September 26, 2008 17:52

Devendra Banhart and Strokes man debut side projects in LA

Megapuss and Little Joy jam at the Troubadour

Devendra Banhart and Strokes man debut side projects in LA
Devendra Banhart and The Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti debuted their respective side project bands in Los Angeles last night (September 25), sitting in on each other's laid-back, light-hearted sets.

Moretti's new band Little Joy kicked off the evening, bringing their melodic, Brazilian-influenced stylings to the star-studded crowd at the Troubadour.

The band, which included Moretti's girlfriend Binki Shapiro, Rodrigo Amarante, Noah Georgeson Greg Rogove, and Banhart for their live performance, swapped instruments throughout the set. Moretti only took a turn on the drumkit for one number, playing guitar and bass the rest of the time.

"We're having a blast and we hope you guys are too!" Moretti shouted to the crowd, which included fellow Stroke Nick Valensi and his wife Amanda de Cadenet, Becky Stark from Lavender Diamond and Natasha Khan from Bat For Lashes.

Later, after Shapiro sang lead on her first song, Moretti said of his girlfriend, "She's talented and gorgeous too. Beat that, motherfuckers!"

During Little Joy's set, Banhart stayed out of the spotlight, singing back-up vocals and handling guitar and keyboard duties.

Soon afterwards, Banhart's band Megapuss took the stage, featuring the exact same line-up as Little Joy, with the exception of Shapiro, who was absent during their set. The band, which now saw Moretti on drums and Banhart and Rogove handling lead vocals, had changed into old-fashioned suits with suspenders and literally let their hair down for their relaxed performance.

The quintet played tracks including 'Adam And Steve' and 'Crop Circle Jerk '94' from their new album 'Surfing', an amalgam of jazz and rock with a distinctive '60s vibe. The band pumped up the crowd, and concluded with a raucous number on which Moretti sang for the first time and did a mock striptease that got audience members crowdsurfing.

The bands will continue their tour of the west coast until October 1, as previously reported.

--By our Los Angeles staff.
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