To Do: Devendra Banhart and Claude Wampler at DiverseWorks

As his fans already know, when Devendra Banhart isn’t singing his stark, eerily simple neo-folk music, he’s usually drawing. The Houston-born 26-year-old recalled in a recent interview that it has been that way since he was a kid, save for a few teenaged years when he took up skateboarding, reggae and girls, not necessarily in that order.

Tonight, DiverseWorks will host the opening for “Two Drawings,” an exhibit of Banhart’s visual art. Banhart says that his drawings and his music flow from the same source – a song can start as a doodle and a half-baked melody can end up a full-fledged drawing. At other times, Banhart says, his songs are completed by drawings, almost as if the drawing was the song’s final verse.

Indeed, the European releases of his albums Nino Rojo and Rejoicing in the Hands came with booklets of illustrations Banhart says are integral to the music. Banhart says it was his American label’s refusal to release the booklet with the CD that led him to switch labels.

Also opening is PERFORMANCE (career ender), by Claude Wampler, another multi-disciplinary artist. – John Nova Lomax

November 9, DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. Both receptions are free and run from six to eight p.m. Call 713-223-8346 for more info.

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