In this day and age when everyone seems to be oversharing every bit of personal information on social networks and every move they make via Twitter, it's refreshing to stumble upon an artist that's keeping some things to himself. Rather than making the big reveal a daily process, Cass McCombs is still reveling in mystery four albums into his career. This much is known about McCombs. He was born in Concord, California, but by the time he was 23, he sold his instruments and records, and split for the East Coast trying to escape. "I was just sick of life," he once said. Although he had ditched his gear, McCombs did end up performing at open mic nights New York City. But don't attach too much meaning to the locale from which McCombs sprang from, nor any of his stops along the way. "I can't stand it when people market themselves as being from a region, like drawing '212' on your forehead," he told Vice magazine.
That said, McCombs once sang, "So I got a job cleaning toilets at a nightclub in Baltimore," on "That's That," a song from his second album, 2007's Dropping The Writ. But then again, don't take that as the gospel, either. "At least when it comes to making a song," he once explained, "I feel we are all living mythological figures, myths are the most real things we have. But with my songs I'm trying to do the opposite, to obliterate my self, not they tend to twist the facts. In that sense, none of the records are autobiography. It is all fiction. If this were turned into a maxim, it would sound something like: fiction makes understanding, fact makes chaos."
If that has you somewhat perplexed and you're looking for answers, you'd likely want turn to the artist's official website for clarification. But that won't work with ol' clever Cass. Take a look for yourself by clicking here, and no, I didn't mix up cassmccombs.com with Hot Chicks With Douchebags, but there are some similarities there.
McCombs has claimed that he avoids interviews because he has "the personality of a wet blanket." Having never met the man, I can't tell you if that's true of false. I can make the assumption that Cass McCombs has adopted this air of mystery because he wants people to focus on his music rather than his persona and personal life. With that in mind, here's a free MP3 of "Dreams-Come-True-Girl" featuring the actress Karen Black of Easy Rider fame, as a guest vocalist. I can't tell you why McCombs chose to insert hyphens between all the words in the title, when only the first two are grammatically correct, nor can I tell you his connection to Black, and how she ended up on this track from Catacombs, but I can tell you it's a damn good tune. Watch the video and listen to the track with a slightly nostalgic vibe that harkens back to the days of classic Roy Orbison and Del Shannon. If you like it, right click and select "save as" to add it to your own digital library. If you really dig it, pick up a copy of Catacombs and look for McCombs on the road.