Cass McCombs has long been known for his oddities. Though he released a few albums before it, his breakout album, 2009’s Catacombs introduced the shadowy, winding craft that the singer/songwriter would quickly be known for. Unafraid to play with structure and tone, his latest record, Big Wheel and Others is shot through with the musings of a drug-addled 4-year-old who appears in a 1969 documentary about San Francisco’s hippie enclave in Haight-Ashbury. But when the track skips back to Cass, he’s all freewheeling guitarist questioning the universe, and despite this role’s seeming romance, McCombs makes it grim. Expect densely layered songs that dip their toes in jazz, folk, rock, and expect their author to reserve the right to take poetic license at any moment.
Thu., Dec. 12, 9 p.m., 2013