Mick Dagger, vocalist and guitarist with Eugene band Dick Dägger, says one of the best places in town to hear live music is in the john at a house across the street from Taco Bell. The house in question is the Ant House, a longstanding and popular location for basement shows in Eugene.
“There’s a vent behind the toilet,” Dagger says. “If you stuck an audio recorder right there, you could start doing live podcasts.”
And when it comes to Eugene venues, Dagger would know. Over the past year he’s ridden the local venue circuit hard, establishing Dick Dägger as a premiere local live act playing its unique fusion of psychedelic garage rock.
Each band member (Mick, Dick, Sven and Ben) adopts the surname Dagger, Ramones-style, insisting on using stage names for all band business.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, Dick Dägger celebrates the release of the band’s self-produced debut full-length, Yoni Moni Money Man. The album will be available digitally and on CD, with plans for cassettes and a vinyl pressing later on.
Mick, who grew up in the Umpqua Valley area, says Can, krautrock and early Pink Floyd inspired Dick Dägger, as well as the ’90s-era surf rock band Man or Astro-man.
“My dad stuck a guitar in my room when I was born,” Mick recalls.
“I remember driving up to Eugene to check [Man or Astro-man] out,” he says. “That’s where the love of surf music comes from.”
Dick Dägger jokes at being a Swedish psyche band, a tongue-in-cheek ploy referenced in Yoni Moni tracks like “Mister Olaf’s Opus,” a short, garage punk tune featuring walls of wailing guitars, a stoned vibe and drum work that recalls The Who’s Keith Moon.
The five-minute free-form guitar jam “Magic Potion Ocean” stretches Dick Dägger to their spacey limits. Mick sings Syd Barrett-style: “Crawl inside of your mind.”
Mick says his band’s live shows are intense. “The show never stops,” he explains. “We don’t talk.”
“The goal is for it to be 30 to 35 minutes that hits you right in the face,” Mick continues. “It doesn’t give people the chance to get bored.”
Dick Dägger celebrates the release of Yoni Moni Money Man alongside Eugene’s Jargon, Free Beard and Egotones 8 pm Friday, Sept. 23, at Ant House, corner of 7th and Madison; all-ages, FREE. — William Kennedy