MFR on The Daily Nebraskan

Earlier this week both Cory and I had conversations with Jeremy Buckley of The Daily Nebraskan. Read the full article here (or the plain text here).

“The economics of working with the old system were stressful and overwhelming, and it was starting to make music not fun,” said Howard, the label’s curator. “We figured why not just offer the music for download on the Internet and cut out the money end, so that’s what we did.”

…Music files can be downloaded in either MP3 format or listened to online in a streaming format with a Flash media player. Of the label’s 21 releases, 12 have been downloaded more than 1,000 times through the archive, with Shacker’s “The Dimly Lit Room” garnering the most so far with more than 3,600 grabs…


Teachers very rarely glimpse concrete evidence of the impact they have on their students. Musicians aren’t present when people play, and are changed by, their recordings. Volunteers don’t often experience the fruits of their love’s labors. Everyone is sending out ripples, like stones tossed into a pond.

At Cory and Lara’s wedding the other weekend, I received some Furious-related ripple-back and affirmation, that this waste of time might be a holy one.

I finally got to meet Nate (aka Bike) (!!!), and we had a long, free-floating conversation about Kid A, the purpose of music, and facial hair. He talked about the motivation it gave him to be a part of MFR, the purity of both making his music and knowing how listeners were receiving it (freely!), and how pumped he is about the number of people who have heard his records.

Chad, who has done some amazing artwork for us (The Silent Woods, Shacker and R,CC! posters, etc.), talked with me about Robot, Creep Closer!’s upcoming EP. He openly offered his art for future MFR projects on the basis that we give our music away, so he’s 100% up/down for giving his work too. Ripples. Inspiring.

The communal aspect is what resonated with Corbin.  Corbin is all about the community – the family – the kin-dom that pools its resources and gifts and uses them in a way that turns capitalist economics on its head.  I bring my noise, you bring yours, we bring ours and throw it down together for its own sake.  I talked with Corbin for a long time; you can imagine.  And I loved that he really got it, and was affirmed that he really loved it.

Thanks, all.  I’m grateful for you, and grateful we can be MFR and a tiny sliver of your lives.


Congratulations, Until-We-Meet-Again, and a Timeline

Congratulations, Cory and Lara, whose marriage we celebrate today. I’m very happy I get to play the music at the ceremony, and that it includes some Elliott Smith.

5*C played our last show for the forseeable future Thursday night in Lawrence at the Replay Lounge. Thank you, friends who came out in person and in spirit. This is a very real ending; yet it is not final. Does that parse? I don’t have words for this. I will miss Joel and the regular opportunitty to perform. There will be a pilot light for this band burning in me, ready to leap into flame when the possibility presents itself.

MFR will release Katherine Lindhart’s “The Humble Antiphon,” a collection of nine art songs by Clara Schumann and Claude Debussy from her two Masters’ recitals, as soon as possible this week. Robot, Creep Closer!’s 4-song farewell EP will follow it by precisely four weeks, and then the 2007 version of XMAS in another four.

I am very excited for Katy’s project; I’ve been listening to it this weekend not for the technical bits of the end of the mastering process, but for simple pleasure. It’s a very different sound for MFR, but I strongly feel that it belongs here and I’ll be honored to bring it to you. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have. -h

Comfort Music

Today is moving day for me; today’s post is an email exchange Cory and I had a couple weeks ago.  -h

To: howie at MFR

Subject: Comfort Music

One time, a long time ago (I’m talking 2000 or 2001), I asked you which artists’ albums you would take with you to a desert island, and you said DMB, not because they would constantly surprised you, but because you knew their albums so well that they would just be good to have as a reminder of what was good.

Anyway, even though I am not and was never the DMB fan you are/were, “Under The Table…” has been one of my favorites since high school, and this CD just fucking owns all across the board. “Best Of What’s Around”, “What Would You Say” and “SATELLITE” right in a row, and then later, you get “Lover, Lay Down.” Sheeeeit! The other songs and the hidden track are awesome, but wowie.

Anyway, this is a comfort albums for me. For two reason: (a) it’s great and never gets old and (b) it takes me to a time when discovering new music was entirely new and pure. Or at least purer. My other comfort albums:

– Phish, “The Story of the Ghost”, “Billy Breathes”

– Elliott Smith, “Elliott Smith”, “Either/Or”, “X/O”, “Figure 8”

– Beastie Boys, “Hello Nasty”

– Death Cab for Cutie, “The Photo Album”, “We Have The Facts…”

– Neutral Milk Hotel, “Under The Aeroplane Over The Sea”

– Nada Surf, “The Proximity Effect”

– Weezer, “The Blue Album”, “Pinkerton”, “The Green Album”

– Shacker, “Dimly Lit Room”, “Knowing Her Best…”

– h&s, “Signs/Comets”

What about you???

From: howie @ MFR


Subject: RE: Comfort Songs

my DMB comfort album is Dave & Tim, Live at Luther College, and DMB Live at Red Rocks. At least as much for the times and places I first listened to them as for the music.

– Common, “Be”

– Heiruspecs, “A Tiger Dancing”

– Halloween Alaska, “Halloween Alaska”, “Too Tall To Hide”

– Bike

– JV All*Stars, “Document the Fall” EP, “Distance”

– Beach-Puppy, “Creepy Eepy”

– Kanye West, “Late Registration” (I can’t explain this; just is.)

– Nada Surf, “The Proximity Effect”

– Wilco, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”

– Beck, “Sea Change”

– Mike Doughty, “Skittish”

– Goldfinger, “Goldfinger”, “Hangups” (from all the h&s road trips)

my most powerful comfort music is hip-hop; explain that! if i’m super-bummed, i almost always put on the raps. -h


7:23 PM CST, Wed. Oct. 3 – MR|Mix, formerly known as MR|sampler, is back up and running.  I don’t know how long it was down; you guys didn’t holler or anything!  Email for tech support issues, always feel free.

I also re-named “The Bogaard Kitchen” MR|Kitchen, and do plan to add more recipes.

Lastly, I changed the order of links in the right-hand column, putting MUSIC and the blog at the top.

Update-wise, Matt and I moved all my audio gear to my new place (thanks, Matt!) late last night, and I plan to complete the move on Saturday.  So next week I’ll be able to work hard on music, beginning with mastering Katy’s project, The Combine, and Robot Creep Closer!.  I’ll be bouncing down some things Matt and I did for Joel to listen to.  I’ll be working on rhythm tracks for “Fear Lassie.”  I’ll be tracking a new song, “When Breathing” for Lone Prairie Records’ heaven & hell compilation.  I’ll start on my XMAS track.

And Cory’s coming down in early November to record his songs for SR’s Boots, after which I’ll pick that back up.

Looking forward to putting new jams in your hands, -h

MR|Review- Foo Fighters/Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

echoessilencepatienceandgrace.jpg 4/4. Recommended. Period.
3/4. Recommended for new music heads generally, and people who bring an interest to this album.
2/4. For fans only; less-than-recommended for others.
1/4. Avoid this album.

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is a way-better-than-average mainstream rock record.

Criticism has hit the Foo Fighters’ latest from both sides; P4k says it’s not enough like The Colour and the Shape, while the AV Club complained “Dave Grohl and company fail to keep the surprises coming.” Both angles essentially discuss what the record isn’t, avoiding a face-on reckoning. In an atmosphere of such high and incompatible expectations, what’s a Foo to do?

A little something for everyone, including your muse. Radio rock, Dave’s songwriting interests, the band’s back catalog, and artistic progress all make their arguments on Echoes…, and it’s when they synthesize and coexist that the result seems to work, rather than they collide. For example, the contrast between rocker “The Pretender” and the mellow “Stranger Things Have Happened” strikes me better than the mostly-acoustic “But, Honestly” with its tacked-on punk ending.
I’ve tried to get past my own expectations as I’ve carried ESP&G around since it was released last week. To its great credit, nine of the 12 tracks have been stuck in my head for at least part of a day, and “Come Alive” and “Erase/Replace” have each had their own.

The lyrics’ subtle, amorphous, but mature spirituality have also struck me. “The Pretender” hides a radical existential self-affirmation within its FM-owning wrapping. “Erase/Replace” laments the breaking of a promise the singer held sacred. The singer’s “absence of faith” is felt openly and honestly in “Home,” while the darkness of “Come Alive” gives way to a breaking-in of the infinite life of the universe.

I keep hoping the Foos have another four-star album in them. Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace isn’t it. In the meantime, it’s a worthy addition to the discography (reviewed below).
MRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpg Foo Fighters

MRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpg The Colour and the Shape

MRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpg There Is Nothing Left To Lose

MRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreview2tiny.jpgMRreview2tiny.jpg One By One

MRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreview2tiny.jpgMRreview2tiny.jpg In Your Honor I

MRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreviewtiny.jpgMRreview2tiny.jpg In Your Honor II (acoustic)

MRreviewtiny.jpgMRreview2tiny.jpgMRreview2tiny.jpgMRreview2tiny.jpg Skin and Bones