2016-01-20 19.06.47

A’s 6th grade winter percussion performance. My favorite part of these Sakai music nights is when the teacher shows the audience how to create a specific rhythm in order to become part of the performance.

Humans like to percuss; clapping our hands, our homegrown schlagzeugs, is a “remarkably stable” cultural phenomenon.

Last week Devotchka and the Seattle Symphony played to a sold-out, rapt audience that joined in whenever we could: during “The Clockwise Witness” there was a magical moment when the audience’s clockwork clapping melted into silence like we were one gorgeous and sensitive organism.

Lead singer Nick Urata cooly pours his heart out to an audience–in complete control and completely present. That’s irresistible. You can see some of his stage presence even in his KEXP studio recording. It reminds me of what Teller has said about the role of a teacher in generating love for the subject: create astonishment and romance.

Especially in their “Undone“, you can see one source of the magic: they understand dynamics. They know how to shape every phrase.

2016-01-23 12.58.11

It’s a rainy Saturday: perfect for playing along with Devotchka (I’m making some awful sounds but it’s awfully fun).



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