Of all Adrian Orange's albums, Nothing
may be the most oddly titled. Sure, some of his albums have poetic almost nonsensical names—Now It Is All Over Like The Birds
and Cave Days And Moments
come to mind—but Nothing
is an album title that makes little sense when compared with the album's content.
Recorded under the moniker Thanksgiving in 2003, the 21-year-old Orange is at his most confessional on Nothing
. His voice is steady and his guitar clear, matched only by occasional backing vocals and strumming from Marriage Records
founder Curtis Knapp. The lyrics are narrative and figurative, about being swept into the ocean and getting lost in the moment. The music itself might be minimal but what Orange is saying is layered—and Nothing is the kind of album that lends itself to a new meaning with every listen.
“Off With Yr Hat” is an example of this layered story-telling. The song stands out from other Thanksgiving recordings because of its somewhat traditional structure—lines that rhyme, a repeated musical bridge, and even a chorus containing the lines “We'll find something to look for here/Or I don't care where.” But Orange is also revealing a something personal when he sings this song; the intentionally vague lyrics that Thanksgiving is known for start to make sense when he gets to the lines, “It's all how it starts out/and I never leave til I'm kicked out.”
Orange might as well be professing how he feels about his musical career these days: He will keep making music just like he did when he first performed in Portland 10 years ago—that is, until someone tells him to stop. And no one would dare ask that, not as along as Orange keeps making songs like this, so he trudges on, releasing one album after another.
Adrian Orange performs with his latest musical incarnation, Adrian Orange and Her Band at the Artistery at 8 pm on Friday, Sept. 21.
Thanksgiving at Marriage Records
Adrian Orange and Her Band on Myspace
Adrian Orange's K Records profile