Freeman

 
This event has expired.

Freeman Details

Freeman

Listening to Marvelous Clouds, Aaron Freeman’s 2012 debut under his own name, fans might have felt that he was ignoring an elephant in his room—a drug-and-alcohol-related onstage flame-out that made viral headlines the year before. But Clouds, a deceptively chill Rod McKuen covers record, was just a warm-up for the artist once known as Gene Ween. In the opening minutes of FREEMAN, the self-titled debut from his new band, Freeman addresses addiction and its aftermath with the combination of merciless self-inventory and artful songcraft that earned Ween one of the most devoted fan bases in contemporary pop. This song, the unmistakably autobiographical “Covert Discretion,” is a quiet shocker. “Save your judgments for someone else,” Freeman sings. “Be grateful I saved me from myself.”

As bitter as it sounds, the track clears the air. Freeman represents a new beginning— Aaron Freeman’s first album of original material since disbanding Ween and getting sober—but it isn’t a record mired in its maker’s private struggles. It’s simply a collection of gorgeous, subtly offbeat songs—in other words, a continuation of the thread that runs through the entire Ween catalog. The lush psychedelic pop of “The English and Western Stallion”; the melancholy plea of “More Than the World”; the unflappable, Plastic Ono Band–esque blues-rock of “Gimmie One More”—these are songs that bear the unmistakable Aaron Freeman stamp.

And to hear Freeman tell it, they wouldn’t have been possible if he’d stayed in his old band. “There was so much of ‘Aaron had to break up Ween because of addiction’ and ‘Aaron broke up Ween in order to pursue his solo work,’ ” he says. “But I broke up Ween because we were at a creative dead end way before our last record, La Cucaracha. Basically we were going through the motions, becoming a showcase band.”

Freeman stresses that Freeman is more about renewal than turning his back on the past. “I want this record to pay homage to Ween,” he says. “These are the same songs I would’ve written in Ween—except without [ex-bandmate] Mickey.” Several tracks hark back to the role-playing that was a hallmark of Freeman’s back-catalog: “(For a While) I Couldn’t Play My Guitar Like a Man,” a badass blues-rock meditation on lost mojo; or “Black Bush,” a trippy, heavily stylized ode to the natural beauty of Freeman’s recently adopted hometown of Woodstock.

But there’s also a fresh perspective here, the sound of a shadow lifting. “Delicate Green,” which savors life’s everyday blessings, is one of the sweetest, most sincere songs Freeman has written. And “All the Way to China” and “El Shaddai” reference Jewish texts—Kabbalah readings and James A. Michener’s The Source, respectively—that guided him through his darkest times. “There’s a lot of spiritual stuff on here because that really helped me,” Freeman says. “I listened to a lot of reggae—’Jah gonna help me through Babylon,’ you know? I listened to a lot of Paul McCartney too, and I thought, if he can do this, break up the fucking Beatles, I can certainly break up Ween and be okay.”

Upcoming Events at the-independent-san-francisco

This event has already taken place

The Independent, 628 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, California (Western Addicition) United States San Francisco California United States | show on map

Japan Nite 2015 with Tsushimamire Quorum The fin Japan Nite Welcome to Japan Nite! Since 1996, BENTEN Tokyo & SXSW Asia have held an yearly showcase called JAPAN NITE US TOUR including an SXSW appearance and has introduced countless Japanese Artists to the world. This Year’s schedule includes a NEW stop in San Diego, [more]

This event has already taken place
This event has already taken place

The Independent, 628 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, California (Western Addicition) United States San Francisco California United States | show on map

Broncho with Wyatt Blair The Morons Just Enough Hip To Be Woman is a bold step forward for BRONCHO. Though it certainly bears the hallmarks of their previous work — fuzzy, guitar-driven rock – the production and energy of the record moves into decidedly sleeker and decidedly more new wave directions (think Cheap Trick meets the Drive [more]

The Independent, 628 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, California (Western Addicition) United States San Francisco California United States | show on map

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis with Gemma Ray Kitty, Daisy & Lewis return with their first new album in three years since their acclaimed Smoking In Heaven. On Kitty, Daisy & Lewis The Third, themes of fresh adulthood and lost loves run throughout. With the enlisted help of legendary Clash guitarist, Mick Jones, as producer, KD&L recorded The Third in [more]