A Review of the CD
by Nathan Caswell
by Nathan Caswell
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 1/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
send me an email message
What this is not is a scientific treatise on the brain matter of a 20th
century genius. Nor is it an excerpt from Michael Paterniti's
recent book "Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America With Einstein's
Brain." No, this is the first music release by Nathan Caswell, and it
takes quirk to the nth degree. Described as alt.folk, it is a seriously
playful and playfully serious collection of songs.
Okaaaaay, you're thinking, shifting slightly, a pool of uneasiness forming in your frontal lobes.
It is near impossible to determine where Caswell is heading in his
songs. While certainly not simply stream-of-consciousness
verbalizations, there is still sometimes no discernible reasoning in
his musical wayfaring. That, however, is countered with plenty of
rhyme and rewarding unpredictability. Which, depending on the
listener?s nature, can be wonderfully rewarding or thoroughly
In the opening and title cut, "Einstein's Brain,"the aforementioned is
housed in a mason jar while on a road trip with Caswell. Functioning
independently, it interacts with him as if a fully-realized human. At
one point, after the brain falls for a waitress who is missing
critically functioning synapses, the brain offers:
"love is like gravity, no one knows how it works or what it's for"Later, Caswell sings of the brain:
"sometimes in the evening I hear him softly crying from the dresserIn "Pierre Trudeau (I Have The Technology)," Caswell sings of using
bodily fluids to clone first Pierre Trudeau, then Andy Griffith, Imelda
Marcos and finally Jesus Christ. With Christ, the plan is:
next to the motel bed where I'm lying
he weeps for Hiroshima, he weeps for Nagasaki, he weeps for his
unrealized dream to play professional hockey"
"I'm gonna raise him well, build kitchen cabinets, make sure he knows
he;s the King of the Jews, get him a lucrative Nike sponsorship"
Caswell opens "This Town" with:
"The old model floor radio sits silent in the corner, the guy who cameHe continues:
to look at it said it's beyond repair
it was faithful all through Normandy and JFK and OJ but there's just so
much Britney Spears a vacuum tube can bear"
"you could feel the hum up and down the high school hallways, cracklingCaswell began his artistry as a comedian in Canada and is now under the
kaleidoscopic influence of his residency in New York City. If
"Seinfeld" was still in production, Nathan Caswell would be a cinch for
the tuneful role of Cosmo Kramer's never-seen father.
with conviction of ideals and respect
there?s nothing but cold silence from the offices and boardrooms, wisdom
is no substitute for passion we reject"
Caswell is assisted by Trevor Mills on electric bass guitar; Linda
Saslove on harmony vocals; Peter Boyd on electric slide guitar; Matthew
Pearson on drums; Ken Cade on organ; Joe Philips on acoustic double
bass and Curly Boy Stubbs on acoustic guitar.
All songs written by Nathan Caswell.
- Gather The Family (2:11) Hough/Tamulevich
- Einstein?s Brain
- Missing You
- Pierre Trudeau (I Have The Technology)
- Time Flies
- Not A Song
- This Town
Ownership, copyright and title of this folk music CD review belongs to
McCarthy. Ownership, copyright and title are not transferable or
assignable to you or other parties regardless of how or if you or other
parties use, copy, save, backup, store, retrieve, transmit, display, publish,
modify or share the CD review in whole or in part. Please read the "Terms,
Conditions and Disclaimer" section on my web site for additional
information about using, quoting, or reprinting this CD review.
Send inquiries to: send me an email message.
Return to Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk
Music CD Reviews home page.
To return to the last web page you visited, click the "Back"
button that appears immediately below: