cool hand bak

Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Looking For A Handout

It just goes to show, you never know where your next favorite song will turn up. When I was in Vancouver, B.C. a couple weeks ago, I stopped at Zulu Records to pick-up Sleater-Kinney tickets. By the door they had a few boxes of free CDs and, seeing as I'm curious, I peeked in. One of the few things I took was The Nein's self-titled EP from last year. I can't really say what made me take The Nein - I like their name, I like the artwork and they're on Sonic Unyon, that was basically enough. I'm glad I picked it up though, and in the next paragraph I'll tell you why.

Being a music fan, at least one who's still looking forward to something new, means being open, willfully exposing oneself to new things. Like any hunt or journey, there are risks involved and usually those who are willing to take those risks are the ones who end up the most fulfilled. Especially now that radio is useless, music fans are more resourceful and have to take greater chances to hear "the next". Granted, picking up a free CD at a record store isn't taking much of a chance, but it's an example: I went into The Nein not knowing what to expect, just being willing to give this band I'd never heard of before a chance, and I was rewarded handsomely. Of course, sometimes it goes the other way and one ends up listening to a sorry excuse for music, but to me that's part of the process too. I can't ever see myself getting to the point where I'm so cynical about new music, or so content to limit myself to hearing again what I already love, that I stop looking in free CD boxes, reading blogs and reviews, or listening to the recommendations of folks I trust. You see, I really will listen to anything once. What happens beyond that is anyone's guess.

Now, hopefully I haven't talked this up to such an extent that you're expecting something truly mind-blowing from The Nein. They're an interesting young band from North Carolina with a couple songs I really like, and their EP definitely left me wanting to hear more. Here are the two songs I dig:

The Nein - "Handout"

The Nein - "War Is On The Stereo"

As mentioned above, The Nein are on Sonic Unyon, a great Canadian record label that is also home to Tangiers, Andre Ethier, Damon & Naomi and Frank Black. They'll be releasing The Nein's first full-length, Wrath Of Circuits, on May 17th. In the meantime, visit their website for more information and tour dates.

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