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Catch Dirty Beaches Tomorrow Night at The Bowery Ballroom

September 5th, 2013

Alex Zhang Hungtai is a nomad. Born in Taiwan, he moved to Canada early on and has since lived across North America, in addition to stops in Berlin and Shanghai. But despite his worldwide roots, the singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist’s music is more focused—on his own brand of lo-fi rockabilly. Making music as Dirty Beaches, Hungtai put out several singles and EPs before the release of his first official LP, Badlands, in 2011. Many compared it to Roy Orbison backed by drum machines, and the A.V. Club said it’s “a pastiche that moves right on by ’90s nostalgia and into the warm embrace of sexy (though submerged) ’50s songcraft and mythology.” The album was a one-man show, but after initially touring solo, Hungtai left behind the heavy samples and teamed up with saxophonist Francesco De Gallo and drummer Jesse Locke. Last year electronic musician and guitarist Shub Roy joined Dirty Beaches (above, their video for “Casino Lisboa”) in the studio for what became the acclaimed double LP Drifters/Love Is the Devil (stream it below). Drifters was recorded in Montreal, while the instrumental Love Is the Devil was done in Brian Jonestown Massacre frontman Anton Newcombe’s Berlin studio. And after playing some shows overseas earlier this summer, Dirty Beaches have returned to our shores. See them tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom.