Castanets perform with Holy Sons and Dolorean on Wednesday, March 9, at the Hemlock Tavern. 9 p.m., $8; www.hemlocktavern.com.
When Castanets' Raymond Raposa began writing the sparse, somber, largely acoustic songs that have since become his forte, he did it to kill time while living in San Diego. Nearly a decade later, the project's figurehead lives in Portland, Ore., but is still into the same craft, a commitment partly due to the band's perpetually fluctuating lineups. The many players who have shuffled in and out of its recordings and live shows include Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck, songstress Jana Hunter, and Shaky Hands' Nathan Delffs. Raposa serves as reliable backbone — a guitarist who meticulously unravels his words like a terminally ill man trying to determine what sentiments he wants to survive him. Although Raposa has expressed his distaste for the term "freak folk," the rawness of Castanets' sound represents the best of what that term can mean.