This intimate video, shot in New York City’s Metaphonic Studios, features Miami-born songwriter Sam Friend and a quintet of musicians — Luke Moellman (drums), Bridget Davis (vocals), Abigail Wilensky (violin), Bryson Barnes (trumpet), Jim Camacho (bass) — he’s calling The Freckles. The song is “Delilah in the Woods”, which you may remember from the private concert Friend gave Beached Miami’s cameras amid horses, pigs, and peacocks down on Jam Farms.
Ok, not exactly new. We premiered “IMUR”, a track off of Spirit Mirrir, the upcoming full-length by Miami-born, Brooklyn-based songwriter Sam Friend, way back in September. But the video is new, as is the spelling of the album title, which used to have an “o” in it. Billed as “an honest meditation on the creative process behind ‘IMUR’”, the video was filmed at Flux Studios in NYC and features Friend on vocals and guitar, Brian Tate on bass, Arturo Garcia on drums, Derek Fairholm on piano, and producer Ben Lindell’s dog Juno on the floor. For more where that came from, visit samfriend.com.
This is the sixth and penultimate installment of Nevermind Miami, a tribute to the generation-defining album Nirvana released 20 years ago, on September 24, 1991. To commemorate the occasion, we have asked local musicians to cover each of the 13 songs on the original release.
First up is Sam Friend with “On A Plain”. The song opens with a few words from L.A.-based poet Larry Colker (Friend’s uncle) and then bursts open with a crunchy guitar progression that conjures a slow, swaggering tyrant taking giant steps in your direction — a rhythmic departure from the breezy-paced original. The cover features Friend on guitar and vocals, Derek Fairholm on keys, Jorge Balbi on percussion, and producer Luke Moellman on drums. To listen to more of Friend’s music, check out the g’damn good four-track sampler we premiered last week. You can also visit samfriend.com.
Miami-born singer-songwriter Sam Friend says he’s been in a “cowboy whimsical phase” while working on his third album, Spirit Mirror (which may explain why he hopped on a horse during our video shoot at Jam Farms in August). After he finishes up a 16-date, 8-state tour at the end of September, Friend plans to dedicate himself to finishing the record, though he says there is no official release date for the album. To tide us over, he has released a four-song sampler from Spirit Mirror, including “I M U R” and “Find Fine Light”, both of which premiered on the Beached Miami podcast in late June.
The recordings embedded below feature Friend on guitar and vocals and his fellow U.M. School of Music alum Derek Fairholm (piano), Brian Tate (bass), and Arturo Garcia (drums, background vocals, melodica). Bridget Davis created the artwork for the release and sings backup on “High Hives”.
Friend’s confessed cowboy leanings show up strongly on “High Hives”, whose opening riff could easily soundtrack a dusty duel, but, as a whole, the songs attest to his versatility as a songwriter, his comfort in the space between notes (“Find Fine Light”), his weakness for a strong rock progression (“Bedlam”), and, above all, the unguarded sincerity (“I M U R”) that is, I believe, the allure of his music.
To download the Spirit Mirror sampler, visit Friend’s bandcamp page.
On the verge of a 15-date tour from Cleveland to Cali and back through Austin, TX, Miami-born singer-songwriter Sam Friend invited us out to Jam Farms, in Kendall, to listen to some new music and play with the pigs. Many thanks to the farm’s owner, who welcomed us onto her pretty property; its manager, Martin; Ellie, the horse trainer who kept Boy happy during “Climb Scene”; and, of course, Juan, the little boy who was always on cue with a bright-green avocado when our equine starlets got hungry. In this first video, Sam performs a new song called “Oxygen Generation”.
On this week’s podcast, I talk at length with Miami-born singer-songwriter Sam Friend fresh off his month-long residency at the Living Room in NYC. Friend will be performing at our Sketchy Party at Lester’s cafe in Wynwood on June 30 (to which you are cordially invited). We asked him to play the event because he has the rare gift of writing songs that are easy to like and rewarding to listen to again and again.
In my phone conversation with Friend this week, we discussed his music career through two albums (Secure and Fastened for Daisy Buchanan and Lady Madly); the weather and culture of Miami and Seattle, where Friend lived after graduating from the University of Miami; the trauma of watching the Heat collapse in the Finals; and, finally, Friend’s record in progress, Spirit Mirror. The interview is spliced with music from Friend’s two releases and two new songs: “I M U R” and “Find Fine Light”.
If you like what you hear, make sure to subscribe to our podcast RSS feed to get a free mp3 download beamed your way (almost) every other Thursday morning. If you have any suggestions — a person to interview, an event to forecast, a wolf tamer with solid credentials and fair rates — please email us at podcast at beachedmiami dot com.
Well, it’s a good day for local music, with Lil Daggers leaking, the Dewars daytrotting, and now Sam Friend dining with a bitch named Layla in his new video for “Part of the Show”, a catchy track off of Friend’s 2008 Secure and Fastened for Daisy Buchanan. Here’s the video followed, after the jump, by Sam Friend and director Adam Fairholm giving some background.
This has been a very important year for South Florida music, with no shortage of spectacular acts, songs, and albums coming out of the scene. Yes, South Florida has a scene now, and finally one with some damn good homegrown music as its foundation (thanks in large part to the crop of stellar West Palm Beach talent). Besides the Jameses’ Pitchfork debut and the Dewars release of Songs from the Neverglades — one of my favorite albums of the year — we also saw the emergence of Jared McKay and Colin Foord’s Discosoma Records, the continued forward thinking of Lolo Reskin’s Sweat Records (which is bringing No Age back to Miami again in January), and Surfer Blood’s “Swim” getting re-released on Rough Trade Records. All in all, as Frank would say, it was a good year. To celebrate it, and South Florida’s evolving music culture, here are my favorite 15 SoFla tracks of 2010.
15. “Vampire” by Axe and the Oak – While every song from their Record Store Day 2010 EP is dripping with greatness, “Vampire” attains the heights of Franz Ferdinand cum Bauhaus. It isn’t the best track on the 6-song EP (see below), but it is most representative of what makes this trio tick.
14. “Greenpoint” by BFGF – Like most of Chris Video’s music, this song dares you not to shake, wiggle, and bob. With “Greenpoint”, BFGF takes sinister aim at EDM, plucking and placing goth rock elements within their usual synthetic landscape.
Miami bands Animal Tropical and Sam Friend played short sets at the Electric Pickle, in Wynwood, Thursday night. After coughing up $5 Wednesday for Churchill’s Acoustic Night — an unwarranted tax considering there was neither the crowd nor the lineup to justify labeling the event a “night” — I was none too happy to get pinched for another five spot at Electric Pickle’s door. Listen, I understand the bands need to get paid. But if two glasses of Jameson cost the same as a bottle of Jameson at your bar, then pay them out of my tab. Or live up to your strobe-light/website, which btw advertises no cover on Thursday nights, and throw a damn party. Otherwise, exacting $5 at the door — the door that leads to the bar with the $9 Jameson and the $7 Stella Artois — feels kinda effed up.
As for the music, Animal Tropical has an Of Montreal By Way Of Miami thing happening that I can get into via Jarrett Hann’s ping-pongy bass and Jorge Rubiera’s impetuous drumming. But Jose Castello’s tongue-in-cheek, pipe-in-mouth vocal style and mid-brow name dropping (Picasso, Henry James) don’t work for me.