Phil Freeman

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10 Great Aretha Franklin Deep Cuts

I had tickets to see Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall once, a few years ago. The show was cancelled, and the make-up date…
Phil Freeman | August 16, 2018 - 2:10 pm

Sounding Board

Still Sick After All These Years: The Grunge Era Kicked Off In Earnest 30 Years Ago Today

On August 1, 1988, the grunge takeover of the world began. That was the day that Sub Pop Records released Mudhoney's debut single, "Touch Me…
Phil Freeman | August 1, 2018 - 10:55 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – July 2018

Earlier this month, I went to Newark to meet violinist Regina Carter. She was in town to serve as artistic director of an all-female jazz…
Phil Freeman | July 27, 2018 - 2:09 pm

The Anniversary

Autechre LP5 Turns 20

I came to Autechre through Nine Inch Nails. In 1992, Trent Reznor and his manager John Malm formed Nothing Records to release the Broken EP…
Phil Freeman | July 16, 2018 - 12:05 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2018

I had been planning to attend the Vision Festival, which had an absolutely amazing lineup this year, in Brooklyn last month, but had to abandon…
Phil Freeman | June 22, 2018 - 2:28 pm

Premature Evaluation

Premature Evaluation: Kamasi Washington Heaven And Earth

For decades, a small subset of jazz musicians has mistakenly believed that chasing R&B and pop trends represents a path to commercial success. In reality,…
Phil Freeman | June 19, 2018 - 1:31 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – May 2018

Repertory can be a fraught subject in jazz. Obviously, there are artists whose compositions have become standards, re-interpreted by artist after artist over the decades.
Phil Freeman | May 25, 2018 - 11:30 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – April 2018

Cecil Taylor died on April 5, less than two weeks after his 89th birthday. It would be impossible to condense his artistry into this intro,…
Phil Freeman | April 20, 2018 - 11:32 am

Sounding Board

Remembering “Hipster Metal” & The Sword’s Gods Of The Earth 10 Years Later

Remember hipster metal? Beginning in about 2005, a mini-wave of hard rock and metal bands popped up, to great acclaim from magazines -- there were…
Phil Freeman | April 2, 2018 - 12:25 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – March 2018

Bassist Buell Neidlinger died last week at 82. He was a fascinating figure, who traveled back and forth between the out-est of out jazz and…
Phil Freeman | March 23, 2018 - 11:57 am

Sounding Board

Looking Back On Van Halen’s Worst Album 20 Years Later

Van Halen -- the quartet of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Michael Anthony, and vocalist David Lee Roth -- rose from…
Phil Freeman | March 16, 2018 - 1:11 pm

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – February 2018

This time last year, I read Bob Porter's Soul Jazz, a really interesting book that provided a kind of alternate history of jazz from the…
Phil Freeman | February 23, 2018 - 9:09 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – January 2018

Welcome to Ugly Beauty, Year Two. Writing this column last year was a genuine thrill, almost entirely because of the people who read it and…
Phil Freeman | January 22, 2018 - 1:26 pm

Sounding Board

Looking Back On The Legacy Of D-Beat & 10 Years Of Disfear’s Masterpiece Live The Storm

Like the Bo Diddley beat or the Amen break, the D-beat is one of the foundational rhythms of modern music. This simple, pounding drum pattern,…
Phil Freeman | January 22, 2018 - 10:33 am

Ugly Beauty

Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – December 2017

Sunny Murray died 12/8, at the age of 81, in Paris, where he’d lived for decades. Murray was one of the most important drummers in…
Phil Freeman | December 26, 2017 - 8:34 am

Comments from Phil Freeman

Dude. Almost exactly one year ago, I not only did a Creed retro feature, I fucking INTERVIEWED SCOTT STAPP AND MARK TREMONTI.
+6 |
August 17, 2018 on Devil Without A Cause Turns 20
I was watching the documentary about the Wrecking Crew last night. What a fantastic story. Those guys (and one woman) played on fucking EVERYTHING. From the biggest pop/rock hits to the rankest lounge-act cheese. Once you watch that movie you realize that a staggering number of the big "bands" of the 1960s were in fact vocal ensembles.
+8 |
July 20, 2018 on The Number Ones: The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”
Another tremendous "black metal plus a bunch of other stuff" record comes out this week - Imperial Triumphant's Vile Luxury. It's got horns, Glenn Branca/Sonic Youth guitar clang, a bunch of guest vocalists including Yoshiko Ohara from Bloody Panda, and it's fucking awesome. Highly recommended.
+2 |
July 11, 2018 on Album Of The Week: Deafheaven Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
My pre-order landed in my PO box this morning, thankfully.
+3 |
June 22, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2018
Play him some early '70s Grover Washington, Jr. and Stanley Turrentine records. He'll hear the lineage. Or he won't.
+5 |
June 22, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – June 2018
Never seen My Bloody Valentine live, but I have seen Khanate cause an amp to burst into flames onstage, and Borbetomagus do the same to a stage monitor, at a show where they were opening for Merzbow.
+6 |
June 22, 2018 on Volume Dealers: The Return Of My Bloody Valentine & A Brief History Of Our Addiction To Loudness
Nice! Can't wait for my pre-order to arrive. (The music on the third disc was not serviced to journalists, in case anyone's curious.)
+4 |
June 21, 2018 on YouTube Removes Death Grips’ “Shitshow” Video For Violating Community Guidelines
Planetary Prince and its companion EP are definitely getting overlooked, and that's too bad. They're both great records. (I think it would help if Graves was part of Washington's live band, but he's touring with Stanley Clarke instead.)
+6 |
June 19, 2018 on Premature Evaluation: Kamasi Washington Heaven And Earth
My first reaction when this was announced - and after watching the "Apeshit" video - was "Oh good, another 'Fuck you, we're rich' album." Your review makes me think I was pretty much right.
+12 |
June 18, 2018 on Premature Evaluation: Beyoncé & JAY-Z Everything Is Love
Honestly, if the offer to collaborate came after ~1990, he was right to turn it down.
+5 |
May 31, 2018 on Damon Albarn Declined A Prince Collaboration Because He Couldn’t Smoke In The Studio
Les Rallizes Dénudés took that melody and rode it straight to hell:
+3 |
May 18, 2018 on The Number Ones: Little Peggy March’s “I Will Follow Him”
When Jersey Boys first came out, my immediate response was "Really? People give that much of a fuck about the fucking FOUR SEASONS?" When I found out just how many hits they had, over just how long a stretch of time, my response shifted to "Seriously? What the fuck was wrong with people back then?"
+19 |
May 3, 2018 on The Number Ones: The Four Seasons’ “Sherry”
The version from the Repo Man soundtrack is still the ultimate version.
+4 |
April 25, 2018 on Jack White – “Pablo Picasso” (The Modern Lovers Cover)
I really don't understand the volume-fetish thing with this band. I have never seen them live, but I've listened to their music, and the proper volume level at which to hear it is "not so loud that the waitress gets my order wrong."
+8 |
April 24, 2018 on My Bloody Valentine Announce US Summer Tour
Only difficult if the YOB/Bell Witch show is providing all attendees with beanbag chairs.
0 |
April 22, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – April 2018
Cool - I'll check it out. Thanks!
0 |
April 20, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – April 2018
Garden 1st Set, Garden 2nd Set, and The Willisau Concert are all up there. Also, I created a playlist with all the available music by his 1978 band:
+4 |
April 20, 2018 on Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – April 2018
I remember d-bags trying to tell me the first two Baroness EPs were the best thing they ever did. Fuck outta here with that bullshit. Blue Record was a slight step down from Red Album, but Yellow & Green is a goddamn masterpiece. They haven't made a bad full-length yet.
+10 |
April 2, 2018 on Remembering “Hipster Metal” & The Sword’s Gods Of The Earth 10 Years Later
Liking that Messa a LOT. And yeah, the Judas Priest album is all that and more. Like I said on Twitter when I first heard it, "The new Judas Priest album is too long (14 songs, 58 minutes - I'd have preferred 10 in 40-45), the lyrics are basically nonsense, and I still don't like the cover. And yet it still manages to totally fucking rule."
+8 |
March 30, 2018 on The Black Market: The Month In Metal – March 2018