Stream Freeman’s introspective self-titled debut via Spin

Photo courtesy of artist.
Photo courtesy of artist.

Founder of surreal pop-rock band Ween and formerly known as Gene Ween, Aaron Freeman is releasing his latest LP this summer; a sorta-self-titled record from his newest project, Freeman. It’s his first release since 2012′s Marvelous Clouds, a tribute to Rod McKuen, and this album is his first since disbanding Ween and getting sober. Freeman explains why he broke up Ween by saying “If I hadn’t left my partnership, there wouldn’t be anything,” he explains. “I’d probably be dead too. I know that at the end of the day, this is the best thing I could’ve done for me and for every Ween fan.”

The lyrics are more personal, like on “Covert Discretion” where Freeman talks about his experience as a part of Ween. In a recent interview with Newsweek, Freeman stated that one of his influences for the album was Paul McCartney. The warm pop on Freeman does have a McCartney vibe to it, especially on “The English and the Western Stallion”. However, Freeman also channels some classic Ween sounds,  which is prominent on “(For A While) I Couldn’t Play My Guitar Like a Man“. Then there are the more experimental pieces like “El Shaddai” and “Golden Monkey”. Overall, Freeman has created a continuation of Ween.

Freeman will be leading a song-writing session through the Rock Academy, where he currently teaches in August before embarking on a tour in support of Freeman. Catch Aaron Freeman at Johnny Brenda’s October 3rd. Get more details here. Stream Freeman via Spin and listen to “The English and Western Stallion” below.


Weekend Picks: Oneohtrix Point Never at The International House + Gene Ween, Shad Fest, The Fresh And Onlys

Describing Oneohtrix Point Never’s sound is heady college-essay material. He uses repetitive analogue synths and repeating digital arpeggios to create other-dimensional classical noise music. It’s music meant for hearing and for feeling; it has a visceral effect on the body and head. Daniel Lopatin, the man behind Oneohtrix, is consistently academic and meta in his description of music. The Wire’s critic David Keenan, who titled the genre “hynagogic pop,” posted a splash-making series of emails between himself and Lopatin on his personal blog. In the exchange (since removed) the two try and struggle to define the new sound. Keenan sees it as a musical, trance-like nostalgia; Lopatin sees himself as a vehicle for the synthesizers. It’s all very hard to verbalize, and perhaps that’s the most exciting thing about the genre. Oneohtrix Point Never performs with Bee Mask at 8:30 p.m. at The International House’s Ibrahim Theater; tickets to the all-ages show are $12. —Dave Simpson

Also playing: The Extraordinaires + Juston Stens And The Get Real Gang, Gold Crowns at Kung Fu Necktie (7 p.m., 21+, $8); Femi Kuti And Positive Force at World Cafe Live (9 p.m., $33-$53); The 2nd Annual Philly Opry featuring Birdie Busch + The Defibulators, The Silver Ages at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $12)

Gene Ween + Claude Coleman Jr., Dave Dreiwitz, Ukelarry And Son at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $30-$40); Fishtown Shad Fest featuring Black Landlord + Spinto Band, West Philadelphia Orchestra, Springs, Girls Rock Philly! camper bands at Penn Treaty Park (noon, all ages, free); June Divided + Studio Saturn, Evergreen, A Little Affair at North Star Bar (9 p.m., 21+, $8); Grails + James Blackshaw at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $10-$12); Thousands at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $10)

The Fresh And Onlys + Crocodiles, Young Prisms, DJ Dennis Wolffang at Kung Fu Necktie (8 p.m., 21+, $10); Atmosphere + Blueprint, Grives With Budo at Electric Factory (8 p.m., $26)