the Notes and Scratches

Chicago Reader

friday, december 16th, 2005 at 11:00 am

The NOTES AND SCRATCHES, a quintet of members of the local Tense Forms art collective, has just released its own first CD,Uh-Oh. The credits list more esoteric instruments than a Gypsy pawn shop, but the nicely understated production lets them all bleed together into a hazy shimmer that gives “The Hours” and “The Cass Song” a palpable sense of ennui. Joshua Dumas’s unfiltered-cigarette voice fits the mood well, as do his Raymond Carver-esque lyrics (“I’m tossing matchsticks into a teacup / They hiss and pop and go out,” from “In the City of Eggtimers”). The CD comes in a plain cardboard sleeve with hand-printed cover art, a nifty minimalist touch. —J. Niimi

J. Niimi