Better late than never… (but I come bearing video)
So who says a band canâ€™t achieve huge success on its own terms? No â€œformulaâ€. No concern about demographics (unless thereâ€™s a new genre called â€œEastern-European-Gypsy-Mariachi-Southwestern-Desert-Polka-Popâ€). DeVotchKa is deliciously uncompromising, with a wildly unique sound and globetrotting vision. What we have here is a phenomenally gifted group of musicians doing what comes naturally, with increasingly larger audiences (such as their Paris stadium show with Muse for 90,000 last year) delighting in the exotic experience.
Tragically sad, gloriously triumphant, and may I just say this: Nick Urata can seriously wail on a bouzouki. Shredding electric guitar solos are one thingâ€¦ but a bouzouki? Oh yes. And then there are those dreamy romantic vocals that had everyone in the Paradise swooning. Heâ€™d switch to a mournful whistling straight off the prairie, and we were suddenly in a spaghetti-western groove for â€œThe Enemy Gunsâ€, sensuous and mysterious. A bit later on, they would all get going on a jam, dual drums pounding away, stand-up bass, and Nick just going at it on that bouzoukiâ€¦ and never mind the mariachi tune they just played, or the German polka, or the sousaphone, accordion and violinâ€¦ this was a f*cking ROCK BAND. Theyâ€™re everything, really, and it all works. All of it.
With old friends like â€œYou Love Meâ€ and â€œHow It Endsâ€ (which became an audience sing-along) and new favorites, such as the absolutely charming pop tune, â€œ100 Other Loversâ€, they seduced and entranced, and left everyone breathless.
Los Angeles-based Mariachi El Bronx opened, and they were wonderful in their own right. Moonlighting as an authentic mariachi band (complete with matching traditional outfits, violin, trumpet, and a guitarron), their regular gig is as hardcore punk band El Bronx. Incredibly festive and obviously having a great time on what was their last night on tour with DeVotchKa, you couldnâ€™t help but get sucked in to the fun. Nick invited them up during for an especially exuberant version of â€œWeâ€™re Leavingâ€ with dual trumpets and violins.
A few words about the new DeVotchKa albumâ€¦ Buy It. From the sweeping, orchestral majesty of â€œThe Alleyâ€, to the sweet lovelorn charm of â€œ100 Other Loversâ€, to the rollicking adventure of â€œContrabandaâ€, this is a masterpiece. Sentimental love songs in a myriad of flavors. The deluxe version includes a DVD with some tasty morsels – the two official videos for â€œ100 Other Loversâ€ (beautiful and heartbreaking, the damn thing made me cry) and â€œAll the Sandâ€, a nice trailer for the album, and brief footage of one of the string arrangements. Thereâ€™s also two bonus tracks: the â€œ100 Other Loversâ€ radio mix, and a very nice instrumental, â€œFiretrucks on the Boardwalkâ€. The package includes, just like a box of cracker jacks, â€œa toy surprise insideâ€ â€“ a curious little device called a Zoetrope CD that you put together with a strip containing a repeated design, a cardboard CD cutout, and a chapstick tube, all supplied. Wacky and delightfulâ€¦ much like this fine band.
Other video clips:
DeVotchhKa encore (video quite rough, sorry, but it sounds great! watch at the end for a slide bouzouki jam!)share this: