Call Forth Your Inner Thespian For This One

Marisa Demarco
2 min read
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Driving gypsy acoustic guitars, weeping violins, pulsing accordions and a singer with a penchant for soaring tragedy make DeVotchKa a gem in a world where popular music has taken a decidedly restrained approach.

If I had to give that gem a color, it’d be purple. Purple, because it’s rich. Purple, because it’s the color of grandeur and bittersweet plums, drama and romanticism—tones the DeVotchKa palate provides by the bucket. In a watercolor landscape, this band showed up with thick oils and a broad brush.

Browsing through what’s been written about DeVotchKa dredges up some of the most florid reviews I’ve seen. So let’s get flowery. These musicians seem to inspire a poetry, enough so that if you’re the kind of listener who never strays from what’s on the radio, you would probably still find room in that secret corner of your bosom for this crew of musicians.

Because they don’t shy away from the theatrical, they wear almost any cover like naturals, as though these costumes were always meant for them. This year’s release, an EP titled
Curse Your Little Heart, arcs across such diverse territory as the Velvet Underground’s "Venus in Furs" and Sinatra’s "Something Stupid," painting every tragic tale with fearless, vivid expression. Though there is an emotive thread through all the work, pinning DeVotchKa down to something as simplistic as a genre seems impossible. "Post-punk" is one word that crops up. But what does that really mean? "Mariachi," "gypsy," "indie," "jazz" and "folk" are others.

I say ball up the labels and throw that sticky mess in the garbage. Rest assured, this is music you need to experience.

DeVotchKa will hit the Launchpad on Tuesday, Aug. 22, with the Thrift Store Cowboys. Tickets are $7 for this 21-and-over show. The band will also perform on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at the Santa Fe Brewing Co. Tickets for that show are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

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