MP3 Gary Tanin - Sublime Nation
Rock, Pop, Articulate, Textured, Thoughtful, Emotional
15 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Classic Rock, POP: Beatles-pop
Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads)
T Lavitz (Dixie Dregs)
Junior Brantley (Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmie Vaughn Band)
Jef Eaton (Otto & the Elevators)
Greg Koch (Greg Koch and the Tone Controls)
Victor De Lorenzo (Violent Femmes)
Scott Finch (Bluehand, Gypsy)
Connie Grauer (Mrs. Fun, Indigo Girls, https://www.tradebit.comge)
Carl (Blue) Tolbert
A virtual unknown who''s changing that status with virtual marketing, veteran Milwaukee musician-producer-engineer Gary Tanin goes all out on Sublime Nation. He employs top-shelf technology to concoct this superclean-sounding album, with all-star help from co-producer/musician Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads) and keyboard players T. Lavitz (Dixie Dregs) and Jr. Brantley (Fabulous Thunderbirds).
Tanin and Harrison bring a sincere pop vision to the project, billed as a "collection of unpretentious love songs." The sound recalls the also ambitious Don Dixon (check the studied soul hooks of "Little Black Book") and the studio wizardry has drawn (deserved) comparisons to Steely Dan. "When You Need Somebody" is the set''s finest moment.
Sublime Nation is being marketed on the Internet and through "gourmet record shops;" and it''s gonna be big in Japan.
Star-Gazette/ USA Today
There''s not a lot roaming the racks that bears much resemblence to Tanin''s debut effort. Sublime Nation is an independent shot with some major league collaborations (Jerry Harrison/Talking Heads, Dixie Dregs-man T. Lavitz, and former Femme''s drummer Victor De Lorenzo) that has clean, up-tempo pop melodies swimming in a mix of bright guitars, neatly arranged synthesizers and harmonies. Tanin''s voice approximates something that sounds like a spry Donald Fagen minus the cynacism as he goes through a roster of love songs that are unique in that they are so unabashedly straight faced in a time when vague lyrical allusions reign supremo. "Little Black Book" has an effective dash of horns and a revivalist emotion to it and the strolling bass rhythm and the pleasant overall feel of "When You Need Somebody" may get Tanin some attention in the end.
You may not know Sublime Nation now, but you will soon. Gary Tanin is the mastermind behind this star-studded project, which also features the likes of Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), T Lavitz (Dixie Dregs) and Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes). This set of finely tuned pop songs is made for radio, with a fine selection of dance rockers for the MTV crowd and love songs for the VH1 types. "... this is a solid project, with excellent production and outstanding musicianship."
Although Tanin''s keyboards are the dominant force throughout, he changes pace almost from song to song to keep things interesting. The disc starts with a slow paced love song, then cranks up the horn section for track two ("Out Of My Head"). The guitars come out in force for "Little Black Book", which also brings back those killer horns, and the bluesy "Cold Black Night". The last song worth a special mention is "When You Need Somebody", which features some nice bass and a jazzy piano track.
Check this out if you listen to: Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby, E
Top Cuts: Little Black Book, When You Need Somebody, Darling
There seems to be some confusion surrounding the album entitled Sublime Nation. Sublime Nation is the title of the debut album from Gary Tanin, not the name of the band. But if it were, it would be quite a band! Besides Gary Tanin''s keyboards and vocals, it would also include Jerry Harrison (from the Talking Heads), T. Lavitz (from Dixie Dregs), Victor De Lorenzo, (formerly of Violent Femmes), and Connie Grauer.
Sublime Nation is Gary Tanin''s record, but all the aforementioned worked on the disc, along with others, to form a disc that sounds as good as you would think with a supporting cast like that. A CD made by a group of innovative keyboard players, released on a label that began as an interactive CD-ROM company may sound like something that could only be appreciated by sound engineers.
But Gary Tanin knows a secret... Begin with really good songs and get innovative with how you record them. This is what sets Sublime Nation apart from things like Rick Wakeman''s synthesizer albums of the seventies (Journey to the Center of the Earth, Six Wives of Henry the Eighth, et al.) Beautiful lyrics sung with beautiful, multi-layered vocals, combined with standard song lengths, make Sublime Nation very accessible and its technical merits are still intact to be appreciated by the experts.
"Through my Lovers Eyes", "Out of My Head", and "Every Trick In The Book" are the best songs on the disc although there are really not any bad ones. Don''t try too hard to categorize this album. It doesn''t really fit into Jazz, Pop, or Techno. It simply belongs in the category of good music.
Black Dog Magazine (Premier Issue)
Sublime Nation is an indy offering on the MultiMusicaUSA label. This debut CD features the songs, musicianship, and production skills of Gary Tanin, a Milwaukee, WI native.
Included with Tanin are an impressive array of collaborators, which include Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads fame and producer extraordinaire, who shares production chores and keyboard work with Tanin. Appearances by T. Lavitz, perennial keyboardist of the year and charter member of the legendary Dixie Dregs, along with Junior Brantley, piano and blues stylist formerly of the Jimmy Vaughn Band, make this CD an intriguing prospect. Also included is Victor De Lorenzo, Violent Femmes drummer, who lends his vocalizations to the Nation''s cleanly coupled harmonies. Connie Grauer (of Mrs. Fun), who appeared on Indigo Girls Swamp Ophelia and has worked with K.D. Lang, adds such tightly executed harmonies that you''d swear Grauer and Tanin were sister and brother.
The CD itself is professionally and pleasantly packaged. With award winning cover art (full color no less), foldout liner notes, color photos, and creative use of graphics; this CD has unique and attractive curb appeal. More impressive is the content, which unfolds with the same attention to detail and artistic expression. Digitally recorded and produced, the sonic quality of the tracks included in Sublime Nation emulates and matches major label industry standards. The 15 tunes that collectively make up Sublime Nation are as refreshing as they are original. Tanin has mastered a musical formula that includes strong keyboard articulations, clean raw vocals surrounded by richly textured harmonies, and concise, carefully constructed Alternative/Pop/Rock song structures. The melodies are memorable with clever hooks, refrains and choruses that you will be singing to yourself, after a listen or two.
Like a collection of well-written short stories, Sublime Nation has a stylistic unity of it''s own. Each song is unique and has an individual tale to tell. After a single exposure, I found myself singing the refrain to "Out Of My Head." This paean to techno-pop, recorded and produced with Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, reminded me why I missed the group and it''s incredible urban energy, apologies to David Byrne.
"Little Red Book" is driven by syncopated Rhythm & Blues groove that will move the wayward to return to the path of righteousness. With its bible thumping chorus and gutsy lead vocals, this tune captures the spontaneity and energy of a gospel revival. The funky blues organ voicings, provided by former "Elevator" Jef Eaton, are nothing short of inspirational.
"When You Need Somebody" borrows the metaphor of a cold Midwest winter to describe lost love and the loneliness and longing, which are part of this experience. The darker elements are cleverly contrasted by confident harmonies, horn arrangements that swell with joy, and downtown piano voicings, provided by T Lavitz, which all point to a future "State of Love" in transition for a "Loveless State."
"Every Trick In The Book" is a solid rock entrée and perhaps the best all around composition on the CD. The lyrics describe the difficulty in realizing that there are some situations in life that cannot be resolved by personal effort (i.e. trying every trick in the book), but can only be resolved by letting go. This dilemma is musically expressed with the blue percussive piano chops of Junior Brantley, played against the backdrop of contrapuntal, string like arpeggios by Jerry Harrison. The result is an interesting mix of tension and resolve that flows from beginning to end.
Sublime Nation is an independent release deserving of much wider recognition.
Critic at Large
"Everybody knows that a world-class sounding record can be produced in a multimillion dollar room, but how far can you reduce the equipment level and still maintain that world-class sound?" This is the question Gary Tanin asked himself for years. His answer comes in the form of his release Sublime Nation.
Enlisting the talents of Jerry Harrison (former member of Talking Heads, with production credits on projects by Violent Femmes, Fine Young Cannibals, and The BoDeans), T. Lavitz (Dixie Dregs charter member and renowned jazz session pianist), Junior Brantley (alumnus of The Fabulous Thunderbirds and The Jimmy Vaughn Band), Victor De Lorenzo (original drummer for Violent Femmes), and Connie Grauer (who has worked with Indigo Girls and k.d. Lang), Tanin recorded much of the album in his living room, using his own DAT and MIDI equipment. Brantley and Lavitz uploaded piano performances via modem, and Harrison took the music into the studio on disk for final mixing.
Tanin views the accessibility of technology as a useful new tool for up-and-coming, as well as established artists. "I think the greatest advantage to the individual musician nowadays has been the fact that technology has provided affordable means that get very close to what major-label projects are doing."
Marketing and distribution for Sublime Nation is taking place directly over the Internet, through World Wide Web sites such as [RockIt Records & Recording on-line catalog: https://www.tradebit.com
"I think this is what it all should be about," Tanin continues. "The dissemination of the distribution channel to the artist, artist to consumer. That''s what I love to see, because then we get a lot of variety."
Sublime Nation, along with other albums that are being created using home studios, punches holes in the idea that anything made with a computer has to sound like Kraftwerk or Technotronic. Tanin agrees, "you have to take the time to learn the particular piece of software you''re going to use, but it''s not limited to techno and dance anymore."
Sublime Nation itself is a collection of slow- to mid-tempo pop tunes. Although musically it may not be a major groundbreaking effort, the way in which this album came to be embodies the true spirit of independent music. Using Gary Tanin''s model, other musicians may find the confidence and innovative spirit to produce and distribute their own home studio projects. Imagine the possibilities...
David J. Widmann, Editor
The Spill Magazine
Toronto, Ontario, Canada