Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

Salt And Syncope

First off, Nashville’s Forget Cassettes has one of the best band names I’ve heard in ages. Something about it just sounds so right to me. And luckily, it’s not wasted on a lousy band.

Like Montreal’s Land Of Talk, of whom they remind me more than just a little, they hearken back to the mid-90s alternative rock heyday of abrasive guitars and angsty female vocals but without sounding like a retread. On their second album Salt, they reclaim the quiet/loud/quiet dynamic, shake it free of the past decade of cliches and make it sound visceral again. The quiet moments are almost uncomfortably intimate and when they explode, damage will be done.

Singer Beth Cameron’s voice has an innate sweetness but she wraps it in barbed wire – imagine if Nina Gordon had left Veruca Salt to make angrier music, drawing inspiration from Polly-Jean Harvey rather than Sarah McLachlan. And there’s a very raw and personal thread running through the album lyrically that sounds more cathartic than any whisper-to-a-scream shift you could muster instrumentally or vocally. Harrowing stuff. I realize that this formula has been done time and time again and could easily be dismissed based solely on the reference points cited, but to me, they sell it.

The late, great WOXY still has a recent lounge session with the band online and Red & Black ran an interview last month. And while they’re touring, there’s nothing remotely close by. A pity – I bet they’d be scorching live.

MP3: Forget Cassettes – “The Catch”
MP3: Forget Cassettes – “Ms Rhythm & Blues”
MP3: Forget Cassettes – “Lonely Does It”
MySpace: Forget Cassettes

This looks like it could be interesting – Cinnamon Girl is an all-female tribute to the songs of Neil Young and yes, I know that sounds more awful than interesting, but Full Of Wishes reports that some of the participating artists will be Tanya Donelly, Britta Phillips and Kristen Hersh. See? Interesting. And proceeds are going to charity so speak ill of it at your own risk.

Massive Attack have rescheduled their cancelled V Fest show – they’re at the Carlu on October 6. So you can see them play and then buy groceries at the 24-hour Dominion downstairs. Bonus!

The Fiery Furnaces are also coming to town on October 30. They play the Opera House with Deerhoof. Full dates at Pitchfork.

Music For Kids Who Can’t Read Good has dinner with Shearwater and gets an interview for his troubles.

Chart has some advice for anyone planning to chat up Yuki of Asobi Seksu in Japanese at the Horseshoe tonight – don’t.

Colin Meloy of The Decemberists makes lists for Pitchfork, who also have the first MP3 from The Crane Wife available to download. The album is out October 3 and they’re at the Kool Haus November 6.

Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo lists a dozen crucial records for eMusic and gives Austin360 an interview. I finally found out where my copy of I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass is – Raleigh, North Carolina. Insound sent my order to some other guy in some other country. WHOOPS.

Pitchfork asks Scott Kannberg, aka Spiral Stairs, about the odds of a Pavement reunion. I figure they’ve got two more albums after the Wowee Zowee deluxe reissue drops November 7 before the gravy train runs out and they have to find some other way to make those Escalade payments. Then it’s hello Lollapalooza.

Sufjan Stevens tells The Dallas News he doesn’t want to mess with Texas.

The Globe & Mail gets a look at how the final jurors came to the decision of who to give the really big Polaris cheque. Final Fantasy’s D&D-themed album was probably a shoo-in once they decided that rolling a 1d10 would be the fairest solution.

np – The Mountain Goats / The Sunset Tree

By : Frank Yang at 9:05 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Joe says:

    Frank, your inclination is right about Forget Cassettes, they are incredible live.

  2. Tim says:

    What do you think Owen Pallet’s THAC0 is?

  3. Jerad says:

    In preparation for Asobi Seksu tonight, you can check out their Tufts U. show from last week that I just put up on my site. Live, they’re everything that you hope they’d be from listening to the album.

  4. Karl says:

    I think that Sufjan Stevens suggests that he just might mess with TX in that interview. At least he kept the door open.

  5. Glenn says:

    I saw Forget Cassettes right after I moved to Nashville. Yeah, they’re a really good band. A very powerful live band. Like you said, there’s nothing terribly unique about the formula they just do it well. (Besides, I’d take good over unique any ol’ day.)