Local musician Donovan Freeman’s sound advice 

click to enlarge Donovan Freeman is a prolific, charismatic drummer/vocalist for a slew of local bands. - DONOVAN FREEMAN
  • Donovan Freeman
  • Donovan Freeman is a prolific, charismatic drummer/vocalist for a slew of local bands.

Donovan Freeman is a prolific, charismatic drummer/vocalist for a slew of local bands — you can catch him performing with The G-Men, the Psychedelegates and Edith Makes a Paper Chain in the span of a few weeks. By day he runs a successful tile installation business and catches (or plays in) as many shows as he can at night, but he describes himself foremost as the proud dad of an amazing daughter. You can catch The G-Men at Mother Muff’s on Friday, May 31.

Essential Saturday night listening: Creative electronic dance jams are a good way to keep energy flowing. I love the different elements that Four Tet, Flying Lotus and Tame Impala combine. I also enjoy my friend’s — the infamous GT — radio show Vintage Voltage on 91.5 KRCC Saturday nights, 8 to 10 p.m. His carefully themed shows are always so good, and I come away learning a thing or two!

Essential Sunday morning listening: I’ve been diving deeper into Neil Young’s catalog, and On the Beach is a recent fave. I like the laid-back feel; vibes of my growing-up years close to the beach in Kona, Hawaii. However, when I need a little more drive, the constant output by modern psych rock bands like Thee Oh Sees, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Ty Segall makes me happy.

First record I bought with my own money: It was probably Pearl Jam’s Vs. I remember my older brother having Ten. The ‘90s was such a great time for music, and I was hook, line and sinker with the grunge thing — flannels, Docs and all. I also remember being gifted a Donovan “Greatest Hits” album in high school (thanks Gabrielle!), and that love and knowledge of ‘60s music has stayed with me.

“Wish I’d written that” song: Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” is one of my all-time favorites. I love how it flows like a story, each movement complementing the other. It reminds me of that time in life — leaving home, brief stint in college, and realizing there are greater things at work in the world. Their songwriting has always been a great influence in my life. I have many favorites, including “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi.”

“Wish I could unhear that” song: “The Chicken Dance” song... pretty sure everyone knows what I’m talking about. I’ve been a DJ for quite a few weddings and events, and I’m proud to say I’ve never played it, even if it’s requested. “The Electric Slide” is a different story. That one is a bona fide gem, and I have the dance moves to prove it.

My latest online discovery: I like being able to check out YouTube, SoundCloud and Bandcamp for the off-the-radar releases. There’s so much access at our fingertips! I love the noise-rock scene. Tongue Party and Buildings are a couple of these energetic bands, both from the Twin Cities. I’m proud to share that with them; Minneapolis is my birthplace.

Artist more people should know about: Miette Hope. I became aware of her music after I joined Edith, as she is [lead singer] Sarah Hope’s daughter. The musical talent and drive did not fall far from that tree — Miette’s young career is blowing up. She stays busy touring both coasts and has released a handful of songs, each one stands powerfully on its own. I love her songwriting style, combining grooves of R&B with jazz and soul vibes. I think it’s cool she’s from Colorado Springs and a Palmer High School grad.

Guilty pleasure: ALL TOP 40. My daughter receives the golden star for this one, as it’s her pure joy in life right now. It’s spilling over to me too. For better or worse, I’ve been learning to embrace the “better” part of it. Khalid’s new album is amazing, and The 1975 put good feelings in me where they count. I’m stoked to be taking my daughter to Ariana Grande this summer! Keeping it real, wink wink.


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