Dexter and Sara Romweber
June 19, 2009 1:22 AM   Subscribe

Is Dexter Romweber about to finally get his due? One of the great underground geniuses of rock, in the late 1980s and early 90s Romweber fronted The Flat Duo Jets. Their brand of raw, pared-down rockabilly proved cathartic and influential, if never commercially viable. Now Jack White, who has always acknowledged his musical indebtedness to Romweber, has produced a new 7" EP (in addition, a new album, not produced by White, features Exene Cervenka, Chan Marshall, and Neko Case). Romweber seems poised to receive some long overdue recognition. It's about time.
posted by ornate insect (21 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I like this, which probably bodes ill as far as commercial viability goes.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:40 AM on June 19, 2009

founded in early 80's I think. or maybe he had another band in Chapel Hill before TFDJ.
posted by hooptycritter at 3:53 AM on June 19, 2009

Dex's genius is that he loves the ballads as much as the rockers. While there's always been plenty of flamey-shirted dudes able to dive into the fuzz and twang, Romweber can croon too. Especially when it comes to loneliness. He can fill up a room with a plain arpeggio and a lonely song.

For a real curve ball, catch up with his album, "Piano".
posted by bendybendy at 3:55 AM on June 19, 2009

Yow! This guy is 10,000 times better than Jack White! It now becomes clear to me that Jack White and White Stripes were raised to their inexplicable heights of popularity only to bring the world's attention to Dexter Romweber -- an actual talent and thrilling musical phenomenon. Fate works in mysterious ways. Now Jack White can go away.
posted by Faze at 4:48 AM on June 19, 2009

I'm so happy to see him surfacing in the public eye again. I've been thinking about Flat Duo Jets recently for some reason -- "Lucky Eye" gets stuck in my head sometimgs -- and he seems like a nice guy as well as an awesome talent. FWIW, Flat Duo Jets existed until the late '90s -- I saw them in '96 and Wikipedia has them dissolving in '99.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:07 AM on June 19, 2009

I've always sort of liked them, but the mausoleum puts him over the top. Fucking cool beans.

The 80s were a terrible time to be alive.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:18 AM on June 19, 2009

In a sense, I sort of felt that I was locked away in a Gothic castle for many years. Then I stumble out into the daylight and people walk up to me and say, "Oh you influenced so and so." And I've been living in such isolation that I haven't even noticed. I couldn't even name a White Stripes song to save my life.

Great post, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 6:11 AM on June 19, 2009

Oh maybe I'll go home and bust out a few of my FDJ albums. Now, if the Raunch Hands could get the same props I'd be happy.
posted by spicynuts at 6:33 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

The 80s were a terrible time to be alive.

You're talking about the 1880s, right? Cuz I had a ton of fun in the 1980s.
posted by spicynuts at 6:39 AM on June 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

I remember first seeing a Dex in a segment on the IRS video show Cutting Edge. At the time for me he was just the brother of my crush d'jour - Sara Romweber, who was drumming for Let's Active. I remember thinking he was incredibly weird, but also thinking I MUST own a record by him. I've enjoyed the FDJ ride ever since. It'd be nice to see him get a little higher profile - his unwavering dedication to his music and sincerity is pretty rare these days.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:22 AM on June 19, 2009

Holy crap.

The Flat Duo Jets had nearly totally fallen out of my head, but the other day I had "Old Soul" rattling around between my ears and I couldn't remember who sang it or when.

I had a dub of a copy of a dub of a cassette a friend had given me in college (and in just a few short clicks on Amazon I will have it on my computron)

Thanks Internet!
posted by device55 at 8:17 AM on June 19, 2009

This is fantastic news about the new album. I love Dex, too, and always thought it was a shame his stuff seemed to sort of fall by the wayside.

In tangentially--or at least, thematically--related news, Tropicália/psychedelic pioneers Os Mutantes have announced a new record, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:02 AM on June 19, 2009

Hands down one of the best live acts I have ever seen. Absolutely blistering.
posted by padraigin at 9:51 AM on June 19, 2009

Seconding the Sara Romweber crush thing, which just got reactivated a moment ago. And damn is it good to see Dex resurfacing.
posted by Kinbote at 10:05 AM on June 19, 2009

Yeah, I vaguely remember these guys still playing around Chapel Hill when I came to college in the late 90s. Wish I'd paid more attention back then.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:16 AM on June 19, 2009

I pretty much moved down to Chapel Hill to be able to see them more. And he still plays around here a lot. Dex's shows are still unpredictable and frequently wonderful. He can get an amazing amount of sound out of that lipstick-pickup Silvertone.

Which was just stolen:
posted by bendybendy at 12:51 PM on June 19, 2009

He was Ryan Adams before Ryan Adams. Long live Dexter!
posted by littleredwagon at 1:59 PM on June 19, 2009


posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:57 PM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

Love that raw rock & roll.
posted by pappy at 9:08 PM on June 19, 2009

Also made famous by the great 1987 movie Athens GA Inside/Out.
posted by pappy at 9:14 PM on June 19, 2009

i just want to pop in here & say YEA! for dex! i kind of hate that jack white's got to pimp him to get him a wider audience, but if it does help get him a wider audience, i'm all about it. (i saw dex & sam a few years back with about ... 10? ... people in the audience. that was pitiful.)
posted by msconduct at 6:51 AM on June 20, 2009

« Older Michael Ackerman   |   North America's Hidden Arctic Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments