Music News

The Dagons

Singer/guitarist Karie Jacobson and drummer Drew Kowalski of the Dagons were a duo way before this current trend of rock minimalism became all the rage. And forget about the candy-coated innocence of faux siblings Jack and Meg. Comparing the White Stripes to the Dagons is like comparing the Osmonds to the Addams Family.

Jacobson and Kowalski transplanted themselves from San Francisco to L.A.'s Atwater Village in 2000, bringing with them a pair of hauntingly eclectic albums, The Other Ending and Make Us Old. Released on their own Dead Sea Captain Records, they contain a moody, poetic collection of material heavily influenced by the cerebral sci-fi of Philip K. Dick in songs like "He Went Into Space" and the uncensored works of the Brothers Grimm on eerie numbers like "Changeling" and "Poison Comb." Musically, Jacobson's dreamy vocals are juxtaposed with the near-savage assault of Drew's drumming, sometimes resembling a strange hybrid of Romanian Gypsy folk music and punk rock.

Teeth for Pearls is the Dagons' current release, on which they prove to be highly adept at different musical approaches. Sure, they can pull off Zeppelin-style rock ("Done") or the pop thing ("Dell of Ferns"), but they'd much rather screw with our minds with the backward-masked nightmare "Ürdöguzes."

The most common misconception about the Dagons is that their name was swiped from either the H.P. Lovecraft story or the recent Stuart Gordon B-flick based on it. According to Webster's, the "Dagon" is actually the half-human, half-fish god of the ancient Philistines. And the Dagons set the record straight as to the genesis of their moniker with the cover of Pearls, which depicts a cute mermaid. So take that, Stuart Gordon!

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Bob Cantu