Entries tagged with: Casper and the Cookies
by Bill Pearis
Casper & the Cookies are local legends in Athens, Georgia. Main man Jason NeSmith, who was in of Montreal circa Satanic Panic in the Attic, has been using variations of the Casper moniker for nearly 20 years, and the Cookies have been in existence since 1999. The man knows his way around a hook and puts more good ideas into one song than most folks do on an album.
For example: the band's just-released ninth album, Dingbats, has the feel of a concept album (or rock opera at times) with the frantic dB's/XTC style powerpop they're known for, giving way to contemplative Beach Boys numbers ("White Noise") and other diversions. Its 38 minute running time is crammed with inventive hooks, and while a little disparate, it all pretty much works. You can stream the whole thing below and we've got the premiere of the "White Noise" video, which you can watch below as well.
Casper & the Cookies are on a short East Coast tour and that hits NYC Saturday (4/5) at Cake Shop with fellow pop pop maven Doug Gillard and Lame Drivers. I haven't seem them play since NYC Popfest 2009 but they were a bundle of energy then and a lot of fun.
All dates are listed, along with the video premiere and album stream, below.
by Bill Pearis
Doug Gillard's CV is impeccable, having logged time in Guided by Voices, Nada Surf, My Dad is Dead, just to name three. With those groups he was more of a background player, but he's a more than capable frontman and songwriter on his own. His new solo album, Parade On, is a real class act -- sparkling, muscular powerpop, touched by a style and grace that never falls out of fashion. The album's out next week (4/8) but you can get a taste on the album's first single, the lightly Harrison-esque "Ready for Death." You can stream it below.
Gillard's got a couple shows this weekend to celebrate the new album. He plays Cake Shop on Saturday (4/5) with Georgia power pop band Casper & the Cookies and Lame Drivers. The official record release show happens on Tuesday (4/8) at Glasslands with White Lighters, Workout, and Dear Comrade. Tickets for Glasslands are on sale now.
Doug also opens for his old bandmates Guided by Voices at Bowery Ballroom on May 23 which is sold out.
photo via Stephen Cramer
A memorial service for Olivia Tremor Control's Bill Doss, who passed away on July 30, went down at the 40 Watt in Athens on August 4th. Friends and family, like Jeff Mangum, Julian Koster, Robert Schneider, Bryan Poole, Jason NeSmith, Derek Almstead, and Eric Harris, gathered to tell stories and perform songs in tribute to their Elephant 6 brother...
A slide show portrayed Doss with his family, friends and performing with band members and musicians. Others captured a combination of serious and funny portraits.Watch a 12 minute clip from the Georgia event, below...
"Bill was a beautiful soul who left the world in a better state than he found it," said Jason NeSmith, lead guitarist of Casper & the Cookies. "I love him like a brother."
When a stream of performers and others who were close to Doss spoke to the gathering, they emphasized laughter, family and music.
A tearful reading of The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" started the line of conversations and acoustic performances.
Robert Schneider, lead vocalist and guitarist of Apples in Stereo, recounted the time he first met Doss. [redandblack]
by Bill Pearis (and Andrew Frisicano)
DOWNLOAD: Casper & the Cookies - Little King (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Casper & the Cookies - Pete Erchick Bicentennial Service Area (MP3)
Casper & the Cookies @ NYC Popfest (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Casper & the Cookies are now out on tour this July. The band's NYC-area stops include tonight (7/21) at Cake Shop and tomorrow (7/22) performance at Bruar Falls. Opening both dates will be tourmates Everything, Now. Also opening Bruar Falls will be Boy Genius and Knight School.
Athens, Georgia resident Jason NeSmith has been using variations of the Casper moniker for nearly 15 years, and the Cookies have been in existence since 1999. NeSmith was also a touring member of Of Montreal around the time of Satanic Panic in the Attic, and the Cookies share with that band a love of glittery makeup and off-kilter pop. Casper and the Cookies, however, look more to the power pop of Big Star and Cheap Trick for their inspiration. I thought they were great at this year's NYC Popfest. There's video from their performance at the bottom of this post.
Casper's newest record, Modern Silence, came out May 12th on CD through Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records. The vinyl edition was released on July 20th release via People In a Position To Know Records (who are also handing some of the new Wand releases). Details on the record are...
Casper and the Cookies - Modern Silence GATEFOLD 2xLP + 5" lathe cut!: They come in a beautiful, gatefold cover with a different design than the CD. There are only 500 copies made, and only 200 copies are on AUDIOPHILE RED vinyl, in honor of [singer] Jason [NeSmith's] obsession with the Japanese red-vinyl version of Sgt. Peppers and their reputation of being the best sounding version of that album. The first 50 preorders will receive a special clear 5" lathe cut with exclusive songs.Check out that album art and tracklist below. Two songs off the new record are posted above.
About the upcoming tour, the band writes, "We're planning on keeping you updated with Twitter, sooo if you're out in Tweetyland, and you wanna know what's happening (who knows, there might be a surprise performance or something!!), you can follow us at http://twitter.com/candthecookies."
All tour dates, NYC Popfest video, album art and tracklist, below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
NYC Popfest ended last Sunday with a marathon of a show in the basement of Cake Shop on the Lower East Side. We already posted the pictures of The Drums (with a short summary of that day), and you can browse pics from the first three nights of NYC Popfest HERE. Now check out the rest from day four (5/17), with a bunch of videos, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Freddie and the Trojan Horse (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - Why Won't You Talk About It? (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Radio Dept - The Worst Taste in Music (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Liechtenstein - Stalking Skills (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cats on Fire - Letters from a Voyage to Sweden (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Burning Hearts - I Lost My Color Vision (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Computer Perfection - The Fool is Hurt (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hidden Ghost Balloon Ship - Hidden Ghost Balloon Ship (Zip)
DOWNLOAD: The Icicles - La Ti Da (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Pants Yell - Magenta and Green (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Smittens - Stop the Bombs! (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Eux Autres - When I'm Up (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Knight School - Pregnant Again (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: My Teenage Stride - Ears Like Golden Bats (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Metric Mile - How to Beat the SAT (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Secret History - It's Not the End of the World Jonah (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Ballet - In My Head (MP3)
The Radio Dept
Enigmatic Swedish band The Radio Dept. are to play their first U.S. show since 2003 (which was in San Francisco), as part of the third-annual NYC Popfest which happens this year from May 14 - 17. Whether or not the band will have finished their delayed follow-up to 2005's Pet Grief remains to be seen, but there are lots of folks who've been waiting years for Radio Dept to play here and, so far, the Popfest date is the only one they're doing.
While the Radio Dept will no-doubt be the biggest draw, NYC Popfest has put together a pretty great lineup including a few other notable acts, more Swedes: all-girl trio Liechtenstein, who've put out a bunch of great 7-inches and will have a new EP out on Slumberland in May. We'll also get two bands from Finland: Cats on Fire, who made their U.S. debut at last year's fest; and the lovely synth-acoustic pop of Burning Hearts whose debut album, Aboa Sleeping, was released last month.
North America is well represented as you might expect. Detroit gives us Computer Perfection (who are not synth pop despite the name), and offshoot band Hidden Ghost Ship, whose very good debut album you can download for free. (The link is at the top of this post.) There's also Grand Rapids' The Icicles whose song "La Ti Da" you might know from a Target commercial; Boston's awesome Pants Yell! who were one of my favorites from last year's event; Ohio's The 1959 Hat Company and Afternoon Naps; California brings us L.A.'s The Tartans (12-strings and glockenspeil pop) and San Francisco's Eux Autres (janglepop); Vermont's Smittens (who remind me of '90s indie pop band Small Factory); Athens, GA's great power popppers Casper & the Cookies; Chicago's Very Truly Yours (classic twee pop) and Canada's Rose Melberg.
The bulk of the bands are from NYC, and include: My Teenage Stride whose new Emusic single "Creep Academy" is one of my favorite songs they've ever done; Knight School (who I've written about before); Boy Genius (ditto) and The Secret History (double ditto); plus the newly-quintet-ed The Metric Mile, Soft City, Dream Bitches, The Ballet, Strega, and Don Lennon.
Most of the Popfest shows will happen at Cake Shop, with a Friday night show at Don Hill's in conjunction with Mondo! and the Radio Dept. show at The Bell House. Unlike the two previous years, there's no BBQ/day show at Union Pool. Pricing and that sort of thing hasn't been ironed out yet, but the individual night's lineups are below: