Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Put the Fever in Your iPod
WOW... get an ear load of Dengue Fever, the psychedelic Cambodian surf music rockers from L.A.
Chhom Nimol, the lead vocalist is not to be missed. I don't know what the heck she is saying, and I really don't give a damn. Groove it.
This is one, amazing, fusion World Music band. Say no more, say no more. Listen. Experience.
Dengue Fever takes its pop roots from the darkly legendary Ros Sereysothea (1946 - 1978?), dubbed the "Golden Voice of the Royal Capital" by the once-King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia. She most likely was a victim of the infamous Killing Fields of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge.
As you listen to Dengue Fever, the music bleeds back, through eerily anachronistic psychedelia re-inventing a blend of lost innocence and chaos reflecting well the Sixties--not only in Cambodia, but in the U.S., and thus it's fitting that the band is an amalgam of both cultures. The beaches of Cambodia have been melded with Santa Monica, California, in a manner I had never dreamed possible. I pause. Stunned, Reflective of the loss of my high school buddy, Doug in Vietnam, in 1969, and how I agonized. Fumbling youth; inchoate comprehension of a massive disjunct between the lies my teachers told me, the lies on the glowing livingroom cyclops, and the massive cultural self-deception of innocence in the world. We are not a country that defends democracy. The U.S. is just another empire, in a long history of empires trailing back 10,000 years--just another tyranny though this one comes with a legion of lawyers and PR staff.
There are no words for the intense feelings of childhood lapsing into the disillusionment. The sweet lies from avuncular Cronkite. The U.S. propaganda hammering away--Vietnam,--the distant twang of the Ventures guitar, somewhere near the sterile concrete L.A. stripmall street that laid to rest my brother's broken dreams, in a broken family home that pretended so hard to exist.
We are left only with Chhom Nimol's ethereal, impossible voice reverberating with pathos to the beat.
...the great tragedy is that the lies, the self-deception continues. As a nation, we are killers. We are tyrants. We are brutes. We are global thieves on a global scale. The reality eludes us as corporate CNN rakes in massive profits, and Exxon/Mobil prepares to suck the oil out of the Iraqi desert.
All empires fail, and the American Empire will, too, in its own time, fail. The somnolence of the American people has been disturbed.
The refrain: We are left only with Chhom Nimol's ethereal, impossible voice reverberating with pathos to the beat. Dancing through a dream darkly, of Pol Pot, and Bobby Kennedy, and Brian Wilson, and Napalm---getting with the ineluctable beat.