LEOPOLD AND HIS FICTION
Fronted by madman, seer and wise guy Daniel James, Leopold and his Fiction is the sweat-soaked union of Devendra Banhart’s ramshackle freak-folk and the gritty psychedelia of snot-nosed 1960s garage rockers The Seeds. The band always orbits James, whose unleashed id is just as likely to be life-affirming and transcendent as chaotic. The combo has been compared to The White Stripes, and certainly Jack White’s stripped down roots-music-by-way-of-Raw Power-era-Stooges ethos is present. Yet this band’s fuzzed-out rock swings as well as stomps. Drawing on past flirtations with drugs, booze and the dark side, James imbues his literate, bi-polar songs with toughness, vulnerability and open-hearted joie de vivre. If you ever wondered how Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds might sound fronted by Iggy Pop in stand-up comic mode, look no further.