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January 26, 2012 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Dengue Fever is an L.A. band that fuses Cambodian pop music with psychedelic rock. They have a youtube channel where you can find highlights such as a live acoustic version of their song Uku as well as a clip from the 2007 documentary Sleepwalking Through The Mekong. NPR has an interview with them in 2008 and a review of their second album Escape From Dragon House. Peter Gabriel is a fan.
posted by mannequito (29 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Some say it's Dengue Fever, I know it's Hong Kong Flu.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:14 AM on January 26, 2012

A friend of mine just introduced me to Dengue Fever. They're so fun! I really like Tiger Phone Card.

(They're also on Spotify!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:18 AM on January 26, 2012

Been playing Dengue Fever almost every week on my radio show. "Tiger Phone Card" is an absolute gem!!

Thanks for this.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:18 AM on January 26, 2012

eheh Jinx.

You owe me a coke
posted by humboldt32 at 11:18 AM on January 26, 2012

Dug these guys when they started getting airplay on KEXP about 5 years ago. Glad to see they're still kicking.

I think it's worth mentioning that they came to national attention when they were heavily featured on the soundtrack to Broken Flowers.

I'll check out their new album, thanks!
posted by lumpenprole at 11:25 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Peter Gabriel is a fan.

So is R. Mutt!
posted by R. Mutt at 11:28 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Having grown up travelling round South East Asia, these guys really tickled me pink when I first heard them. There's something of the sound and vibe of Cambodian (and surrounding) 60s pop, some of the idiosyncrasies that they clearly 'get', and manage to capture. I was all het up to be 'grr cultural imperialism' when I heard about them, but as soon as they started playing, it became apparent to me - being familiar with the music they're taking inspiration from - that this isn't some gimmick, it is very much a rich musical tradition being treated with the respect it's due. Very very much worth a listen.
posted by Dysk at 11:29 AM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

The classic Khmer rock that inspired Dengue Fever is also pretty amazing, as are the stories of its artists.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:31 AM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Dengue Fever has done a lot to publicize the amazing pre-genocide Khmer psychedelic/garage rock scene, including putting together a pretty good compilation of classics from that era.

If anybody's interested in learning more about that scene, flapjax at midnite has an unsurprisingly awesome post that's a good starting point.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:32 AM on January 26, 2012 [4 favorites]

In case you miss it in the flapjax post from 2007

Cambodia Rocks
posted by humboldt32 at 11:35 AM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

That's funny..I was just listening to "Under (Morgan Page Remix)" by Dengue Fever on my Active Child Pandora station a minute ago.
posted by RedShrek at 11:45 AM on January 26, 2012

I meant to mention in the post that if you live on the West Coast and want to catch them live, they're currently opening for the equally awesome Secret Chiefs 3.
posted by mannequito at 12:01 PM on January 26, 2012

Would this be a good place to mention what you get when you combine a Cambodian singer and drummer with a couple of Aussie expats on bass and guitar? I think so, and give you Cambodian Space Project: Have Visa, No Have Rice; Kangaroo Boy; Knyon Mun Sok Jet Te....etc. (Live recordings not very good, but they're on Spotify).
posted by Infinite Jest at 12:02 PM on January 26, 2012

Two of my favorites.
posted by Alterity at 12:30 PM on January 26, 2012

Great, great fun live.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:44 PM on January 26, 2012

Zac was also part of the San Francisco band Dieselhed for many years. Great goofy song.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:07 PM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Saw them in Nottingham a couple of years ago. And promptly fell in love, love, love.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:33 PM on January 26, 2012

Having been introduced to dengue fever by a mosquito when I was 10 years old, I find this band offensive. But i love their music. It makes my bones ache in a different way.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 1:53 PM on January 26, 2012

I've seen them a couple of times, most recently in Hanoi on their recent tour - really worth seeing live.

On a far less enjoyable level, I've experienced the mosquito borne dengue fever twice too...
posted by loominpapa at 2:22 PM on January 26, 2012

They have been all over WFMU for years. Here is the free music archive page.
posted by JayNolan at 3:26 PM on January 26, 2012

Holy Hell, how did I managed to not ever hear of Dieselhed?? Aside from the DF connection, they also featured members of Mr. Bungle and Camper Van Beethoven, two of my all-time favorites.
posted by mannequito at 5:00 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Great band. "Tiger Phone Card" and "Sober Driver" my favorite songs of theirs.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:29 PM on January 26, 2012

Also a big fan of their music but I wish they had chosen a name that is less offensive. don't mean to derail, but Dengue fever is a huge killer in parts of the world.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:47 PM on January 26, 2012

posted by RedShrek at 6:57 PM on January 26, 2012

yaaaay Dieselhed! That was sort of the last bubble out of a whole thread of creative and awesome scenes in northern california I grew up idolizing. Glad to see folks still pushing!
posted by freebird at 10:09 PM on January 26, 2012

qxntpqbbbqxl thanks for the link to Ros Sereysothea, that is just wonderful.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:22 PM on January 26, 2012

Sni Bong used to be in heavy, heavy rotation at Casa Chichibio, but I've since started listening to a lot of the source material (seconding Ros Sereysothea's amazingness). Looking forward to hearing DF's new record!
posted by Chichibio at 2:00 AM on January 27, 2012

I first heard of them and listened to the album after I came down with dengue fever and spent a couple of weeks when all I could do was sleep, get bloody noses and moan in pain. It was perfect. The band I mean. The disease really sucks.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 12:57 PM on January 27, 2012

Thanks for the great links! I really enjoy their music and can't wait to see them perform this weekend.
posted by vespertine at 9:41 PM on January 27, 2012

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