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Friday, March 14 • 11:30pm - Saturday, March 15 •12:00am
Nik Freitas

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Nik Freitas' Team Love debut   Sundown -- equal parts wry, warm and sonorous --  is the end product  of several years of ups and downs in the world of independent music.  Freitas writes, plays, engineers and produces every note on his records. Not that he's got a lot of expensive gear. A visit to his Poppy Peak studio/shed reveals that Nik is working low-budget minor miracles, the kind of miracles one receives via hundreds of hours on Craigslist. One listen to Sundown and you know you're hearing a certain hard-won grace.    It all began several years ago for Freitas, when a co-worker sold him an antique piano that was "used by a street musician before the dawn of the Casio." Nik taught himself how to play the thing, and it became the cornerstone of his three earlier records, Here's Laughing at You, Heavy Mellow and Voicing the Hammers. Other people began to take notice. He's opened for Jason Lytle (of Granddaddy), played guitar for Jim Fairchild (of All Smiles), and recorded with Miles Kurosky (of Beulah). Lately, he's been opening shows for Bright Eyes…which led him to his current resting place at Team Love.  Sundown  perfectly encapsulates Nik's sound, taking you from Paul Simon's   Graceland to David Bowie's Hunky Dory all in the span of forty effortless minutes. The record is endowed with a sort of gravity and self-possession; no reaching,  no going for the gold, just perfect, four minute thesis statements. Go beyond the title track, and into the rest of the record, and you'll hear an old-fashioned song cycle with a beginning, middle, and end.  "All the Way Down" is Nik's version of a protest song, one that could have easily sprung from the pen of Raymond Douglas Davies. It stops and starts in fits of piano-driven whimsy that makes its point without the use of blunt force.  The end of the imaginary side one features "Sophie".  Live horns punctuate the tale of a girl who seems to have made some rather unfortunate choices. It's a perfect signpost of a song, and clears the decks for what's to come in the second half, where Nik's orchestra of one builds the final five songs  into an Abbey Road type sweep that fans of Jon Brion will hearken to. Sundown is imbued with a sort of indie grandeur that is both unexpected and totally natural.

Friday March 14, 2008 11:30pm - Saturday March 15, 2008 12:00am
Habana Calle 6 709 E 6th St

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