As you may have noticed, Kasey usually posts her restaurant reviews on Fridays, and her recipes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Because you can’t choose what you listen to at a restaurant, we decided that the “Musical Pairings” concept wasn’t appropriate for the Friday restaurant reviews. However, starting today, I will be including “local pairings” with restaurant reviews featuring a band that originates in the same city or geographic area as the restaurant Kasey reviews.
For our first “local pairing” I chose San Francisco’s Cousin Chris. Cousin Chris’ stunning debut album, Moon Paper, is simultaneously evocative of Elliott Smith and early Modest Mouse records (or at least a stripped down version of MM’s This Is a Long Drive), both of whom are cited as notable influences for Cousin Chris in addition to bands like Do Make Say Think, Leonard Cohen, and the Black Keys. Similar to the way Elliott Smith recorded many of his albums, Moon Paper is the product of the sole efforts of Chris Schreiber, who sings and plays all instruments on the album.
Moon Paper was recorded in 2007 and 2008 by Schreiber in San Francisco at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone studios where bands such as Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie, Mountain Goats and Mates of State have all recorded albums. On one of Moon Paper’s standout tracks, “The River,” Schreiber’s cold, acoustic strumming is met head on by a slow, sliding honky-tonk guitar riff and sparse, well-placed drumming. Addressing the alienation resulting from the modern dependency on technology, “Eternal Mind” taps and rolls as Schreiber again makes excellent use of the slide guitar and sparse drum work, this time humming an accent as he laments that the “computer screen has become my own messianic being.”
Because it demonstrates both promise and musical intuition, Moon Paper makes the case that Cousin Chris is an artist to watch this year. He is currently preparing a follow-up EP that “will be out very soon” (no specific release date set), and is currently working with a band in preparation for some future live performances.
Follow this link to download Cousin Chris – The River from Moon Paper. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on both the “local pairings” and Cousin Chris. I’d also love to hear your recommendations for other bands for future local pairings.
*Photo by: www.facecollective.com