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Category: April 2024

Review: Oneohtrix Point Never Live at Portland’s Wonder Ballroom


Oneohtrix Point Never live in Portland was an experience to remember, even if he left me still trying to understand it.
“On an Axis” – Oneohtrix Point Never


Daniel Lopatin has been busy as of late.

The man behind Oneohtrix Point Never spent some time outside of his primary project to direct SuperBowl halftime performances, soundtrack Vogue fashion shows, score Showtime’s The Curse and produce albums for Soccer Mommy and the Weeknd. Now, he’s been supporting his latest record, Again, across the world — Asia, Europe and America, that is.

Again - Oneohtrix Point Never
Again – Oneohtrix Point Never

To say the time between 2021’s Magic Oneohtrix Point Never and today’s Again (releasex September 29, 2023) has proceeded like a glacier, to speak nothing of his last show in Portland (a literal decade ago) would be understating it. Passing up the opportunity to see him live at the Wonder Ballroom would have been a gut-punch.

And yet the moment Arushi Jain arrived on the stage to open, I realized that I might prefer her music to Lopatin’s.

Arushi Jain © Marc Fong
Arushi Jain © Marc Fong


Jain’s music is best described as an ambient cousin to similar motifs found in Four Tet’s Morning/Evening, utilizing Hindustani vocals and raga modes prevalent in North Indian devotionals.

However, she departs from Four Tet’s use of clear vocal samples of Lata Mangeshkar and uses her own voice as textural layer that adds to the harmonic structur. For her latest record, Delight, Jain also honed in on the Raga Bageshri, a mode used to stir longing for a partner.

Onstage, Jain unfolded her work from the ripples of those North Indian ragas, uncorked it from the bottled sounds of exoplanetary oceans. Layers upon layers that, once poured over the table of gathered heads, could not be scooped from ears and replaced into the synthesizer. Her music scored a film that required no language and betrayed but one intermission.

She stopped only once, said “thank you,” and then continued on her task. When she stopped again, it was another thank you and then a return to the green room. The crowd whooped plaudits as she did so, enough to wonder if she did would come out with a second helping for a newfound, ever-longing audience.

Oneohtrix Point Never © Joseph Buscarello
Oneohtrix Point Never © Joseph Buscarello

Oneohtrix Point Never © Marc Fong
Oneohtrix Point Never © Marc Fong

Contrast that with Lopatin. His latest, Again, is trademarkedly obtuse.

Violin sections emerge from cacophony and recede into silence. Melodies are coaxed, not given. Synthesizers squeal to static, then modulate and lurk under the surface before squealing again. Guitars samples are stretched to the extreme limits of a Tron soundtrack. The album opens up with the gentle “Krumville” only to clam back shut with “Plastic Antique.”

Most albums can be enjoyed and understood in the process of doing something; chores, driving, etc. Not Again. This is an album that will befuddle listeners trying to revisit skipped sounds and missed scenes in “Locrian Midwest” or “Nightmare Paint.”

Oh you missed the volatile devolution of violins into delayed dissonance on “Gray Subviolet?” Sorry, try again next time when you’re not using Again to assuage your daily existence.

This not so much sass as it is a stern reminder. Lopatin describes Again as a “speculative autobiography;” an attempt by his older self to collaborate with his younger self. Thus his music, as usual, sets boundaries, and expects them to respected. It’s a challenge, not just to a listener, but to himself. Always the puzzle box, this guy.


Oneohtrix Point Never © Joseph Buscarello
Oneohtrix Point Never © Joseph Buscarello

Oneohtrix Point Never resides in that category of artist that ought to be enjoyed on the basis of music tastes; on the basis of Four Tet, Kelly Lee Owens, Burial, Actress, Tourist, Rival Consoles and Floating Points; on the basis that he is that rare breed of musician who can take every sound he hears and compact it into an aural collage of human experience. Y’know, actually experimental.

(Dare I say avant-garde.)

He ought to be enjoyed on that ambitious basis, the kind that reveres Marc Chagall or esteems Nathalie Sarraute. But much like DJ Koze, or Mount Kimbie, or King Krule, it’s a personal struggle to do so.

To be sure, Lopatin’s show had its highlights. The stage was designed with two tables in an L-formation. On the central table was Lopatin’s workstation. Placed in front was a crystalline lamp that reacted to music with strobe and chromatic effects to dramatic effect as the lights went black to start the show with “World Outside/Inside World.”

Oneohtrix Point Never © Marc Fong
Oneohtrix Point Never © Marc Fong

On the second table crafting the L-shape stood Freeka Tet, creative director for the tour and the man behind the music video for “Barely Lit Path.” Tet had constructed a miniature stage complete with animatronic minifigures. One consisted of Lopatin curating “Zones Without People,” another a gremlin disc jockey closing for “Chrome Country,” a third a live rendition of the business troll from “We’ll Take It” and the fourth a pair of mannequin hands shredding a microguitar on “Memories of Music.”

Tet filmed every occurrence, placing Lopatin in the background as the digital animation work of Nate Boyce spliced each frame. Images of Tinkerbell glitching across the screen, Peach and Toad stuttering, Mickey Mouse learning piano and then mutating and dissolving like acid had been dropped over the reel-to-reel film filtered on screen.

A mosaic of Tom Cruise in his ’80s prime accompanied “Memories of Music,” while the music video for “Animals” placed Val Kilmer front and center to carry the encore.

Oneohtrix Point Never © Joseph Buscarello
Oneohtrix Point Never © Joseph Buscarello

Was it enjoyable?

I really tried to enjoy it. I really did. But there’s something about these sounds. Something so industrial, so enveloping, so paroxysmal, so spasmodic and convulsive in their collection that stops me from clapping my hands together after every cut and conclusion. I often found myself alone, unable to savour the music as much as the applause surrounding me.

Did he deliver to his fans?

Yes, undoubtedly. I watched, amused as one brought their show-bought copy of Again to the front, displayed it with every selection off the album, relishing the chance for Lopatin to see it. Perhaps sign it. Lopatin did not, but such occurrence is a rarity and the man left pleased anyhow.

Did he challenge sensibilities?

Certainly. In the days since, the skeptic has dissolved into nothing but Oneohtrix Point Never, more determined than ever to wash in the sensibilities that make the project so unique.

I don’t want to just endure his music. I want to understand it. I want to relish it. For now, it seems all I could do was observe it.

— —

:: connect with Oneohtrix Point Never here ::

— — — —

Again - Oneohtrix Point Never

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? © Joseph Buscarello

:: Stream Oneohtrix Point Never ::






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Interview: Pomme Takes Time to Watch the Seasons Bloom in Modern Opera, ‘Saisons’


Pomme’s ambitious new album ‘Saisons’ tells the story of nature’s cycles as an orchestral modern opera of her own unique creation.
Stream: ‘Saisons’ – Pomme


With this album, I wanted to be part of a whole… to be a secondary character in a huge story: Nature’s story and cycles.

If there is one thing that Pomme’s new album, Saisons, proves for sure, it is that she does not plan on growing complacent in her musical career.

Having released her previous album, consolation, in 2022, Pomme (née Claire Pommet) did not waste a single minute in getting started on her next project, this time with even more effort placed on collaboration and orchestration.

According to Pomme herself, this short turnaround time actually felt like slowing down. “I know it’s quite funny,” she reflects on the process, “‘cause slowing down for me equals releasing an album quite quickly after my latest… but I see it as a projection of what I’m aiming for: peace, beauty, and humans living in harmony with nature.”

Saisons - Pomme
Saisons – Pomme

Pomme leans fully into nature’s calendar in the structure of the album itself, splitting the music into four sections. Each section represents a different season, with three songs per season representing the twelve months of the year. The spring section of the album is called “le temps des fleurs,” or “the time of the flowers.” Summer is named “perseides,” after the famous shower of shooting stars that floods the summer sky. Fall is fittingly called “magie mauve,” or “purple magic,” while winter is called “carte de noël,” or “Christmas card.”

To accompany the album visually, Pomme has been releasing short films to encompass the different seasons as a whole, rather than creating individual music videos for each song.

dans tes rêves sous la neige
percent les couleurs
c’est la trêve de l’hiver
et le temps des fleurs
dis mois
où se cachait le soleil
tout ce temps là
Translation:
In your dreams under the snow
The colors come piercing through
Here comes the winter break
And the time for flowers to grow
Tell me
Where was the sun hiding all this time?
_mar le temps des fleurs,” – Pomme

Collaborators on this project include Aaron Dessner (The National), Flavien Berger, and an orchestration conducted by MALVINA. “I felt like we were creating the soundtrack for an old movie, or an interactive painting, and it was so interesting to have (MALVINA’s) vision, and other collaborators’ visions too (Aaron and Flavien) on what the seasons represent for them,” Pomme remarks fondly.

It is clear that the album is meant to be listened to from front to back in one sitting. The delicate moments and compositions of each song meld into each other as seamlessly as the months themselves meld together in time. Each has its own distinct flavor, but none exist as completely without the rest.

Pomme 'Saisons' © Lawrence Fafard
Pomme ‘Saisons’ © Lawrence Fafard

Nature is so beautiful and I wanted to picture it as it is today because I’m afraid seasons won’t survive in a near future.

Pomme references Disney’s Fantasia (1940) as a dreamscape to which her mind traveled often while writing the opera.

She invites listeners to “lie down on a thick carpet and imagine our dream cartoon” while consuming the record as well. In a world full of fast-paced, algorithmic single releases, all disconnected within an artist’s Tiktok-centered discography, it can be difficult to listen to a completely new album from front to back. Luckily, Pomme turns this historical custom into an exciting afternoon’s activity rather than a tedious task. Whether you speak French fluently or not, the album paints colorful pictures through its graceful orchestration and whimsical melodic texture. And if you are looking for more visual stimulation, the accompanying short films offer a vivid journey to assist the listener’s imagination.

Pomme shares her favorite lyric of the album, ​​“je ne suis pas encore là où tu m’attends,” which translates to “I’m not where you expect me to be yet.” This lyric is repeated during “_apr le temps des fleurs,” over the string arrangement as it transitions from the stillness of March, to the stirring rain of April’s showers, and then to the vibrancy of May’s flowers, as the saying goes.

“For me, it’s an allegory of spring because humanity is impatient for it to come, but also could apply to a relationship and someone saying ‘please, give me some time, I’m not there yet, I need time and space to grow,’” Pomme observes of the lyric’s layered meaning.


I want to be able to take the time to watch the seasons bloom, take their place, die and live over and over again.

As the album comes to a close with the month of February, one can’t help but start the whole record over, circling back around to March in accordance with the seasons. But Pomme also states her feelings of protection over the seasons and their ever-fleeting cycle as the Earth itself comes under environmental threat.

She says that if her listeners are to take away one feeling from the album, it would be peace, “that it allows them to find a space in their minds and life to meditate, watch, see things with the eyes of a child. Rediscovering nature and all the beauty we can find in it. By this, I also hope it opens people’s minds on preserving that beauty and helping seasons resist.”

Saisons is now available to listen to on all of Pomme’s streaming platforms. You can also watch her short films “Saisons, le film: hiver” and “Saisons, le film: printemps” on Youtube.

— —

:: stream/purchase Saisons here ::
:: connect with Pomme here ::

Pomme 'Saisons' © Lawrence Fafard
Pomme ‘Saisons’ © Lawrence Fafard

A CONVERSATION WITH POMME

Saisons - Pomme

Atwood Magazine: I feel like it has become rare to see artists release such fleshed out concept albums, as Saisons. What inspired you to create a modern opera?

Pomme: I think I wanted to slow down. I know it’s quite funny because slowing down for me equals releasing an album quite quickly after my latest, consolation, but I see it as a projection of what I’m aiming for: Peace, beauty, humans living in harmony with nature.

With this album, I wanted to be a part of a whole. to be a secondary character in a huge story, nature’s story and cycles. I didn’t want to be the main girl or the hero because I don’t feel like it at all. I want to be able to take the time to watch the seasons bloom, take their place, die and live over and over again. I forgot to do that the last 10 or so years, and this album forced me into watching beauty in simple things again. Nature is so beautiful and I wanted to picture it as it is today because I’m afraid seasons won’t survive in a near future.

The opera form was so natural. I studied the cello and classical music when I was a kid and I think I wasn’t at peace with many aspects of it: first of all I wasn’t that good but also I feel like classical music often feels like and elitist genra. I wanted to bring people to it by mixing it with folk and chanson. Because everyone can listen to classical music.

What was it like working with an orchestra for the second half of the “spring-summer” section?

Pomme: It was such a dream. Malvina, who composed the orchestral parts, did an amazing job. I felt like we were creating the soundtrack for an old movie, or an interactive painting, and it was so interesting to have her vision, and other collaborators visions too (Aaron and Flavien) on what the seasons represent for them.

I had been wanting to work with and orchestra for years and this project felt like the right time.

Pomme 'Saisons' © Lawrence Fafard
Pomme ‘Saisons’ © Lawrence Fafard

Did you listen at all to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons during this time? Saisons feels like such a lovely and creatively modern twist on a similar idea.

Pomme: No I didn’t! Of course I thought about it while creating the project. But the orchestral and classical references were more: Joe Hisaishi, “Le Carnaval des animaux” from Camille Saint-Saëns, Multitudes by Feist, Bambi’s soundtrack.

I really enjoyed both of the short films you created to accompany the album. Could you talk a little bit about how you created these films and how their meaning relates to the songs?

Pomme: From the first idea of creating this album, I knew I would want it to be a multidisciplinary project.

Nature is so inspiring and so visual, so I knew I would want to create a movie for the album, like a moving illustration, and also as a way to collaborate with more friends. We co-directed the movie with my friends Hugo Pillard and Nina Richard, both amazing directors and creators. the idea was to offer another perspective on seasons, something more interactive, allowing people to be surrounded by music, images, a 360 experience. and we are going to screen the whole movie (4 seasons, 36mn) in April in Paris as an intimate concert cinema, just once. I’m so excited.

Nature is so inspiring and so visual, so I knew I would want to create a movie for the album, like a moving illustration, and also as a way to collaborate with more friends.

What is one of your favorite lyrics on the album? Why is it one of your favorites?

Pomme: I think ‘je ne suis pas encore là où tu m’attends’ in “_apr le temps des fleurs.”

For me, it’s an allegory of spring because humanity impatient for it to come but also could apply to a relationship and someone saying, ‘Please, give me some time, I’m not there yet, I need time and space to grow.’ I feel like it’s a good representation of the main point of this album: Letting people, things, grow at their natural speed. Accepting that sometimes things have to be slow (it’s definitely something that I try myself to accept and apply, haha).

What would you like your listeners to take away from this album?

Pomme: Peace. That it allows them to find a space in their minds and life to meditate, watch, see things with the eyes of a child. Re-discovering nature and all the beauty we can find in it. By this, I also hope it opens people’s mind on preserving that beauty and helping seasons resist.

Pomme 'Saisons' © Lawrence Fafard
Pomme ‘Saisons’ © Lawrence Fafard

For me, it’s an allegory of spring because humanity impatient for it to come but also could apply to a relationship and someone saying, ‘Please, give me some time, I’m not there yet, I need time and space to grow.’

From an outsider’s perspective, your writing style seems to have evolved a lot throughout your past albums. Could you touch on the ways that COVID and writing “consolation” during the pandemic, affected your writing process overall? How did it change your mindset and impact the way you wanted to approach Saisons, a very collaborative project?

Pomme: I think being able to stay creative during the pandemic was really a chance and a gift – I used it as much as I could. It made me realise that all this time spent creating was not a right or a due, but a huge privilege.

Between 2020 and 2021 I wrote and composed a lot of stuff. then in 2022 I didn’t have any time for writing because of releasing an album and shooting a movie, and I remember saying to myself at the beginning of 2023 that I wanted to create more space in my life for what makes me feel good, but that I also wanted to try to break my habits and ways of creating and try new stuff. That’s what I did with Saisons.

You mention wanting fans to listen to this album lying on a “thick carpet and imagine our dream cartoon.” What kind of daydreams, or “dream cartoons” did you have while writing these songs?

Pomme: Fantasia! but also Mononoke. Dreams of fairies, pixies, forests, humanity and nature living at peace together, animals, god mothers and mushrooms.

— —

:: stream/purchase Saisons here ::
:: connect with Pomme here ::

— — — —

Saisons - Pomme

Connect to Pomme on
Facebook, TikTok, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Lawrence Fafard

an album by Pomme






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The Parable of Peter Frampton


Where most rock n’ rollers of his generation indulge in the false comfort of nostalgia, Peter Frampton has continued to push his art. A chance encounter with the soon-to-be Rock & Roll Hall of Famer solidifies his grace and humility, on and off the stage.
by guest writer Robert J. Binney
“Show Me the Way” (live) – Peter Frampton


Finally! From gazillion-selling headliner to David Bowie’s backup to playing-through-pain elder statesman, Peter Frampton is where he belongs.

His combination of raw musicianship, pop songwriting chops, and teen idol looks may have put him on the map, but his grace and humility – on stage and off – is what a “hall of fame” should represent.

Where most rock n’ rollers of his generation indulge in the false comfort of nostalgia, Frampton has continued to push his art. One experience from a cold night just over a decade ago exemplifies this graciousness.

Horizontal freezing rain pelted Philadelphia’s Tower Theater. The show let out just past 11 PM – minutes shy of the three-hour mark – and trains heading downtown ran every 15 minutes. The Tower is technically in a suburb of Philadelphia, so there’s plenty of parking for the minivans that trek into “the city” and not a lot of foot traffic slushing toward the city-bound platform. Surprisingly, few concertgoers had stayed until the end of the show.

Peter Frampton © Rob Arthur
Peter Frampton © Rob Arthur

Ten minutes into Frampton’s set, the sold-out house was on its feet, three thousand hips shaking to the call-and-response of “Show Me the Way” and half an hour later, serenading plastic cups of chardonnay and swaying to “Baby I Love Your Way.”

These were the songs of their adolescence, of drinking cans of Schmidt’s down the Shore and playing spin-the-bottle in wood-paneled rec rooms, of a time before being married to the lump in the Eagles jersey next to them. The sounds of the Bicentennial. Now, thirty-some years and some number of kids later, “letting loose” usually meant wives disco-dancing to “Shakedown Street” with their girlfriends at some strip-mall tavern, their date’s gaze flicking between the wall of big screens and the dance floor, turned on by the sight of ankle bracelets pinned under pantyhose.

So getting out was big – this isn’t some shitty DJ at Nardi’s or the Geator with the Heater on car radio – this was the real thing, live on stage.


Ninety minutes in, the crowd roared when the once-golden-maned guitarist sang, “Do you feel like I do?

Clearly, they did. Then the icon – whose first single climbed the UK charts in 1969 – committed a rookie mistake: He announced he was going to play something new.

There are rules for writing set lists, the biggest being: “Save some hits.” Finish on a crescendo, take a quick break, rebuild. Ratchet tension until you and the audience can both climax in a burst of light, energy, and sound – simultaneously, in four-four time.

Save some hits.

Which Pete announced he had not done.

He made it clear at the outset that he was reprising his 1976 blockbuster Frampton Comes Alive! which meant front-loading chart-toppers. And now here he is, introducing a song off his “new CD, which I know you didn’t buy.” Either that was British self-deprecation or a ballsy punk-rock move.

Frampton Comes Alive! - Peter Frampton
Frampton Comes Alive! – Peter Frampton

Philadelphia wasn’t buying it. Usually, when a band breaks into a new song, folks take the opportunity for a beer exchange. This wasn’t a handful of people ducking out to piss. This was couples, double-dates, entire rows standing, putting on puffy coats, grabbing bags, and schlepping back across the bridge to Jersey to surprise babysitters and fire up CPAPs. Within a few minutes, easily two-thirds of the crowd had left.

I was gobsmacked – not that people only wanted to hear hits but at the magnitude of the exodus. I felt terrible for the band and got genuinely angry. For his part, Frampton seemed to take it in stride.

During the shared choruses, he hadn’t displayed the manufactured hubris of a casino-headlining reunion band but an almost-humble “Would you believe this shit?” joyfulness. A man who went from working steadily, if anonymously, to being everywhere all at once: Your AM radio, your dad’s car radio, music magazines, teen magazines. In three years he’d gone from opening for the Kinks in a half-house basketball arena to turning the football stadium across its parking lot into Pennsylvania’s third-largest municipality (with Skynyrd and J. Geils in support). And back to three-thousand seat theaters across the river two years later.

Rock shows repackage and reaffirm the familiar, providing comfort in singalongs – although hearing new stuff can be even more entertaining, engaging mind and soul differently. Nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake is less a celebration and reverie, and more unhealthy attachment to personal history. Commemorating is one thing, refusing to move on, another.

I want to say this whole mindset began with TV’s Happy Days, but that’s just my generation’s first taste of nostalgia. Back then, neighbors’ moms swooned to Sinatra’s Capitol records, their grandparents singing in italiano along with Mario Lanza 78s. Hamlet was nostalgic for his days of Yorick; hell, even Lot looked back.

In Philly, people worked where their parents worked, where their nephews and nieces planned to work. Looking backward was safer, because at least they know how that turned out. It can’t disappoint anymore.

Peter Frampton © Austin Lord
Peter Frampton © Austin Lord

There will always be tension between the past and present; we can question providence, accept it, or just ignore it.

With so much out of our personal control, with each day seeming more bleak – we can say things are “never better”, perhaps because they’re always worse – ignorance may truly be bliss.

 “Nostalgia” sands the edges off experience and exalts in memories uncovered. A defense mechanism in the face of a terrifying future. There’s no need to be afraid of the past; there may be plenty of regrets, but nothing to fear.

We all reach a point where we have more yesterdays than tomorrows. As comforting as it is to embrace those yesterdays, we can’t change anything about them.

To watch Peter Frampton now, in 2024, is to watch a master burnish his legacy. Don’t be fooled by the cane, by the frail approach to a cushioned chair center stage. The artistry isn’t in the artifice; he isn’t a Madonna pretending to dance or a lip-synching Paul Stanley. Late-career Peter Frampton is Exhibit A that music comes from the soul.

Afflicted with inclusion-body myositis, he can’t bear the weight of his storied guitar, or even bend notes with force. But what he still wrenches out of that instrument – as fierce and melodic and gut-punching as what you first heard on 8-track. This isn’t a past-his-prime quarterback tossing ducks and flinching before a hit; this is a master class in spitting fire and redefining a career of hits.

Peter Frampton © Austin Lord
Peter Frampton © Austin Lord

I didn’t stay at that Philadelphia show out of any moral superiority.

I just wanted to enjoy a night of music, after which I stood at the exit, trying to time my dash through the freezing rain to the train platform.

I hit the crash bar, discovering too late that my way was mostly blocked by an idling bus. Not public transit, but a sleek motor coach. Huddled by the doors, with a desperate look somewhere between hopeful and frostbitten, was a guy clutching his copy of Comes Alive! and another holding, of all things, a tambourine.

Also approaching was local DJ Pierre Robert. If he’s going to stand out here, blowing into his fists for warmth, there must be something happening. I stopped to say “hey” – I’d bumped into him at several shows over the years.

A roadie ambled over from backstage, disregarding the weather in sweatshirt and shorts. His legs looked like Renaissance-fair turkey legs.

The fan protecting his LP under his coat asked, “Is Peter coming out to sign autographs?”

The roadie laughed. “F*** no. You’re crazy if you think he’d come out in this!”

The poor guy with the record shrugged and started to walk away. The roadie moved the barricade, just enough to slide through. But he didn’t, he turned back toward the stage door.

After a few steps, he spun back to us and said, “Well? You coming or not?”

We shot each other a look – a combination of “Who, me?” and “Did he mean what I think he meant?” We shimmied past the barricade and followed his flashlight across the pavement. “Watch out, it’s icy.”

He showed us the way past the brick loading dock and into what could have been the back hallway of any hotel, restaurant, or factory.

About ten seconds later, Peter Frampton appeared. Alone – no security or handlers.

He was a lot smaller than I would have guessed. Just a guy in a leather jacket, not looking forward to braving the cold.

Of course, that was the moment my wife texted: “Where are you?” I replied, honestly, “Standing on the loading dock with Pete.”

“Who?”

Frampton chatted with us, drinking his tea and signing the record and tambourine, discussing tunings and pickups and what years Gretsch made crap guitars.

I said, “You made a crack earlier about folks not buying your new CD.” He nodded and rolled his eyes. What are you gonna do. I held my hands in front of me, a few inches apart, like I was holding a jewel case. “I didn’t buy it either.”

Then I spread my hands about a foot apart. “But I did buy it on record.”

His eyes lit up and he smiled.  “I didn’t even know we released it on vinyl!” He excitedly shouted this news down the hall. For a brief second, I was the star.

There’s a wonderful bit in Paperback Writer, a fictionalized biography of the Beatles, where Frampton is tapped to open for the Fab Four’s reunion concerts. In a dark twist, their new music is poorly received, the world moved on, and by tour’s end, Frampton is headlining. Published just weeks before John Lennon’s murder, Mark Shipper’s novel revels in nostalgia for the heady days of Beatlemania, even as it pierces the futility of clinging to the past, of refusing to accept the consequences of time’s eternal march.

Peter Frampton © Austin Lord
Peter Frampton © Austin Lord

Back in the real world, Peter Frampton’s debut album was titled Wind of Change, and even if he will never reprise the sensation he once was, he keeps challenging himself. He won his first Grammy thirty years after his Comes Alive! glory days. And now he’s invited to sit with the giants, in the Hall of Fame, where he belongs.

Being lured by nostalgia’s siren song is easy, both a response to and a preventer of change. I couldn’t articulate it that night, watching the stream of people leaving after dancing to their favorites. But standing backstage, discussing the future, I learned to appreciate the past without dwelling in it.

Peter Frampton’s ongoing journey, his now-Hall of Fame career, reminds us that though there are limited days ahead, each brings the potential for reinvention.

— —

Seattle-based screenwriter Robert J. Binney has written about Joe Strummer, James Bond, joyriding with the Salt Lake City police, and his relationship with President Jimmy Carter (though not all at once) for the Los Angeles Times and other fine publications. Most recently his fiction was published in Down & Out Books’ anthology The Killing Rain.

— —

:: connect with Peter Frampton here ::
“Baby, I Love Your Way” (live) – Peter Frampton

— — — —

Frampton Comes Alive! - Peter Frampton

Connect to Peter Frampton on
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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Austin Lord

:: Stream Peter Frampton ::






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Artist to Watch: Steinza’s “Visions of You” Is an Achingly Intimate Folk Rock Singalong


steinza’s acoustic enchantment “Visions of You” is a gentle giant of candid, heart-on-sleeve introspection: An empathetic, achingly intimate folk rock reverie that establishes Zachary Stein’s singer/songwriter project as one of this year’s artists to watch.
Stream: “Visions of You” – Steinza


I get visions of you that I can’t unsee, I’m all black and blue, but I’ll make believe…

Some people have a way with words; steinza has a way with emotions (and words, too).

Zachary Stein has, for a long time now, captured all those things we don’t say aloud through his reflective, expressive music. The singer/songwriter from Virginia Beach (now based in Nashville) may have toyed with a variety of styles and sounds over the past six years, but the constant in all his art has been the raw vulnerability he injects into every line; every sung note; every moment of every song.

visions of you
Visions of You – steinza

His first single of the year, “Visions of You” (released February 16, 2024) is a gentle giant of candid, heart-on-sleeve introspection; an empathetic, achingly intimate folk rock reverie that finds him dwelling on images he can’t seem to shake from his mind, and deeper down, exploring the ways in which we hold back, conceal our truths, and avoid saying how we truly feel:

Picking you up on a Sunday morning,
service starts at noon

Long red hair and a long red white dress
with a long list of things to do

You were on the phone with Dawn,
talking about the afternoon

I drove us to the steeple,
and we left at half past two
We spent that day diving inside
one another’s minds

Talked politics and dogs and kids
and spending down our lives

But I looked you in your eyes,
and I knew something bad was wrong

But you didn’t have the time,
oh, no, you didn’t wanna talk

“Visions of You” is a painful, poignant song at its core, and yet it comes to life with such vibrant melodies and an irresistibly catchy chorus, that it feels like a campfire singalong: A soul-stirring anthem for all the times we’ve avoided someone’s gaze, or had someone avoid ours; for all those times we’ve buried our emotions within, and every moment we’ve felt a loved one do the same.

steinza aches with the weight of the world as he exhales in a cathartic, impassioned, and emotionally-charged chorus:

Now every night I paint the back of my
Closed up eyelids and see the past
I get visions of you that I can’t unsee
I’m all black and blue, but I’ll make believe
That I’m fine, okay
That I’m doing great
steinza © courtesy of the artist
steinza © courtesy of the artist


steinza © courtesy of the artist
steinza © courtesy of the artist

Writing on his social media upon the track’s release, steinza says that this track came together quite quickly and spur-of-the-moment.

“I was at my best friend and cousin’s (verse 2 cameo) baby shower a few months back and went down to the basement (day drunk) with my tiny pawn shop guitar and walked away with this song,” he writes. “Felt iffy about it and my friends were there to make me believe in it.”

Picking you up on a Friday evening,
I was so in love

In Kentucky for the night and
somehow we finally showed up

Saw my best friend and my cousin
and my niece that was eighteen months

Everything was perfect, all of it was just enough
Then the moon fell down, and the
five of us just laughed the time away

But the clock struck twelve and
you had work so we just could not stay

Then I looked you in your eyes,
and I saw sadness in your face

But you didn’t wanna talk,
oh no, you only wanted space
Now every night I paint the back of my
Closed up eyelids and see the past
I get visions of you that I can’t unsee
I’m all black and blue, but I’ll make believe
That I’m fine, okay
That I’m doing great
steinza © courtesy of the artist
steinza © courtesy of the artist


An acoustic enchantment reminiscent of The Lumineers and Noah Kahan, “Visions of You” is steinza’s first single of the year, arriving on the heels of a very prolific and exciting 2023 that saw the release of not one, but two EPs – July’s The Former, which spawned the runaway hit single of the same name, and November’s Radio Silence, which features the dreamy, dramatic, and utterly spellbinding power ballad “I Know You,” a cinematic duet with fellow Virginia Beach native Matt Maeson.

2024 promises to be another blockbuster year for the fast-rising artist – April saw the release of his latest release, the heartfelt “Tricked” – and if “Visions of You” is any indication of where steinza’s headed, then we’ll be right alongside him – ready to go wherever he takes us next.

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Stream: “Visions of You” – Steinza

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visions of you

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Wild Pink Teams With Wyatt C. Louis on Lovely “Oh Vibrant Sky,” a Soft & Sweet Folk Dream


Wyatt C. Louis and Wild Pink’s new single “Oh Vibrant Sky” arrives off the Plains Cree singer/songwriter’s forthcoming debut album, and showcases the delicate, nuanced and subtly rich nature of what both sides do best: Make harmonious music that invites a second (or third) listen.
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Stream: “Oh Vibrant Sky” – Wyatt C. Louis, Wild Pink


There’s a special sort of alchemy when two artists complement each other and play to their strengths – not a complete overlap of a musical or sonic Venn diagram, but a pleasing sort of intersection all the same.

That intersection of sorts is on display right from the jump in “Oh Vibrant Sky,” the lovely collaborative new single between folksy singer/songwriter Wyatt C. Louis and New York indie rocker John Ross of Wild Pink.

The single arrives off the forthcoming Chandler, which is due out May 24th on Royal Mountain Records.

Oh Vibrant Sky - Wyatt C. Louis ft. Wild Pink
Oh Vibrant Sky – Wyatt C. Louis ft. Wild Pink

A mix of softer and more classically rock n’roll influences dot Louis’ music, not unlike the discography of Wild Pink, which has spawned comparisons to everyone from early-era Death Cab for Cutie (on its harder-rocking, slightly more emo-tinged debut) to The War On Drugs (see: releases like 2018 Wild Pink LP Yolk in the Fur).

The balance between the two weaves in and out of the song, as Royal Mountain Records notes.

The duo “shared ideas, textures and lyrics over a series of months during 2023,” as Ross’ vocals sit lower in the mix and lilting guitar carries the sweetly sung track forward.

“I was glad Wyatt asked me to write this song with them,” Ross said. “I’m a big fan of their songwriting and this came together pretty organically. They’ve got a way of making this song sound laid back but poignant at the same time.”

Chandler - Wyatt C. Louis
Chandler – Wyatt C. Louis

The release adds to a prolific array of singles already released by Louis ahead of the album, including “Carefree,” “In Emerald,” and “Bobtail Road.”

The collaboration was a natural fit that immediately played to the strengths of both artists, Louis said in a statement.

“Writing with John, this song quickly found its footing,” they said. “It gives me nostalgia for my early festival days. All packed together with friends, waiting for the next band. Or volunteering and signing up for the early morning shifts, just so you could sneak in a soundcheck.”

Nodding to “the other side of this,” Louis added, “I feel very fortunate to share these experiences with nîcimos (the Cree word for sweetheart).”

Wyatt C. Louis © Vanessa Heinsedit
Wyatt C. Louis © Vanessa Heinsedit

Louis also appreciates the sense of community and healing that comes with it.

“Oh Vibrant Sky” is the softest track on the record. I wanted to slow things down, and reflect on how all of this has shaped me throughout the years,” Louis said.

It also adds to the growing, ever-prolific discography of both artists: Wild Pink just debuted a three-song EP Strawberry Eraser, led by the genre-blurring track “Air Drumming Fix You.”

At this rate, one would certainly welcome future collaborative releases from Louis and Wild Pink together, as “Oh Vibrant Sky” lives up to its beautiful name and lush sonic backdrop handily.

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:: stream/purchase Oh Vibrant Sky here ::
:: connect with Wyatt C. Louis here ::
Stream: “Oh Vibrant Sky” – Wyatt C. Louis, Wild Pink

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Oh Vibrant Sky - Wyatt C. Louis ft. Wild Pink

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? © Vanessa Heins

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Another Lennon-McCartney Original: James McCartney Teams with Sean Ono Lennon on “Primrose Hill”


James McCartney and Sean Ono Lennon team on the tender “Primrose Hill,” marking their first co-write – but not their first collaboration – in a dual family history that is immortalized in the annals of music history. In the summer of 1957, two schoolboys played hooky and scrawled a song in a composition book. They’d only recently learned of each other’s songwriting hobby and, in a sendup of the Rodgers-and-Hammerstein duos of the day, decided to signify their collaboration as a portentous moment. Atop the page they wrote the title, “Too Bad About Sorrows,” and a caption: ‘Another Lennon-McCartney original.’
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Stream: “Primrose Hill” – James McCartney


Many composition books, one legendary partnership and an additional generation later, a new Lennon-McCartney team has made its debut as James McCartney released “Primrose Hill” to streaming on April 12, 2024.

A lilting acoustic ballad punctuated by lush strings, McCartney’s new track features double-tracked vocals and a tender reminisce on early love:

We laid on Primrose Hill,
didn’t know it still, you meant what you said

An overcast sultry day,
I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to say

We laid there, forgot everything, kissed beneath the stars
Shooting to the hill the stars exploded into a flame
Always remember Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill - James McCartney, Sean Ono Lennon
Primrose Hill – James McCartney, Sean Ono Lennon

McCartney shared on Twitter that his lyrical sentiment was inspired by a childhood vision on his family’s farm in Scotland.  “Letting go, I saw my true love and saviour in my mind’s eye.” The second single in this album cycle, “Primrose Hill” follows the moody “Beautiful,” co-written and produced by one Paul McCartney. (Paul has written at least a handful of songs since co-penning “Too Bad About Sorrows”).

The track comes in the wake of two very tender public statements by the younger Lennon-McCartneys, each about their parents- but not the set one might expect. Sean Ono Lennon, accepting the Oscar for best animated short (War is Over, co-written by Dave Mullins), rushed over the play-off music to wish his mother Yoko Ono a happy 91st birthday/mother’s day and asked the crowd to chant “Happy Birthday, Yoko!” In an equally sweet mother’s day gesture, James McCartney recently shared a polaroid of his mom Linda atop his piano with the following caption:

“Mum always inspired me to love life to the max and sing from my heart. There was a time I thought I better not think of her dying, as it would happen. And then it did. It breaks my heart that she’s gone, but I want her to be here now, thus I pursue music, the real spirituality in my life.⁣”

Linda and Yoko both feature on the rare Lennon-McCartney family collaboration, the Ono-penned “Hiroshima Sky is Always Blue.” To date, it is the only instrumental collaboration between Sean and James, on harpsichord and guitar respectively; Sean is credited only as a writer on Primrose Hill.

Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney pictured in 1969 and 1995, photographed by Mary McCartney at Hog Hill Mill Studios, Sussex © Aidan Moyer
Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney pictured in 1969 and 1995, photographed by Mary McCartney at Hog Hill Mill Studios, Sussex © Aidan Moyer


Given the historical weight of their namesakes, there is an implicit fanfare and built-in expectation for a Lennon-McCartney co-bill (in this case, McCartney-Lennon). The notion of a “Sons of Beatles” act has been batted around by the younger McCartney in interviews, beginning with a Dhani Harrison guitar cameo on his 2016 song “Too Hard.” The notion can prove tempting when selfies of musical forty-somethings emerge in various permutations and  resemble The Act You’ve Known For All These Years. However, Zak Starkey, Ringo Starrchild and live drummer extraordinaire for the Who and Oasis, said the following in November of last year:

“If we had spent 3 years sleeping on flea infested mattresses in the back room of a Hamburg club it might have chemistry – but we have been swaddled in silken robes in houses so big that it’s too far to go and make a piece of toast – seen?”

So there.

As it stands, “Primrose Hill” serves as a strong entry in the James McCartney catalog and a delightful music history curio in the ever-unraveling tapestry of pop’s greatest songbook saga. Sean Ono Lennon is active in the Claypool-Lennon Delirium, GOASTT and countless solo efforts and collaborations ranging from Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson to Lana Del Rey and-as both have teased intermittently-his half-brother Julian Lennon. James McCartney has released several albums and EPs since contributing guitar to both his father’s “Flaming Pie” and his mother’s posthumous “Wide Prairie.” Wherever “Part II” of this saga may lead, the weight of Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney’s creative daring and singularity of vision is sure to echo. Their legacies are indelible.

In memory of Linda McCartney, who passed away 26 years ago on April 18, 1998 © Aidan Moyer
In memory of Linda McCartney, who passed away 26 years ago on April 18, 1998 © Aidan Moyer

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Stream: “Primrose Hill” – James McCartney

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