Welcome to the very first installment of #DUMjamsDebut, DUM DUM Zine’s newest music feature where we pair a spankin’ new track with an intimate, behind the scenes peek on the song from the artist. Check out the track premiere below from our Echo Park punk favs, dimber, and stay tuned: we’ll be showcasing #DUMjams regularly for your listening pleasure…

Dimber is one of the absolute best live shows you can catch in Los Angeles right now. Their infectiously energetic sets blend punk originals with updated covers of nostalgic songs by the likes of of Josie & The Pussycats, Alice Deejay, with plenty of Clueless soundtrack references to boot, describing their sound as “Charged up sparkles, short and fast, spindles and shards of the Clueless soundtrack aimed against social control.” We describe them as totally #DUMber (pun not intended)!

“Manges Tes Morts,” off of their new damber EP, is everything the band does well: it’s driving, metallic, sugary, and strong, a song with a message that you can (and will want to) dance to. — Julia Gibson, Music Editor

This track is actually two songs, with “Darkage” picking up around the 1:42 mark:

We asked vocalist and guitarist Caleb Miller to tell us the meaning behind the song:

“I learned the phrase from a friend a French friend of mine, Yoann. In typical dumb American fashion, when we were tooling around Europe, I asked him what the most offensive thing you could say to a person in French was. He taught me a litany of insults but this one stood out. It essentially translates as my understanding goes to ‘You eat your dead family. Or you eat your dead ancestors.’ 

The song is about a few particular experiences I had with transphobia and homophobia… not from some nameless hateful stranger or someone on the internet …but when it came from someone who was very close to my heart. Someone I cared for very deeply.

I had come out as queer many years prior but I had yet to fully come out as a trans woman, at this point in time only really to very close friends. I opened myself up to someone I trusted about being a female and it was met with some really awful sentiments that cut into me profoundly and made me feel like I was crazy for feeling the way I did.

In the long run, it was a formative moment for cultivating love for myself and the strength and pride which led me to coming out completely, but this was a dark, faltering step in my development as a person.

That’s the very specifics of it. In a grander context, the song is also about the ways our culture makes us feel ashamed of our physical forms. For transgender people, for people of color, for people whose body types don’t fit the mainstream model of what is considered beautiful, for people with inhibited physical mobility, for any disenfranchised group of people… the world is constantly impressing messages into you (very overtly and directly, but also in secretive insidious ways) that your value as a human is compromised because of who you are. To feel ashamed or less than because of these physical qualities.                                                     

This message and this idea exists to preserve the existing power structures which privileges hetero-normative white men at the top of the power pyramid and also those persons of great financial wealth. And it’s about this fear and shame that we have as a culture to have a direct conversation about these issues. That the foundations of our culture are rooted in ideals that are racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and xenophobic.

 I think people are ashamed of openly discussing this because the implication is that we are all involved in progressing this oppressive bigoted system by our active involvement in a society that perpetuates these ideals. We can and must work to dismantle the system but we have to acknowledge our involvement in it as members of this society. It’s a painful idea for people to reconcile who even have a modicum of compassion I think.”

Dimber’s damber  EP is out today. Snag a *limited edition* 7″ on cream colored vinyl (comes with a zine!) at Chainletter Collective!

Check out Dimber’s new personal band website here.

Upcoming shows:

  • 11/22 – The Hi-Hat with Neza Alexander, The Primals, and Remorseless
  • 11/27 – Blank City Records (Echo Park) for “Blue Monday”
  • 12/2 – 4th St. Vine (Long Beach) with Marriage Material

Photo Credits:  Michelle Rubio, Jill Krienbrink, & Victoria Zengo.

Friday, Nov. 17th 2017