Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dengue Fever - The Eternals -- Black Cat - June 8 2011

The Eternals - A couple of guys take the stage with vocals and samples/keyboards handled by one and guitar/bass/keys/samples handled by the other. A drummer joins in after a bit as well. It sounds like stripped down rudimentary TV on the Radio I suppose. Or perhaps a jazzy Sun City Girls style featuring less amazing instrumentation, but better vocals. Not much to these songs, but mostly good vocals and some interesting sounds now and then. Early in the set I am reminded of an old show in 1983ish where my friends bet that I would like Happy World's set which they all hated. I was sensing I was liking this a lot more than the rest of the crowd. And based on the muttering I heard from more than one person (see below for one item), this band was annoying people. And frankly, I kind of liked that. No, they were not dazzling, but they had a kind of punk spirit you don't see too often. There was a day when prog-heads, Dead-heads, and hippies despised the many punk bands that are now revered by the masses. I don't see these guys making the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame in 2038, but it's nice to see someone show some moxy and do something original on stage.
Chhom Nimol of Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever - The crowd has swelled some--over half full. It is a mixed crowd of varied ages, ethnicities and loads of different genre fans no doubt. Dengue Fever does attract an eclectic bunch with their Cambodian singer, Brazilian bassist and a few LA garage rockers channeling world music. The night is oppressively hot and thankfully the Swans are not here with their 'no air conditioning' policy. Dengue Fever begins with the same two cuts they did when I saw them a couple of years ago at the State Theater. Both "Lost in Laos" and "New Year's Eve" are from their first album. Thereafter, they mix in a lot of cuts from their new album with some other recognizable old favorites that much of the crowd were familiar with. It took a few songs for the sound to come together and although improved, it didn't come through as crisp as I expected. Chhom Nimol is a fabulous singer, so I don't know why she needs as much reverb as I heard tonight. It's tough touring for vocalists, so maybe it allows a little less voice strain, but at least her vocals sharpened up a bit in the second song. The crowd was enjoying things quite a bit and gave the band a strong ovation at the end. For the encore they brought up some dancers from the crowd and had their Cambodian merch guy come sing backing vocals. Then they launched into a pretty wild rocker to finish off their eighty-minute set. Definitely a nice hot set prior to my hot walk home and cool shower. This band is always one of my favorites and nothing changed tonight.

Quote of the Night: Overheard after the opening band... "What was that? Jazz fusion? I don't what that was, but it was garbage. I mean the first song was about police brutality. I mean it's not the 70s. It's not the riots. He wasn't even old enough."

Yes, never mind the videotape of metro police bashing on a prone guy who did make any attack moves that I saw on the news only yesterday. Or perhaps when they grabbed a homeless guy out of his wheelchair and threw him on the ground a week or two back. We live in such an enlightened age now, were it not for those damn cameras!

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