Ah, sweet sweet DeVotchKa. I have a special place in my heart for these guys. As I usually mention about twenty times a day, I went to college in Boulder, Colorado. Boulder is home to such “amazing” acts as String Cheese, Leftover Salmon, Big Head Todd, and The Samples. Luckily for me, Denver was nearby. I’ll be the first to admit that Denver doesn’t have a blossoming music scene, but there was one band that made sure they played the fuck out of Denver and Boulder and grabbed all the people they could who wanted to grasp onto a local music scene. I think I have been to every DeVotchKa record release party at the Fox Theatre or Boulder Theatre from 2001-2005. I have been to 75% of all DeVotchKa concerts in the Boulder area during the same time period.
For those of you who know nothing about DeVotchKa other than the above information, I’ll quickly explain. DeVotchKa sounds like no band you’ve ever heard before. This is either the reason you love them or hate them. The quartet sounds mostly like Eastern European music meets Mariachi meets rock. And yes, it’s in that order. To me, it’s beautiful, exotic, and intoxicating all at the same time, but most importantly, it’s mind numbingly original, and for that, you should be listening. This isn’t a new twist on an old favorite. This shit is from Mars. They’re as much the band that plays for you while eating at Casa Alverez as they are the band that opened up for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at South Street Seaport.
DeVotchKa’s latest venture, Curse Your Little Heart is an EP consisting of six covers. I know, a covers album is always met with nail biting. And when I was asked to review DeVotchKa, I pissed in my pants with delight. But unfortunately, I have nothing good to say about this one. The covers range from Frank & Nancy Sinatra’s “Somethin’ Stupid” to The Velvet Underground’s “Venus In Furs.” The sound doesn’t work, the renditions are boring, and any covers album that still covers the Velvet Underground innately deserves a raising of the eyebrows. I don’t want to talk too much shit about this EP, as it’s not an accurate depiction of how wonderful this Denver, Colorado, band is. If you want to hear what this band sounds like, stop surfing the web, go to iTunes, and download “Gasoline Serpent” from Super Melodrama.