Dylan Metrano & Paper Birds + Castanets

Music seen at Meg Perry Center, October 26, 2008
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 29, 2008

A well-attended show at the Meg Perry Center Sunday featured the debut of a new local supergroup of sorts, Dylan Metrano & Paper Birds. Metrano is the founding member of the successful Massachusetts-based group Tiger Saw, whose membership over the years included current successes Jason Anderson, Casey Dienel (White Hinterland), and Nat Baldwin. He leads his Paper Birds — Jeremy and Jerusha Robinson of Brown Bird and South China, he on keys and she on drum and corporeal percussion — with a thin, reverb-shimmered silver guitar.

Auspiciously, the group are a step removed from their pedigree. Their slow, jangle-pop hooks are memorable and absorbing. While Metrano’s lyrics are usually a bit fey (a character named “Cinnamon,” lots of flora references), the group’s embellishments — unorthodox harmonies, staccato handclaps and stomps — are inspired enough that their overall mood is surprisingly seductive. Maybe they’ll take that tone and run with it: a couple of late-set tactics, such as Metrano breaking into a post-punk, spoken-word rhythm and Jerusha Robinson brushing her cymbal with a bell mallet, yielded some deep grooves.

Raymond Raposa’s Castanets followed with a short “good behavior” set. While Raposa’s albums are downbeat and fairly miserable, occasionally to a fault, his live sets are more nimble and rocking. Paranoid about waking up the venue’s neighbors, Raposa — with full Yosemite Sam beard — frequently stepped away from the microphone, which processed his vocals into a stone-cold whisper, and sang at the crowd in more clear and vulnerable tones. Not too tragic, not too narcotic, Castanets ushered out the weekend with welcome languor.

The two groups tour together through Election Day. The Robinsons play as South China at Hogfarm Studios in Biddeford on November 8.

Related: Review: Castanets | Texas Rose, the Thaw and the Beasts, Up and autumn!, Deer Tick, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Nat Baldwin, Dylan Metrano, Jason Anderson,  More more >
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