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Event Archive - Lost Highway Surf Rocker: Donavon Frankenreiter, Gary Jules

Mon. March 2nd 2009 Element (No Minors)
9pm - 12:00am doors at 8pm
$23 Advance / $25 Door
Tickets at: Lyles Place, Ditch Records 635 Johnson St., High Tide Entertainment, Strathcona Hotel
Donavon Frankenreiter website:

Donavon Frankenreiter MySpace:

Gary Jules website:

Gary Jules MySpace:

Donavon’s first record, 2004’s Donavon Frankenreiter was made with the aid of his long time friend Jack Johnson, and
spawned the AAA radio hit “Free”. “On my first record, I didn’t have a direction. I just wanted to make a record,” says
Frankenreiter. In 2006, Donavon signed with Lost Highway and began to find his own musical voice with the
appropriately titled Move By Yourself. “The second one I did myself and it definitely had a direction I felt great about.”
On Pass It Around, Donavon collaborates and injects new sounds in ways he had not attempted prior. “On Pass It
Around, I definitely had a lot of ideas and it was fun putting trust in other people.”

One of those people was producer Joe Chiccarelli, who aside from being a multiple Grammy Award-winner, has
worked with everyone from Frank Zappa to The Raconteurs to My Morning Jacket. Donavon also enlisted some of his
dearest musician friends including, Ben Harper on the title track, and Philadelphia’s most famous surfer G. Love, who
adds harmonica on “Sing a Song.”

Collaborators can bring out a side of their creative partner that had previously been untapped. This was the case with
Grant Lee Phillips and Frankenreiter on the track, “Mansions On The Sand.”

“I had an amazing experience with Grant Lee Phillips. I had a verse of a song and I had no lyrics for and couldn’t find a
chorus. So we worked on it together, found a chorus and then let it go for awhile. When he sent it back to me, I was
blown away.”

“I’ve always tried to incorporate the visions of the ocean, the tide, the surf in my music. But I never could, because it
would be corny. It would be like I would be “in the waves,” he laughs. Frankenreiter’s respect of the ocean and surfing
is too deep to bastardize it. It took Grant Lee Phillips aiding Frankenreiter on “Mansions On The Sand” to help him
appropriately celebrate the water that he so loves. “And it came together and from a guy who doesn’t surf.” He jokes.

The self-produced Move By Yourself saw Donavon Frankenreiter grow and mature as an artist who became
comfortable on his own and in his own skin. On Pass It Around, Frankenreiter followed his instincts, and in the
process actually found himself both artistically and stylistically, as a musician and a songwriter.

“I learned a lot. I learned that it’s not all about me, but it’s about coming together and creating the songs together. I
learned that I could let go a little. Let somebody else control the production. For me it was a comfortable place to be. I
feel like I had to go through what I was going through in order to get to where I am today.”

For Frankenreiter, embracing a change of methodology was vital, not just because he was open to it, it’s what he
does: he persistently challenges himself and it’s keeping him honest, humble and open. An example of Donavon’s
openness came when a suggestion was made for the track “Your Heart”.

“When I gave Joe the demo, the horn lines you hear were all harmonica. But it was too much like ‘Harvest Moon,’ the
Neil Young song,” he says. “So, Joe tells me he hears a mariachi band in there instead. I knew I could trust his
wisdom. When I heard it for the first time it was unreal, because if fit so naturally.”

Donavon was humbled as he tracked Pass It Around at the legendary Hollywood studio, Sunset Sound, knowing he
was stepping into the same vocal booth that Joplin and Morrison made history in.

“A lot of people in this day and age just want to you to come to their house and use Pro-Tools because it will save
thousands of dollars. But it’s about the experience. That’s what I want to feel. I want to touch the walls there. I want to
sing into the microphones there. That’s what recording is all about, being in those places where people have been

If there is one song on Pass It Around that is snapshot of Donavon’s organic and non-contrived lifestyle, it is the
opening track, “Life, Love and Laughter.” “Don’t look back it won’t do any good/Don’t look ahead you’ll be
misunderstood/Everything you need could be right in front of you.” For Donavon that maybe packing up his family
and going to a far flung destination or he could be lazing with them at home in Laguna Beach, as long as there’s love
in the room, he’s there.

With some old buddies, new compatriots and a new M.O., Donavon Frankenreiter is more than pleased with the music
they made together. He concludes, “I feel this is the best body of work I’ve done. This is where I am now and where I’ve
come from.”


In 2001 Jules’ original independent release of “Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets,” which included a cover of Tears For
Fears’ “Mad World” that Jules recorded with friend and producer Michael Andrews for the film “Donnie Darko,” arrived
to even more critical acclaim. The Village Voice called it “the best album to be released this year, anywhere. Period.”
Rolling Stone Magazine said “Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets is at once beautiful and haunting, depressing and
inspiring, lonely and welcoming — delicately crafted folk music of the highest order.” In October 2001, Richard Kelly’s
film “Donnie Darko” came out in theaters and quickly became a cult phenomenon. Not bad for an album created in a
basement for less than $100.

In 2002 “Snakeoil” was championed by Nic Harcourt, host of “Morning Becomes Eclectic” at KCRW-FM in Los
Angeles, and by Bruce Warren at WXPN-FM in Philadelphia. With these giants of listener-supported radio spreading
the word, Jules toured constantly as an independent artist, sharing the stage with Jack Johnson, Damien Rice, Sheryl
Crow, Beck, Mason Jennings, Jewel, Jason Mraz, The Polyphonic Spree, Liz Phair, and Todd Rundgren. His year-long
residency at the then anonymous Hotel Cafe in Hollywood has become the stuff of legend in the new LA underground.

In the Fall of 2003 the Jules/Andrews version of “Mad World” started receiving major airplay in the UK. One story goes
that it was originally played on-air by Robbie Williams during a guest DJ spot. Others say it was Radiohead’s Thom
Yorke. Either way, Jules and “Snakeoil” were licensed by Adventures/Sanctuary and in December, fueled by a slew of
powerful live television performances and tons of old-fashioned word-of-mouth, Gary Jules and Michael Andrews
became only the 6th American act ever to win the coveted “Christmas #1.”

“Snakeoil” was released in the UK and Europe in early 2004. Jules went gold, then platinum, in fewer than 8 weeks and
in several different European territories. “Mad World” was the biggest single of the year.

Jules also played more than 300 live shows from Summer 2003 through August 2004 in the US, Australia, UK and
Europe, including a 3-week Summer ‘04 run with Bob Dylan, from Ireland to Portugal.

In August 2004, Gary and his wife Greta welcomed the birth of their first child.

In 2006 Jules recorded his self-produced, and self-titled album, released it independently with longtime friends, then left Los Angeles and moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina, where he is building a
home studio and making plans for tours of the US, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.


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Donavon Frankenreiter

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