Devendra Banhart’s musical worlds are so fertile it’ll take at least two nights to even attempt pathways into them.
Call it acid indie; call it freak folk. Whatever it is he does, and whatever you want to call it, it will be on display when the Walker Art Center teams up with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (under the arresting umbrella title known as the Liquid Music Series) to present “Wind Grove Mind Alone: Devendra Banhart & Friends” Friday and Saturday, May 13 and 14.
Program A, the Friday night show, will feature the super-successful songwriter doing his own solo sets, but it’ll be followed by a few other acts such as Lucky Dragons (promising something interactive and experimental, both qualities favored by the Walker, where the duo evenings will be performed), Jessica Pratt, Helado Negro, and William Basinski.
Saturday night, the B program, will feature Banhart’s full touring band, which is nothing if not impressive, followed by Rodrigo Amarante, Hecuba, and Harold Budd.
That’s a lot of plates to spin, but don’t be fooled: The main dish is Banhart himself, who has forged a unique career making music, art, books (such as the one-of-a-kind “I Left My Noodle on Ramen Street”), and a generous dose of good old fashioned celebrity (see his dating of Oscar-winner Natalie Portman once upon a time).
In a multi-media career that has taken him from musical performances at Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, from drawings in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to Brussels’s Center for Fine Arts, and into the recording studios to press eight albums, Banhart has been influenced by just about every stripe of god. His first gig was in a San Francisco church at a gay wedding, his name is a synonym for Hindu’s king of Gods, Indra, and when his career really started to take off, he was discovered by Michael Gira, whose recording label is known as Young God Records.
Call him the Young Almighty, and who better to lead lucky audiences down the musical pathways of the artistic gods?
(P.S. There’s even a package deal to see both nights. Don’t forget to check it out.)
What: “Wind Grove Mind Alone: Devendra Banhart & Friends”
When: 8 p.m. May 13-14
Where: Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater
Tickets: $28, no tickets available, but a wait list will begin one hour prior to the performance at the Walker box office.