Sparing no expense, we've hired out-of-work zoo monkeys to stuff your stocking full of music. Yes, we are givers. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Castanets are the one-man band of Raymond Raposa, a Portland-based composer who records his songs with a rotating cast of swooning singers, percussion pounders and horn toodlers.
Raposa has spent the last several years touring the world by bus, selling CD-R’s out of the trunk and entertaining audiences with his unique brand of indie/psych/folk neo-gothic avant-garde.
He’s recorded a number of albums for Asthmatic Kitty, most recently 2009’s Texas Rose, the Thaw and the Beasts.
The Drug Opera offer something a little less solemn than Mr. Raposa’s rambling neo-gothic tone poems. Opting instead for a heart-thumping swirl of psychedelia, “Welcome Song” is as to-the-point as it gets. At just a minute long, it’s more a snippet than a song but it says what it has to say with startling poignancy.
Just in time for Christmas, it’s Deathbot! Former frontmen of New York punk rappers Turbulence and Calibrate and Cali alt-country outfit Big Wheels, Deathbot are R. Mansfield and Joseph James. Blending together indie, alt and American influences, Deathbot are like a lo-fi Pink Floyd meets Neil Young.
Doesn’t everyone want a little Deathbot in the bottom of their stocking?