DeVotchKa: Believe the hyphens.

Pity the poor music journalist charged with the task of describing the enticingly exotic and eccentric music created by DeVotchKa. Over its six years of existence, scribes and screed-slingers (including this one) have used a plethora of hyphen-laced phrases to describe the Denver foursome's strangely sumptuous sound, including such idioms as "haunting Gypsy tuba guitar jams" and "Southwestern/Gypsy/cabaret/rock quartet." Even its fans have a hard time expressing the group's potent and unique concoction of world, folk, Latin, and other European-style influences used in its torridly tempestuous tunes of passion, love, and loss. Local painter Tom Cooper says the indie group possesses "kinda a 'polka-mariachi-abilly' feel with some spaghetti Western thrown in for good measure," created with such instruments as a glockenspiel, upright bass, tuba, accordion, and trumpet. While he's a bit tongue-tied in his description, Cooper says the best way to decipher DeVotchKa is to see the band in concert, where one will witness "impeccable musicianship, high-energy performances, and just an incredible show that's a lot of fun."

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