Chhom Nimol with her band Dengue Fever at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town, CA near Joshua Tree on 2-18-12 . 

Seeing Hands
  • Seeing Hands
  • Dengue Fever
  • Venus On Earth

I don’t ever really talk about Cambodian things among my friends because they’re usually uninterested in my heritage. But to celebrate the upcoming new year, I thought I’d share a song. It’s not ENTIRELY Cambodian as the band is American, but the singer is Khmer & she sings in Khmer. If you’re into like psychedelic/groovy ‘60s sounding stuff…


Dengue Fever (Band)

a six-member band from Los Angeles who combine Cambodian pop music and lyrics with psychedelic rock. formed in 2001 by Ethan Holtzman and his brother Zac after Ethan was inspired by a trip to Cambodia. As Ethan and Zac were searching for a vocalist to sing in Khmer, lead singer Chhom Nimol was discovered in a nightclub in the Little Phnom Penh area of Long Beach. Rounding out the band are bassist Senon Williams, drummer Paul Smith, and David Ralicke on brass. All lyrics on the earlier albums are sung in Khmer, while the third album introduces some songs in English. Many of the songs are covers of 1960s Cambodian rock tunes by such artists as Sinn Sisamouth, Pan Ron, and Ros Sereysothea, but some are originals, first written in English by the Holtzmans before being translated.

Reliving Cambodian 60s music.

visit their website:

Day 358: Christmas Eve

Partied with my family and the usual drunk Cambodians at Jumbo. Lol.

This is one of my most chillest aunts. Every time I go to SoCal with my parents, they end up just leaving me with her. Lol. She rarely sings for Khmer parties in Seattle anymore. She’s always on tour with her band - Dengue Fever. I’m happy she came back from her tour right in time to spend Christmas with us. First time <3 I’ve missed her so much.


DENGUE FEVER s'est formé à Los Angeles en 2001 par deux frères: Zac et Ethan Holtzman.
Après un voyage au Cambodge, Zac revient musicalement très inspiré et décide de monter un groupe aux influences khmer. La chance leur sourit, les frères découvrent une chanteuse cambodgienne dans un bar karaoké de la côté ouest à Long Beach, elle se prénomme Chhom Nimol. 

Aujourd'hui, après 5 albums, ils sont 6 membres à composer des morceaux psychédéliques chantés essentiellement en khmer. 

Nous découvrons, grâce à eux, un genre nouveau mais, aussi des reprises de morceaux rock’ n roll cambodgiens des sixties… ça vaut l'détour ! 


Chhom Nimol of Dengue Fever at Pappy and Harriet’s last Saturday. Check out the New EP from Dengue Fever- Girl From the North.

© Guillermo Prieto 2013


Dengue Fever rocked Pappy and Harriet’s on December 7, 2013 with their Cambodian Pop rock bringing a sixties groove to this desert roadhouse. Check out the New EP from Dengue Fever- Girl From the North.

© Guillermo Prieto 2013


I don’t understand why only a few people talk about Dengue Fever. They should be known by every person in the world. Period.


You may have been first introduced to Dengue Fever in HBO’s True Blood when Bill was driving Sookie home from the vampire bar listening to the car radio and she asks, “Can we turn this down? What language are they speaking anyhow?”

Well Sookie that’s Khmer and Dengue Fever brought their pop psychedelic Cambodian grooves to a 244 capacity crowd on Saturday for Valentine’s Day. Dengue Fever was wrapping up their tenth show in ten days in support of their new record The Deepest Lake on Tuk Tuk Records at Pappy and Harriet’s.

With a three-day weekend, Valentine’s Day, and one of the most popular bands in Pi-Town there was not chance in hell that you were getting in without a ticket. Pappy’s had Security Chief Rick a Viking of a man sitting outside ready to break the bad news to the holiday hipster migration that did not plan ahead and buy a ticket in November when tickets went on sale. I spotted Willie Garson from Sex in the City fame in a corner booth with his family having dinner. I could not confirm if he stayed for the show since the venue was packed.

Lead singer Chhom Nimol started the set with the song “Ghost Voice” from their new album sang in her native Khmer inspired by a true of event of a deceased artist from South Pasadena who complained about oil stains on his driveway after his death. “Girl From the North” followed up this song from the self-titled EP. Nimol then wished her fans a happy Valentine’s Day as they amped things up with “New Year’s Eve” featuring the brilliant sax skills of David Ralicke that had everyone bopping. The area appropriate song of “No Sudden Moves” an exquisite tune about bassist Senon Williams witnessing a meth house dog attack. No such drama at Saturday’s show but he did have to borrow a bass from the opening act when his bass guitar failed.

As custom dictates Chief Doorologist Beth always gets her favorite song played “Cement Slippers” from the album Cannibal Courtship, this allowed the audience to showcase their best dance renditions of the swim, the watusi, and the monkey to one of the few songs sang in English by Dengue Fever. Their sixteen-song set had all full of joy illustrating why this sextet is always a high desert favorite.

© Guillermo Prieto 2015