Devendra Banhart’s ‘Family’ affair




Story and photo gallery by Laurie Scavo

Devendra Banhart was not the star of the show Saturday night at Space 15 Twenty – no matter how much his fans wanted him to be. He was merely the subject of a book.

Maybe that explained the brevity of the singer-songwriter’s set in front of an overflow crowd in the courtyard of the commercial space on Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood. The evening, after all, celebrated the release of “Family” – the gorgeous photography book by Lauren Dukoff that documents her muse and friend Banhart, and his circle of musician friends. Along with a book signing and companion gallery show featuring framed images from “Family,” the promise of a free performance by Banhart brought Los Angeles out en masse.

Anticipation for the night’s events was daunting, as the courtyard quickly filled with kids in feathers and Urban Outfitters gear, waiting patiently for Devendra to take the stage. A quick sound-check just before 7 p.m. made for a long wait until the 9 p.m. set. But with drinks flowing, a steady book-signing line, and a bustling gallery

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space, the evening was nearly perfect for any author unveiling their treasured work to the public.

Banhart and Adam Tullie performed maybe 20 minutes. (Big sigh.) A wave of shock filled the courtyard at the brevity of what transpired. By the time Banhart was packing up to leave, the crowd came to their senses and hovered around, seeking photo ops with LA’s most photographed musician.

It was clearly Dukoff’s evening, and she smilingly and patiently autographed copies of “Family.” Banhart wasn’t about to steal any thunder from his best friend.

More events are planned throughout July in celebration of “Family,” including film nights and live music performances. Info: