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KXCI Presents! Devendra Banhart Giveaway Contest

March 12, 2024

Devendra Banhart on the Hotel Congress Plaza Saturday, March 16th

KXCI Presents! Devendra Banhart, an American-Venezuelan singer-songwriter, visual artist and explorer of psychedelic indie-folk. Kate Bollinger opens with doors at 6:30pm.


*CLICK FOR CONTEST RULES* The deadline to enter is through 5pm Friday, March 15th. The winners of (1) pair of tickets will be selected at random (one entry per person). Ticket winners will be put on the guest list and must present ID at the venue box office on the night of the show to gain entry. Winners will be notified to the email address entered in the contest after the deadline and drawing.

Devendra Banhart

Saturday, March 16th on the Hotel Congress Plaza w/ special guest Kate Bollinger Doors 6:30pm ADV $30 | DOS $35 21+


Devendra Banhart’s Flying Wig, is a landscape of recurrent dualities; a can of paradoxes, a box of worms. What goes up, must come down, eventually. Battle-scarred by life and loss, Banhart found himself despondent, folded inwards; finding it difficult to speak, let alone sing.

“It’s about transmuting despair into gratitude, wounds into forgiveness, grief into praise” ruminates Banhart on his eleventh studio album. Gliding through the air, the whisper of two buoyant words symbolically and at times, literally appear — “and yet…” (inspired by ‘A World of Dew’ by 19th century Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa) — coloring in the melancholic outlines and replacing them with a bonded optimism. “The ‘and yet, and yet,’” Banhart explains, “is our ability to face despair with hope, to keep on failing and loving. My whole life has been filled with sadness. Everything I do in life is to help cope with that sadness.”

Turning his back on Los Angeles’ wailing sirens, he packed the bones that would become Flying Wig’s songs into a bag and took to the secluded woodland of a Topanga canyon. The album is the actualisation of a precious friendship with the acclaimed solo artist, multi-instrumentalist, Mexican Summer stablemate and producer of Flying Wig, Cate Le Bon. The pair’s coming together is one prophesied by the mirror-image titles of their early solo albums (Banhart’s 2002 Oh Me Oh My to Le Bon’s 2009 Me Oh My) and a tenderness built on crude haircuts (“we finally met, soon after she was cutting my hair with a fork and that was that”) and home-made tattoos —but never previously translated into the recording studio. “She’s the only person I wanted to make this record with,” Banhart admits. “We set out to make a record sonically unlike anything I have made before – with a new creative partner at the helm. We definitely wanted a new sound, electronic yet organic and warm…we wanted to draw out and emphasize the emotional aspect of a synthesizer.”

The redwood and pine-surrounded cabin studio (once owned by Neil Young) where Banhart was “constantly listening to the Grateful Dead” somehow birthed something slick, city pop-adjacent and Eno-esque. The product of a ritualistic creative practice that melts down and re-casts as it mulls, the stuff of sadness beautified as it changes shape — culminating in a record that “sounds like getting a very melancholic massage, or weeping, but in a really nice outfit…if I’m going to cry”, Banhart mentions, “I want to do it in my best dress.”

Wearing, for much of the writing and recording, an Issey Miyake dress the color of the spring sky — a gift from Le Bon’s own wardrobe — and his grandmother’s pearls, Banhart found himself emboldened, protected; an experience “like returning to from where I started to sing when I was a kid” (as recently emulated onstage at an emotional homecoming gig in Caracas — Banhart’s first ever Venezuelan show). He elaborates: “I first started singing in my mother’s dresses when I was nine years old. It wasn’t about sexuality, just connecting with my feminine side and feeling that I had permission… It felt like a power. And that’s a very safe and comfortable place for me. I think a lot of the record is that – searching for hope, searching for a safe feeling.”

Stepping outside of himself to examine the unspeakable, Devendra Banhart is suddenly freer than a bird. He is as free as a wig that transcends the body, transcends the head, and makes for the clouds.


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