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Wednesday, July 26, 2006 09:22 am

Vinyl Static

The Ditty Bops play the Hilton on Sunday, and other shows of note

The Ditty Bops love to ride bikes. Instead of jamming into a cramped van for their 2006 summer tour, the jazzy duo decided to put shoe to pedal and log some miles on a couple of two-wheelers, and they’ll be cruising into Springfield on their way from St. Louis to play a show at the Underground City Tavern (700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530, ext. 4407) on Sunday, July 30.

Supporting Moon Over the Freeway, released May 23 by Warner Bros., the Los Angeles-based Ditty Bops have suffered through heat exhaustion, teeth-baring dogs, and dead ends while crossing the country. On the bright side, the Bops — Abby DeWald and Amanda Barrett — did manage to pay a visit to the world’s largest ball of twine, located in Cawker City, Kan.

The pair’s music seems just as unexpected and vintage as their mode of transport. The song “Moon Over the Freeway” takes cues from early jazz chanteuses and the boogie of Western swing with light acoustic-guitar strumming, birdlike coos, and near-perfect harmonies.

Another tune, “Fish to Fry,” sounds so authentically retro that it seems almost sacrilegious to listen to the tune on anything but a phonograph. Imagine the vinyl pops. The delightfully whimsical tune mingles old country saloon sounds with coy serenades from the duo commanding, “Get out of that frying pan/I got bigger fish to fry than you.”

Other shows of note:
Indie-rock favorites the Silver Jews play a St. Louis show on Friday, July 28, at Blueberry Hill. On their heels comes lead Pixie Frank Black, slated for an Aug. 11 gig at Blueberry Hill.

Club 217 (2075 Normandy Dr., 217-529-0196) hosts Dem Franchize Boyz on Saturday, July 29. The Atlanta rap outfit hit its stride this year with the release of the popular album On Top of Our Game, featuring club hits “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It” and “I Think They Like Me.” Tickets may be purchased at Club 217, Terry’s Men’s World (3049 S. Dirksen Pkwy., 217-529-2230) and the Springfield Best Western (3440 Clearlake Ave., 217-525-7420).

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