Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, Fri., March 21, 2008
CastanetsCentral Presbyterian Church, Friday, March 14
"This show is brought to you by IFC, Yaris, Dell, and Jesus," lead Castanet Raymond Raposa joked. "He put some good money down on this Festival." The setting was strange but perfect: a towering ceiling, unparalleled acoustics, stillness. And before the gigantic crucifix affixed to the sanctuary wall, Raposa and his four bandmates thickened the air, opening on Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky" and eventually inviting both Hank Williams ("I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") and Elvis Presley ("Suspicious Minds") to the party. Raposa was wavering, fragile, noisy, tribal, and finally jubilant. Guitar loops served as rhythm, sax as noise, and from the ether came a war cry. It took ages for it all to coalesce, but finally Raposa exploded from his seat, hollering into the mic, pouring into the center aisle, and becoming spectator to his band's goings-on. He ended kneeling before the pulpit, proud of the portrait he had painted. Castanets are a desert peyote trip; nothing seems quite real, yet everything's expansive. And in this setting, Raposa's off-kilter lullabies echoed and reverberated into the night, setting all the chaos and tumult aside and replacing it with calm and quiet.