Monday, February 4, 2008
My Love-Hate Thing With Nu-Folk, Part One: Devendra Banhart
I read this interview in a recent issue of Bust where Miranda July (who I also have a love-hate thing about) talked about hosting a "salon" where she brushed people's hair, and Devendra Banhart and his collective of scuzzy hippies showed up uninvited and totally harshed her mellow because she had to comb their long, scuzzy hippy hair. This delighted me greatly because both Devendra and Miranda are so precious and irritating in diverging ways (Miranda is clean cut art hipster, Devendra is scuzzy hippy hipster) but really they're both pretentious, and it made me happy that he rained on her conceptual art parade. But I'm a bitch.
I also read a review of Devendra's latest album where the reviewer said he felt vaguely embarassed and apologetic for liking Devendra Banhart, and can you blame him?
(if you're too lazy to watch the clip, it's him performing Gershwin's "Summertime" while a scuzzy hippy does a prancing interpretive noodle dance around the stage while wearing a tattered poncho.)
And that is the thing about Devendra, it's embarassing to like him, and yet, it's kind of hard not to like him.
There is the fact that he wears eyeliner and has pretty hair (he's half Venezuelan!) and would probably be really hot if he'd shave off his scuzzy beard. He's like an oily yet sexy gypsy villain from a Jodorowsky film. His voice has the quality that punctuates all Nu-Folk- vaguely irritating and yet totally irresistable.
Devendra Banhart would totally invite you over for a dinner of lentils at his hippy collective house, get you high on hash or opium, serenade you with his guitar, and then want to fuck you up the butt using hemp oil as lube on a grubby persian rug with his housemates in the next room. Maybe that's just my Devendra Banhart fantasy.