Deva Premal & Miten Annoy, Then Swoon, The Babarazzi

First, let’s get this bio out of the way:

Deva Premal & Miten began their journey into love and music in 1990 when they met at the ashram of controversial Indian mystic, Osho. Their worldwide concerts and best-selling albums  have since introduced millions of Westerners to the joy and deep relaxation found in spiritually based songs and chanting mantras from the Eastern meditation traditions.”

I’ve known about something called “Deva Prema & Miten” for over a decade now, and have always just written them off as lame. Mostly due to the way they look:

NBH_DevaPremal_Miten

I’m of course biased, because I was raised to think musicians should look like this:

Tinsel Teeth

Tinsel Teeth

Or, at least this:

Simone e Garfoonklie

Simone e Garfoonklie

And, then I came up this:

facebook-cover-banner

I know it’s supposedly “bad” of me to have stoked the fire of superficiality, but let’s get a few things straight. As far as I can tell A. this site deals largely with engaging the facades of the commercial yoga, B. the facades of commercial yoga culture are be definition superficial, C. I’ve got pretty good lame-dar, and D. I can sometimes be a jerk just like everyone else.

Anyway, when I came across this ad in the latest issue of Shit Journal (ironically while dropping a deuce), I was reminded of why I never listened to them…. Oh…. You want me to list the reasons? No can do. Too many.  But, let’s just say that when I look at this “band photo,” I wonder if Deva Premal, who I’m guessing is the lady, just had a psychotic break, and when the photographer said “Say cheese” she turned toward the camera, and froze. Not, like, “held a pose” froze. I mean, she actually froze in place, ne’er to be thawed out again. [Ed. link is to be viewed only if you are comfortable seeing frozen dead bodies along Mt. Everest. You have been warned.]

And, why is Miten (that’s the grey-haired guy, right?) wearing that thing consoling everyone? Is that a sari? A toga? Am I supposed to assume he’s a sadhu? Or, is that the old “sanyasin” garb from the Osho days?

Sanyasins listening. I'm ok with this.

Sanyasins listening. I’m ok with this.

I'm ok with this.

Sanyasins purging. I’m ok with this, too.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that depsite all this neggie neggie I was feeling, I thought I should actually listen to them. So I Googled a video for this tour, and low and behold, this is what I came across:

I don’t know. Something about this video made me LOVE Deva Premal & Miten (& the other guy). Was it the awkward silence in the beginning? Was it how the other guy enters the scene with a frickin’ thumb piano? Was it how I kept wondering if they were each enjoying the other in a sexual fashion off-screen? I think it’s because I now know they were into Osho, so now I can just be like, “Oh, they were into Osho. I get it.”

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17 comments

  1. I don’t know why but this reminded me of best-case scenario, Robin Thicke’s mom Gloria Loring and Carl Anderrson singing “Friends and Lovers”, worst-case scenario John Corbett in “Serendipity” playing Kenny G-esque New Age musician Larrs Hammond.

  2. What's This World Coming To?

    This is how you play the Kalimba! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mju2xwDC3IY

  3. Garuda

    I just love how they gave their audiences a taste of what was to come on tour, Brilliantly. Three musicians who can deliver without needing to over-hype, oversell, and over-shakti anything.

    • Yeah, Garuda. I agree. It’s like they were just, “We don’t need to say a damn thing, you little bastards. Check this out.” And, then they just laid into it. Really dug this.

  4. novecho

    It’s wonderful the way the spiritual/chanting musicians are following the path of hip hop. Deva Premal & Miten, with Manose and Manesh. Always adding or featuring another artist. Reminds of Coolio featuring LV. in “Gangsta Paradise”.

  5. Thaddeus

    I had the extreme pleasure of seeing these freakin’ weirdos at Bhakti Fest. Setting aside the general circus nature of Bhakti fest (picture here Shiva Rea walking around with her extreme lorodotic spine and a 50 lb Shiva trident wearing a cowboy hat…and yes, I have pictures), DP & Miten stood out and not in an, “Oh you’re named after a glove and it’s 115 in the desert,” sort of way.

    No, they stood out because they were able to out “new age” the postmodern yogis. This was exemplified for me in what was apparently one of their many hit songs…I’m not sure about the title, but the chorus/refrain/the only words in the song amounted to “Let the Earth touch the sky.” Now, perhaps it was just the philosopher in me, but I just couldn’t stop wondering how in the hell the Earth and the sky could ever possibly fail to touch, and what role I, or any of us for that matter, could potentially play in preventing this union in the first place. And believe me I had a loooooonnng time to contemplate it because it just kept going and going and going and…well, you get the picture.

    I will say though, there were quite a few people who were feeling something that I was clearly missing.

  6. novecho

    well, Jimi Hendrix kissed the Sky, so why couldn’t these two knuckleheads at least get the earth to fondle it

  7. They actually have sweet music and help many around the world with their mantras and ‘ sound healing’. Oct. 29th they will actually be in bay area on this tour, for those that read the last paragraph in the article and do want to go, txts here: Deva Premal and GuruGanehsa in Oakland Oct. 29th.
    Tickets: http://t.co/EO2TMKNYAK

  8. the moment already came

    1) Resolution: I want to start showing up at parties with a thumb piano. I want that to be my thing now. Only posers need their whole hand to make music. Definitely.

    2) Confession: For some time I have had this fantasy that Leslie Kaminoff had a dissociative break with normality and his Shadow Self fractured off to become Aghori Babarazzi. The pre-dawn publication never on the weekend when Leslie leaves the city, the anarchoprimitivist shout outs juxtaposed against day-Leslie’s devotion to Ayn Rand objectivism, the constant troubled reflections on friends and colleagues Sadie Nardini and Ava Taylor. It would be the greatest piece of performance art I have yet seen. The fact that you have just namechecked both Tinsel Teeth and Simon & Garfunkel in the same post affirms my deep longing.

  9. Greenpoint

    I’m not sure what to say about the subject of this post but, holy frozen climbers batman, that is one trippy link to the frozen body section…

  10. itstrue

    The only real important thing about this post Babs, is the fact that you called Simon and Garfunkel. Simone e Garfoonklie. Cause that. shit. is. hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Mellie

    I love them, they make me feel like I’m six years old. , They have a nurturing maternal / paternal thing going on and I want them to come and tuck me up in bed and sing to me every night.

  12. I’ve been in love with Deva Premal since Bush The Elder was in office. Mitten looks more like Willie Nelson all the time. I’m good with that.

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