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Pop Music Review : Downy Mildew Has Had Better Nights

September 13, 1994|LORRAINE ALI

Los Angeles group Downy Mildew played '60s-inspired pop with an eclectic twist Sunday at LunaPark, but it wasn't the greatest night for this band, which has gained the respect of many finicky underground music listeners. The quintet, which has been perfecting an enigmatic pop sound for nearly a decade now, seemed to just miss the mark Sunday, delivering bumpy versions of normally smooth songs and missing each other's musical cues by inches.

Jenny Homer, who sang in throaty vibratos and streamlined high pitches, played woozy slide guitar up against the weepy violin of Salvador Garza. In the rare moments when the two fused, the set had an enticingly surreal and psychedelic feel. Rich 12-string guitar by Charlie Baldonado (who sang a few numbers in a smooth, reserved tone) was also appealing, but seemed on the outside looking in.

But the problem was that the band only gelled during a few choice moments, so the show overall felt slightly askew. If the band members had just moved a little one way or the other, it would have all fallen into sync.

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