March 12th, 2007 , by John Beeler
Unusual Animals is appearing in two forms over the next few weeks. Last Tuesday, we released the second volume in vinyl, which features Castanets on one side and the Dirty Projectors on the other. The album is available for purchase and has a full, free stream here. But for those who don’t have a device that translates grooves in vinyl to sound, Asthmatic Kitty and KTRU Radio are presenting the Unusual Animals show at SXSW on Saturday, March 17th at Okay Mountain Gallery (1312 E Cesar Chavez) from 1-8PM.
With a stellar music line-up curated by Nick Hennies of The Weird Weeds, the show celebrates Texas music and businesses reminding us why Austin is such a great place the other 51 weeks of the year. This completely free daytime show features a stellar music lineup with Texas bands Peter & the Wolf, The Weird Weeds, The Theater Fire, W-S Burn, and The Field Guides along with some very special guests from New York City, The Shivers (first time performing outside of NYC) and Asthmatic Kitty recording artist Castanets. As if that weren’t enough, local Austin/Houston businesses Goodflow Juice, Saint Arnold’s Root Beer, and Miles of Chocolate Chocolatiers will be providing complimentary beverages and sweets for all to enjoy. This is a truly unique event among the seemingly endless number of events during SXSW that should not be missed!
1:00pm – The Field Guides
2:00pm – W-S Burn
3:00pm – The Theater Fire
4:00pm – The Weird Weeds
5:00pm – The Shivers
6:00pm – Peter & the Wolf
7:00pm – Castanets
Jared Chapman, the illustrator behind the cover art of the albums, has also done the promotional poster, viewable here.
December 17th, 2006 , by John Beeler
On December 20th at Club Europa Brooklyn New York, Castanets will be playing the House of Hearts Benefit Show that will be held on the 19th and 20th. The two nights of experimental music is presented by Frontporch Productions in collaboration with Gigi Chew and the artistic community of Booklyn and New York City. Proceeds will be donated to The Fathers Heart Ministries: a soup kitchen and food pantry in the East Village & The Friendship House: a community mental health and homeless center in Knoxville, TN. The musicians performing include current and former members of Black Dice, No Neck Blues Band, Grizzly Bear, and Rhys Chatham’s Essentialist.
Tuesday December 19th
Stars Like Fleas
Bear in Heaven (members of Rhys Chatham’s Essentialist & Jonathan Kane’s
Midnight Motion (members of Grizzly Bear)
DJs Tres (of Psychic Ills) & Andreas Knutsen
Wednesday December 20th
D Charles Speer (members of No Neck Blues Band)
DJ Root Hog or Die
The Father’s Heart Ministries is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization located in the East Village on the Lower East Side in Manhattan—where countless individuals struggle to make ends meet in the face of an increasingly expensive and gentrified atmosphere. The Father’s Heart Ministries is dedicated to restoring dignity and an improved quality of life to the many low-income (working poor), homeless, and immigrant individuals in our community. In our efforts to support those in need and to reduce hunger, we run a food pantry and soup kitchen where hundreds of children and adults are fed hot meals on a weekly basis. In addition, we provide free ESL and Parenting classes, job opportunities for neighborhood youth at our ice cream store, and referrals to appropriate social services in hopes of enabling individuals to move towards self-sufficiency.
December 19th and 20th
98-104 Meserole Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222
(between Manhattan Ave. and Lorimer St.)
August 1st, 2006 , by John Beeler
Multi-folk songstress and moonlighting Castanets participant, Jana Hunter was drinking and playing pool with bones and dust slinger Red Hunter (Peter & the Wolf; no relation) when they happened upon a magical vision for a new way to tour; boat. Troubadors in the 15th century were explorers and didn’t just follow some convention.
A few days later, Jana was catching up with her friend, OCDJ (Dan Gaeta). He’d been away for a few months and turned out he’d been sailing. Turned out he was about to buy his own boat, leave his job at WFMU in NJ, and sail indefinitely. He wears a real eyepatch, and his life is a mythology of strange, epic tales, so the decision on a skipper was logical. Jana easily convinced him to guide and called Red to confirm that it was on. Soon Ray Raposa (Castanets) heard and was on board.
The tour/boat launches August 19th in New York and will be traveling the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway for three weeks to Norfolk, VA.
Sat AUG 19 Brooklyn, NY – Empty Vesssel Project – early show! more
Sat AUG 19 Brooklyn, NY – Northsix
Tue AUG 22 – Atlantic City, NJ
Wed AUG 23 Cape May, NJ – TBA
Fri AUG 25 Philadelphia, PA – Nexus Gallery
Sat AUG 26 Philadelphia, PA – Green Line Cafe
Mon AUG 28 – Wilmington, DE
Tue AUG 29 Baltimore, MD – Talking Head
Wed AUG 30 – Annapolis, MD
Fri SEP 2 Washington, DC – Georgetown University
Sun SEP 4 – Norfolk, VA – Relative Theory (early show)
More Dates TBA
April 3rd, 2006 , by John Beeler
During exploratory sessions for First Light\’s Freeze, Castanet Raymond Raposa collaborated with 50-member free form jazz/noise/folk ensemble Create (!). The result is Create (!)’s startling release. A collection of slow-burn improvisations, A Prospect of Freedom is a full length sextet collaboration between Raposa, Lynn Johnston (Red Krayola, Eugene Chadbourne) and Kris Tiner (Wadada Leo Smith) in addition to the core trio of longstanding Create (!) members: Justice Constantine, Orlando Greenhill and Chris Schlarb.
January 16th, 2006 , by John Beeler
Bearded but bathed, Castanets will begin a European tour this week traveling to England, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. This incarnation of the Castanets will consist of mainstay Raymond Raposa (guitar, electronics and vocals) accompanied by the lovely Jana Hunter (no beard) on bass and vocals. See tour dates for details.
In true Castanets fashion, Raposa and Hunter will be joined by other critters in the course of their travels including Adem (Fridge), Kevin Branstetter (Trumans Water), and sound artists Therefore (Sounds Are Active Label) who will be collaborating long distance via mp3 emailings.
November 9th, 2005 , by John Beeler
Castanets kick-off their fall tour with Phosphorescent Thursday, November 10th in Brooklyn, New York. They will be touring as a four piece band, with special musical guests joining them along the way, including Jana Hunter for the San Francisco, California to Austin, Texas shows. See tour schedule.