Pick: DeVotchKa

July 2
Devotchka, So-So Sailors, Pony Wars
Slowdown
729 N. 14 St.
8 p.m., $15.00

The last place I would’ve expected DeVotchKa to hail from is right down the road in Denver - their name sure does harken to mind a rag-tag group of beefy tattooed ex-Soviet prison guards escaping their callous pasts through Siberian grindcore. (I mean, isn’t DeVotchKa one of the territories you can capture in RISK?) And yet grindcore they are not, and the band’s moniker is derived from the Russian word for “girl.”

Indeed, the most interesting aspect of DeVotchKa is their unusual path to notoriety. Most people are familiar with their Grammy-nominated soundtrack for Little Miss Sunshine, but few are aware that the band got their start working burlesque shows. Browsing their discography, however, this antecedent begins to make sense. Like any good burlesque show, DeVotchKa’s music is contemplative, challenging the listener to concentrate not only on what has already been revealed, but to guess what is to come next.

It is easy to compare DeVotchKa to Beirut, the Albuquerque project of Zach Condon that also draws heavily upon the use of percussion, brass, and an European-approach to sound. Yet like all comparisons, this one fails to account for the idiosyncrasies in DeVotchKa’s sound. Lead singer Nick Urata’s warbling voice is addictive, and the number of instruments used in each set leave their audience in disbelief that there are only four members. Admittedly befalling to gross generalizations, DeVotchKa actually sounds foreign, which may account for their large following on the Continent and frequency of tours there.

So no, you can’t capture DeVotchKa in RISK (I was thinking of Kamchatka, silly me), but you can capture them within your line of vision in Omaha on July 2nd. And who knows, maybe there will be an impromptu burlesque show? One can only hope.

posted at 08:59 pm
on Sunday, June 24th, 2012

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