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Castanets at The Basement

Raposa of the Desert

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On last year’s City of Refuge, Castanets mastermind Ray Raposa sang like a man watching daytime television in a deserted motor court waiting for the weather to change. That was appropriate, since he cut the record in a Nevada motel room and added overdubs from the likes of Sufjan Stevens when he got back to civilization. Raposa’s simple, spooky chord progressions and gnomic lyrics add up to expressionist neo-folk that incorporates random saxophones and amplifier hum. He sounds more conventional on his new Texas Rose, the Thaw & the Beasts—song form pokes its head out of the sand on occasion. It’s his most accessible collection since 2005’s First Light’s Freeze, and it could be that Raposa has fallen in love. “I’ll be your getaway car / And I’ll steal everything you need,” he sings. If his music feels incomplete at its most realized, that’s just the way life is sometimes.
Sun., July 19, 9 p.m., 2009

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