First/Last-Casper & The Cookies

April 10, 2014

“With a melodic jerky weirdness reminiscent of the dB’s or Game Theory, Dingbats finds Casper & the Cookies pushing as hard as they’ve ever pushed. It’s a white-knuckle flight, a struggle between melody and envy, magazines and neglect. They foreground the failure, the fear of getting older, the sound of one’s voice in a void echoing back to you, and channel it all into the most compelling album of their lives. Sometimes when you’re lost, the best thing to do is close your eyes and floor it.”

Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, BandCamp, and ReverbNation. The Athens, GA band recently released their latest album, “Dingbats” via huge friends of the blog Wild Kindness Records. They roll into Pittsburgh tomorrow at Howler’s on a fantastic bill with Roger Harvey + The Wild Life, Butterbirds and Bishops. Forget all this ‘you have to see this show on Friday’ noise, THIS is the gig you must be at! I want to thank hubby and wife Jason NeSmith (Multi-Instruments/Vocals) and Kay Stanton (Bass/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Jason NeSmith: Hall & Oates “Voices”. It’s the one with ‘Kiss On My List’ and ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’.
  • Kay Stanton: “Chipmunk Rock”, then Duran Duran “The Reflex”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Jason: “Thundercat“ Apocalypse. This beautiful record came out last year, but I only found out about it because a friend of mine turned me on to it a couple of weeks ago. I’m paying it forward now!
  • Kay: Television “Marquee Moon” and “The Real Kids” self-titled.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Jason: I can’t answer this question definitively. So for today, my favorite record is a compilation of Brazilian artists released on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label in 1989 named “Beleza Tropical”. That’s how I first heard Jorge Ben, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, and generally became interested in that kind of music.
  • Kay: Hmm. As soon as I send this email, I’ll think of 15 other favorite albums. For now I’ll say Fugazi “In on the Kill Taker”. Fugazi is the band that made me decide to play music. This album may not be my favorite, but it was very influential to me.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Jason: Genesis “Invisible Touch”. As a pre-teen I became a fan just before the self-titled 1983 album came out. I bought and digested their back catalog very shortly afterwards. I was so excited for the next one to come out so I could be caught up and current. As we all know, “Invisible Touch” SUCKS. It was the first time a band had let me down.
  • Kay: Jason’s answer is awesome. Sorry, this is cracking me up. I guess for me it was “Wish” by The Cure. I really liked them for a while, but got into a bunch of the early stuff late in the game. Got excited when they released a new album. Listened. Excited no more.
  • First concert attended?
  • Jason: The Stray Cats at the Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA, Feb 20, 1983 for my eleventh birthday. They were great.
  • Kay: John Denver at the Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA, 1980.
  • Last concert?
  • Jason & Kay: Cloud Recordings showcase at the Slingshot festival featuring Circulatory System, Pipes You See Pipes You Don’t, Moths, The New Sound of Numbers, and Old Smokey.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Jason: NRBQ, every time they play. Just saw them this month. They only have one original member, but they’re still the best.
  • Kay: Steve Reich at All Tomorrow’s Parties, June 2013. Mind-blowing. Second
  • Place: Jawbreaker in the early 90s. They played a venue in July in Atlanta with no AC. Halfway through the set, they hosed the audience down. It was fantastic.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Jason: Cowboy Mouth opening for Sister Hazel in the mid-90s. I don’t know if Pittsburgh gets those bands, so it may not translate to you. I hadn’t heard them before I went to the show with the girl I was seeing at the time. Just not my kind of music at all. And the Cowboy Mouth lead singer/drummer kept shouting “Are you with me?!?!” all night like some kind of drill sergeant.
  • Kay: Gumball at the Masquerade in Atlanta. It was a bad night for them. It was a bad night for me.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Jason: It’s been a while, but we’ve always had great times in P’burgh. And now we have a lot of friends, so we’ll have an even better time! Kay: I like Pittsburgh a lot and have family from the area. We’ve gotten to play some really fun shows there in the past. What I think of most is that every time we play there, we wind up some narrow, incredibly steep hill in our van and trailer. Usually, it’s sleeting.

Thanks, Jason and Kay. Been way too long since I have seen you! Can’t wait for the set.