Hail to the riffraff of El Radio Fantastique, part modern-day vaudeville stage show, part fascinating menagerie of musicians from the tiny village of Point Reyes Station.
Like a peculiar music box from a forgotten dime museum, the eight-member revue contains nearly two dozen instruments, including accordions, theremins and whistles led by giant marching drums and glockenspiel. And no industrious orchestra should be without junk percussion and a jaw harp. Vintage elements of klezmer fused with big band rumba conjure up old-time circus freaks, fire dancers and burlesque.
Songwriter Giovanni Di Morente's powerful voice brought El Radio Fantastique's dark and sinister odyssey of sound to life while living in New Orleans. "I'm a storyteller," says Di Morente. "I write the music first and mumble into a recorder along with the melody. I then listen to match the syllables with words—it naturally turns out a weird story. I found a way to tap into my subconscious. It doesn't quite make sense how it works, but you have to wonder."
Join El Radio Fantastique as they revel in their new album, Walking Dead, on Friday, Nov. 23, at Hopmonk Tavern. 9pm. $12. 230 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol. 707.829.7300.