Onstage, Dino Felipe is all chaos and mayhem. His live show usually starts off with high energy, which sometimes turns into antagonism, which often spirals into self-directed violence. As a performer he can really polarize the crowd. It's unfortunate that the thing most people take away from the live show isn't the music, it's the stories: "He shoved the mic in his pants and the security guards tried to beat him up and I thought he'd never get up off the floor."
Just released this week on Otto Von Schirach's new label Triangle Earth, Dino's latest album, My Vomit Is A Crystal Ball, confirms again that there's more to the man than his gloriously depraved stage show.
The opening track, "Life Swap," is surprisingly somber, featuring vocals that sound like they're floating deep into space and a crisp beat loaded with Purple Rain-era Linn drums. The music's maturity and catchiness might be surprising to some, but Dino's been making records for over 15 years now.
"This album was made mainly with live instruments; guitars, bass guitar, my analogue synth, and tambourines and maracas -- the only thing sequenced were the rhythms. I recorded it at home, as usual," Dino explains. It sounds like Iggy Pop and Joy Division fighting their way out of Space Mountain. Download and listen to the track
Despite its title, the album isn't harsh or intimidating. Live, Felipe is Miami's G.G. Allin. There's a sense he could injure a member of the crowd or himself at any moment. This record is far removed from that onstage persona. Here we find a sincere man and a collection of bittersweet songs overflowing with emotion.
"It makes you cry with nostalgia and run around laughing with joy," Von Schirach says. Meanwhile, according to Felipe, one of the darkest tracks, "ReUnion," is actually a happy song. "It's about me finding my sister again after 16 years."
"These are songs I've heard him play live. After I see him play, these songs are stuck in my head," Von Schirach adds. "It makes me feel like I'm skipping school and watching The Breakfast Club."