Megapuss – Surfing

January 01, 1970




If you thought Devendra Banhart already got his fun-loving,
free-spirited, ambisexual side out in records like Cripple Crow and Smokey Rolls
Down Thunder
, you ain’t
seen nothin’ yet. Megapuss, Banhart’s guest-studded partnership with
Priestbird’s Greg Rogove, is a giggling, tickling, free-ranging orgy of musical
styles, full of inside jokes and porno-aspiring imagery. This is, after all,
the band that debuted in LA with Banhart in a penis skirt.


And yet, Banhart being Banhart, Surfing has as many moments of beauty as it does occasions for smirks. The title cut is
particularly gorgeous, flurries of classical piano expanding into waves and
rolls of 1960s psychedelia. “Mister Meat (Hot Rejection)” is as silly as can
be, but it is sandwiched between the lo-fi, ukulele-and-tambourine hippie
glories of “Lavender Blimp” and the strung-out, unshaven blues of “Hamman.”  As always Banhart plunders the back catalogs
of rock, blues, psych and soul. Sometimes he does this subtly, as on the 1960s
driving “Adam and Steve.” Other times, the lift is more blatant. “A Gun On His
Hip And A Rose On His Chest” is a scantily disguised, reworded “Hey Bo Diddley”
(which has some verses Bo would likely not approve of).


Banhart has gathered a typically motley crew to accompany him – frequent
flyers like Andy Cabic and Rodrigo Amarante, alongside new tribe members like
Fabrizio Moretti (yes, from the Strokes). They all seem to be having a hella
good time… and if you can get past the naked cover art, you probably will as


Standout Tracks: “Surfing”, “Older Lives”


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