Sound and history
Before Khmer Rouge committed horrible atrocities in Cambodia during the 1970s, there was a forgotten music revolution during the Vietnam War. American Forces Network radio broadcasted U.S. rock and pop, which reached Cambodia. Sinn Sisamouth, Pan Ron, and Ros Serey Sothear are among the musicians that rose to popularity during this wave, though a lot of this music later was banned—and most musicians didn’t survive the fascist Pol Pot regime. When Ethan Holtzman of Dengue Fever visited Cambodia in 2001, he came back to California inspired to create a band based on his musical discovery. Dengue Fever formed immediately following that trip, and the six-piece has a sound that’s hard to put your finger on. It’s easy to suggest that they sound like Jefferson Airplane or Fleetwood Mac, sung in Khmer, the language of Cambodia, but the eerie beauty of Dengue Fever’s music is better heard than pigeonholed. At UC Davis’ Quad on July 25, 7:30 p.m., free.