>Dengue Fever Still Catching

>Dengue Fever performs live.

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2008

Los Angeles-based Cambodian-American rock outfit Dengue Fever continues to heat up the road with a schedule that will see the band on stages in the U.S. and abroad through the end of the year.
The next phase of Dengue Fever’s world domination plan launches October 1 at The Barn in Riverside, Calif., and includes shows up and down the West Coast, with stops scheduled at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco (October 17), Aladdin Theater in Portland, Ore. (October 20), Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver (October 22), and The Loft in La Jolla, Calif. (October 25).
In November, the band will head back overseas, where they’ve been wildly well-received at festivals and headlining gigs this year, for shows in Turkey, Ireland and the U.K., hitting Nottingham, Glasgow, Leicester, Salisbury, London and Windsor.
Finally, it’s back to the States for a few more West Coast dates, including December 4 at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., and December 24 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
Tickets for a few shows are available at Ticketmaster.com.
When Ethan and Zac Holtzman came up with the idea for Dengue Fever in 2001, they encountered numerous obstacles, including finding a singer up to the task.
The brothers made a frantic phone call to friend Senon Williams, who’d been to Cambodia in 1995 and was familiar with the music.
“They said, ‘Senon we have a bunch of Cambodian singers lined up. Can you figure out these songs and play bass?,'” Williams told Pollstar. “They had Paul [Smith] on drums, so they had guitar, keyboards and drums, but no bass player.”
Williams stayed up all night learning songs from the CDs the siblings dropped off, with no real intention of becoming part of the band.
“The next day we go down to Long Beach and about six or seven singers are there,” Williams said. “And it was a nightmare. None of the singers could sing. After that rehearsal, I was like ‘I don’t know guys. This is going to be pretty tough.'”
The Holtzmans had one more singer on their list, Chhom Nimol. Several of the other singers auditioning told them it was unlikely she’d show, since she was a star in her own right already in Cambodia, a fact unknown to the brothers.
“But when she showed up and started singing, we’d found our singer,” Williams said. “All we had to do was convince her that we were a worthwhile bunch of scruffy American guys to hang out with.”
Nimol wasn’t the only one who needed convincing; the industry didn’t exactly beat a path to Dengue Fever’s door. That didn’t deter Williams or the rest of the band, now complete with sax player David Ralicke.
Without an agent, manager or record, the group quickly gained a following on the strength of its live shows, which at first consisted mainly of Khmer covers sung in Cambodian.
With all the pieces in place, including an agent and a manager who started out as the band’s publicist, things really took off for Dengue Fever, which has become a fixture not only on the festival scene and in indie rock clubs, but at more unusual venues like museums and cultural centers.
The most recent off-the-beaten-path place the group has showed up is the new HBO series “True Blood.” Well, its music did anyway.
The September 28 episode of the Louisiana-based vampire drama not only used the title track from the band’s sophomore release Escape From Dragon House in a key scene, it borrowed the title as well. – Jim Otey

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s