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Duck soup and all-night bonfires

Guided by a totem pole, Holy Komodo and the Feelings have become more than a "weird pop" band

TRIPPY: A totem pole told Holy Komodo and the Feelings to take this picture. Photo by MySpace

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Is it possible to create party music that doesn't inspire the urge to dance? How about party music that makes you long to stand in a stairwell, clutching a red keg cup and making awkward passes at that girl you see around sometimes? Or what about music to be hastily silenced when the police come knocking, only to be triumphantly cranked to mark their departure?

Holy Komodo and the Feelings pull off the impressive trick of feeling intrinsically Northwest while at the same time appealingly worldly. Their embrace of some of garage rock's tropes is cozy, while their subtle incorporation of things like Latin rhythms or zydeco flavor expands the music into something far more original. It's the kind of music you'd hope to hear at an all-night party by a bonfire, if anything that cool could ever happen around here.

"We started a little religion, or a cult," I'm told by a roomful of the Feelings. "We try and get the spiritual aspects from all sides of the spectrum."

The backbone of this religion, it seems, is soul and funk. According to the band, they existed as a "weird pop" band before being introduced to Sly and the Family Stone, among others. This exploded their collective brains, resulting in the religious duck soup that is Holy Komodo and the Feelings. The band seems to actually receive guidance from a totem pole, and if I were a better interviewer, I would've gotten to the bottom of that shit.

Setting aside the fact they are instructed by an inanimate object, it appears they've only received good advice so far, so who am I to judge?

All I know is if church sounded as fun as Holy Komodo's big, sloppy, communal recordings do, I'd be more inclined to go every once in a while.

Holy Komodo and the Feelings

With Palace of Buddies, Wisdom Teeth, Girls From Mars,
Sunday, May 23, 10 p.m., no cover,
Le Voyeur, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia

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