Wednesday, June 29 2022
Photo: Jovvany Villalobos

On June 12, Salt Lake City will experience Gorgeous Gorgeous Girlsa celebration of girl groups from the late 50s to the 70s. Gorgeous Gorgeous Girls (whose name is inspired by a TikTok trend) is entertained by DJs spinning records Rockin’ Robin, Yex-Yex (pronounced ‘Yay-Yay’) and Wooded. Taking place at Alibi Bar & Venue On Sunday, June 12, the event is free-to-attend to enjoy an evening of garage rock, go-go dancing and girl-band magic as DJs spin tracks from some of the most iconic singers in the world. ‘era.

We all have our musical guilty pleasures – the songs we cry in the shower and blow our car stereos to. For DJ and entertainer Robin Banks, that fun takes the form of girl groups from the second half of the 20th century. Think liver birdssoul R&B bands like The Ronettes and Dixie mugs and other singers of the time, including Lesley Gore and Yé-Yé girls from all over the world.

I sat down with Banks to talk about songs and their love for girl groups. In the 60s, girl group styles went against everything else in music. groups like The Shangri Las and The Marvelettes embodied an array of temperaments, from the sweet pea, motown soul to the melodramatic adolescent spirit to the rebels wearing leather jackets and chain smoking who all had one thing in common: they were way ahead on their time when it came to challenging baby boomer era gender roles.

“Women tended to be painted as one-dimensional, helping a man with his on-screen identity or with his job.”

Banks explains how girl groups reached their peak around 1964 before The Beatles took over, and the music was then consumed by rock. “I feel like [the genre] was really blown away,” Banks says. “When people look back it’s really male and rock centric. It’s a shame because the influence is clearly still there. Banks talked about fashion at the time, round bouffants and eyeliner This fashion could be spotted immediately and refrains like “Wait a minute, postman” or “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want” came back in droves. of the time were inseparable. Whether it was background singers in Hercules Where The Supremesgirl groups are still constantly referenced.

If you want to go back to the mid-20th century to beehive and singers like The Liver Birds, The Ronettes and The Dixie Cups, head to 21+ Alibi Bar & Place on Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m.
Photo: Jovvany Villalobos

Growing up, banks listened to oldies on the car radio with their mother. “These kind of memories penetrate your psyche,” they say. At first, Banks was mostly into punk and rock. It wasn’t until later that they looked into girl groups. One thing Banks observes is how the groups broke every social rule in the book about what it meant to be a woman. “Women tended to be painted as one-dimensional, helping a man with his on-screen identity or with his job,” Banks says, “but then you have musicians like Lesley Gore who sang ‘You Don’t Own Me “. What woman had the right to say that in 1962? ‘Don’t parade me?’

Banks developed a strong admiration for The Shangri Las. Songs like “Leader of The Pack” are so melodramatic and represent, for Banks, some of the feelings of teenagers and teenagers of the era. “They have about four different songs about death, love, or ‘Mom didn’t understand I wanted to be with this guy, she said no, I ran away from home, then my mom died of loneliness . They’re overly dramatic but fun,” Banks says. There was an obvious dichotomy between The Shangri-Las and other bands like The Dixie Cups.

For Banks, the genre offered an array of vibes and feelings, from the tenderness of the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love” to The Shangri-Las about death. Banks added an anecdote about the Shangri-Las: two of them were sisters from Queens. They got in trouble with the Feds on their first mission because they were trying to transport weapons across the border. Banks says, “When asked about it, their response was, ‘Well, we’re a group of women traveling out of our town. What do you expect from us?’ It’s this attitude of not settling for less that has fans falling in love with these bands long after they’ve stepped into the limelight.

The Gorgeous Gorgeous Girls trio—(L–R): DJ Yéx-Yéx, DJ Rockin' Robin and DJ Woody—was born out of a shared love of girl group tunes.
Photo: Jovvany Villalobos

The Gorgeous Gorgeous Girls trio—DJ Rockin’ Robin, DJ Yéx-Yéx and DJ Woody—was born out of a shared love for girl group tunes. Banks told me that Yéx-Yéx is a nod to notable Yé Yé girl groups from France, Spain and Japan, which is really Yéx-Yéx jam. Banks met Woody through the ISRR (International Rock & Roll Society) band, and Woody’s musical knowledge has since come in handy as the band toured together.

“When people look back, it’s really male and rock centric. It’s a shame because the influence is clearly still there.

Banks is convinced that girl groups are making a comeback. They talk about being at the grocery store and realizing that the store had rolled out old-fashioned Captain Crunch boxes. “It’s wild!” says Banks. “Retro art is also coming back now. Along with the music, the Shangri-Las’ song ‘Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand)’ is trending on TikTok,” Banks says. Banks thinks a lot of people want the music , the art and fashion of yesteryear is returning, and not everyone is so engrossed in the zeitgeists of our times.

If you want to go back to the mid-20th century to beehive and singers like The Liver Birds, The Ronettes and The Dixie Cups, go to 21+ Alibi Bar & Venue Sunday June 12 at 8 p.m.

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