Devendra Banhart | The Vic | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Devendra Banhart Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Mon., Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m. 2009

Few indie artists are easier to make fun of than Devendra Banhart—between his half-baked post-hippie persona, his glam-vagrant fashion sense, and his self-satisfied splashing in the shallow waters of celebrity, he's one of the most ridiculous musicians to ever sing a note. But his new What Will We Be (Warner Brothers) is the second straight Banhart record that I've managed to enjoy, despite my reservations. He's certainly not making it easy on me: he still contorts himself into blatantly silly poses, singing vaguely creepy shit like "When I was a young boy / I had a lot of young boys / And we taught each other dearly how to love" in his best Chet Baker croon. There's an appealing breeziness to many of his songs, though—an effervescent lattice of guitars skitters across the surface of "Baby," and "16th & Valencia, Roxy Music" rides on a throbbing glam-disco groove. Most of the superb band from the recording, including guitarists Noah Georgeson (who also produced) and Rodrigo Amarante (who's also in Los Hermanos and Little Joy), is touring with Banhart. If only he'd put a sack over his head onstage. —Peter Margasak

Price: $28.50

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