On the Download 

I've been bummed out that last year's Pas/Cal record, I Was Raised on Matthew, Mark, Luke and Laura, didn't get the full-court promotional press it deserved, especially in print, so I'll take any opportunity to recommend checking it out on the Web ... or other means that I can't legally recommend. However, I come today not to praise its genius yet again, but to point you in the direction of the nom de commerce of the nom de plumme de Cas Pascal. It's a nifty (yeah, nifty) little Flash site that gives us a glimpse into Cas' portfolio of jams available for commission, if any enlightened advertiser — automotive or otherwise — should choose to enlist his talents. Highlights of the little site include a "sweetpod" interface where you can shuffle through tunes, including a soaringly lovely cover of "3 is a Magic Number" and a buzzy little number called "Fresh Blood." Good design, charming interaction, solid, pretty music. Go, Internet!

On a related note, Trevor Naud and LTD of la famille du Pas/Cal have released their debut full-length, via the Romantic Air Recording Company, as a free download. Say it with me: "Awww, yeah!" I got the link too late on deadline to give it the time it deserves, but join me there to enjoy the jams

Catching up with PAIK

From the "Damn it, I have to work on Monday"/"I don't wanna drag my ass out to Ann Arbor tonight" file comes news (shocker!) that I missed a gig I may have really dug last week at the Blind Pig. That's when Dark Red — the new (at least to me) project from PAIK-er Rob Smith (guitar and vocals) and acclaimed artist Chris Turner (drums) — took the stage. I'd bookmarked their MySpace jams and spaced out on their steady-motoring psych ("Foreign Silk") and far-out, Deep Purple-ish (hey, I just made a pun!) fuzz ("Story," "FlyAway"). So missing one of their few live shows was a bummer. Nevertheless, do take a moment to check 'em out.

The other branch of the PAIK family tree extends to drummer Ryan Pritts, who, via the miracle of data transmission, checks in from his new locale in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he creates solo sounds under the name Bolmongani. His jams are free-ranging lo-fi goodies that range from chockablock fuzz-punk ("Mergatroid") to deranged folk-pop ("The 6th Way's the Quick Way") to the hypnotic, ever-climbing shuffle of "Gyrotropics Man." Promising, promising stuff from some of the Detroit scene's most enigmatic and creatively driven space cadets.

If this is Glass City's finest, sign me up!

From the "Do Your Best Not to Miss This" file is a heads-up that the Toledo trio Antivillains will be sharing a bill with two of our fair city's brightest lights, Zoos of Berlin and Wildcatting, at the Corktown Tavern next week — Feb. 6 to be exact (plenty of time to plan, right?). Antivillains are centered around the young and vibrant chops of brother-sister duo Ben and Sarah Cohen, with Sam Woldenberg along for the ride

Their MySpace profile lists their "sounds like" as "the remains of the Grande Ballroom" and as romantic — and sometimes appropriate — as that sounds, there's something more here.

They work the melancholy like no one's business — certainly with more authority than most twice their age — giving it a haunted-heart insight and soundtrack quality (in fact, they cover the Bond theme, "You Only Live Twice" — do listen to it) that suggests a holy alliance of Portishead, Beth Orton and Velvet Underground-y goodness couched firmly in an analog duskiness that wouldn't be out of place sharing a stage with locals like American Mars, Sunshine Doray and the Gangplank gang. There's a scant three songs on offer, but they bear repeat listens. You're welcome!

More by Chris Handyside

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