The Dirty Girl Social Club
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The Dirty Girl Social Club

Band Rock Pop


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"Dirty Girl Social Club, Sisters are doin it for themselves"

Dirty Girls Social Clubsisters are doin' it for themselvesBy Pamela HydeWhat do CSI, the House of Deville: Home of Mistresses Ruby and Jada, and the Dirty Girl Social Club all have in common? They all came to be in Las Vegas, know how to get an audience excited, and love to brandish a pair of handcuffs. Sexy coincidences aside, Calgary's newest girl-fueled quartet are crashing onto the scene with more mellow priorities than most.

On the first go around, the Dirty Girl Social Club's EP Nowhere Near Enough sounds like a mish-mash of pop, punk and rock. With hooks, melodies, rhythm, and raw talent to tie it together – it’s all there, but can't these girls just pick a style?

"I think that if we were 19 or 20, didn't have real jobs, and our goal was to be famous rock stars, I think we'd have to play into the gimmicks or the solidity of a full album," says vocalist Megan Espersen. "We're trying to follow our creative side and what we want to do, as opposed to what could be picked up by a label."

Espersen joined forces with twins Claire and Laura Gould after a trip to a Las Vegas piano bar resulted in an unexpected collaboration. An open mic night back in Calgary snowballed into live gigs, photo shoots, and recording. Their debut EP was produced with the help of percussionist Justin Pettigrew, multi-instrumentalist Jason McGinn, and producer Josh Gwilliams. "Each song is quite different from the next, but that's what we wanted – anybody could listen to it and find something that they like."

The process brought the future into focus. Gwilliams put an emphasis on getting the album radio-ready, something the band hadn't even considered. "Now we're at a place where we're talking to X92 and waiting for stuff from SOCAN. The things that we really love are starting to be things that other people really love, so that's really cool. The goals are slowly evolving."

It's the live performances that set the Dirty Girls apart, as playing out is what brought these former members of Parker's Lime and Resonate together. "We never would have gotten back into this if playing live shows wasn't what we wanted to do. We want to put on a killer stage show where people can come out who have never seen us before, they can get into it, and still enjoy it." Breaking into the bigger venues is the next step, starting with their album release show at the Marquee Room on February 5th.

"When I was younger, there was a lot of pressure about, 'How much do we get paid at this gig?', and 'Can we afford to take this tour?'" remembers Espersen. "Whereas now, being a young professional, it makes it a lot easier to do those things, making it work. No stress, no pressure, we just have a lot of fun."
- BeatRoute Magazine

"Breaking into the Boys CLub"

Breaking into Calgary’s tight-knit indie scene isn’t always as easy as answering a “Wanted” ad in the classifieds. Having paid her dues over the course of the past decade-and-a-half, vocalist Megan Espersen is all too keenly aware of the lines that divide as well as the ties that bind our local bands. Seeking to reinforce the latter, Espersen and her three-girl-two-guy band, The Dirty Girl Social Club, struck upon the idea to stage a night of top-notch musical entertainment exclusively showcasing Calgary groups with at least one female member.
“We’ve been performing around Calgary for the past two years and we noticed that we very rarely got to play with other girls in any form,” observes Espersen. “In fact, only once in that time did we perform with another band with a girl in it. It’s no secret that it is a male-dominated profession. I think guys are more prone to want to be rock stars, while it’s more prevalent for women to get pushed into that whole singer-songwriter category. We know there are some fantastic female performers around Calgary, so our band thought about how we could connect with the acts we love, want to see and have heard about via word of mouth. We’re looking to be inspired and to find new ideas that we can take away from these performances and use ourselves. It’s actually rather self-serving, in that respect.”
Determined to help themselves and the community at large by focusing on homegrown double-X talent, Espersen and her bandmates Benny Dupuis, Jason McGinn and identical twins Laura and Claire Gould approached their regular haunt, Dickens Pub, about booking an evening of grrl-powered rock ’n’ roll. To add to the show’s appeal, each of the five bands included on the ensuing Feminine Persuasion bill have contributed a single song to a limited-run compilation EP, which will be available at the show for a mere $5. This self-released audio calling card is but one of the lovely value-added details that exemplify the event’s DIY esthetic.
“As soon as we started this project, we were approached by other bands who really wanted to be involved, and I knew one night wasn’t going to be enough,” Esperson says. “Exposure and collaboration is so important. With this many awesome bands, I think it’s feasible to put on a new Feminine Persuasion show every three months or so. I’d like to see it become a quarterly affair.”
“We definitely want to exhibit a wide variety of styles and ranges and genres; it’s so inspiring to see that girls can play any role in a band,” she continues. “My personal experience has been that it’s not easy to make a success of yourself as a musician and nobody hands you anything. They’ll tell you right to your face that your music isn’t right for their venue or that they’re choosing someone else instead. That can really destroy the experience for you.”
Pulling up their fishnets and hitting the high road, Espersen and company plan to continue networking and forging new relationships with local bands and businesses. Calgary-based studios and technicians are already extending their services and facilities to the cause, eager to add their energy to this long overdue wave of feminine momentum. A woman’s touch may be exactly what this city’s rock underground is crying out for, and clad in co-ordinated black-and-white stage attire with matching instruments, The Dirty Girl Social Club is just the outfit to provide it.
“Rather than becoming jaded, we decided to give our live audiences even more than they get by buying a CD,” Espersen says of the professional standards her band maintains. “Given our experiences, we asked ourselves how we could make things bigger, better and easier for musicians like ourselves by doing something that’s completely accessible and inclusive. We’ve put a lot of thought into setting the stage and keeping the showcase simple and streamlined, with little or no downtime between sets. People can expect a constant flow of rock-driven, high-energy grooves with a focus on putting artistry back into live performance.”
- Fast Forward


EP- Nowhere Near Enough (available for digital download only)
LP- If These Hand Cuffs Could Talk )available on ITunes



What do CSI, the House of Deville: Home of Mistresses Ruby and Jada, and The Dirty Girl Social Club all have in common? They all came to be in Las Vegas, know how to get an audience excited, and love to brandish a pair of handcuffs. Sexy coincidences aside, Calgary's favorite girl-fueled band is crashing onto the scene with a vengeance. The Dirty Girl Social Club sounds like a mish-mash of pop, punk and rock. With hooks, melodies, rhythm, and raw talent to tie it together – it’s all there. This band is the full package with ferocious energy and envied stage presence this band rocks the house like nothing else!

Welcome to The Dirty Girl Social Club...