Πέμπτη 13 Οκτωβρίου 2005

δάγκειος πυρετός

If you can imagine a band where a Cambodian beauty queen shares the stage with Rasputin, Barry White, Allen Ginsburg, Michael Hutchence and Brian Wilson, you'd have a pretty good idea of the group Dengue Fever. That is to say you'd have no idea what the band is about unless you heard it. A well-executed experiment in eccentricity, the Silver Lake six-piece is the sound of two cultures- and eras- colliding. Sixties surf and pop songs may be the group's source material, but add the stunningly acrobatic vocals of a modern-day Phnom Penh pop star singing in her native tongue and the result is oddly striking.
Dengue Fever has surprisingly universal appeal. Vocalist Chhom Nimol, whose family is a pop music dynasty, not unlike a Cambodian analog of The Jacksons, regularly seizes the hearts of listeners (including the King and Queen of Cambodia). Zac Holtzman (Dieselhed) and his brother Ethan on Farfisa organ, Senon Williams (Radar Brothers), David Ralicke (Beck) and the seasoned drummer/engineer Paul Smith stay remarkably true to the crazy party music spirit of the '60's- and '70's-era material they perform, while their originals veer off into the darkened corridors of lost love and ghostly noir romanticism, dissolving into spaces of genuine bleakness and tragedy. Dengue Fever keeps listeners on their toes, dancing to their way-out tones.During a show at Santa Monica's Temple Bar, Dengue Fever surprised more than a few listeners with its East-meets-West retro pop. Leftover audience members from the Chilean singer-songwriter who'd warmed up for the band couldn't wipe the smiles off their faces as Chhom Nimol danced around the stage in what appeared to be a too-tight bridal gown, belting out lines in Khmer and talking to the crowd in broken English. The band was not surprised. Crowds always "go nuts" at their shows, band members say. In 2002, when the group made its live debut at hipster hangout Spaceland in Silver Lake, even "guys with tight pants and baseball hats were dancing," said Senon Williams, who plays bass for the band. Indie rock fans are not known as dancers, but there's something in the combination of Dengue Fever's driving rhythm section and Nimol's innocent effervescence that inspires. To look at the audience during a performance is to see dozens of faces admiring Nimol as if she were some sort of exotic-animal import. The 23-year old singer is Cambodian, not Cambodian American. She came to the country a couple years ago with her brother to perform for a New Year's celebration- and never left.She'd probably still be performing at Long Beach nightclubs in Little Phnom Penh if she hadn't been recruited into the band by Ethan and Zac Holtzman, who were trawling the area for a singer- the missing piece in their Cambodian psychedelic rock band. Ethan, who plays farfisa for the group, had wanted to start such a band since 1997, when he visited Southeast Asia and got hooked on the local music, Zac, who plays guitar, had been listening to some older Cambodian psychedelia on his own. Teaming up, the two brothers went on a dozen fruitless outings, eventually finding Nimol at a restaurant/bar called the Dragon House. According to Zac, "As soon as we saw Nimol singing, we said, "That's the one!" There was just one problem: Nimol did not speak English. After two years in the band, she still doesn't speak very good English, but she's taking classes and is improving. "It slows things down, but at the same time it forces us to come up with solutions. Sometimes when you have to change something, it ends up better," Zac said. On the band's self-titled debut record, there are only two original songs. The rest are covers from the '60's. Written in English, all of them are translated into Khmer with the help of a translator in Washington State. The band had been using translators in L.A., but they "were taking forever and they didn't have a good musical sense of syllables." Five syllable lines would be returned as 20, making them unplayable. And some songs weren't even translated; they were entirely rewritten. Having a non-native lead singer has been problematic in other ways. Last summer, Nimol and Ethan were driving in San Diego when the police pulled them over on a random check during a terrorism-induced Orange Alert. Nimol, who had overstayed a two-week visitor's visa by two years, was thrown in jail and threatened with deportation. Only recently was the situation resolved. She now has a two year visa, thanks to the work of a lawyer who was hired by the band and paid through various benefit concerts.
Ο νέος τους δίσκος κυκλοφόρησε πριν λίγες μέρες, περιέχει περισσότερες δικές τους συνθέσεις, είναι πιο ποπ και έχει τον καρατόγκα τίτλο escape from dragon house. Δεν ξέρω άλλον που να παίζει κάτι ανάλογο σήμερα, μ’ έχουν ξετρελάνει, αν δεν σε ταρακουνήσουν άρχισε ν’ ανησυχείς…[βρες πρώτα τα άλμπουμ τους, ή επικοινώνησε να σου πω πώς μπορείς να τους ακούσεις]
[έκανα copy πιο πολλά από όσα σημάδευα, κι επειδή σίγουρα θα βαριέσαι να τα διαβάσεις, περιληπτικά λέει ότι οι dengue fever είναι super, OK?]

7 σχόλια:

Askinstoo είπε...
Αυτό το σχόλιο αφαιρέθηκε από έναν διαχειριστή ιστολογίου.
Jerome Jackson είπε...
Αυτό το σχόλιο αφαιρέθηκε από έναν διαχειριστή ιστολογίου.
Jerome Jackson είπε...
Αυτό το σχόλιο αφαιρέθηκε από έναν διαχειριστή ιστολογίου.
subm_093 είπε...
Αυτό το σχόλιο αφαιρέθηκε από έναν διαχειριστή ιστολογίου.
sensualmonk είπε...

feverish posting, i see!... ;-) eipa ki egw pws 8a 'briska tipota fellow fans (ti sou einai o genitsarismos! LOL) - ma energopoihse to to gamhmeno to "word verification" (blogger.com > settings > comments), epitelous! unless u enjoy getting spammed (kati mou leei that u might... ;-))

m.hulot είπε...

μα γιατί; έχω μάθει πολύ χρήσιμα πράγματα. άσε που έχω πετύχει πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα πορνογραφία. και τεχνικές για να μαλακίζεσαι [με βίντεο!] και ένα εκτροφείο σκύλων μιας παράξενης ράτσας και έναν τρόπο που δεν μπορούσα να φανταστώ ποτέ ότι μπορείς να βγάλεις χρήματα, κι άλλα πολλά.
μήπως έχεις προσέξει σε κανέναν το ξεκίνημα του σχολίου τους; [πόσο απολαμβάνουν το blog μου δηλαδή, το ξέρω ότι είναι ψέματα, αλλά δεν μου κάνει καρδιά να κάνω τη ρύθμιση]

Antigone είπε...