Nicki Jaine

CD Review: Of Pigeons and Other Curiosities

In her first full-length release, "Of Pigeons and Other Curiosities," put out on the shelves in May, Nicki Jaine embellishes her moody, Tom Waits-esque style, with a full band and mastering.

"Overall, it's just more professionally done than any of my previous recordings," said Jaine, who was nominated for "best female entertainer" and "best acoustic act" in the 2004 Philly Music Awards.

However, it's Jaine's vocal and lyrical ability to delve into her deepest emotions, during her jet-black musings, that make the CD so appealing. Jaine's lyrics can many times be simultaneously social and personal, while her band's instrumentation remains brilliant.

"This album is quite different from my prior recordings, in quite a few ways," Jaine said. "Everything on the album was played to a click track, whereas the demos were always recorded 'live,' in the studio."

She let the album's producer/engineer Jason Rubal (Hierosonic, Eversong) find the musicians, whose dynamic additions further spurred Jaine's statement, for the project.

The album's rhythm section, bassist Mike Stang and drummer Mark Bohn, come from the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania based Hierosonic, who played Lollapalooza 2003, which included Jane's Addiction, Audioslave and Incubus.

The disc remains rather mellow, until it slightly changes the pace upon reaching track eight, "Antarctica", where its distorted, grungy guitars sit on top of ascending/descending piano runs. Jaine, in the song, cleverly wishes a life, and possibly a death, to her lover on the world's most lonely continent.

Acoustic and clean guitars, Hammond organs and piano runs join Jaine's chilling vocals on most of the disc.

Jaine kicked off the release of "Of Pigeons and Other Curiosities" with a CD release party in May at the gallery of the legendary CBGB, in New York.

CD release parties allow artists and their fans to acknowledge and celebrate what has been accomplished, Jaine said. They are a way to hone in on how far things have come and "take a good look at where you want things to go," she said.

"I think a lot of artists are so focused on what they are doing on a day-to-day basis that they don't see the big picture and realize what they've accomplished over time," she said. "I know that is definitely true for me on many busy days."

Prior to that, on May 5th, she played an opening set for Black Tape for a Blue Girl in New York.

"It was the first show I had played since [the album] had been completed and it was a great experience," Jaine said. "Black Tape is such a beautiful band and their audience is so attentive. I enjoyed my time in the studio, but am really happy to have the recording done and be back to performing out."

The release is the first for the Harrisburg-based label Shaman Records, which began in 2003. Guitar virtuoso Peat is set put out the label's second disc in the near future.

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Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.