dd dagger
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dd dagger

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Alternative Cabaret

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Oct
20
dd dagger @ Bar Matchless

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Oct
03
dd dagger @ The ABGB

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Sep
08
dd dagger @ Longbranch Inn

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas, United States

Music

Press


Listen to an interview with Allen Sullivan and Heather Hutson about the documentary "Hotel Clermont."

If you've ever driven by the Clermont Hotel on Atlanta's Ponce De Leon Avenue and wondered what went on inside its walls, you're in good company. The crumbling hotel, sitting just above the Clermont Lounge strip club, has fascinated Atlanta residents for decades.

In the ''Hotel Clermont,'' viewers meet the hotel's front-desk attendant, who first came to Atlanta to work during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
In the ''Hotel Clermont,'' viewers meet the hotel's front-desk attendant, who first came to Atlanta to work during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Credit Courtesy of "Hotel Clermont."
Now, a new documentary, aiming to show exactly what life in the Clermont Hotel was like, may finally satisfy everyone’s curiosity.

The film, titled “Hotel Clermont,” builds off footage that a photographer, Allen Sullivan, captured in the final six months before the hotel was closed down in 2009.

In the interview above, Sullivan spoke about the experience of shooting inside the hotel and meeting its longtime residents.

Director and producer Heather Hutson also joined the conversation to talk about what's left to be done before the film will reach theaters. - WABE.org Atlanta


So Help Us, Todd - (picture of DD Dagger aka Allyson LIpkin) Austin singer Allyson Lipkin, who performs as DD Dagger, is a Wolf Pet.

Photographer Todd V. Wolfson, who has been making Austin musicians look their best for 25 years, says he was making a point, with a wink, by doing three Austin Chronicle feature shots in a row with the subjects sitting on the ground. “I’m a street photographer, goddammit,” he says, with a laugh. His photography mentor growing up in Tulsa was local cult lensman Gaylord Herron, who got so close to the grit without getting any on him. Wolfson is best known for his portraits of local musicians, but he likes to shoot them in alleys, abandoned soul food joints and down by the tracks.

“My goal, always, is to get to the essence of the people I’m photographing,” Wolfson, 55, said recently from his office/home/studio off Burnet Road. “It’s like when you’re watching a movie and the actors aren’t talking like people talk. They lose you right away. But when you get to the core, you’re getting to the soul.” He gets the subjects to loosen up and said the best of his photos show something of his own vulnerability. “I don’t like to do a lot of setting up. Let’s just see what happens naturally.”

Wolfson has been the kid with the camera, always with the camera, since he was a seven-year-old in Oklahoma, the son of a retail executive who met Todd’s mother when they were students at Ohio State University. In junior high, Todd solidified his future by making money with a photo he shot of Alice Cooper at the Tulsa Assembly Center in 1973. “It was just an Instamatic camera, with a flash bulb, but when Alice went into the audience, he was right in front of me and I snapped it.” A neighbor developed the shot as an 8 x 10 and it looked so good, Todd sold them at school for $2 a piece (netting $1.25 on each photo) and had the kids lined up.

He moved to Austin with a girlfriend in 1979 after they saw Captain Beefheart at the Armadillo on a road trip from the Dallas suburbs. Wolfson worked in various camera shops in town in the ‘80s, including two stints at Precision Camera. He decided to pursue a fulltime career as a photographer in 1990 after he was hired by the Reivers to shoot the back cover of the Pop Beloved album and then hooked up with his male muse Alejandro Escovedo. “I like to think that Alejandro’s career- as a solo artist, after True Believers- and my career started at the same time.” Wolfson shot the front cover of Escovedo’s debut Gravity and got his first Austin Chronicle cover with an Escovedo triptych in 1992. Other favorite Wolfson subjects are Chrysta Bell and Juliana Sheffield of 8 ½ Souvenirs, Allyson Lipkin, Sally Allen, David Garza and anybody named Sexton or married to anyone named Sexton.

“Beauty, to me, is a gift,” he says. “I don’t mean the gift of good looks, I mean that beauty gives something back. I can feel it. I know when I’m getting something great. Then, I have to look at the shots and go ‘whew!’ Yep, I got it.”

We visited Wolfson in his studio recently and looked over his shoulder, helping pick out shots of 25 Beautiful Austin Musicians. These are all Wolfson shots and he didn’t shoot every beautiful soul with a guitar or mic, so some of the folks on the list I brought Todd- Paul Leary, Angela Strehli, the bass player for the Xetas, Mario Matteoli, Lou Ann Barton, young Roky, Alvin Dedeaux, Joe Doerr, Jeff Smith, Tameca Jones, Lisa Pankratz, David Woody and so on- aren’t here. Maybe some day I’ll compile “The 25 Most Beautiful…” ranking and take photos from different sources. Sounds like a really important use of time. But for now, this is All Todd. Enjoy your time in the Wolf Den. - Arts and Labor Austin


Originally from Houston, Dagger now calls Austin her home and has used the capital city as a staging ground for her art.
Dagger, who routinely switches between guitar and sax per her set list, plays with the confidence of a seasoned veteran both on “Radixxx” and at her live performances. Tracks like “Finger off the Trigger” deal with the need to be cautious in a world beset with regrets over past mistakes, while “Playing with Fire” centers on making bad decisions, time and time again. Dagger’s voice smolders at the forefront of “Snake Charmer”, while an authentic voodoo beat pulses in the background.
Featuring the La Pistolle Dancers, a DD Dagger show takes on a new dimension. With a soundtrack that is both sensual and dangerous, the La Pistolle Dancers take the music to a completely new level as they virtually embody the music and lyrics. In fact, the dancers were part of Dagger’s adoption of a more jazz like sound. “The focus was dance,” Says Dagger, calling it a “combination of art forms.” The decision to include the La Pistolle Dancers provides an atmosphere of a Vegas style floor show, albeit a slightly more avant garde and dangerous one. - Popa Blog


Tonight (Thursday, March 1) Indie pop diva DD Dagger will kick off the release of her second album Radixxx with a live performance at Austin's 29th Street Ballroom.

I met with DD Dagger aka Allyson Lipkin at Sweetish Hill, a little bakery in downtown Austin, to discuss the release of her second solo album Radixxx. She drove up on her scooter and walked in apologizing for being late with her usual natural charm. She wore Levi's and a shirt she'd silkscreened herself with her stage name "DD Dagger." The shirt was appropriate considering DD Dagger has come to be the bold, fresh face of a resurgence of the Do-It-Yourself attitude in the world of Austin indie music.

DD Dagger's first album Femme Auteur was a true solo project; Dagger wrote the entire album (except for a cover of "Crimson and Clover," recorded with Mark Orton, Tin Hat) played guitar, drums, saxophone, tambourine, and harmonica and sang all the vocals, and recorded the album herself. Femme Auteur won her critical acclaim and the devotion of fans taken as much by her beauty, charm, sense of style, and stage presence as by the album that artfully mixed everything from indie rock, to jazz, to ambient, to punk, and proved that DD Dagger has a strong musical compass and talent to spare.

Radixxx is a bit of a departure from DD Dagger's debut album. It's more saxophone heavy, less edgy and guitar driven, with a more bluesy sound. Basic tracks were recorded at Sweatbox Studio, Austin, TX with talented local musicians John Ashley and Phil Arapaju; with keyboards, beats and saxophones recorded in Dagger's home studio. In one of the album's strongest tracks, "Watch This Fire Burn," DD Dagger performs with British singer and guitar player Nic Armstrong. Nic's signature 60's guitar sound and creative harmonies brought the duet to life. Dagger's voice sounds throaty and sensual in the track "Finger on the Trigger," which has a fuller big band sound. In "Falls Apart," recorded with help from producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Heartless Bastards), DD Dagger employs her signature lazy, jazzy, doom and gloom subject matter imparting with tongue and cheek that "the shore will lose it's tide... the sky will certainly cry, but I'll be waiting close by -- to take what's left of the pie."

"My friend Todd described one my live performances as 'dark Broadway,'" Dagger said. "I really liked that description because with the help of my creative director and choreographer La Pistolle, my show has developed into a more theatrical performance; but not in a commercial way. When I collaborate with her we have dancers, costumes, mood changes; and that is really exciting to me -- to mix music with other art forms."

In the live kick off of the album tonight, DD Dagger will perform with two back up singers, three dancers and up to eight other musicians in a carefully crafted stage performance that will find Dagger wearing a gold form fitting bustier made of leather she and a costume designer Becca Miller created together. The designer also created harnesses for the dancers attached to a plant-like spine for DD Dagger to wear during a slow, plodding song called "Sea of Eyes."

"It's inspired by the [human] spine and by the album's title Radixxx, which is Latin for 'root,'" Dagger said. "It's very visually interesting to see us move with the artificial spine. It evokes a snapshot of another subconscious in my mind; which is fitting because the song is inspired by a dream I had."

When asked about the dancers, singers and musicians collaborating with her, Dagger explained that it's been a challenge to schedule and pull off rehearsals because everyone involved has other jobs. "It's something we have made happen -- through the sheer power of the creative force -- and I don't know where that comes from. Artists possess it; and I've surrounded myself with a large pool of artistic talent"

DD Dagger works as a visual artist as well and she funded the production of Radixxx by selling a painting a day on Facebook for thirty days. She sold each painting for only $35. The paintings were in such demand that DD Dagger fans often woke early in the morning to have a shot at buying a painting.

"It was pretty successful," Dagger said. "I had people waiting to get a painting. It did build a sort of tension and invigorated my faith in this whole process." Dagger cited the famous Brooklyn painter Steve Keene as an influence. Keene believes paintings should be at least as inexpensive as CDs and sells his paintings for five dollars. "People ask why I sell my paintings so cheap. And I tell them, 'That's what my people can afford,'" Dagger said.

In the same spirit of making art accessible, DD Dagger will be giving away a free digital download to everyone who attends the show. Radixxx will be available immediately for purchase on Dagger's website and in a month on Itunes and Amazon. Anyone interested in DD Dagger's sound can purchase a copy of her Femme Auteur on Itunes, Amazon, or at her website. - Huffington Post


Austin has a secret. The secret is a strong, thoughtful, songstress and multi-instrumentalist that goes by the name of DD Dagger. Originally from Houston, Dagger now calls Austin her home and has used the capitol city as a staging ground for her art. It is appropriate to call her performances “art”, as can be attested to by anyone who has seen any of her shows.

DD Dagger’s first album, Femmie Auteur, couldn’t have been titled more appropriately. Dagger wrote, produced and played every instrument on every song; an ambitious effort to say the least. The result was an album of dirty guitars and hypnotic loops borne of a two week stay in Brooklyn. The two week stay was originally intended to give the artist a change of pace and perspective, what came from it was a sharp and critical musing on the Williamsburg scene. Of Femmie Auteur’s opening track, “Brooklyn Girls”, Dagger says, “On the one hand, that song is an ode to the girls there… but it is true that it is a little scary.” The statement can be applied to most of Femmie Auteur: Observations on an alien culture that seem frightening. However, while Femmie Auteur is an examination of the external, her latest effort, Radixxx, delves more towards the internal.

Radixxx is a far departure from the first album’s garage rock, Kinks-esque, format. Opting for more of a 60’s jazz and pop feel, Dagger croons on her own musings about love, loss, temptation, and regret with a voice that stays on the edge breaking under the weight of it all. “My friend, Mike McCarthy [Patty Griffin, Spoon, The Monarchs, Heartless Bastards]… said, [about Femmie Auteur] “I really dig that record. It’s a really original sound. I’d like to hear more horn.” “Yeah, more horn,” DD continues, “That’s where my heart is.” This was a task that DD Dagger could accomplish given her background in jazz saxophone. Dagger, who routinely switches between guitar and sax per her set list, plays with the confidence of a seasoned veteran both on Radixxx and at her live performances. Tracks like “Finger off the Trigger” deal with the need to be cautious in a world beset with regrets over past mistakes, while “Playing with Fire” centers on making bad decisions, time and time again. Dagger’s voice smolders at the forefront of “Snake Charmer”, while an authentic voodoo beat pulses in the background.

While Radixxx stands on its own as an album, Dagger’s live performance is where her music really shines. Complete with dancers, horn section, and Dagger’s own sultry vocals, a viewer is treated to a real show. Not in the way most bands stay on a stage and play at crowd; Dagger opts to leave the stage and join in choreographed routines IN the audience. The effect is personal, engrossing, and makes her shows a participatory event that borders on performance art.

Featuring the La Pistolle Dancers, a DD Dagger show takes on a new dimension. With a soundtrack that is both sensual and dangerous, the La Pistolle Dancers take the music to a completely new level as they virtually embody the music and lyrics. In fact, the dancers were part of Dagger’s adoption of a more jazz like sound. “The focus was dance,” Says Dagger, calling it a “combination of art forms.” The decision to include the La Pistolle Dancers provides an atmosphere of a Vegas style floor show, albeit a slightly more avant garde and dangerous one. Previous incarnations of the troupe involved props and lighting that silhouetted the dancers. For Radixxx, however, almost all props were done away with for performances, instead relying on raw visuals for expression. The dancers are on the floor with you, looking you in the eye, and conveying as much to you visually as the band does audibly. - Austin Fusion Magazine


DD Dagger aka Allyson Lipkin, has just released a groundbreaking new Indie Pop album “Femmie Auteur.”
An auteur is a “filmmaker whose individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp.” Apply the moniker to a musician and it fits DD Dagger and her new album perfectly. The singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist recorded, played and engineered “Femmie Auteur” all on her own.
When I asked Allyson about the story behind the album she explained that she went to a local producer whose music she admired. “I told him I was ready to do a record, and that I wished I had some production money.’”

The producer responded by seriously encouraging her to record some tracks herself, even though she assured him she’d only “recorded the roughest scratch thing” from time to time to get a song down before she forgot it.
But Allyson–long familiar with the punk Do It Yourself (DIY) philosophy—took the producer’s advice to heart. She began to use the Garage Band program that came with her Macintosh laptop to record. “It’s a pretty user-friendly interface,” she claims.
Allyson played guitar, drums, saxophone, tambourine, harmonica and keyboards on the album. She also used some of the computer generated midi samples?the prerecorded loops that come on Garage Band?on a few tracks. But she even played auteur with the midi samples, making each one she used her own. “I’d search that loop database until I found something I liked. But then I would put all these effects on the loop, so you wouldn’t recognize it. “

Garage Band isn’t made for professionals, so once Allyson was done with all the songs, she exported each track by itself and gave them all to Cris Burns Audio to mix and master. “Once he got it he helped me a lot with tweaking and quality control?he’d tell me, ‘That beat’s off,’ or ‘Your voice is thin here.’”
The resulting album has such an original sound?definitely Indie pop, but with a strong jazz thread–that I was eager to hear whom Allyson considers influences. She cited PJ Harvey ?“I identify with her anger and originality”?as well as Holly Golightly. “Her style is more garage, but she’s also intense.
“But the record really just sounds like me. It’s truly my own expression.”

Allyson started playing music in 1997; she took saxophone lessons for several years, playing with the Deep Sombreros. But the sax couldn’t hold her attention all on its own and she started on the drums with an all-girl band.
“I kinda learned on the job with the drums. I never was a really good drummer. I can keep the beat steady and hit them really hard. But that’s enough for a punk band.”
After several more years, Allyson began to realize she’s also a composer, a songwriter. She started to think, “I can’t be sitting behind the drum kit. In my heart, I love playing drums–it’s so fun; it’s such a liberating instrument. But still I thought: I’m not living up to my potential.”

And so Allyson finally decided to make the leap and try to learn to play guitar, something she hadn’t attempted before, partially because of the over-abundance of guitar talent in Austin. “Learning to play guitar was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There are so many wonderful, amazing, fantastic guitar players in this town. I thought: How do I measure up? But then I told myself: Forget it. It doesn’t matter. I’m just going to start from the beginning.’”
And that beginning has come to marvelous fruition in “Femmie Auteur.”
DD Dagger loves to give away music and encourages folks to email her website at:
www.dddagger.com. - Dogcanyon.org


There’s an entire colorful, fluttering, expanding and intriguing universe going on within the mind of Allyson Lipkin.

She’s both creator and muse, inspired by her surroundings and energized by her ability to inspire others. So naturally, when the time came to organize a show for the release of her second full-length, Radixxx, Lipkin knew she had to make it a magical occasion. Extraordinary. At the very least, something to catch you off guard or make you smile in spite of yourself. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not your ordinary CD release show.

Lipkin goes by the moniker DD Dagger, and with it comes a sophisticated, inventive persona. A DD Dagger production isn’t simply the gig at the bar down the street. You walk into an atmosphere that’s artfully lo-fi, very distinguishable; a mix of theater, dance, sound and spectacle. She’s not classified by one musical genre because she finds inspiration in so many, whether it’s punk, pop, rock, electronica or ambient, among others. It’s sexy, dangerous, and strange, with a beguiling charm. If you blink, you might miss something. And if you’re the guy sitting around trying to figure out the whole thing, you’re missing the point. Simply enjoy.

In honor of Radixxx, she’s assembled a show with, in her words, “a killer band,” choreographed dance pieces with the electrifying La Pistolle Dancers, and a host of delightful duets. See it all come together at the DD Dagger CD release show Thursday night at the 29th Street Ballroom, 2906 Fruth at Spider House. Doors open at 9 p.m. Hot funk performances by the one and only Roxy Roca. And special shout-outs to the duet performers: Johnny Walker & Sabrina, Kana Harris & Mark Tonucci, Mike Vasquez & Mark Tonucci, Jamie Panzer & Mistress Stephanie, Nic Armstrong performing with DD Dagger, Temple of Ape (featuring Aileen Adler & Aaryn Russell), Melissa Bryan & John Wesley Coleman, and Dirty Davey & Marisa Pool. Recommended. - KUT.org


Allyson Lipkin Whoopsy Interview
Whoopsy Press


Allyson Lipkin, vox/guitar for DD and the Daggers (and much more)
What's happening with DD and the Daggers, and how do you "front" a "duo"? ?

You front the duo by standing in the front!Ê(of the drums). We have played at Beerland, and are set to play a free-for-all show at Hole in the Wall on Aug. 21. I'm also longing for the Longbranch Inn - a little bar on the east side, very quaint. I would like to play some alternative shows or house parties - remember those?? Let's get a Whoopsy house party together!?

OK!
We don't have a CD out yet- but I'm looking for a label because I'm ready to record!

So you're a musician, arts writer, and artist as well? ?

I "played" arts writer for a while but would not consider myself one today. I do love to ask the questions! My most famous interview was Susie Ibarra, a legendary jazz drummer from Houston. She was sweet, and is such a jazz force in the current scene - you know what a boy's club that is... she has broken the mold. I currently teach art classes at Dougherty Arts Center - drawing and stained glass - and have a jewelry business, Dally Devita Designs. My favorite medium is watercolor.

How many bands have you been in?

About six, not including my current project. They are: Deep Sombreros, Superego, The Futants, SisterRuNaked, Double O Go-Go, Jackie Ono. The cool thing about being a saxophone player (as opposed to other instruments I've played in bands: drums, guitar) is that I get called in to record on projects (mainly by Sweatbox's Mike Vasquez). I've played on some neat records; many of them I don't know or keep in touch with, but some I remember are Total Direct Sound Action Group (Tim Curr), The Gospel Swingers, recently Enduro (on vocals) and the Crack Pipes.

How long have you been prowling around Austin? ?
I came to Austin in '91 to attend UT art school.

Status/Orientation: female/straight Where she can be found around town: the Blue Hanger Most proud of: Straight-edge living. Allysons words to live by: (in everything, but particularly music): If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. - Whoopsy Magazine


Austin's Allyson Lipkin is an auteur indeed on this impressive one-woman tour de force. As DD Dagger, she writes, plays and sings everything here (save for a cover of "Crimson and Clover"), pulling in indie rock, punk, ambient, electronica and much more on a lo-fi set that remains full-blooded and brims with talent and charm.

-Rob Patterson Fall/09 - Texas Music Magazine


Discography

Untitled - Winter 2016
Erodica 2015
Radixxx 2012
Femmie Auteur, 2009
Aspirins and Band-aids, 2007

Tracks are on Itunes, Myspace, Last.fm, Pandora.com, and Amazon, and Soma.

Full tracks available for listing and download on dddagger.com, Amazon, Last.fm and Itunes, spotify and I heart Radio. 

Photos

Bio

DD Dagger AKA Allyson Lipkin is a musician's musician and songwriter. She writes songs that are poppy and melodic but carry lyrical meaning and are effectual. Her style is simple, melodic, and catchy with a dark undertone.

Wrote Rob Patterson of Texas Music Magazine, "[Dagger]...pulls in indie rock, punk, ambient, electronica and much more on a lo-fi set that remains full-blooded and brims with talent and charm."

Laurie Gallardo of KUT.org writes, "Lipkin goes by the moniker DD Dagger, and with it comes a sophisticated, inventive persona. A DD Dagger production isnt simply the gig at the bar down the street. You walk into an atmosphere thats artfully lo-fi, very distinguishable; a mix of theater, dance, sound and spectacle."

Dagger is a character. Under that moniker Lipkin is able to transform herself on stage. Maybe she's singing, playing bari sax, guitar or dancing with her dancers. The stage gives is a place to make things up on the spot, NOT be herself! It is a transformation.

Austin Fusion Magazine writes about Daggers latest record, "Radixxx is a far departure from the first albums garage rock, Kinks-esque, format. Opting for more of a 60s jazz and pop feel, Dagger croons on her own musings about love, loss, temptation, and regret with a voice that stays on the edge breaking under the weight of it all."

...And Dagger LOVES company! Collaborating with great local, regional, and international talent is what drives the creative force. For that reason Dagger has a long roster of bands, songwriters, and producers that she is constantly working with.

Notable recent events for Dagger include: 

-A tour to Brazil with her big band, Summer 2015 - Rio and Sao Paulo. 
-New record featuring a ton of local Austinites with local engineer Jeff Luna - due Winter 2015
-A collaboration with Brooklyn based producer Raindogg - delivering 6 amazing singles- with A with a ton of personality entitled "Erodica" - Fall 2014. 
-A tour to Spain and Portugal with band, Summer 2012. A new release "Radixxx" in March of 2012 with local Austinites Mike McCarthy producing the lead track and singing duets with Hilary York and Nic Armstrong.

DD's Saxophone (bari and alto) featured on many great talented recordings and live performances: Ramsay Midwood, A Giant Dog & John Wesley Coleman's new album. And on stage with: Minor Mishap Marching Band, David Garza, Nic Armstrong, Suzanna Choffel, and Kat Edmonson.

Band Members