City Paper is not for tourists
Standout Track: No. 1, “Lady Faire,” a hard-driving, boy-fails-to-meet-girl rocker in which lead singer (and former frontman of local postpunks Frodus) Shelby Cinca cries out: “Oh, Lady Faire, what did I do?” Answer? Not much: “I saw you sittin’ there, and I didn’t say hi,” he sings.
Musical Motivation: “I guess he’s looking back,” Cinca explains, and thinking, “What did I do?…I did nothing…Because his inaction was an action.” Though the 31-year-old Arlington resident calls the lyrics autobiographical, the music came to him after contemplating somebody else’s identity: “I think I was just noodling on my guitar and was kind of thinking, imagining myself as, like, a real…overweight bluesman from the South,” he recalls.
Hands-Free Accessory: For all its bluesiness, “Lady Faire” takes an unorthodox turn two minutes in: “Arthur, show ’em what you can do!” Cinca calls out to bandmate Arthur Harrison, who responds with a 20-second theremin solo. On the band’s recent tour, Cinca recalls, “a lot of times people would just kind of watch Arthur the whole show because [he’d be] waving his hands above these two antennas making sound.” It was a spectacle that generated “excitement, confusion, [and] astoundment.” Unfortunately, Harrison didn’t do the whole tour; in his absence the Cassettes “did a kazoo solo or something,” Cinca says, describing the substitution as “a little more defeating but still funny.” There’ll be no such concerns on April 7, when the band plays the Black Cat—with Harrison in tow.