Silent Kit

Silent Kit is my songwriting pseudonym. I’ve composed and recorded over 500 demo songs since 1996, many of which were recorded under the name, “Donkey Boy USA,” and released for free online from 1996 through 2012. I changed the name in late 2012 to allow for a formal, four-set, digital volume release. The songs selected for that release were sequenced by friend, poet and musician, Cameron McGill. I continue to record songs under the pseudonym, and release them for free without hesitation to this day. Free downloads, videos, to be found online if you do a little digging beginning with silentkit.com.

ClientSilent KitServicesSongwriting, Recording, Editing, Digital Distribution, VideoYear1996-PresentLinksilentkit.com

AN INTERVIEW AND IN-STUDIO BAND PERFORMANCE WITH SOCK MONKEY SOUND, NOVEMBER, 2009 / THIS IS THE ONLY LIVE PERFORMANCE THAT HAS BEEN PERFORMED TO DATE.

A REVIEW OF “GHOSTS”, WRITTEN FOR “THE LAST RITES OF RANSOM PRIDE” STARRING DWIGHT YOAKAM, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, LIZZY CAPLAN, JASON PRIESTLY AND MORE.  by Alex Danger Stewart 

“With the new Donkey Boy (USA) EP, A Song for ‘Last Rights,” Dave Decastris delivers a rumination on his favorite theme. The pain and degradation of low class Rockfordians. Those people whose hopes have long since died and for whom pleasure can only be found in the further destruction of their fragile ability to love.

Are you sure?

Yeah, mostly.

There are ghosts everywhere that I go in this town. There are ghosts everywhere I lay my head down. You could be my only friend. Take my hand, take my hand, take my hand.”

It’s the long story of still born dreams and the ways in which we desperately cling to each other in a desperate attempt to hide the sound of every creeping death. Or something like that.

With the help of a few Anthony Graigs, DBUSA offers us three versions of the song Ghosts. On a sheer economics level, it’s a great deal. For the price of one song (free) we get the final product, the demo, and the bangin club remix (look for that one on the Edmundo Graig 7”). It’s like the Stimulate This tour where all of those Republican bands played for really cheap to stick it to Obama, or something. Like that, but awesome.

The final version of Ghosts came out jagged and haunting with a surprisingly sexy blues undercurrent. It reminds one of the darker side of Gnarls Barkley, or the Black Keys album that Dangermouse produced (which is really redundant, if you think about it) and also very much of Beck; especially some of the more mechanical songs on Charlotte Gainsbourg’s IRM. I’m not positive, but the Ghosts demo might be my favorite mix of the song. Where the single version is sprawling, the demo holds itself close to your ear, feeling intimate and all the more damaged. Like the laptop ruminations of a man on his last legs. A man who has long since run out of friends who don’t come with screw tops. The Emundo Graig remix is pure sugar. A straight up flash of New Order, cocaine, and hair gel. It’s perfect for a quick desk chair salsa.

So I guess the question is: How do you feel? Sexy? Depressed and alone? Piquant? The A Song for Last Rights” EP has a flavor for each.”

 

“SAY YES TO THE NO NOS”
One time live performance by Say Yes To The No-No’s, line-up, 03-01-2008

1.Jesus Correa VII
2.Kevin Schwitters
3.Dave Decastris
4.Phil Goudreaux
5.Brandon Lutmer
6.Taylor Marie Moorman
7.Jason Judd
8.Steven Wirth
9.Spencer Scott
10.Zach Ippen
11. Barrett James

 

A BUNCH OF SHITTY BAND VIDEOS I MADE TO FILL UP THE INTERNET WITH MORE FREE DATA.

CAPTAINS DEAD REVIEWS ONLINE LEAK OF DBUSA (PRE-SILENT KIT), 2009

speaking from experience and i can only assume this is true no matter your zip, area or postal code, but no matter where you lay your head you are bound to hear of a local musician that is a bit reclusive with their works. i can name at least two guys i know from chicago that wrote and recorded some amazing songs, but never could be convinced to share them with anyone outside of a select few. god damn shame i always thought, and i tried my damnedest to try and coax, at least one of them, to bring his songs out into the public, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. there’s a chap named dave decastris aka donkey boy usa that resides just northwest of chicagoland in the lovely city of rockford that seems to seems to have been suffering from the same kind of inner struggle as my friend, or maybe he’s just lazy. he’s amassed a shoebox collection of 400+ songs, most of which i dont believe have been put to tape. he’s been slowly working on the album & the anthony graigs for the better part of 13 years. he did some recording at an actual studio, but that studio fuse recordings in rockford shut down in 08. supposedly he is & the anthony graigs is going to be released in 2012. in the meantime, what we have here is a rough mix preview of said record. if you are a fan of lou barlow’s sentridoh, pollard, westerberg, silver jews, east river pipe and bands/artists of the like you should enjoy this. its far from perfect but lyrically he’s pretty funny and the music itself is pretty solid. 

 

SAID THE GRAMOPHONE REVIEWS “UPCHUCK”, 2004

Donkey Boy’s stuff was passed on to me by Dave, whom I assume is Donkey Boy himself, and it’s fine, splintered alt.folk – like Sparklehorse with toy instruments and a lofi pop glimmer. I like the wryness that breathes within the dustiness, the way the singer has withdrawn slightly from the back-and-forth of synths and sound-effects. It’s sweet and forlorn, but there’s a grin behind all that – it’s a heartfelt song that ends with someone smilingly talking shit.

 

SAID THE GRAMOPHONE REVIEWS “MIDNIGHT WITH SIMON”, 2004

Yes, it’s a song that’s centered around masturbation, but man, the beats here are awesome. The crunch of the downbeat, the seething feedback, and then the coda’s astonishing slip into acoustic guitar. This is part of a new album by Donkey Boy, to be released in 2005. Dave DeCastris is writing song-stories about the absurd sheen of Midwest normalcy, the “freak” neighbours who stare through the window as you eat your cereal. The song’s protagonist has his hand in his pants, yes. He watches TV and then he falls asleep. But around it all, the buzz of guitar, the tumble of percussion, and that peculiar shift into glimmery guitar.