**SXSW Spotlight** Devotchka

Nobodies perfect. I'd like to think I could hold my own when discussing music. I do have to say that I missed the boat on Devotchka, only up until about a few months ago. I've seen their name mentioned in many blogs and magazines, yet I was still oblivious to their music. They played ACL last year, without a thought from me to check them out. They've been around since 2000 and even scored the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack (nine of the fourteen songs are theirs).

If there is a band I have to see at SXSW, it's Devotchka. I absolutely love their sound, it's so original. Their Wiki page describes them as, "fusing Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, and Mariachi music with American punk and folk roots". Based in Denver, Colorado, the quartet is made up of Nick Urata, who sings and plays theremin, guitar, bouzouki, piano, and trumpet; Tom Hagerman, who plays violin, accordion, and piano; Jeanie Schroder, who sings and plays sousaphone and double bass; and Shawn King, who plays percussion and trumpet. All sorts of crazy instruments I've never even heard of, but man do they sound beautiful.

Originally a backing band for burlesque shows, in their early years Devotchka also toured with fetish model Dita von Teese. Numerous nationwide tours in support of self released records earned the band an underground following. Their song "How It Ends" was featured on the trailer for the film Everything Is Illuminated, introducing the band to a widening audience. Their performance at the 2006 Bonnaroo music festival was considered a breakout event. I guess everyone knew who they were except for me. If you don't know who Devotchka is either, give them a listen and be prepared to love this band.

Devotchka recently finished work on their newest studio album, A Mad and Faithful Telling, and is currently scheduled for release on March 18, 2008 via Anti-Records.

SXSW Tourdates:

March 13 - Anti/Utne Reader SXSW Showcase @ Cedar Street Courtyard, 12am

March 14 - Antone's (5th and Colorado) @ 12am

March 15 - Filter Magazine Showdown @ Cedar Street Courtyard, 3pm [RSVP] (it's free)