Proud Father

My son Nick’s first big time indie rock production job. He engineered the Shaky Hands record in Portland on his own gear. It’s really good and Spin Magazine thinks so as well.

The arresting second album from this five-piece trades the jangly folk rock of their only-pleasant debut for a harsher, more jittery approach. Prodded by clattering drums and scraping guitars, frontman Nick Delffs often sounds desperate, moaning and muttering like someone who’s torn between leaping into the abyss and clinging to hope. On the fascinating “Show Me Your Life,” he mixes awkward romance and cosmic dread, murmuring, “There’s time to kill / You won’t or you will kill it with me,” only to conclude, “Just leave me to rot.” A smooth operator, he isn’t.

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0 Responses to Proud Father

  1. Congrats Dad! (Mine are still at the stage where I’m happy if they remember to flush.)

  2. Chris Weekly says:

    My oldest is not yet two, but she loves to bang on the drums already… still, I can’t imagine the pride. I’ll be sure to check it out. Congrats!

  3. Nicholas says:

    If anyone’s interested, I recorded hundreds of hours of live indie rock while I attended UC Santa Cruz. Go to to hear about half of my total collection, edited into individual songs, compiled together in sequence to form complete shows. It’s free too.

  4. Rick Turner says:

    I’ve got a musical son, too, Ethan, a drummer who is also a recording engineer/studio manager in Marin County. Then there’s the architectural metal working contracting company he co-owns, too. Ethan has played on the road with David Grisman’s son, Monroe, as well as with his god father, Jesse Colin Young. Gotta love it when the kids come to the arts as part of their own path.

  5. Jon Taplin says:

    Rick- Isn’t that the best way?

  6. len says:

    Mine too. The girl is the drummer and the boy is in college playing in the ska band and working for a biofuel company. He is still keeping his grades up. The great bit is the drummer in his band is the son of one of my college competitors. When Jobe and I saw each other at their concert, at our old college I asked Rick, “are we done yet?” and he said, “Just about.”

    Congratulations Jon. And the beat goes on.

    I credit their Mom. She was the great catch of my career. I’m glad she kept me.

  7. Alex Bowles says:

    I think the “You’re the Light” song is especially good. There’s a bit of very early REM in it – but not in a sense that’s at all derivative.

    It’s more like different people coming across the same bit of emotional territory, only a generation later, and long after Stipe & Co. lost their own feel for that particular moment.

  8. Ken Ballweg says:

    Wait a minute, wait, wait, wait…..

    You have an indie rock son, and you act at times as if you have no indication of what is going on in the current scene? (see Cranky)

    Jon, you old dog you. So, really, now I’m wondering what’s actually on your iPod?

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