So, Does Everyone Hate Cass McCombs?

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I kinda like the new album I got in the mail. I don't think I'd ever heard of him before. It's dreamy sad boy shit, but he's pretty good at it. It reminds me of the 80's, but nothing I can put my finger on. Actually, it's not all sad boy shit. There is plenty of up-tempo stuff. I dunno, it's not usually the kind of stuff I go for (I like my sad boys to be really really sad, and i like my shit to be really really shitty.), but i keep putting it on, so that must mean something. It's conversational, moody and echoey. Maybe it's a winter thing.

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 3 January 2005 02:12 (fifteen years ago) link

It's actually really different from his first record. I think some people who might've not liked him before could do so now (and vice versa).

I happen to like both records.

Johnny Fever (johnny fever), Monday, 3 January 2005 02:26 (fifteen years ago) link

some of it reminds me of the go-betweens. but not really. but sort of!

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 3 January 2005 02:28 (fifteen years ago) link

what's the name of the new one??

cutty (mcutt), Monday, 3 January 2005 02:31 (fifteen years ago) link

*Prefection*

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 3 January 2005 02:33 (fifteen years ago) link

damn, 4ad?

cutty (mcutt), Monday, 3 January 2005 02:37 (fifteen years ago) link

maybe in the u.k. i dunno. my copy is on Monitor Records outta scenic Baltimore.

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 3 January 2005 02:38 (fifteen years ago) link

no, i think he meant 80's as in 4AD kind of stuff, scott. i like cass mccombs but have not heard the new one yet.

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Monday, 3 January 2005 02:54 (fifteen years ago) link

ugh

don, Monday, 3 January 2005 02:58 (fifteen years ago) link

don, are you disappointed in me? it's okay, i can take it. you can speak freely here.

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 3 January 2005 03:02 (fifteen years ago) link

he is really bad not my thing.

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 3 January 2005 03:05 (fifteen years ago) link

no, i mean 4ad the label:

http://www.4ad.com/artists/cassmccombs/

cutty (mcutt), Monday, 3 January 2005 03:05 (fifteen years ago) link

wow, i didnt know cass was on 4AD. thats... surprising.

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Monday, 3 January 2005 04:15 (fifteen years ago) link

ASS McCombs!

wukka wukka...he sucks!!

ddb (ddb), Monday, 3 January 2005 22:03 (fifteen years ago) link

yuk yuk. horrible jokestering.

cutty (mcutt), Monday, 3 January 2005 22:16 (fifteen years ago) link

I wasn't crazy about "A"; it seemed alright for a while but wore out its welcome. I'd be interested to hear him do an album that sounds a little more varied. Yeah he was signed to 4ad last year and I believe they already put out an EP and maybe have done 'A' in the UK?

kyle (akmonday), Monday, 3 January 2005 22:20 (fifteen years ago) link

the thread so nice i started it twice:

So, Does Everyone Hate Cass Mccombs?


um, anyway, the album is really pretty. and pretty varied. nice mix of sounds, but one cohesive vibe overall. i dig it.

scott seward (scott seward), Monday, 3 January 2005 22:38 (fifteen years ago) link

this sounds nothing like A. it's good.

cutty (mcutt), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 03:12 (fifteen years ago) link

you downloaded it or something, cutty? it's nice, isn't it?

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 03:17 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah i like it! don't know how often i will listen to it though.

cutty (mcutt), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 03:33 (fifteen years ago) link

i really really like A. i just listened to it last night, actually.

peter smith (plsmith), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 04:45 (fifteen years ago) link

The new record has some really nice songs on it. Seriously. "AIDS in Africa" is a mixtape staple for me, maudlin title or no.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 04:50 (fifteen years ago) link

the only song i dislike on A is "a comedian..." - all the others are great, i think.

peter smith (plsmith), Tuesday, 4 January 2005 05:06 (fifteen years ago) link

whoa, "city of brotherly love" is fucking amazing.

cutty (mcutt), Friday, 7 January 2005 02:50 (fifteen years ago) link

It's a grower. and yeah, city of brotherly love really did it for me.

Maria D. (Maria D.), Friday, 7 January 2005 03:25 (fifteen years ago) link

This thread makes me uncomfortable, seeing "Hate" and "McCombs" every time I refresh.

Joseph McCombs (Joseph McCombs), Friday, 7 January 2005 03:53 (fifteen years ago) link

It's a grower. and yeah, city of brotherly love really did it for me.

-- Maria D. (maria...), January 7th, 2005. (Maria D.)


I said this! Maria was logged in on the computer. I hate when that happens. I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth. Although Maria is enjoying the album as well.

scott seward (scott seward), Friday, 7 January 2005 13:26 (fifteen years ago) link

It's a grower. And yeah, City of Brotherly Love is doing it for me. (the real Ms. D.)

Maria D. (Maria D.), Friday, 7 January 2005 14:21 (fifteen years ago) link

this album really is very impressive.

noizem duke (noize duke), Wednesday, 19 January 2005 22:50 (fifteen years ago) link

I love Cass McCombs. I think he is amazing. I started a thread about how much I like him a while ago and I have been listening a lot to the two songs from the new single. Can't wait to hear PREfection.

Magic City (ano ano), Thursday, 20 January 2005 00:20 (fifteen years ago) link

"city of brotherly love" is still killing me. the lyrics!

cutty (mcutt), Thursday, 20 January 2005 00:28 (fifteen years ago) link

i LOVE cass mccombs. i only have A and the EP , I much prefer the EP, although "waht isn't nature" is such a great song from A. is the new album already out in the states?? my lord I didn't even know. and I too found it surprising he was on 4AD, seems unlikely...is he even popular?

owen reading, Thursday, 20 January 2005 00:31 (fifteen years ago) link

hi cutty (or anyone), do you want to send me this song, perhaps? I am dying for some new material.

w!mb!sh@gma!l.com if the answer is yes. No worries if no.

Thanks

Magic City (ano ano), Thursday, 20 January 2005 00:37 (fifteen years ago) link

is there anywhere to download that prefection album? I cna only find one song on limewire and it's not out yet.

owen reading, Thursday, 20 January 2005 01:06 (fifteen years ago) link

I can't find anything on limewire!

Magic City (ano ano), Thursday, 20 January 2005 01:10 (fifteen years ago) link

But owen, I can send you the two songs from the single: Sacred Heart (an album track) and Twins (a bside)

Magic City (ano ano), Thursday, 20 January 2005 01:14 (fifteen years ago) link

funny. i just went to stylus after all this praise for it to find a cass review, and nothing!
i could only get one at pfork
hmmm
http://pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/m/mccombs_cass/a.shtml

owen reading, Thursday, 20 January 2005 01:21 (fifteen years ago) link

it's not out yet, man.

cutty (mcutt), Thursday, 20 January 2005 01:26 (fifteen years ago) link

I could burn copies for people, but i don't really know you guys and you all may be evil!

scott seward (scott seward), Thursday, 20 January 2005 01:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Also, to answer the question, it seems like a lot of the people on ILM who hate Cass are from SF and saw him play a while ago. It seems like he must have sucked back then. But he doesn't anymore.

Magic City (ano ano), Thursday, 20 January 2005 04:51 (fifteen years ago) link

i really like this. at least I like the EP of his i have

zach farver, Thursday, 20 January 2005 05:24 (fifteen years ago) link

i have one of the new songs, sacred heart--has a morrissey sound to it. weird

owen reading, Friday, 21 January 2005 16:36 (fifteen years ago) link

i thought that too owen

Magic City (ano ano), Friday, 21 January 2005 16:53 (fifteen years ago) link

i dig

john clarkson, Friday, 21 January 2005 19:19 (fifteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
I really like the uptempo songs. I remember how surprised I was by them when he played them live last year.
Bury Mary is my favorite right now. It sounds like the velvet underground and has my favorite lyrics, namely

ping ping goes the shovel
pang pang goes the pail
the middle of summer
and the furnace will be burning
when she gets some mail!

Tourist Woman is also great
Not crazy about the production and a little disapointed in some of Tim DeWitt's drumming; he's usually great.

Magic City (ano ano), Saturday, 5 February 2005 20:30 (fifteen years ago) link

yeah, bury mary has that lonesome cowboy bill thang going on. i wrote something about this album, i'll have to post it on my blog tonite.

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 5 February 2005 20:34 (fifteen years ago) link

mia is shit.

mia is shit., Saturday, 5 February 2005 21:00 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...
i started a cass mccombs thread once!

scott seward, Tuesday, 1 May 2007 03:16 (thirteen years ago) link

i did too, once. i am glad we have that in common. did you post about him on your blog ever?
i saw him on saturday, he still makes me swoon.

mizzell, Tuesday, 8 May 2007 16:17 (thirteen years ago) link

It hasn't fully grasped me yet but I was having to listen to it in a browser at a desk and not walking around with headphones, so I feel like there's more to come from it. Bum Bum Bum is great.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Tuesday, 30 August 2016 07:38 (four years ago) link

Like half of it is great but it's just so...smooth

bunny slopes, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 07:48 (four years ago) link

"Bum Bum Bum" is definitely one of the good ones. And I like "Laughter Is The Best Medicine" (which admittedly contains some of the smoothness bunny mentions; definitely some Pat Metheny or Bob James moves in that intro) and "Opposte House," as well as the aforementioned "Medusa's Outhouse." The rest (basically the back half of the album) is where he loses me this time: "Cry," "In A Chinese Alley," "Run Sister Run," etc.

Wimmels, Tuesday, 30 August 2016 09:28 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

Im obsessed with that "medusa's outhouse" song. The album is really, really good. His best since "Catacombs" imo

Neptune Bingo (Michael B), Thursday, 13 October 2016 01:39 (three years ago) link

No way man. Humor Risk is his best!

Wimmels, Thursday, 13 October 2016 09:23 (three years ago) link

I'm pretty sure it's Wit's End

niels, Thursday, 13 October 2016 12:37 (three years ago) link

Big Wheel for me

bunny slopes, Friday, 14 October 2016 08:15 (three years ago) link

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LUMBAGO MUJO, Friday, 14 October 2016 08:30 (three years ago) link

^^^ one of my fave lyrics from the new album

tylerw, Friday, 14 October 2016 14:18 (three years ago) link

Dropping the Writ always moves me the most, Catacombs comes in second

Evan, Friday, 14 October 2016 15:47 (three years ago) link

Testament to an artist's greatness when there is no consensus on what is his or her best album

For me, it's Humor Risk > Catacombs > Wits End > Big Wheel > Dropping The Writ > Prefection > A > Mangy Love, and those first two are two of my favorite indie* records of all time

(*indie meaning guitar-based music made after 1985 that has vocals)

Wimmels, Friday, 14 October 2016 16:15 (three years ago) link

In fact, the only songwriters in this genre I have any time for in 2016 are Cass, Callahan, and Bejar.

Wimmels, Friday, 14 October 2016 16:16 (three years ago) link

That said, the new album remains a disappointment despite many listens

Wimmels, Friday, 14 October 2016 16:16 (three years ago) link

it has grown on me, i listened to it earlier this week and it sounded great aside from a couple of tracks. excited to see him here next week.

na (NA), Friday, 14 October 2016 16:20 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

Weird

Evan, Monday, 12 December 2016 20:59 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...

co-sign on Cass, Callahan and Bejar. 3 of the few people i will give a shit ton of time of day to nowadays.

latest Cass album is fantastic, and i finally got round to getting properly into Catacombs and Writ. fantastic catalogue he's built up.

jamiesummerz, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 16:58 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Uu bad

I mean u smelll baaad

F♯ A♯ (∞), Thursday, 9 February 2017 00:51 (three years ago) link

six months pass...

"Laughter Is the Best Medicine" sounds like DMB

you are juror number 144 and we will excuse you (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 18 August 2017 23:04 (three years ago) link

I feel like he's had trouble coming up with really nice vocal melodies since Catacombs/Wit's End. Catacombs is minimal AND has really memorable melodic vocal lines. He's settled on very similar sounding ones lately imo.

Evan, Tuesday, 22 August 2017 19:27 (three years ago) link

five months pass...

Saw him play basically an entire set of new material at Union Pool in Brooklyn a little while back. Material was much more rock/blues oriented than previous album but still strong. In the vein of "Mystery Mail". He mentioned the band had been in the studio.

Also, this is basically a dream come true:

https://www.jambase.com/article/full-set-video-phil-lesh-teams-cass-mccombs-grahame-lesh-alex-koford-ross-james

Griff_Doge, Monday, 22 January 2018 14:50 (two years ago) link

I would love to hear Cass McCombs sing either of the other Jimi Hendrix Experience title tracks.

in twelve parts (lamonti), Tuesday, 23 January 2018 20:52 (two years ago) link

nine months pass...

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/files/2018/10/cass-mccombs-tip-sphere.jpg
1. I Followed The River South To What
2. The Great Pixley Train Robbery
3. Estrella
4. Absentee
5. Real Life
6. Sleeping Volcanoes
7. Sidewalk Bop After Suicide
8. Prayer For Another Day
9. American Canyon Sutra
10. Tying Up Loose Ends
11. Rounder

Out Feb 8

mizzell, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 13:46 (one year ago) link

after being ilx's resident cass superfan for a good bit, i have to say mangy love never grabbed me (i might not have even listened to it all the way through) and this new single isn't very promising, imo.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJd_bd9vBFc

mizzell, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 13:48 (one year ago) link

I like it! But he's definitely settled into a more narrowed vocal approach and delivery. Literally echoing myself upthread, but it holds true with this new single too.

Evan, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 14:35 (one year ago) link

after being ilx's resident cass superfan for a good bit, i have to say mangy love never grabbed me (i might not have even listened to it all the way through) and this new single isn't very promising, imo.

I felt the same way about Mangy Love. His first dud, I think. Still, I'll be ordering the deluxe edition of this new one.

Have you heard the newest Skiffle Players LP? I think it came out earlier this month. I haven't gotten a chance to listen to it. The first one was OK in that low-stakes, sort-of-supergroup kinda way.

Can't listen to this new single yet (I'm at work), but looking forward to hearing it tonight.

Paul Ponzi, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 18:18 (one year ago) link

I'm into the new track. I agree that he seems to have settled into a specific vocal approach and delivery, at least with his solo stuff. I think it started on Catacombs. Although Mangy Love had Medusa's outhouse and Low Flying Bird which are sing almost entirely in his higher register. Mangy Love was worth it for Bum Bum Bum, Medusa's Outhouse and I'm a Shoe which start, end and anchor the middle of the album (not in that order).

The new skiffle is worth a few listens at least. The stand out cass track to me is Oakland Scottish Rite Temple Waltz. At least half the albums vocals are lead by another/other singer. The other cass lead tracks have moments but nothing like his solo material or the first skiffle album.

Griff_Doge, Tuesday, 30 October 2018 18:30 (one year ago) link

New Skiffle Players is pretty good, though most of the longer songs could stand to be two minutes shorter. "You'll Miss It When It's Gone" sounds exactly like a lost Byrds / Gene Clark tune. A lot of this just had me missing Beachwood Sparks. Do these guys play live?

Paul Ponzi, Friday, 2 November 2018 13:40 (one year ago) link

Also, is that the cover art for the new Cass album above? because

https://goo.gl/images/m3pg9E

Paul Ponzi, Friday, 2 November 2018 13:42 (one year ago) link

oops

https://threelobed.bandcamp.com/album/batholith

Paul Ponzi, Friday, 2 November 2018 13:43 (one year ago) link

I love the first Skiffle Players record! 'Til Stone Day Comes was one of my favorite songs of the year. I don't know why really, it just relaxed me so much and was really nice in the car driving around upstate NY / rural NJ. I actually didn't know there was a new record! Thanks for the heads up.

Evan, Friday, 2 November 2018 13:56 (one year ago) link

"You'll Miss It When It's Gone" sounds exactly like a lost Byrds / Gene Clark tune.

Just checked this out- love it!

Evan, Friday, 2 November 2018 14:08 (one year ago) link

I like it too, but it'a little too on the nose imo

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 3 November 2018 02:24 (one year ago) link

I thought Wit's End was spectacular and keep expecting him to do something similar but maybe it was always an outlier

niels, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:28 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

niels - same but I do like his whole catalog. I have a hard time picturing him being that emotionally indulgent again.

Also, new things:
https://www.stereogum.com/2025732/cass-mccombs-estrella-take-away-show/video/

Griff_Doge, Thursday, 13 December 2018 19:39 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UoZmzighMM

mizzell, Monday, 28 January 2019 20:55 (one year ago) link

Well, it's here!

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/31/689658416/first-listen-cass-mccombs-tip-of-the-sphere

The write up is good. She really knows her stuff.

Def my favorite album since Big Wheel. Lotsa jamming on this one. Absentee scratches the Wit's End itch in a big way.

Griff_Doge, Saturday, 2 February 2019 19:30 (one year ago) link

Yep, great so far. Never did connect with Mangy Love but seems like he's back on track

Paul Ponzi, Saturday, 2 February 2019 20:39 (one year ago) link

I'm liking "estrella"

. (Michael B), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 23:58 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

count me in the crew who never felt mangy love and is loving this new one. the beginning and ending jams are a blast.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 13 March 2019 23:35 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

I adore the single “Wine of Lebanon.” It is like Bel Canto pretty to me.

rb (soda), Saturday, 20 June 2020 14:28 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

i'm still not into the last two albums (or wine of lebanon) but here is a great show from 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh_duzOrRZo

mizzell, Monday, 6 July 2020 15:27 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

saw this pop up on discogs:

https://www.discogs.com/Cass-McCombs-Mere-Demos/release/12670944

a cdr he apparently handed out around 2001 called mere demos. needless to say very interested in hearing it. i can find no other mention of it on the internet. anyone know anything about it?

Griff_Doge, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 16:26 (two weeks ago) link

To all the McCombs fans - if you haven't already, be sure you check out the Blake Mills album that was released earlier this year, Mutable Set. Aside from it being my favorite album of the year, Cass McCombs co-wrote a bunch of the songs. He doesn't sing on any of it, but the overall vibe is not far from a McCombs album.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 2 September 2020 21:00 (two weeks ago) link

thx for the tip

corrs unplugged, Friday, 4 September 2020 08:09 (two weeks ago) link

Apparently there are many, many albums of demos floating around his friend group. I've kind of back-burnered PREfection and Writ in favour of Catacombs onward but I'm gonna pull those albums out today

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 4 September 2020 14:15 (two weeks ago) link

I am quite into that 2016 show with some nice jamming upthread. He looks a little like Robert Forster (in the beginning of the thread the Go-Betweens were mentioned...), doesn't he? And his voice reminds me of someone else. Lawrence from Felt, anyone? A little stilted but I like it.

walking towards the sun since 2007 (alex in mainhattan), Thursday, 10 September 2020 16:24 (one week ago) link

PREfection is a lovely album

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Thursday, 10 September 2020 16:36 (one week ago) link

I have this memory that I watched a video of Cass playing Dreams Come True Girl and the organ player goes off on a really really really long solo, like he's trying to push Cass or annoy him or something. Did I imagine this? Am I remembering the wrong song?

in twelve parts (lamonti), Saturday, 12 September 2020 06:53 (one week ago) link

Yes the blake mills is quite good. You can really hear the cass in the first track. It’s the easiest for me to imagine as a pure cass song. That and the chorus of vanishing twin. My Dear One shares lyrics with a song he played on a pitchfork way back in 2012 called “More or Less”:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y1cdLW461k

God I’m a dork.

Griff_Doge, Saturday, 19 September 2020 00:26 (three days ago) link


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