Cass McCombs’ Endlessly Intriguing “Big Wheel and Others”

Courtesy of Domino USA

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Cass McCombs
Big Wheel and Others
Domino

Showing little interest in image-building, Cass McCombs has quietly compiled an impressive body of work over the last decade that affirms the viability of the old-fashioned American singer-songwriter. With Big Wheel and Others, however, he may grab the spotlight in spite of himself.

Running nearly 90 minutes, this sprawling two-disc set brims with striking songs—some of them memorable vignettes of troubled souls, some of them cryptic pronouncements—ranging from delicate and dreamy (“Angel Blood”) to ominous and brooding (“Joe Murder”) to swaggering and determined (“Honesty Is No Excuse”), all of it tied together by diffident vocals that are more tantalizing than revealing.

Highlights include a tender, toe-tapping duet with the recently deceased actress Karen Black (“Brighter!”) and “Everything Has to Be Just So,” a hallucinatory nine-minute head trip. Like M. Ward, only quieter, Cass McCombs is an endlessly intriguing troubadour.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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