The Liberation of Burmese Rock
by Kyle Mullin
Inky smoke oozes upward, staining the blue Burmese sky. But as Darko leads his friends closer, that ashy plume grows less and less ominous.
Before long the front man of Side Effect, one of Burma’s few alt-rock outfits, stands close enough to see what’s fueling that fire. He and his bandmates have devoted the day, a balmy afternoon in January 2013, to squiring Dan Boeckner and Alex Fischel, special guests from the American-based indie troupe Divine Fits who were visiting the former national (and current cultural) capital of Yangon. Their itinerary includes jamming for friends at a house party, visiting a few...