First City Festival in Monterey, California arrives just a week from tomorrow. The packed lineup had me excited all summer, so I'm tickled that we're so close. Tickets are still on sale too. We already previewed FCF performer Washed Out earlier this week. Another stellar addition to next weekend is Devendra Banhart.
As with any interesting artist who's had his skin in the game long enough, Devendra Banhart has taken a windy road through diverging musical territory. He's been dubbed with freak folk, psyche folk, folk rock and experimental pop, among other 'nomers. I imagine most fans, like myself, were introduced to the lo-fi, hissy, home recordings of Devendra beautifully pairing his voice with an acoustic guitar by himself. Perhaps it was something off Rejoicing in the Hands or Niña Rojo. "A Sight to Behold" and the incredible live performance on Jools Holland certainly hooked me with Devendra. Since then, Devendra cleaned up production a bit with the wonderful Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, ventured in very well produced, pop-infused What Will We Be (including the heavy, Zepp'-like "Rats") and then mellowed with a the playful Mala earlier this year. Additionally, he's found himself alongside members of the Strokes, MGMT and Beck. Given Devendra's history of wandering around the central Californian coast earlier in his life, Monterey seems a fitting place to see him perform.