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Devendra Banhart’s invitation-only party Thursday night to celebrate the release of his sixth album, “What Will We Be,” was a cozy affair, notable for the good-looking cadre of fans and friends and probably famous people on hand (but don’t ask me to name-check; I’m lousy at that sort of thing). And it was footnote-able for its location, the Chinatown building that once housed the legendary punk-rock and new-wave music venue Madame Wong’s, which from 1978 to ’85 hosted the likes of the Ramones, the Police, Oingo Boingo, the Motels and more. The second-floor room is a loft space now, and for Banhart it was equipped with a stage and top-notch sound system, while the rooftop patio was decked out to facilitate DJ Ana Calderon and partygoers who wanted a smoke and a city lights view.
A cool evening overall. Banhart and his band sounded great during their nine-song set: “Can’t Help But Smiling,” “16th & Valencia,” “Baby,” To the Love Within,” “Angelika,” “Shabop Shalom,” “Foolin’,”” “Carmensita” and “Rats.”
Photos by Laurie Scavo