El Radio Fantastique plays the Arcata Playhouse Thursday, April 3
El Radio Fantastique features the beautifully dark songwriting of frontman and multi-instrumentalist Giovanni Di Morente. Di Morente is no stranger to the spotlight. As a member of the pop duo Times Two in the late 1980’s, he and his partner made a fairly standard pact with the Devil. In return for sacrificing their musical standards and artistic control, they scored a top 40 Billboard hit, made an appearance on American Bandstand with Dick Clark, and even were featured in the teenybopper staple magazine Tiger Beat.
El Radio Fantastique represents musical redemption for Di Morente, a way to wash away his musical sins of the past… and he is relishing the opportunity to rise again, this time with his musical integrity fully intact. His influences are as diverse as can be, citing Henry Mancini, Nina Simone, Morgana King, Big Maybelle, Louis Prima, Whispering Jack Smith , Julie London, Jeri Southern, Leiber and Stoller, Burundi music, Sex Pistols, Public Enemy, and The Beatles as being the ones he has most tried to emulate. Other influences include pieces of soundtracks, bits of nursery rhymes, 50’s instrumental lounge, noise, old punk rock, classical pieces, forgotten jazz, marching band, hip hop, gospel, and African pop.“When I write songs,” DiMorente says, “I try to tap into my subconscious while I am awake.”
The band’s latest album is Waking The Dead. The first single off the album, ‘How Does It Make You Feel?’, was a semi-finalist in The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) whose judges include Tom Waits, Frank Black, and Suzanne Vega. The album also charted in the Top 10 on the highly influential KALX radio station in Berkeley, CA. As Paul Liberatore of the Marin Independent Journal wrote in his review, “There is no way to capture the energy and excitement of El Radio’s live show on a studio recording, but the arrangements and instrumentation on this album are unfailingly inventive and often surprising. ‘Waking the Dead’ is the kind of showcase CD that could break this band onto the national scene.”El Radio Fantastique’s album Waking The Dead can be purchased on their website www.elradiofantastique.com or on iTunes.
All proceeds from the evening benefit the continued protection of Northern California’s incredible ecosystems!