Blog

Catching up with Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza, former lead vocalist and stand up bassist for HUSH recording artist Noise For Pretend is cropping up again in the media. This time we find the The New Yorker lavishing an in-depth profile on the now 25 year old sensation.  You’ll need to pick up the mag, or have a digital subscription to read that, but the website has a nice podcast to accompany the article:

Esperanza on The New Yorker Audio Podcast

Recently, Esperanza performed some amazing, seemingly frenetic renditions of jazz standards in studio on NPR affiliate Jazz24. Listen here.

The author also provided some candid behind-the-scenes video of Spalding’s songwriting process and work on a forthcoming album:

When I visited her home in Austin, Texas, I asked if I could shoot some video of her explaining how a song gets written and arranged. She happily obliged me by talking about the creation of an as-yet-untitled song:

Spalding plans to record this song but not for her next album, “The Chamber Music Society,” which is due out this summer. But I went out to Bennett Recording Studios, in Englewood, N.J., and watched her conduct a string section for a song that will be. It’s called “Apple Blossom”:

Nick Jaina – Into The Woods

The new episode of Into The Woods’ “Feels Like Home” features a performance from Nick Jaina on his hardwood floor, plus a brief cameo (cateo?) from his little feline friend as well. Do I see a collaboration in their future? No? Well, okay then.

Jaina doesn’t do a new song from his forthcoming A Bird in the Opera House LP, instead going with “Maryanne,” the lovely opening number from 2008’s Wool.

From End Hits

“Sleep Child” from Nick Jaina’s A Bird In The Opera House

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Premiering today exclusively on magnetmagazine.com is “Sleep Child,” a thrilling folk number from Nick Jaina’s upcoming seventh solo release. A Bird In The Opera House is out April 13 on Hush Records and was apparently written in and inspired by a variety of locales ranging from sunny California to snowy Oregon. Since the album is so rooted in the West Coast, Jaina and his band will spend the month of April touring the left side of the country in support of the release.

“Sleep Child”

Hosannas – “Then & Now & Then” To Drop May 11

Hosannas has been the talk of the town in ’09 and early ’10, so it brings us great pleasure to announce their upcoming May release Then & Now & Then:

Then & Now & Then captures Hosannas at a defining moment.  Collecting the first fruits of brothers Richard and Brandon Laws songwriting with the mellifluous accompaniment of Cristof Hendrickson, this is a slightly warmer and more comprehensive introduction to the band (formerly known as Church) than their well-received Song Force Crystal, which in addition to their intense tour ethic and consistent presence in the Portland scene, helped Hosannas amass a sizable following.

At the center, the brothers vocals dovetail with a rare sensitivity and tenderness, floating over a shifting landscape of warm, distorted guitar figures, found sounds, electric piano, analog synth squalls and the occasional tribal percussion rave up.  It’s a complex tapestry that revels in willful discord, textural juxtapositions,  and arrangements with intense mood swings.  Hosannas is experimental in the same way that the Beach Boys were experimental in their day: challenging assumptions and conventions of pop songwriting, while honoring the fundamentals:  melody, ethos, harmony, golden ratios, modulation, surprise.

But, it may come as no surprise Then & Now & Then was recorded to analog 4 track tape in the living room of an old Portland house.  One can almost hear the freedom of time and space in these songs, as if they were discovered, explored and mapped in the same place. Culling from two short-run CDR EP releases and adding 3 previously unreleased songs, this collection has been wholly reinvigorated with a much-needed mastering from Carl Saff,  and a song sequence that takes the listener on a journey with a beginning, middle and end.

Tracklist:

The Sea (alternate)
Hugs
Bee Cave
Cloud
Happiness
King Crow
Seen You But See Through
Islands
Walrus
Asleep In The Weeds
Catch Up To You
Onward With Bravery
Right As Rain
Song Force Crystal

Upcoming Dates

  • 02/18/10 in Portland, Or at PSU – Parkway North, Smith Student Union (7pm)
  • 03/13/10 in Seattle, Wa at University of Seattle [at The Bistro]
  • 03/14/10 in Portland, Or at Knife Shop
  • 04/06/10 in Davis, Ca at UC Davis Quad (Noon)
  • 04/07/10 in Palo Alto, Ca at Stanford (at the Coho)
  • 04/09/10 in Ashland, Or at Alex’s Restaurant
  • 04/10/10 in Portland, Or at Sunburn Music Festival at Lewis and Clark