So, What Is It?

A funny thing happens when you download acoustic folk/chamber quartet Picastro's disc, Metal Cares, on iTunes. What pops up under the "genre" field? Not indie folk, acoustic or classical -- but "unclassifiable." Of course, the Toronto-based band, which comes to the Proletariat today, lists gypsy field recordings, Greek and Russian folk music and even Black Sabbath as their influences. So just how're the folks at Apple supposed to label that?

Guitarist Liz Hysen's moaning vocals cast an eerie, echoing shadow over the band's arrangements of cello, viola, piano, drums and guitars. The music flows from wintry Cat Power-esque folk-rock to introspective Dirty Three chamber rock. And Hysen's lyrics are cryptic; they're murmured and whispered as if there were some ominous reason they shouldn't be deciphered. Despite being sparse and lulling, the songs can jump out at you; "Skinnies" swathes an unsuspecting wave of static noise over the sole strumming of the acoustic guitar and Hysen's harrowing notes. This unclassifiable showcase of eccentric music kicks off with Weird Weeds and Listen Listen at 9 p.m.
Tue., May 30, 9 p.m.


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