Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing in the hands
Rien - the ugly culture | by D.S.
Conclusion: a small marvelBeards...
Them obscure filamentous composites of the cheeks and chins that certain humanoid specimens carry, as with the burden of this quasi-daily ritual that became known as "shaving". Might they be a fabulous resting place of our friends the muses?
In order to confirm this extravagant - albeit plausible - theory, and listening only to my own courage, I decided to start a meticulous inspection of the bushy population of my own face.
The spoils were few: an important colony of lice, a rusty secator and the putrefied remains of a pizza from another era... Not a single trace of a muse of any kind. Elementary:
Which divinity in its own right would dare distill her precious inspiration to a hygenically challenged hobo like me?
Quite obviously, Devendra Banhart takes care of his beard. At least as much as Samson did of his hair. Sufficiently in any case for Euterpe to reign supreme within.
And as if the precocious detention of musical genius wasn't enough to me,
our man also seems to revel in necromancy; the crossed shadows of Robert
Johnson, Nick Drake and John Fahey permanently float over the fabulous
Rejoicing in the hands, whilst never superceding to sickening nostalgic
mimicry, quite a current illness in these confused days of creative drought.
If the principal influences of Banhart are easily identifiable, they are here assimilated perfectly and consequently offer constantly unseen perspectives, drawing new directions that many uninspired rock 'n' roll hi-jackers will probably quickly enough borrow. On this disc is found intact the original purity of blues-tinted folk: this feeling owes a lot to the recording methods, which only give more fascination to the small imperfections, making the whole even more beautiful and poignant. The somber yet quirky tone of the preceding record, Oh me Oh my, was put aside in favour of quieter, more luminous atmospheres, particularly vocally. A specific attention was given to the lyrics, which according to the Banhartian tradition, come off crazy or full of tenderness to the choice of the listener. And occasionally, other musicians come to complete the guitar/voice formula with a few strums of the violin or the piano.
Conclusion: a small marvel.
Also, if you do acquire it soon enough, Rejoicing in the hands will come
packaged in a lovely digipak which includes the "Light Aligns" illustration
booklet, in which Devendra Banhart seems to develop a strange fascination
Why this part of our anatomy in particular? I am ready to cut off my beard to find out.