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Devendra's next act: Puss and Priest 

Wednesday, Sep 24 2008

Living in Los Angeles has helped artsy-fartsy folkster Devendra Banhart befriend all sorts of famous collaborators. Actor Gael García Bernal guested on Banhart's last album, the inimitable Cripple Crow, and the singer's latest project, Megapuss, displays more pals in high places. Megapuss pairs Banhart with Greg Rogove (Priestbird). Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti sings on one song and joins the band on tour. On the group's upcoming debut, Surfing, comedian Aziz Ansari (Human Giant) cracks duck jokes while frequent cohort Noah Georgeson joins a rotating clan of bassists. At its best, Surfing sounds like a continuation of Crow, with silly romantic odes ("Chicken Titz") and heaver trips through psych folk ("Hamman"). At its worst, it takes a joke too far (a list of all the people Megapuss want to see screwed "in the asshole"). Overall, Banhart's crew keeps things interesting as always.

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Jennifer Maerz


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