Nick Light
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Nick Light

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"CD REVIEW: NICK LIGHT "THE ABSENT PARADE""

So Nick Light is some kind of nice local kid who with the help of some pals has recorded his own songs onto a CD - a pretty competent one. And he?s on the young side, not even near the age where you don?t have to pay that extra dollar for the cover charge anymore. Actually, at 17, can he even get into the clubs at all? Anyway, his relative youth isn?t super-important, except in the way that it informs the innocence of his lyrics and the sincerity of his sound.

He?s doing your classic acoustic, stripped-down, boy-with-guitar thing, more Billy Bragg than John Mayer, but minus the radical socialism. Production is simple, allowing the songs to stand on their own without much tweaking. This can lead to a bit of monotony as the album progresses.

Sometimes it seems as though every song contains the same fast-paced guitar strumming and sustained vocals, and if you stop paying close attention, they can easily run into one another. Light occasionally oversings, too, moving in the direction of ?American Idol? territory (if not quite getting there), but his voice has an appealing tone when he doesn?t strain too much.

Could it go over with the kids who like ?The O.C.?? Oh yeah. A song like ?You Were There? strikes just the right note of late adolescent melancholy to play over someone being cute and a little mopey, and ?Cellar Door? has an innate sweetness that extends beyond its teenage lyrics."
-Hillary Brown - FLAGPOLE MAGAZINE


""Uncorked & Unplugged""

Light is busy promoting his sophomore album, "The World Forgetting by the World Forgot," slated for release this fall. The title comes from a poem by Alexander Pope.

Light said the new album differs from his first one, "The Absent Parade."

"It is more of an observation of the status quo rather than being so inwardly focused, which I like," said Light. "Overall the record is my description of questioning your own sanity when growing into maturity."

Influenced by Blink-182 at a young age and later Elliot Smith and Bright Eyes, Light said his music is definitely lyrically like these artists.

"The songs often carry with them a descriptive daydream or a picture from my memory," Light said. - The Red & Black


""Annual concert to teach others about juvenile diabetes""

For more than a decade, Megan Smith's life has been a balancing act.

The 18-year-old Smith, who graduated from Oconee County High School in the spring and will enroll at the University of Georgia next month, was diagnosed with juvenile, or type I, diabetes. The diagnosis not only changed her world forever, but it also had an incredible impact on her family.

"We weren't the most regulated people," jokes Smith's father, Mark Cooper Smith. "We all had to shape up. And after a rocky start, which included Megan kicking and screaming when it was time to take her shots and visits from the EMTs at 4 a.m., we slowly got a handle on things."

Five years ago, the Smith family (which also includes Mark's wife Susie and their older daughter Sarah, who will also attend UGA this fall) decided "to do something proactive" about juvenile diabetes, and thus "Playing for a Cure" was launched.


With the expressed purpose of raising funds and awareness of juvenile diabetes, "Playing for a Cure" has grown to become a three-day event, encompassing a concert and auction, as well as a coed softball tournament. In the first four years of the existence of "Playing for a Cure," more than $125,000 has been raised.

"This is a disease that we are really close to curing," says Smith, who owns and operates Full Moon Studios in Watkinsville. "It's going to happen in my lifetime, your lifetime, my daughter's lifetime, and this is a chance for people to someday say, 'I helped kick that disease over the edge.' The cure's there - it's going to happen."

The fifth annual benefit begins with the "Playing for a Cure" Concert and Auction at 6 p.m. today at the Oconee County Civic Center and continues July 21 and 22 with the "Playing for a Cure" Softball Tournament at Southeast Clarke Park in Athens.

Smith admits a concert and softball tournament don't necessarily go together in everybody's minds, but he sees the event as a parallel for the balancing act that is his daughter's day-to-day existence.

"I've been involved with music for a long time, so the concert was a no-brainer," says Smith. "And not long after Megan was diagnosed, she said she wanted to play softball. We didn't know if that was something she could do, because exercise can make your blood sugar plummet.

"...But we've done it. I even wound up coaching for five years and I found that it was an excellent metaphor for our approach - we would not let this disease keep our daughter from having a full life. We originally started out with a softball game, and thanks to the leadership of Mike Pilcher at Athens Regional Medical Center, it has grown into a two-day tournament."

Previous concerts have featured Randall Bramblett, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Redneck GReece, the Packway Handle Band and Pylon vocalist Vanessa Briscoe Hay. This year's artist roster will showcase Nathan Beaver, Betsy Franck and Nick Light.

Smith, whose band the Wildcats provide the musical backing at the concert, said Friday's performances are particularly meaningful as both Franck and Light were diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.

"I've had diabetes since I was 14," says Franck, who can usually be found fronting the Bare Knuckle Band or performing as a duo with Kimberly Morgan. "I've been living with it every day for 16 years. I was lucky to be a part of last year's event as a volunteer and I've been very impressed with what Mark and his family have accomplished. Our biggest purpose is to show people that we're dealing with this disease and enjoying our lives."

Smith says that while Megan has since given up softball for the theater, she takes an active role in the festivities, usually appearing at the concert to assist with the auction.

"Megan is a special person in a lot of ways," says Smith of his daughter. "She plows through life and has a good time. You can't phase her much these days. When she was 7 years old, I told my wife she's the best person in the family to be equipped to deal with this."

Proceeds from "Playing for a Cure" benefit the research and advocacy efforts of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (the world's leading nonprofit provider of research funds) and Camp Kudzu, which offers weeklong overnight camps at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge for children age 8-16 who have juvenile diabetes. - The Athens Banner Herald


"Nick Light revved for Tasty World gig"

Nick Light admits that it was Cali-based punk-pop band Blink-182 that pushed him toward a musical career, but he's quick to assert that his songwriting is more influenced by those old John Denver and Johnny Cash records his father used to play over and over.

"I really like Johnny Cash's outlook on the way he did what he did," says Light, who cheerfully adds he "was forced to listen to" John Denver. "He was determined to be the best he could possibly be. He was a true bad-ass that I admire. I don't want to be like him, but he's definitely influenced me."

The 19-year-old Light, who was born in Oklahoma but moved to Athens as a young man when his father enrolled in the vet school at Georgia, has been playing music since he was 12. With backup from Jay Rodgers (bass), Colin Hatmaker (guitar) and Andrew Williams (drums), Light will perform an early evening show on Saturday at Tasty World.

A 2006 graduate of Oconee County High School and a first-year student at Gainesville College, Light is putting the finishing touches on his second self-released album, "The World Forgetting by the World Forgot," the follow-up to his 2005 debut "The Absent Parade." Light's first release was recorded at Full Moon Studios in Watkinsville, and "The World" was tracked at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, with Dave Barbe on the mix and engineering by Nate Nelson and bandmate Rogers.



Unlike "The Absent Parade," which primarily consisted of Light, his voice and his guitar, "The World" features a few more accouterments with a more polished songwriting style.

"There are a lot of instruments on this album," says Light. "We got to play with a lot of fun stuff in the studio, like cool keyboards, fun amps and just about anything you can imagine. We've got about eight band songs and two solo acoustic songs, which is the inverse of 'The World,' which was about eight solo tunes and two band songs.

"I've been labeled 'emo-light'..and I can understand that (evaluation) after listening to my first album. But on this new one, there's a whole lot more involved. I spent four months in the studio, as opposed to the one week I spent on the first album. The writing is much, much deeper. I'm very proud of it."

Although he plays a number of shows with a backup band, Light has also filled a stretch of solo dates, including appearing in songwriter competitions at the well-known acoustic room Eddie's Attic in Decatur.

"I like Eddie's Attic, but every time you go there, it's like a super- songwriter competition," he says. "I don't think music should be judged like that, but it is a fun kind of a game. I've come in second a few times and I guess I'll keep going back until I win one night."

Light said he started out playing drums and guitar and looking for other people to form a band. When he found it difficult to recruit other like-aged musicians, he began to develop his solo style.

"I play a lot by myself, which is a lot easier, because it's just me and my guitar," says Light, who has also played the Bluebird Café, Walker's Pub, the Melting Point, Tasty World and the Caledonia Lounge. "Most of the shows I've done in the last six months have been acoustic shows. But it's nice to have a band because I've noticed that a lot of the songs I've written were meant to be played by a band."

Light says he plans to spend the summer playing out and getting "The World" ready for its early fall release.

"I'll play as much as possible to build some hype for the record," he says. "And I'm also working on the album art. All the artwork on the album was painted by me, my roommate and his girlfriend. I love painting - I'm not really good at it, but I love playing with paint."

Light adds he wouldn't mind shopping his album around to record labels, but he's content to run the show in the meantime.

"A label would be nice, because they have much wider arms to get the word out," he says. "But it's not really a priority. I'm pretty happy with what I've done so far."

Nick Light & Company

We Fly Standby

When: 6 p.m. Saturday, May 26 (early show)

Where: Tasty World, 312 E. Broad St.

Cost: $5

Call: (706) 543-0797

Online: www. tastyworld.com - Athens Banner Herald


Discography

[ALBUMS]

"The Absent Parade" (2005)

"The World Forgetting by the World Forgot" (2007)

[E.P.]s

Fickle E.P. (2003)

[Radio Airplay]

"You Were There" from The Absent Parade

"All Inside My Head" from The Absent Parade

"A Reason To Breathe" from The World Forgetting by the World Forgot

Photos

Bio

[BIO] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nick Light is an indie/folk artist from Athens, GA with two full-length albums released. In 2005, at age 17, Light released an acoustic album full of teen thought perspectives titled, "The Absent Parade." Now two years later at age 19, Nick Light has just released "The World Forgetting by the World Forgot", a record that has taken more than six months in the making. It features musicians such as Nate Nelson (Nate Nelson & Cortright) Jay Rodgers (Kite to the Moon, Nate Nelson & Cortright), David Barbe (Sugar, Mercyland), and Nicole Matias (Matias). The record was recorded in Athens at Chase Park Transduction, and is currently available on all online music vendors. Light plays a split amount of shows both solo and with a full band. Athens is known for its rich music scene and Light is among the second coming of this scene, which is a true sign that the future is a bright one.

[INFLUENCES]----------------------------------------------

Neutral Milk Hotel
Elliott Smith
David Dondero
Damien Rice
Bright Eyes
Johnny Cash
Bob Dylan

[UNIQUE QUALITIES] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I use descriptive imagery to tell of experiences & emotions both inwardly & outwardly focused. We are very versitile to better accomidate venue/stage size. I've been playing in some sort of band since I was 13. Though I am a singer/songwriter, the record (& full band shows) feature much more than a typical singer/songwriter. I care very much about what I write. I'm not writing for others opinions.

[WEBSITES]

www.nicklightmusic.com
www.myspace.com/nicklightmusic