During the concert at the Los Angeles Central Library, the teens take turns singing.
For their brand new NPR Tiny Desk (Home) concert, Linda Lindas went back to a sacred space: the library. While many middle- and high-schoolers used to spend hours in the stacks doing research, for the teen punk band Dewey Decimal is more than just a number: it’s a way to measure how far they’ve come in just one head-spinning year.
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After having become viral sensations in early 2021 when they performed at an LA public library and got signed to legendary punk label Epitaph Records, sisters Mila de la Garza (11) and Lucia de la Garza (15), their cousin Eloise Wong (14) and their family friend Bela Salazar (17) returned to the comforts of the L.A. Public for a show at the Los Angeles Central Library for NPR.
It all begins with the smashing pop-punk of “Growing Up,” the title track of the group’s just-released debut album, snarled by guitarist Lucia de la Garza among shelving of books. “We’ll dance like nobody’s watching/ We’ll dance without any worries/ We’ll talk about problems we share,” she sings in a perfect deadpan through braces as the band churns behind her.
To celebrate their Tiny Desk show, the LL’s folded up some colourful construction paper into a tinier, tiny desk “We’re super-excited, we’re so happy to be here,” Lucia says at the beginning of the 14-minute blitz. “Just [a] cool space, we’re playing in the library once more.”
Drummer Mila de la Garza takes over for the pogo-worthy pop gem “Talking to Myself,” grabbing lead vocals on the bouncy tune, with bass player Wong totally missing the planned funny stage banter setting up her doomy lead vocal on the teen lament about the perils of young love, “Why.” Mila’s drum teacher, Bleached member Spencer Lere, joins the ladies for the bubbling, wistful Spanish-language tune “Cuántas Veces,” which shows off their versatility, with Salazar taking lead vocals on the song about being “tired of feeling this way.”
The set ends with the song that helped the group explode into stardom last year, the biting blitzkrieg “Racist, Sexist Boy,” which is based on a racist incident from early in the pandemic and became their signature song. “Here we go – let’s blow the roof off!” Lucia said. “I live for danger.” And, as advertised, they bring the hammer down on a boy who says “mean stuff” to them with Mila and Eloise trading off lead vocals.
In addition to Growing Up, the band also recently released the spooky video for “Talking to Myself.”