Banhart, the wunderkind of San Francisco's indie folk scene, has the kind of traditional tenor that is unmistakable. His stylized songwriting -- perhaps best likened to the gnomish fairy tales of Tyrannosaurus Rex's Unicorn period -- has a nervy candor and can turn on a dime between misery and whimsy, humor and fury.
Banhart keeps good company with fellow Californian youngblood Joanna Newsom, a harpist who updates traditional Appalachian minstrelsy with a similar subscription to postmodern mysticism. Don't let the near-baby-talk of her delivery deceive; Newsom's heartfelt narratives are truly poetic.
This double bill evades "sounds like" classification at every turn. Except maybe for the fact that the duo sounds like the beginning of a refreshingly sincere revolution.
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