Backbeat: Donovan Performs With DeVotchKa at Elias Arts
Backbeat: Donovan Performs With DeVotchKa at Elias Arts

Donovan, DeVotchKa
Donovan and members of DeVotchKa perform "Sunshine Superman" in the Santa Monica offices of Elias Arts

Donovan, DeVotchKa

DeVotchKa, the Denver-based band that incorporates Eastern European and South American elements in their buoyant acoustic rock, spent a week playing public and private shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco. But their appearance at the Santa Monica offices of Elias Arts featured a song that was foreign to their set list, Donovan's "Sunshine Superman."

Donovan and DeVotchKa worked out the song in an office before Donovan made his way through a crowd that had clogged the central hallway of the visual media and music company's headquarters. After unveiling a new song, "Refugee," leading a sing-along of "There is Mountain" and explaining elements of the creative process, Donovan brought up the members of DeVotchKa to tackle his No. 1 single from 1966. Instead of Jimmy Page providing the solo as he did on record, Tom Hagerman handled the break on accordion.

Elias Arts music supervisor Jason Kramer assembled the bill, which also included the Gift, an English-language band from Portugal, with the intention of holding multi-artist showcases every other month at the company's offices. More than 100 people from the fields of advertising, music publishing, film and TV filled the performance space, an adjacent conference room, a stairway and a corridor.

With that many people from business peripheral to music, the conversations concerned movie trailers and ads. Justin Basch of Endit Management, which handles DeVotchKa, was particularly pleased that a documentary another one of his clients had scored had been picked up for distribution. Warner Bros. will next year distribute the Ryan Gosling-narrated documentary "ReGENERATION," which features the music of STS9.

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Former Yes singer Jon Anderson, who starts a 16-date tour with keyboardist Rick Wakeman on Oct. 19, Sam Kling, Peer Music's VP of A&R for Film and TV, KCRW DJ Chris Douridas and about 20 Elias Arts employees enjoyed the music, pizza, wine and beer. The Gift's Nuno Goncalves used the hour before the music started to tout the band's tour of the U.S. -- five U.S. cities followed by three Brazil shows -- while Kramer played their latest album for members of DeVotchKa's entourage.

Donovan, DeVotchKa
Donovan and members of DeVotchka rehearsing

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