Kaspar Hauser
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Kaspar Hauser

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Band Rock Pop

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


• "Comerford ... sings in a nasal tenor that reminds me of Bill Callahan (the artist formerly known as Smog), ripping through shambling, melodic rock tunes with a bored swagger. There’s a definite shot of the Rolling Stones here, particularly in the looseness of the arrangements, but Kaspar Hauser doesn’t seem particularly concerned with using classic rock ‘n’ roll riffery; the guitars sputter and clamber more than they groove. A few ballads embrace a darker, more atmospheric vibe—including a surprisingly good cover of Big Star’s “Holocaust,” a tough tune to mess with—but ultimately Comerford’s writing and the way he comfortably wears the skin of these warmly familiar songs is what puts the band over. Even when the songs seem like they’re about to fall apart, his singing threads them back together." -Peter Margasak, 3/8, Post No Bills/Chicago Reader - Chicago Reader/Post No Bills


Discography

Kaspar Hauser EP, limited edition CDR, 2000
Bird's Eyes b/w Glazed 7" vinyl record, 2000
The Tin Can Gong, CD, 2002
4-time Winner b/w Western 7" vinyl record, 2003
Quixotic/Taxidermy, CD, 2007

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Long-time midwesterner Thomas Comerford started Kaspar Hauser while living in Iowa City in 1999. Though he’d played guitar, written songs and played in bands since the age of ten, with influences ranging from the Beatles to the Meat Puppets to Will Oldham, his only releases were hand-held tape recordings handed out to friends. Upon moving to Chicago in 1999, he began to assemble various lineups to do sporadic shows and recordings. Kaspar Hauser was still a part-time activity, however, as Comerford (who teaches film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) was producing 16mm films and touring the country with them.

It was in making the Quixotic/Taxidermy record from 2004-2006 that Comerford felt he was finally achieving a level of musical artistry that fully fleshed out his songs. For recording, he drew on a number of friends and previous contributors, including Stephen “the kid” Howard (Pinebender, Ambulette), Johnathan Crawford (ex-Head of Femur, William Elliot Whitmore) and Kent Lambert (Roommate), among others. Kris Poulin, a Chicago engineer (Pinback, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billie, Love Story in Blood Red) who has recorded and played with Comerford over the years, recorded and mixed the bulk of the record.

Quixotic/Taxidermy makes songwriting its focus, and every element -- from the Kinks-inspired harmonies of “King Pop” to the Stones-y slide guitar of “Without a Word” -- draws upon Comerford’s range of influences to serve the mood and fragmented narratives in each song. The songs’ narrators, much in the tradition of J.D. Salinger and Flannery O’Connor, are alienated and often deluded, yet they attempt to make some sense of the situations in which they find themselves.

Chicago label Backwardmasking Records, home also to Love Story in Blood Red, has issued the record in February 2007. Kaspar Hauser, with a new live lineup, will be playing shows around the midwest in winter/spring 2007 and touring the United States in summer and fall 2007.