Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities - Searchlight Needles CD - Reviews

We're proud to share some raving reviews of "Searchlight Needles," Cabinet of Natural Curiosities' debut full-length album we released this spring. Ms. Jasmine D Wagner and Mr. Alex R Wilson just finished up a 5 week tour and are currently finishing mixing a brand-new acoustic Cabinet of Natural Curiosities EP they recorded on their 4-track machines back in April. Mr. Wilson is in the midst of writing new SON CATS songs out on the back porch. In the meantime, we're proud to share a few words writers had to say about Cabinet's "Searchlight Needles."

1. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on Love Shack, Baby!:

"The album is not dead. Searchlight Needles is more than proof of that; it is perhaps a shrine to the essence of the album by a gifted and exquisitely articulate singer-songwriter/poet, Jasmine Dreame Wagner. Based in Missoula, MT and Brooklyn, NY, she makes music that is “psychedelic-tinged Americana with elements of electronica and ambient sound.” I honestly could not describe it better than her agent has there. And don’t find that bewildering or off-putting, it’s beautiful and haunting and I haven’t stopped listening to it for five days now. In fact I’m so attached to this CD that I really had to kick myself to write this review. Somehow it felt like I was letting it go, out into the world and out of my grasp… and that had a certain sadness about it because it’s such a tender, intimate collection of songs,… I wanted it to remain mine, all mine..." (READ MORE)

2. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on BLASTITUDE.COM:

"I'll admit, at first glance I didn't take Jasmine Dreame Wagner and her band, the Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, too seriously. The whole presentation kinda struck me as the Next Freak-Folk Buzz-Bin Chanteuse In Waiting. I mean she looks the part, and her name is Jasmine Dreame, and so on, but then she sent along a couple CDRs (Vineland and Glass vs. Grass) and the packaging was excellent (envelopes, hand-made paper designs, delicate) so I played 'em and not only was the singing/songwriting/playing not bad at all, the Glass vs. Grass disc featured some real extended, jammy and spacey tracks that were mostly instrumental except for her semi-wordless space coos.... not your typical singer/songwriter fare. Now this disc comes along and it's a little more completely song-oriented, a little more typical, though there is one 7-minute jam that fits the ego-dissolution bill nicely, and like I said her songs aren't bad at all, and the band is good too (love the sparse organ accompaniment on "For Sparrow," for example). Ms. Teare also sent along a book of poetry called Charcoal, and it's a real pro job (on For Arbors Press), rather thick with a good 60 or 70 poems, and damn, she's a serious poet as well. So, not to worry, there's plenty of substance here to go with the style." (READ MORE)

3. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on Milk Milk Lemonade:

"We have one of the sweetest songs in recent memory from Missoula, Montana (and/or Brooklyn, NY) musician Jasmine Dreame Wagner. Her music project is Cabinet of Natural Curiosities and the song featured today belongs to the latest full-length album, titled Searchlight Needles, which was recently released through Missoula label For Arbors / For Satellites. The next live performance will take place May 12 at local venue The Laboratory as Jasmine kicks off a string of summer dates that will bring her through the Great Lakes (midwest to us) region and beyond. For a list of tour stops along the way and to get an earful of what has us completely smitten, stop in for a visit to the Cabinet of Natural Curiosities myspace page. Yeah, it really is that good." (READ MORE)

4. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on Laughing Evergreens:

"As another week draws to its inevitable conclusion, I find myself increasingly withdrawing from some of my former life's highlights. Perhaps it is the constant haze caused by lack of sleep or the transmutation of long partially dormant feelings, but I just want to get out of here, my reality. To aid me in this and help me imagine myself curled amid the branches of a huge green tree, just feeling the smooth bark, smelling the leaves and watching a green and golden world from above, requires a dream. And not just any kind of a dream: Jasmine Dreame Wagner, also known as Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. As her moniker implies, her works reveal a trove of natural curiosities and wonders, mainly of the folk-psychedelics kind, but not limited to it." (READ MORE)

5. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on Delicious Scopitone:

"Nous sommes loin du vacarme et de l’expérimentale quand Jasmine Dreame Wagner vient poser sa voix avec autant de délicatesse sur les mélopées composées par Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. Pourquoi vouloir choisir un ailleurs quand il y a tant à recevoir de l’instant?" (READ MORE)

6. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on Das Klienicum:

"cabinet of natural curiosities, einmal schreib ich es noch. blöder name. manchmal verfolge ich dann solche hinweise gar nicht mehr. aber man muss sich ja auch nicht so mädchenhaft haben. apropos mädchen. hinter dem pseudonym versteckt sich jasmine dreame wagner und weiß mit ganz anmutiger geste zu gefallen. es sind einige verstellte tunes dabei, aber durchhören, freunde, die meisten cuts sind überaus anschmiegsam, gut verdaulich. aber nicht gänzlich ohne wahrnehmbare allüren, schwächen und absacker. ganz mein wetter, wie sie da jungmädchenhaft und doch wissend über all die dinge singt, von denen man meint schon zu wissen. hier ein schweißband überm bauch, dort die sonnenflecken auf der stirn. wie die fotos, die ich von ihr sah. auf manchen meinte man eine schönheit zu sehen, wie sie allenfalls für new soul sängerinnen gelten könnte, auf anderen aber diese trügerische hässlichkeit, das verbiesterte, arme, die trübsal aus brooklyn. die wahrheit klemmt dazwischen. "valentine" und damit einer der ersten ausblicke auf ein neues album, nach mindestens sechs veröffentlichungen, gefällt mir mit am besten. ein shuffle sound auf dem schlagwerk, ein ruheloses klavier und die wundersame stimme wagners. in ferne mäandert eine gitarre. das unverbindliche grapscht nach dir. "for sparrow" kommt noch ein ecke gediegener, anschmiegsamer daher. gut." (READ MORE)

7. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on Someone To Love More Than Music:

"I'd first heard of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities after downloading a live set someone recorded at some coffee shop or small venue or something. When I got her album I was instantly struck by the unique artwork and packaging. A simple grey/brown CD sized envelope in plastic with a black tree and a moon printed on the front. Simple, but darling. I could say the same about most of the songs on her album. At their base, they are acoustic guitar singer/songwriter songs. Each song has their own little touches, like strange sound effects and unnerving doubling of the vocals, giving the album a sort of somber feeling to it. Her vocals are unconventional, but only just so, which is a bit unnerving as well. The combination of all these elements leaves me a little confused each time I hear the album. There are parts that I really dig a lot, and then, during some of the more peculiar parts of the album, such as the times when the track disolves into a six minute soundscape type thing, I lose a little interest. I liked the album, but I certainly enjoyed some parts more than others. I hope the project continues to be experimental, however, because there were a lot of things that I feel really worked." (READ MORE)

8. Cabinet of Natural Curiosities on WFMU!

Check out Irene Trudel's show (and past podcasts) Mondays on WFMU!

Playlist for May 11, 2009
Playlist for May 18, 2009

9. And Cabinet of Natural Curiosities' "St. James Infirmary" on Cover Lay Down's Songs From The Waiting Room.

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So much good news!

Thanks for being with us. More to report on as the summer grows. We're off to the ocean tomorrow to play some frisbee with our dear friend and future roadie Andrew.

-Xavier