11 April 2007

Beat the Devil

When I left to go on tour I had this romantic notion that each night I'd be seeing new bands paired with Goes Cube who would be all WOW and HOLY MOLY. Bands I'd never normally see in NYC, but who could get exposed to the light of the internets because I'd be there seeing them in their hometowns, in the comfort of their favorite local venue with their hometown crowds. Then I'd have this huge backlog of sweet unknown bands from around the country that I'd need to tell the world about. Could've been, I suppose, but as it turns out, that's not what happened at all. Mostly the other bands didn't do a whole heckuva lot for me. If you followed along with the tour postings, you already know this. In those posts the only other bands I mentioned were the ones I found worthwhile, and there weren't that many. This one here though, this band is one of the best bands I saw during the month of March. They're from NYC, but I caught them in Austin.

Beat the Devil is an experience, and from the very first song of their set I was enthralled. Lead singer Shilpa Ray was standing on stage holding a shovel and the drummer Mitchell sat patiently while they both waited for the bass player Mishka to enter the room with a very large marching band style bass drum. Their first song began in this fashion with Mishka marching towards the stage pounding his drum with maracas and Shilpa playing shovel percussion. In no time the band took shape with Mishka on bass, Mitchell on drums, and Shilpa playing the harmonium and delivering powerfully nuanced vocals. All together the band produced a dark ragtime-punk sound along the lines of a mixture of the spirit of Man Man, a New Orleans funeral procession, Tom Waits, and Billie Holiday. They're the kind of band that defines what I wish current Lower East Side bands would have the courage to sound like. Not that they could, however, because lead singer Shilpa Ray's voice is one in a million and the LES has lost pretty much all of its growl. But when you're bitching to yourself day after day about the all-sounds-same utter crap that is constantly finding its way onto the other music blogs, remember Beat the Devil. If you long for sultry dark dirgey folk rock that climbs into your mind and never lets go ("wow wow, a WOW WOW"), then this is the band you've been waiting for. Check out "Plea Bargain" below and for the full experience, see Beat the Devil live.

Listen:
"Plea Bargain"
"Shine In Exile"

Visit Beat the Devil on MySpace

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

holy shit that girl has a great voice

mike said...

hey myatt, this shit is great, puts the extra H in hhttp
now whycome no other sites are all over this?

RIP Kurt Vonnegut said...

This post is why I love EarFarm. Fantastic unique band I've never heard of before that's not being written about on any other blogs. Big yay to EF and to Beat the Devil.

Anonymous said...

This band is pretty awesome. Why don't you hook up a show with Goes Cube and Beat the Devil? Or do I have to think of everything?

lisa said...

good idea. definitely need a goes cube/beat the devil show. get off your arse... do it.

Anonymous said...

awesome, so when is this show happening? i'm THERE.

i_am_elsewhere said...

Just found them on the nice http://www.scribd.com/doc/280448/Urban-Folkissue-5

Hope I will find a LP of them somewhere.

Nice blog!

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