Death Valley Girls are no strangers to the bizarre and paranormal. In fact, they revel in it. Their music reimagines pre-punk rock ‘n’ roll with grindhouse horror glee.
Their latest album, “Darkness Rains,” harkens back to the nuclear winter psychedelia of The Stooges and MC5. Bonnie Bloomgarden’s vocals remind one of Cherie Currie or Patti Smith. The song “Born Again and Again” even contains hints of Shocking Blue’s “Love Buzz,” but Death Valley Girls make it their own.
Their music could fit right in with exploitation films of the 1970s, but sometimes their escapades led them to strange contacts with the supernatural.
Death Valley Girls, which comes through 191 Toole on Wednesday, Nov. 6, were somewhere west of Amarillo, Texas, when drummer Laura “The Kid” Kelsey tried over the phone to recall her encounter with a ghost at Hotel Congress several years ago.
Kelsey remembered that she shared a room with former bandmate Jessie Jones. The band found a board game to kill time with before their concert. “We were playing with the Ouija board that they have upstairs,” Kelsey said.
Late that night, after the gig, Jones dreamt lead singer Bonnie Bloomgarden was telling her to check on Kelsey. Jones woke up to find that “The Kid” was not in the room, and she immediately got up to look for her.
“She [Jones] saw me in the hallway ... like talking to a maid,” Kelsey said. “I was apparently having a conversation with someone that wasn’t there.”
After the encounter, Kelsey was in a daze for several days.
“I had no recollection of being outside of the room or anything, which was terrifying cause, you know, that’s not something that ever happens,” Kelsey said. “I’m not like a sleepwalker or anything.”
Despite her strange experience, Kelsey still enjoys life on the road with Death Valley Girls even in the unique parts of Texas.
The band recently paid another visit to Bastrop, site of the gas station scene from the 1974 cult film “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
“Those are the types of things we like to do on our free time on tour,” Kelsey remarked.