Posts Tagged ‘Verve Records’

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Field Report’s new album Summertime Songs featuring “Never Look Back” and “If I Knew” is available now: Centering around the narrative songs of Chris Porterfield (formerly of DeYarmond Edison with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon).

Summertime Songs is Field Report’s third and most expansive album, following in the vein of Wilco, The National, and The War On Drugs. Named in honor of the season of its creation, Summertime Songs is a chronicle of disintegrating relationships – including the one that’s governing what’s left of our democracy.

It’s been a few years since the acclaimed Milwaukee band, Field Report, released a new album. But the wait is finally over. The group is releasing its third album, “Summertime Songs,”.

In the lead up to the album drop, the group has been busy. They opened for their friends (and former bandmates) Bon Iver at the 10th anniversary show for “For Emma, Forever Ago” at Milwaukee’s BMO Bradley Center. They also played some shows at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, this month.

Plus, the band recently stopped by Wisconsin Public Radio to play a couple tracks off “Summertime Songs,” and Field Report founding member, lead singer, and guitarist Christopher Porterfield

Porterfield has a good reason for the three-plus year wait on the new album. While he was recording the new record, he became a father. Lately, he’s been a stay-at-home dad to his 1-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Jane.

“Before her, it was all music. Since her, it’s been all her,” said Porterfield. “Now, we’re muddying the waters a bit here, we’ll see how it plays out and see how those two things coexist.”


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Porterfield has been the only consistent member on each of the Field Report albums. Joining him on “Summertime Songs” is Thomas Wincek on keys, Barry Paul Clark on bass, and Devin Drobka on drums.

This band is amazing. I’ve never played with a group of people like them beforeThis band is amazing. I’ve never played with a group of people like them before,” said Porterfield. “They were all fundamental in how this record came out. It was a very collaborative process. (We were) responding to one another’s energy and ideas.”

“I’ve never gotten more blinding, exhilarating, thrilling, exciting energy than making music with these guys. So, from the beginning of recording this record, this was not a, ‘Hey guys, come on over! I have a bunch of completed songs I’d like you to dress up.’ It was, ‘OK, I’m going to throw some stuff down in the studio and you react to it and I’ll react to that and so on.

“It was like a collaborative painting studio where we would just show up and knew we could get consistently good light, and we had the time and tools to work and just start layering things and sculpting things and adding things on and pulling things away and throwing things out and starting over. Then going back to the garbage and wonder, ‘Oh, maybe that wasn’t so bad,’ and then repurposing it. Suddenly, it’s not a painting anymore, it’s part of the sculpture.”


Absolutely Free Cover

The 50th anniversary reissue of the landmark 1967 Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of  Invention album Absolutely Free was released last year. The expanded double LP edition features rare and previously unreleased recordings and will be released by Zappa Records/UMe

Originally issued by Verve Records on May 26th, 1967, Absolutely Free was the follow-up to Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention’s debut LP Freak Out! which came out the year prior. A series of four sessions with producer Tom Wilson featuring Frank Zappa, vocalist Ray Collins, guitarist Jim Fielder, bassist Roy Estradar, keyboardist Don Preston, drummers Jim Black and Billy Mundi and Bunk Gardner on woodwinds, were held in November 1966 in Los Angeles at the Sunset-Highland Studios of T.T.G. Inc. The resulting 13-track LP included such Zappa classics as “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” “Plastic People” and “America Drinks & Goes Home.”

Released 50 years ago on May 26th, 1967 on Verve Records, Absolutely Free was the Mothers of Invention’s follow-up to their landmark debut album, Freak Out! Brash, challenging and exhilarating, the record was revolutionary as it pushed the limits of what an album could be. A pop culture pastiche, the album leaps through genres – from psychedelic pop and progressive rock to free-form jazz and avant-garde noise to doo-wop and garage rock, often in the same composition as on album highlight “Brown Shoes Don’t Make It,” and is filled with Zappa’s trademark biting political and social satire. Hailed as a “fabulously inventive record” that is “by turns hilarious, inscrutable, and virtuosically complex,” the record is divided into two “oratorios” or song suites – “Absolutely Free” and “The M.O.I. American Pageant” – and is rife with complex instrumentation, cutting edge experimentation and unconventional editing.

Produced by Tom Wilson (Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Sun Ra), who first worked with the band on Freak Out! the year prior, Absolutely Free featured an expanded cadre of musicians working with Zappa and vocalist Ray Collins and included Jim Fielder on guitar, Roy Estrada on bass, Don Preston on keyboards, Bunk Gardner on woodwinds, and drummers Jim Black and Billy Mundi. The album was recorded the week before Thanksgiving, November 1966 in Los Angeles at the Sunset-Highland Studios of T.T.G. Inc., in a series of four sessions. It was edited and re-mixed in New York City at the MGM Studios in five sessions the following week.

As Zappa wrote in the “libretto,” “The music of the MOTHERS speaks of the feelings of what might be described as THE VAST MINORITY. The feelings of the people on the fringe of everything . . . the ones who don’t care if they’re IN or OUT … don’t care if they’re HIP, HEP, SWINGIN’ or ZORCH. This is the audience the MOTHERS want to reach … those few have the power within themselves to cause or motivate social change but have never used it for one reason or another. If you are reading this and understand it (even if you have short hair and watch TV 18 hours a day), it is time that you realized WHO and WHAT YOU ARE. It is time you realized what the words to our songs mean.”

50 years later Absolutely Free resonates as strong as ever and has proven itself to be prescient and wildly ahead of its time.

Here are the details of the Absolutely Free 50th anniversary edition:

This double 180-gram LP version will include the original record mastered by Bernie Grundman cut directly from the original analog master tapes and a second disc with 20 minutes of rare and unreleased bonus material, including the “Why Don’tcha Do Me Right?”/“Big Leg Emma” single as well as vintage remixes and radio ads from The Vault on side one and a laser etching of Zappa’s visage from the album cover on side two. The package features Zappa’s original layout and a reproduction of the rare, highly sought-after “libretto,” an 18-page booklet with a foreword by FZ and lyrics to all the compositions, that was offered only by mail order when originally released.