Twin Cities music fans are in for a real treat this weekend. Friday night in the 7th Street Entry is a rare chance to hear the psychedelic garage rock and American-influenced sound that was supercharged in '60s Cambodia and spread fast all over Asia to Thailand, Vietnam and even Hong Kong cinema.
What Los Angeles band Dengue Fever manage to capture since starting a decade ago is the vintage execution of a groovy sound that puts every body in a tizzy on the dance floor. The music from this part of the world has yet to really make a huge comeback, but slowly burns in the hearts of those infected by it, both in Dengue Fever's audience and in several choice Cambodia rock compilations and tribute videos that have been unearthed and celebrated in recent years on the web.
Dengue Fever "Family Business"
Dengue Fever "Seeing Hands"
Consider Friday a rare chance to see it in person and feel the vibe this stuff inspires. Show up early as local DJ Mike Davis, a.k.a. Mike 2600 will be spinning a insane mix of original music from those places and that era during his own set and throughout the night.
Davis filled me in on what'll be in his record bag and when he got into this stuff.
"Right around the same time I found out about Dengue Fever, I started exploring some of the music which had inspired them - garage rock and psychedelic rock recorded in Cambodia in the 1960s," Davis explains.
"Most of the songs are based on popular American rock songs like 'Venus,' 'Whiter Shade of Pale,' 'Love Potion #9,' 'Hey Jude,' etc, but with original lyrics sung in Khmer. It turns out there was also a whole scene of Thai groups playing a funkier style of music. You can tell they were into American R&B, disco, and soul music from the artists whose songs they chose to cover -- Booker T & The MGs, Wild Cherry and Boney M."
Mike was kind enough to pass on a mix that he and fellow DJ Prince Klassen put together in 2009 of some of this music. You can download and read all about it on his website.
Dengue Fever, The Eternals and local DJ Mike 2600 spinning Cambodian psych classics in the 7th Street Entry Friday, June 3 at 8pm. Ages 18+ are welcome. Pan Ron "Sour Ey Sour Jos"
Ros Sereysothea "Jam 10 Kai Theit"
Ros Sereysothea "Sayonara"