Patrick Frierson has been writing album reviews on The Penman Post for the past few months, so I feel it’s necessary readers of the blog become more acquainted with him. Patrick is my long time friend. He is an avid music lover and collector that has spent the past five years or so collecting nothing but the finest in vintage recordings that range from well-known classics to underground gems. I sat down with Patrick in an effort to find out more about his musical taste and collections.
Chris: I started collecting vintage albums during my childhood. When did you first start collecting? Did your parents influence you?
Patrick: I started collecting vintage albums around 2002-03. I was looking for a different vibe in music because I was burnt out on the rap/hip-hop I was listening to at the time. All of a sudden I found myself gravitating towards the sounds I heard via hip-hop samples. Since I’ve started collecting, I can say that I’ve built a definitive collection of music that reflects my individuality. I would say that my mother was something of an influence on me becoming a collector. When we would hear her blast those classic songs on a Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, the music rubs off on you and you grow to love some of those songs-especially as you grow older and experience the various ups and downs that life takes you through. She used to always say that the music I was listening to as a teenager wasn’t gonna stay with me forever. I always thought that was non-sense, but in hindsight, it was some truth to what she said! It’s amazing.
Chris: What is your all-time favorite album and why? What is your favorite song on that album?
Patrick: That’s a good question because trying to pick a favorite album is like looking through your closet and trying to figure out what you’re gonna wear today. You like all of the shirts and suits in your wardrobe, but it’s a matter of how you’re feeling that reflects your dress code when you get ready to go somewhere. It’s kind of the same logic with music since I have albums that accommodates me whenever I’m in a specific mood. When i’m feeling silly I tend to play Parliament’s “Mothership Connection”. Whenever I’m feeling romantic, Teddy Pendergrass “Teddy” is quintessential make out music for me and hopefully for whatever girl I’m with at the moment. There’s certain situations that requires deep thought for me from time to time, so Miles Davis “Bitches Brew” makes for good thinking music. Prince ‘s “1999” is perfect when I’m hanging out and feeling lavish on a warm summer day with the windows rolled down cruising on Lake Shore Drive. And I’ll admit that its songs on that album that makes me feel uptown funky. I recently did a review on Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” and it’s a good album to pull out when I need something to lift my spirits and make me feel wholesome all over. Naturally, a man would be a man, so Aerosmith’s “Rocks” is a cool album to have around whenever I crack open a bottle of Heineken and feel macho. But if I had to narrow it down to one, I will have to say Larry Levan’s “Live at Paradise Garage”. It’s a live dance mix that places me in a state of euphoria and make me lay my troubles down. It’s a simple message, but it goes a long way because sometimes you can’t think about life, you just have to dance through it. It’s the best escapist music I ever heard and because the album is a mix that flows as one long dance suite, I don’t have a specific favorite song on that set because it’s the atmosphere that makes it a masterpiece in my eyes.
Chris: What is your favorite song on any album? Why?
Patrick: This is an easy one because I just picked this up recently. “Golden Lady” by Stevie Wonder from his album,“Innervisions”. I just love the way that song flows. It’s a perfect combination of master craftsmanship in the arrangements and the warm emotions that constitutes so much of his output at his best. And the climax of that song gives me goosebumps whenever it’s playing.
Chris: What is your favorite artist or group? Please elaborate.
Patrick: My favorite group of all time is Parliament-Funkadelic. At the peak of their popularity, they put out quality music without taking themselves so serious. They were never scared to push the envelope and have fun doing what they did. They were ahead of their time with their style because they came on the scene at a time in popular music when a cleaned cut r&b star was considered the status quo if you wanted to cross over, but the funk mob wore those crazy costumes and recorded songs that was riddled with satire and subliminal quirks and eventually found a following. When I look at their whole presentation, it was a statement of rebellion that kind of laid out the blueprint for hip-hop without the confrontational bent. Their insistence on standing out from the rest proved that you can go against the grain and have mainstream success.
Chris: I’m a huge fan of R&B, soul, and electronic music. What is your favorite music genre? Why? What genre does your collection mainly consist of?
Patrick: My favorite genre of music is groove music which consists of sounds with funk and dance stylings. Groove music is multi-dimensional because there’s so many variations in which you can compose and play a song. I may listen to song from Bootsy where his bass lines are the main riffs and the his band provides rhythmic layers in the back as a supplement. Or I may hear a Giorgio Moroder song where his keyboard textures is the main groove that drives the song, but it can still be addictively good! Likewise, the music in my collection is groove oriented which is funk, dance, jazz fusion, soundtrack scores, rare groove (underground indie albums that are groove oriented in nature), soul, electronic dance music and little bit of rock.
Chris: Which albums can readers expect to read about next?
Patrick: Badbadnotgood’s “IV”. They’re a newer group on the scene from Canada who specializes in hip-hop styled jazz music, but they’re not rappers (sorry to disappoint the hip-hop fans out there!). I have their last album which sounds real good, so it will be interesting to hear what they’re offering on their latest release. As far as classics, the Chic Organization boxset compiled by Nile Rodgers is also something I feel the readers of The Penman Post will have the pleasure of knowing about.