, with a bit of a capricious twist. With Firs of Prey.
Thu., July 30, 8:30 p.m., 2009