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Checking in With Nick Jaina

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in Pendleton, Or.

Nick Jaina’s stock is up.

The band reports 90% “great to amazing” shows, 10% “okay”. Perusing past tour journals might give one the impression he’s payed his dues for it. Good show lads. Godspeed.

Before Nick left he played a solo set and answered some questions as a guest of Willamette Week’s Portland Lounge Series. Unfortunately the recording is decidedly lo-fi and the audio for the interview segment was tossed due to technical difficulites. Nonetheless, if you’re feeling curious have a listen. There’s some nice performances of rarely-played songs beneath that hiss.

For the hi-fi experience we would again draw your attention to the OPBmusic set. A must!

Meanwhile the accolades mount:

“Nick Jaina’s incredible new album Wool leads me, with every new listen, deeper into a strange, insular spell. From the stately, ornate piano line that opens the recording, to the final sounds of creaking oars, restless crows and hazy radio transmissions, the blues-based songs are eerie, dreamlike, and demand repeated listen. ” – Redeviva Magazine

“His slow-burn tempos speed up my pulse waiting for the shoe to drop on almost every song.” – Perfect Porridge

“The cumulative effect of the staged/natural ambience, lo/mid/hi-fi recording styles, New Orleans, Tom Waits and Chopin is Tim Burtonesque in its magic: strange, moving, and oddly serene.” – The Inlander


“From the opening dark piano chords of “Maryanne” to the rock-you-to-sleep melody of the “Lonesome Blues” Wool is a stunningly impressive achievement. Ranging emotions from loss to love, sweetly innocent but still achingly distant, the album flows with rare grace. ” – OU Daily

“A piano heavy album that feels almost like watching a movie to hear.” – Fifty Foot Shadows

Casey Dienel plays as White Hinterland

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photo: Tod Seelie

 

This post seems a bit overdue now as the news on Casey Dienel’s new record (Phylactery Factory on Dead Oceans Mar 4) under the moniker White Hinterland was picked up by the influential Stereogum and Gorilla vs Bear weeks ago. Sadly, the accolades were followed by reports of misfortune. While in New York City, Casey and her young comrades were the victims of a heinous theft: all their gear stolen from the van. A donation fund was setup at the band’s site.

The album was recorded in Portland at The Type Foundry Studio with Adam Selzer (of Norfolk & Western, naturally). The whole band kicked in actually: Dave Depper, Rachel Blumberg, Peter Broderick (also of Horsefeathers, Efterklang, and under his own name), and Cory Gray (also of Carcrashlander) contributed polish as the backing band. Cementing the Portland community sound-stamp, Laura Gibson sings on two songs and Jordan Hudson (formerly of The Thermals and Operacycle) played vibraphone. It’s a classy record, and all leading indicators suggest you’ll be hearing more about it in the months to come.

In the meantime, whet your appetite with “Dreaming Of The Plum Trees” . How about that bassline? Nice work, Mr. Depper.

Also from PRI’s Fair Game:
Art Deco House
Plum Trees
Thin Thread
Lindberghs

Lastly, hop on over to NPR’s Bryant Park to listen and watch another in-studio sesh.

Viva Le White Hinterland!

 

Checking In With Loch Lomond

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photo: Alica Rose

What have Portland’s favorite indie-folk ensemble been up to lately? Well, for starters they’ve been Looking fine.

And sounding fine. Let’s recap shall we?

They recently played a gorgeously produced studio set (with interview) for OPB. And not long before that on the other coast they played another well-recorded seven song set for WFMU including “Bird and a Bear”, “Tick”, “Song in 3/4”, “Carl Sagan”, “Elephants and Little Girls”, “Stripe II” and “Witchy”, and Before you go thinking why purchase the album then? NPR’s Second Stage replies: “It’s a profoundly emotional and beautifully recorded album… The group makes brilliantly crafted chamber folk that’s lush and richly textured, but cozy.” They offer “A Field Report” as evidence.

Thankfully, all this attention hasn’t been lost on Portlanders, and they were happy to turn out in force, selling out The Doug Fir a few weeks back for a triumphant show. Catch them in April as they play shows up and down the west coast. As per usual keep it here for the latest. Or subscribe to our trés hi tech RSS Feed for your favorite RSS reader.

Laura Gibson Hinah Session

photo: Ramona Cordova

photo: Ramona Córdova

While in France a few months back Laura Gibson played a house show with her boyfriend and collaborator Sean Ogilvie which was recorded by the kind and industrious folks of Hinah and distributed freely via their site and lastFM. The recording itself has an audio cassette patina to it which probably wouldn’t paint a kind picture of most artists, but in Laura’s case the strength of the raw songs come through, and her voice radiates in the small room. I recommend lighting a candle and playing these eight tracks over laptop speakers some quiet evening.

1 – “A Good Word, An Honest Man”
2 – “Broken Bottle”
3 – “Nightwatch”
4 – “Sleeper”
5 – “Hands In Pockets”
6 – “Shake Sugaree”
7 – “Come By Storm”
8 – “This Is Not The End”

Any small speakers will do, really.

While were at it, we should re-post the link to the excellent (and a bit fuller-bodied) Daytrotter session, as well as the properly notify you of the If You Come To Greet Me vinyl LP issued late last year on Graveface.