Castanets | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


The Castanets are often slotted into one of several nouveau genres--gothic country, dark Americana, avant-psych--all of which leave out a crucial component that would seem to define the band as much as any fancy name ever could: they're quietly Christian. Singer and band nucleus Raymond Raposa drops bread crumbs from the Holy Writ throughout their latest album, First Light's Freeze (Asthmatic Kitty)--divinity that proves itself in daily life, the living world posited as just half the picture, redemption themes, faith in unseen guiding forces--singing with a chipped and craggy holler from beneath his old-man beard. Backing Raposa's faith-based initiatives is a group of guest stars culled from various indie instrumental bands, free-jazz ensembles, and Asthmatic Kitty regulars: saxophonist Daniel Carter, Havalina's Orlando Greenhill, Night of the Wrecking Ball's Justice Constantine, and labelmates Sufjan Stevens and Rafter Roberts. The assembled cast gives First Light's Freeze the feel of an inspired living room jam session; the band's hushed shuffling ramble fits well with the seamless songwriting and sense of the sacrosanct. The Castanets open for His Name Is Alive and Phosphorescent. Sat 11/19, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $8.

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