FOR A NEW GENERATION: You know him these days as Jason NeSmith (Chase Park Transduction, Bel*Air Studios, Casper & the Cookies), but for a long time folks called him Casper Fandango. Of course, this was also a very long time ago. At any rate, the man has steadily been writing and producing for, by my estimate, nearly three decades. Back in 1997, Casper Fandango & His Tiny Sick Tears released its album How’s Your Hand on cassette tape. In 2000, it was released on CD, and now, it’s available for streaming (aka “The Bionic Edition”). Everything here was performed by NeSmith except for very specific instances I won’t bother to list here. (Read ‘em online, buddy!) Unfamiliar listeners will immediately recognize some kinship with the Cookies, but this material is, as a general rule, homier and less necessarily band-oriented. NeSmith reports that, while working on his old reels, he thought he could make this one sound better while not changing its intent at all. There are also new liner notes and a booklet with this release, but you’re gonna have to lay the bucks down to see them. The new context and information provided by NeSmith make a very nice read. The only song here I definitely remember is “The Other Veronica” and, if you’re one of the aforementioned unfamiliar, that’s a great place to start. Check this out with all deliberate speed at cfahtst.bandcamp.com.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE: Even though the track “Galvanic Battery” came out back in September as part of a separate release, atmospheric post-metal band Sacred Bull has made it the lead single from the band’s upcoming album, Ragged Mountain. It’s set for release Dec. 18, courtesy of Super Carnival Recordings, but beginning this week on Friday, you can preview the entire thing online. Also, this album is the first in what is a planned series of cassettes for Shadebeast Records, and preorders will begin the same day. This is no hype-only, “limited edition” thing, either. It’s a beautifully packaged set, and the first run is strictly 10 copies. So, if you’re planning on stuffing that stocking—even a few days late—you better get on it. For more information, please see facebook.com/sacredbullband, facebook.com/shadebeastofficial, facebook.com/supercarnivalrecordings, and listen in at sacredbull.bandcamp.com.
RELAX: The new album from well-coiffed and talented nice guys Easter Island comes out this Friday, and it’s named Take All The Time You Think You Need. The roots of the newest single—the relatively uplifting and expectedly melodic “Sea Change” —apparently stretch back to 2014, too, so it’s not like time-taking is any real issue here. While you’re waiting to see if this Friday is going to be any different at all from all the ones this year leading up to it (Hint: it won’t be!), go on and give this a spin. Click over to easterisland.bandcamp.com to listen, and tell ‘em what you think over at facebook.com/easterislandband.
FASHION PARTY: Back in 2016, the dudes in Garage of Broken Dreams must’ve thought they’d never outdo that year’s 50-track album Sorry State. Well, they just released Fashion Party with 55 songs. So there. I have no idea who these guys are, and it seems there are only two of them, but I’ve got a feeling they’re the kind of dudes who are often either drop-down hilarious or, alternately, a bit much. I’ve spun this thing a couple of times now, and it’s smart, clever and for the most part doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but also never disintegrates into total stupidity. It has multiple subtle musical salutes (“Fishing Peter Buck Out The Broad River,” “Danny Elfman at the Fashion Party,” “Rick Shaw,” “Greg Sage At The Lake”) that do such a deep dive into references, cues, etc. that it can be a real treat to hear what they’ve come up with. They’ve billed this as a triple album that was “recorded in three days in a cabin on the Broad River in Athens, Georgia, and tweaked endlessly during the maddening stasis of COVID.” The humor here, when it’s not painfully obvious, is often very subtle, but, just as often, not tongue-in-cheek and sometimes very pointed. For example, “Set It On Fire” is pretty dang direct. Some comparisons to Ween may be appropriate but that’s really a crutch-leaning way to approach this, so forget I said that. Treat yourself to this at garageofbrokendreams.bandcamp.com.
HOME FIRES: Adam Klein & The Wild Fires will play a special live-streamed show courtesy of Hendershot’s on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. This event marks the first time the band has performed live in about 10 months. Klein has stayed pretty busy, though, and continues to garner praise from press around the world for his songwriting. He recently released the poignant single “Little Tiger” with a fresh-sounding—if you will—mid-‘70s vibe, which is planned to appear on an EP next year. To tune into the show this week, please see facebook.com/hendershots.coffee. Hear the new tune at soundcloud.com/cowboy-angel-music, and keep up with Klein via facebook.com/adamkleinmusic.
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