Fences!!! September 23rd at The Crocodile Cafe! Don’t Miss it!!!
When starting this music site, I personally said I didn’t really want to get into the business of reviewing albums. One reason being, is that its a lot of work to be quite honest. Secondly its hard for me to criticize anyones expression of creativity, because it’s so important not only to the person doing it, but more importantly it’s like dismissing someones deepest feelings. Sure, there are things that I don’t like artistically, but I try to keep it to myself, or I say “good for them” and move on. Music and art are just that important to me. But with that said, when the good things come along, I want to share them. So…… is this is a plug for an album that comes out on September 28th? yes. Is this also a way of me saying get your ass out of the house on a Thursday night, invite your friends, and come celebrate the amazing musical talents Seattle has to offer?….. Sure is!!! Keep reading and let me explain why.
I’ve seen Chris Mansfield many times about town, as well as the name Fences plastered on walls and electricity poles in and through out the Capitol Hill area; but it wasn’t till 2009 during Sasquatch that I had seen him perform live. I remember getting into the photo pit where he had already started his set, and thinking……is this the right stage? I knew his music was beautiful, but aesthetically I didn’t expect to see someone who looked like he was a member of some California punk band, but on the other hand I found that riveting. I walked away from that show a fan, and ever since then I have spoken praises of this band Fences. From Seattle to the East Coast I have told people that they need to check them out. I have even spoke to Chris on a couple of brief occasion’s (guaranteed I would have to remind him), but maintained cool … we even share a couple of the same friends, maybe even a few? (this small music town is very incestuous).
For me music is a way of life … it’s a passion. Not just the outcome or the final product, but the whole creative process I find beautiful. When a friend sends me a demo that they just finished, I revel in their creative process. I find it important and special. So when I was sent the new Fences album in July by his “people”, I was so fucking stoked to hear it, it would barely down-load fast enough. But what I wasn’t quite ready for was my reaction. Its been awhile since an album as a whole has essentially brought me to my knees(emotionally). When I react strongly to someones music, even one song … it brings it all home as to why I love music so much. But this Fences album provoked a visceral reaction … as well as intrinsic. It profoundly effected me, it actually brought me to tears … it made me think about life, love, friends and even death. I got it! This creative process Chris has been on has finally come to fruit, and I for some reason felt like a proud mother. Maybe it’s because all the gloating I had done wasn’t done in vain, this album was and is brilliant. Vicariously, I feel like I’ve watched some of that process, from in-studios, interviews, tweeting, hear-say and gigging. But nonetheless these 10 songs that Fences hands off to the public on September 28th is a gift, I would honestly argue a weak spot on the album. From the head shaking beats of the radio ready (despite the f-bomb) brilliance of “Girls With Accents” to the heart crushing song “From Roses”. It’s the purest of gifts. I feel as if Chris pulled his heart out of his chest for display on this debut. Bruised, battered and broken for all the world to see, and we reap the benefits of his pain and ultimately his victory, which in turn is ultimately ours. So make sure not to miss the Fences CD release show that is on September 23rd at The Crocodile Cafe, with the amazing openers Campfire OK and Ritchie Young (Loch Lomond). This show kicks off a West Coast tour that wraps up on October 8th with another incredible talent, The Head and The Heart.
Here is some footage I shot at Sasquatch 2009.