DENVER - The Denver quartet DeVotchKa formed more than a decade ago, but it wasn't until they worked on the soundtrack for "Little Miss Sunshine" that wider audiences got to hear their blend of accordion, theremin, guitar, sousaphone, strings, piano and trumpet.
This month, a book of photographs taken by Gary Isaacs over the course of year with DeVotchKa's multi-instrumentalists Nick Urata, Jeanie Schroder, Tom Hagerman and Shawn King was released. The band plans a free outdoor concert Friday at Keystone ski resort in Colorado.
King, who plays percussion and trumpet, talked with The Associated Press about playing in the cold and giving thanks.
AP: How has everyday life changed for you since "Little Miss Sunshine"?
King: What stands out is that when I meet someone who asks what I do, it takes way too long to describe what it is, what it sounds like, and you just come up empty-handed. Yet when you mention that movie, without fail everyone says, "Oh, wow." So when my Mom is telling her hairstylist what her son does, it's a bit smoother of a conversation.
AP: In the new photo book, do you have a favorite photo? Do any bring back fond memories for you?
King: There's a picture of Jeanie in there with an umbrella, and I certainly won't do any good describing it, so I'll just say it's amazing. Gary Isaacs captured so many shades about our touring life. I'd say that it's less about my memories and more an appreciation of his unique perspective. It was truly refreshing to step out of our little circle and see it portrayed in a coffee table book.
AP: Looking ahead to the Keystone show, what sort of challenges come with playing in the cold?
King: Oh my, I was never told we're playing outside. The tuba gets ridiculously cold as do the trumpets. Let's just say there's no guarantee that all pitches will be in tune.
AP: Do any of you ski or snowboard?
King: I can't even imagine my bandmates on the slopes. Wouldn't that clash with the red-wine and tuxedo look? But really, I think I'm the only one who has even been on a lift. I moved out to Colorado to get that experience with a friend who is now in New York, so you could say we both grew out of it. We'll have to get out there, give Gary some material for his next book.
AP: How will you be spending Thanksgiving? And what are you thankful for?
King: We've got a busy schedule in December with recording and getting out to Seattle and Portland, (Ore., for concert dates), so I imagine we'll just eat and pass out watching movies. "The Big Lebowski" and "Time Bandits" are my Turkey Day picks this year. And I'm thankful for so much really, not least of all a new dawn in politics. Everyone in the band can back me on this one. It's been a great year.