Friday, October 10, 2014

Cassette Review: Jan "Let It Ride" (Rok Lok Records)

[$5 // Edition of 40 //]

At the beginning of "Let It Ride" there are these tones that progress into piano parts and it sounds as if a different band is coming-- I want to say somewhere between Ben Kweller and The Verve.   I'm digging it in its instrumental ways and then a sad guitar enters with accompanying vocals.   I'd like to give you comparisons as to what this sounds like, but they wouldn't quite do it justice.   I'm sure you all have your ideas already as to what this might sound like but I assure you it is much better than what is formed in your head.

Through the melodic melancholy we shift to a scene where people are talking and music can faintly be heard.   This gives way to an acoustic guitar strum and the vocals return with it.    Despite my hearing a seemingly endless number of what they call the singer/songwriters in my past, I still am drawn to this.   Despite the fact that I've probably forgotten about more of these singer/songwriters than I can remember gives you a clue as to how good this is.   I could name at least ten vocals + guitar artists I enjoy off the top of my head and if you give me some time I could probably come up with twenty or thirty more.

What fascinates me most of all is that at the end of this cassette, on the last track, we hear what can only be referred to as an inverted live song.   Rather than having the focus on the person singing and playing their guitar, it is as if the crowd has the microphones and the musician is the background noise.    Not only do I find this to be a unique way to experience this music, I find it to be a great reflection on the current state of live music as a whole.

How often do you go to see someone perform live and there are groups of people there on their phones, updating Facebook statuses, tweeting and texting?   People are even so rude as to talk to one another while a musician is playing.   Yet, if a musician ever was to demand something such as silence (except for singing along) during their set then there would be a proverbial shitstorm of backlash from fans claiming the arrogance and nerve.

Whether people want to demonstrate good manners at shows or not, "Let It Ride" is an experience you should take as Jan shows us music from all different sides and angles, yet all together at once as well.    Plus I managed to make it through this review without saying that I'm the real Jan Brady.  (Crap!)

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