eye (2007-12)

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Get Well Soon

Local CD Review


The CD, curiously entitled They Don't Just Exist , is loosely based on the films of Juhan Af Grann , the Finnish filmmaker who claims to have had contact with extraterrestrials.

"My mom came home with this five-VHS set of UFO and paranormal phenomenon back when I was in high school," says Daniel McBride , one of the masterminds behind the now-defunct Plain My Super Records . "I watched it repeatedly and it seeped into my art."

Before the record label lost its momentum, Plain My Super Records had released seven albums, most of which are avant-garde offerings of twisted jazz, juju-pop and musique concrète , a fascinating patchwork of expert orchestration, downtempo and noise.

I'll be your Socrates , they sing on "The Divine Hardening," the final track on the They Don't Just Exist LP.

McBride is currently working on what he calls a "literary experiment," a collection of short interviews, poetry and fragments of fiction that is tentatively titled History's Research . We have a suspicion that, should the gadfly ever see the light of day, it will feature a short, mostly inarticulate interview with a Metro Pulsian . And there will still be music; collaborations with his sister Cc and Mitch Garza are in the works. McBride will continue to perform the occasional show with the electro Army vs. Navy and the highly literate and poppy Wayne .

"His music is more cerebral than a lot of stuff," says friend and occasional collaborator Pete Hoffecker . "But you can still shake to it."

Also, at Absolute Hair, located on 17th Street, below Kashmir, McBride's mother, Sara , is reportedly amassing a formidable collection of vinyl.

Even though everyone who was once a part of Plain My Super Records is still in town, and still making music, we can't help but miss the enthusiasm. At Ironwood Studios, where McBride and friends regularly performed, they'd hand out free CDs to anyone who'd listen. It was music, perhaps in its purest form of expression.


Get Well Soon

Local CD Review

The 10 tracks on Apple Tree Thief reveal a band still experimenting with its sound. The experimentation is not the forced musical meanderings of prog, rather, it's just what a talented young group sounds like as they're stretching out and expanding their musical palate. Luckily, CAS has defied the odds: most of its sonic research has yielded promising results.

Veering away from the prerequisite teenage distortion, CAS offers a clean, startling sound that is punctuated by the occasional jagged riff. The band works in a pop format, but there's something a little bit skewed about the delivery, which is endearing. And the lyrics focus on vague yet astute introspections that belie the band's young age. There's a lot brewing here, and it's not sundry forced angst, either.  

CAS will present an album release performance at Old City Java this Saturday, March 24, at 7 p.m. The band will be joined by Chicagoans I Need Sleep and Accent Of The Future .

© 2007 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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