I wonder what other reviewers in the real world (i.e. not lowly blogs) do when they get a record like Nick Jaina’s The Seven Stations (Bang Back Records, Oct. 21). Does it go in the unknown and unloved pile only be listened to after all the bands with a pr budget and those that have all the cogs in the music industry spinning have been given first dibs? Or is it given an equal and honest chance to succeed on it’s own merits. I suspect it doesn’t but I hope that somehow it can sneak out of that god-forsaken pile and crawl across the desk onto the pile of pre-approved recordings from major (indie) labels.
For me it was placed immediately into the good pile since it came with a handwritten note saying that Nick is a good friend of Laura Gibson (here) and that the cream of the crop of Portland’s musical scene guested on the record on instruments like violin, clarinet, vibraphone, trumpet, cello, banjo and upright bass. “The Red Queen” is a merry little jazz-waltz (?) that wouldn’t seem out of place on an early Tom Waits’ record. The vibraphones and violin add to the sense of mystery and the steamy late-night film noir atmosphere the song creates. Also listen as the character in “Maybe Cocaine” struggles between the life he’d like and the life he’s stuck with and see why cocaine may be the answer to reconcile the two. You can and should buy it here or here now.
Double bonus added Dec. 31