SATURDAY

Though lo-fi may never die as an ethic, its defining hisses and pops are becoming increasingly rare. For the D.I.Y.-inclined, decent-quality digital recording options are steadily displacing the once-ubiquitous portable four-track cassette recorder. But the recent adventures of such artists as Cody ChestnuTT and Devendra Banhart may very well bring the little blue TASCAM back into style. Banhart caught his break when Young God’s Michael Gira discovered his homemade four-track recordings. The label contemplated sending him to a proper studio to flesh them out, but decided instead to release his excessively hissy tapes—titled Oh Me, Oh My…—as it first encountered them. The label made the right move: On the album, Banhart’s charm lies largely in the stark, trebly recordings of his startlingly nasal vocals, punctuated with the occasional croak or yelp. Generally, his songs are typical singer-songwriter fare. But Banhart’s four-track gives otherwise forgettable tunes a remarkable resonance. On “Nice People,” he lays an unremarkably somber lyric over a folky-standard fingerpicked minor chord, but he repeatedly overdubs his high-pitched warble, creating an eerie chorus effect, which is then layered with the gentle crunch of broken recording heads or church bells pealing in the background. Too bad none of that will figure in the live show. Still, Banhart’s strangely captivating whine might be just lo-fi enough to make up for it when he plays with Scene Creamers and Entrance at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Hosiery, 443 I St. NW. $5-$6 (suggested donation). (202) 491-6964. (Mike DeBonis)