Music News

Hit Pick

Drowning in oceans of lust, wailing hopeless lovers' oaths and going toe to toe with oblivion itself can take its toll on a guy -- especially one with a Sicilian heart condition. Fortunately Nick Urata of DeVotchKa counteracts such reckless conduct by issuing consistently beguiling sonic tapestries that weave together all the colorful threads of Eastern European music, American folk, postmodern jazz, classical and mariachi. To unveil its newest CD, Una Volta (a superior followup to 2000's already impressive debut, SuperMelodrama), DeVotchKa joins Thrift Store Cowboys Saturday, May 24, at the Bluebird Theater for an energetic affair uniting superstition and folklore, mystery and magic. Recorded in the sweltering climes of Arizona with production help from waveLab Studio's Craig Schumacher (Giant Sand, Calexico, Friends of Dean Martinez), Volta finds the rootsy and operatic quartet in the midst of warmer musical dynamics as well. Spacious and evocative with both an intuitive feel and chamber-informed chops, the retooled, scaled-down, gypsy-fueled engine can purr or stop on a dime without grinding gears -- going from playful, disjointed tango ("Vengo! Vengo!") to distinguished but desperate horn-driven traditionals ("La Llorrona"). A peerless local band in its prime, DeVotchKa remains as vibrant as a cactus flower, as unpredictable as a dust devil, a collision of delirium and bliss. ¡O, mi corazón!