Day 355: DeVotchKa – How It Ends

18 Feb

Such A Lovely Thing

If I’ve learned two things during the (nearly) twelve months of Swole Ear, they’re as follows:

  1. People are mean—the comment section of a recent Empire! Empire! facebook post was not very nice to Dr. Swole.
  2. There is a whole lot of music with the “gypsy” label attached to it out there.

I had no idea that the gypsy-identifier even existed before I started all of these shenanigans.  Now, I’ve listened to Gogol Bordello and Beirut, two of (what I perceive as) the biggest bands of the genre, with the respective punk and folk suffixes.  Not quite gypsy folk, but definitely not gypsy punk, DeVotchKa stands somewhere in the middle of this accordion-laden, circus-sounding music.

Tracks on How It Ends like “Charlotte Mittnacht (The Fabulous),” completely devoid of lyrics or instruments popular before the 20th century, definitely remind me of Beiruit, a band that I can’t really stand.   They’re boring.  Fortunately, those tracks are few and far enough between on this record to keep things interesting.  In fact, the band even abandons the “gypsy” tag every now and then, and decides to go for a weird rock sound.  I was pretty surprised when “The Enemy Gun’s” electric guitars kicked in, and I was treated to a spaghetti western-inspired track similar to a lot of stuff on Danger Mouse’s Rome.

 However, most of this record finds a home in the middle ground between folk and punk, which is achieved in an interesting manner—DeVotchKa mainly just apply quick tempos to tracks that could lyrically be folk songs. All I know is, this stuff is a lot better than Beirut.

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3 Responses to “Day 355: DeVotchKa – How It Ends”

  1. Dave Chops February 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Mr. Ear: The Gypsy folk are all very good and well and their music has merit. But no more than your own tribe’s klezmer. You’ve been out in the cold for long enough. Now come on’a my house:

    Mickey Katz was backed by some crack jazz musicians and, in his day, not only dominated the borscht belt in the Catskills but had some genuine radio hits. Go figger.

    • Dave Chops February 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      Sorry, Mr. Ear but I get carried away:

      Ferris Bueller’s sister is Mickey’s granddaughter and sings the word “tzatzkelle” (ask someone from Skokie) on national TV

  2. Yuanny Dollar February 20, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    Ah, but what she did to her nose. The shame. And how do you say “Nobody puts baby in a corner.” in Yiddish?

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