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Music, Mustaches 

Wednesday, Jan 16 2008
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It's always nice when a curator displays a level of talent on par with the works they're showing, but nobody foresaw the genius of Apsara DiQuinzio. The assistant curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA took a look at works by folk-rocker Devendra Banhart and Paul Klee, proclaimed them kindred, and hung them together for the exhibit "Abstract Rhythms," forcing fans to play catch up. The singer's funny little paintings detail a character named Smokey (the same soul of his album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon) living his mytho-whimsical life. DiQuinzio's liner notes reveal that Smokey refers to both primordial Adam and "an archetype of a person Banhart frequently encounters while on tour." Hence all the snakes and mountains and mustaches and hats. "I sing what I can't draw and draw what I can't sing," the singer revealed to the curator.

Tonight, in a high-art coup that's sure to send upper-level members into shock over the quality of patron pouring through the spinning doors, Banhart will not only be present at the museum, he'll be performing. Given the intimate setting of the Phyllis Wattis Theater, the "mostly acoustic" show by Banhart, along with unnamed special guests, is sure to be sold out, but those with a genius at waiting in line still have a chance to see him for free at Amoeba Records on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Thu., Jan. 17, 8 p.m., 2008

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Michael Leaverton

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