MP3 Frank Lenz - Strictly Background
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29 MP3 Songs in this album (57:39) !
Related styles: POP: Pop Underground, POP: Dream Pop
People who are interested in The Flaming Lips Stereolab Richard Swift should consider this download.
It's hard to know where to start a Frank Lenz bio. He's played in a lot bands : The Headphones, Richard Swift, Pedro The Lion, Lassie Foundation, Starflyer 59, and plenty of others he might not want you to know about! That's because Frank is a worker, and has helped many artists achieve their musical zenith even if his own unique work isn't in the same vein. He's produced and recorded a lot of bands, too: Swift, The Weepies, Map, Ester Drang, Amy Cooper, Pony Express, among others. He's also released a hand full of 7"s and full lengths of his own solo music.
All that said, that's what he's all about: Frank Lenz is a prolific, working musical artist.
His latest work is the entire soundtrack to the film "Strictly Background," featuring dozens of vibrant songs and vivacious snippets wholly Frank's own. The film is a critically-loved feature length documentary about movie "extras," you know as the supporting casts in the background of all kinds of features. Frank was able to connect the music to this film so well, as he so often plays a supporting "music role" himself. Though these songs should surely put him in the spot light.
The range of musical styles in this soundtrack is wide, though also cohesive enough to know it's Frank's work. Banjo, guitars, muted bass, piano, horns, oohs and ahs, xylophone, beautiful melodies, his soulful yet warbly voice, and what Mr. Lenz refers to as "some midi noodling bull shit" all come together to make this a kaleidoscope of sound.
The film and the soundtrack, both much like Mr. Lenz himself, is quirky and funny, yet have a darkly humorous desire for hope. Some tracks are so classic that they almost feel familiar on the first listen. Frank was an early proponent of Yacht Rock, mixing soft rock and soul moves with alternative songwriting in the late 90s. There's touches of ELO, Amiee Mann, Flaming Lips, Elliot Smith, Stereolab all swirling around, basically all things easy on the ears. Give this record an honest listen and you'll actually feel the songs right out, the way 70s radio used to tie you right in to your emotional side.
Give "Strictly Background" a try and find out what Frank Lenz is : a musician, a dreamer, a stoner, a lover of life, a lover of music. He's been on extravagant tour buses for weeks, and in cramped in mini vans on tour ; he's recorded in the nicest studios, and constructed whole pocket symphonies in his apartment; he's had plenty of $100 meals, and he's been truly homeless. He's one of the most interesting people you could meet, and his work sounds just like Frank Lenz.
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