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One Track Mind: Frenemies – “Having Sex” feat. Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak)


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MP3: Frenemies – Having Sex

Frenemies is the nom-de-guerre of one Chris Freeland, sound wizard behind a vast number of your aural experiences in and from this town, regularly working sound at the Talking Head and engineering any number of albums from local artists.  But when he’s not behind the EQ, he makes some pretty fantastic music of his own.  Look no further than his days as drummer for Baltimore legends Oxes.

His Frenemies project has been a bit infrequent lately, rarely playing out and sporadically dropping nuggets of goodness like mana from heaven to a privileged few.  A week or so ago, Chris dropped the Spring-beckoning track “Having Sex” on me and I haven’t been able to turn it off since.

The fantastically playful melody starts things off, simply tapped out on a Casio.  Collaborator Steve Hefter drops some baritone, sleepy vocals to set the mood perfectly as the entire track coasts along at a steady, lackadaisical pace, gliding along like a gentle, smooth breeze on a lazy sunny day.  Your head is swiftly lost in a haze that perfectly mimics that blissful bit of post-coital haze.  A special treat arrives when you find the supporting female harmonics are actually Jenn Wasner’s, her lush voice turning out a Francophone version of the chorus a little over a minute into the affair.  The particularly inspired inclusion of horns-and-hand-claps really gives the track a great, classic lounge feel that conjures nostalgic images of the classic crooners while mixing with the synth melody, closing out the track with gently fading harmonic reprisals of the refrain.

You would do yourself a disservice to not have this song on your spring/summer soundtrack.

Video: Thank You, Mi Ami @ Floristree (2009.03.09)

Welcome newest contributor, audio-visual wizard Guy Werner!  Guy will be providing us with video and audio from shows around town.  His first volley: clips from the Thank You/Mi Ami show at Floristree a few weeks ago.  Check after the jump for videos from Katherine Fahey’s The Birdwatcher’s Companion opening at the Metro Gallery, Jenn  and Andy of Wye Oak and Caleb Stine.

Clip from Mi Ami’s Set (click here for longer, higher-res)

Clip from Thank You’s Set (click here for longer, higher-res)

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This weekend-Spoon, White Rabbits, Colin Meloy, Ted Leo and more…

What seems to be the designated “big” show this month, is going down tonight at Sonar. Spoon (pictured left) supported by the Walkmen and the stellar, super-friendly White Rabbits (who we recently did an interview with).

I am actually on the BYT clock to cover the event, which got a strong endorsement from an envious Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) who is out of town touring this weekend and missing a chance to see her BFFs/label-mates Spoon in something smaller than a stadium-sized venue. So I will make the most of it, as should you. See if you can score something reasonable off Craig and get there, it’ll probably even be worth the $50 price-gouge. Do yourselves a favor and get to this however you can, whatever it takes.

If you don’t happen to be into Spooning…I may have your prescription. I have it on good information that Ted Leo (pictured right) is playing a free show at Goucher College during its G.I.G. festival today, Friday April 11.

Continuing the free show concept is Double Dagger with Thank You at UMBC, also on this jam-packed Friday.

And on Saturday, a day of rest. But Sunday, one of my all-time favorites, Colin Meloy is playing his solo gig at 9:30 Club in DC.

Get hyped. Here’s some morsels to get you started:

Spoon – Cherry Bomb Country (demo)

White Rabbits – March of the Camels

Ted Leo – Biomusicology

Colin Meloy – Barbara Allen (Shirley Collins cover)

Wye Oak Interview Part 2

Firstly, we have winners for our Wye Oak CD Release Giveaway! Julia Oat-Judge (Bmore) won the big score, nabbing tix to Thursday night’s show at the G-Spot and a signed copy of If Children. Laura Steiner (Takoma Park) is the runner-up. She will be getting a signed CD care package in the mail real soon. Thanks to Jenn and Andy for the swag! And don’t forget, CD release show tonight @ the G-Spot, 8PM doors! Now, onto the interview!

On a truly lovely Saturday morning, I trekked over to the Evergreen off Cold Spring Lane for some coffee, a stellar bagel-wich and continued to the second part of our interview (postponed due to the chaos preceding their SXSW trip) with Andy and Jenn of Wye Oak.

We chatted about their virgin SXSW experiences (and Jenn’s other career considerations), the importance of family and Baltimore.

Read it all after the jump. You can also catch up on part 1 and listen to their Creative Alliance live set here.
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Wye Oak Giveaway / Photo Contest! (Updated 4-6)

It’s simple and free. Just send an email to auralstates at gmail dot com with your name and location to enter for the following swag:

  1. 2 tickets to the G-Spot show this Thursday
  2. A copy of the Merge-released If Children, signed by Andy and Jenn with little hearts around their names.

A random winner will be drawn on Wednesday and contacted via email (We’ll even tell you where the G-Spot is, if you need to find out!). A runner-up will also be drawn to receive a signed CD. Only locals will be eligible to win the tickets though.

Feeling a little more ambitious? Then try this on for size:

  1. Pick your favorite (or any) Wye Oak song.
  2. Send your name, email, the name of the song from 1), and a picture that you think represents the song to auralstates at gmail dot com.

One winner will be chosen for originality and possibly hilarity or maybe even artistic merit. For this mammoth effort, the winner will receive the tickets/CD prize package and … *drum roll*

a date with Andy! Yeah, that’s right. We’re putting him out to stud.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our interview with Andy and Jenn. In the meantime, check out part 1 and their live set from the Creative Alliance, courtesy of Jeff the B-more Taper.

My favorite tracks:

Wye Oak – Family Glue (live)

Wye Oak – Mary is Mary (live)

Wye Oak – “Magic Johnson” (live)


Wye Oak in a Yaris at SXSW for Stereogum.

Our latest, Merge-signed hometown heroes Jenn and Andy of Wye Oak, get together with Stereogum and play “I Don’t Feel Young” in the back of a Toyota Yaris tooling around Austin at SXSW. Check the video here.

Maybe I can get them to play “Family Glue” in my Scion tC.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our interview coming in the next few weeks.

Wye Oak Interview (w/ Andy Stack, Jenn Wasner)

We here in Baltimore are fucking spoiled. I thought it couldn’t get better than the Beach House release…but hell if Wye Oak didn’t give an equally intense show for their final hometown show before SXSW and their return for If Children’s Merge re-release party at the G-Spot.

Baltimore-based duo Wye Oak (formerly Monarch) played a spectacular live show at the Creative Alliance by Patterson Park this past Saturday. If you weren’t there, fear not! Thanks to our newest friend the Baltimore Taper, we here at Aural States are hooking you up big time with an exclusive on a live recording of the show.

Stream Wye Oak’s entire set below. Click song titles to download MP3s.

Wye Oak – Intro.mp3
Wye Oak – Please Concrete
Wye Oak – Warning
Wye Oak – Magic Johnson
Wye Oak – I Don’t Feel Young
Wye Oak – Family Glue
Wye Oak – Mary Is Mary
Wye Oak – Half A Double Man
Wye Oak – Untitled
Wye Oak – I Want For Nothing
Wye Oak – Obituary

And to round things out, Andy and Jenn sat down, then moved around alot, with me before Lo Moda’s set for part 1 of a 2-part interview. Read it after the jump. Read Part 2 here.
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