Music

Behind the Beat: Good and Wrong

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Thursday, July 05, 2012
Carol Lollis Photo
Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves

According to the online version of Webster's Dictionary, the original definition of the word awesome is "inspiring awe or admiration or wonder." However, if you ask Greenfield singer and songwriter Daniel Hales, awesome is also one of the best words to describe the sound of his band, Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves.

"As a default, I would say we are 'awesome,' the original meaning of the word," Hales says. "Or, to use a term we coined—it's 'wrong,' as in totally sick, as in bad, as in supremely great."

And the English lessons don't stop there. When asked to explain the appropriate reading of his group's name, Hales, an English teacher and freelance writer by day, gives an answer that could come straight from a textbook.

He says, "The band name is supposed to read exactly like this: 'Daniel hales, and the frost heaves.' As in: it's not only a band name—it's also a sentence comprised of two independent clauses separated by a comma and a coordinating conjunction. Part pun, part English major dork move, part commentary on predictable 'and the' band names ... all self-deprecating humor. No matter what we call ourselves or how we write it, many people get it wrong, so why not make it extra hard?"

First taking shape in 2005 with the recording of a few rough demos, Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves completed its current lineup with the addition of members James Lowe (bass) and Ivan Ussach (drums) in late 2010.

Currently, the band is promoting the release of its latest album You Make A Better Door Than A Window. Featuring songs like "Halo Over My Horns," All My Best Worrying" and two versions of the title track, the record is an engaging yet hard to define mix of different styles and moods.

"The more you listen to this album, the more you'll hear: more layers, colors, textures, and themes. It's pretty varied—both musically and in mood—but I stand behind every song 100 percent," says Hales.

One track from Better Door, "Singing in the Breakdown Lane," has even become a favorite of NPR's "Car Talk," becoming the second Frost Heaves song to be featured on the program. And in between the recording of future material with the Frost Heaves and other auxiliary musicians, Hales also promises the scheduling of plenty of live gigs to promote Better Door, including a special album release party that will take place at the Green River Festival.

Hales says the festivities include "a full band set at the Green River Festival on July 15 at 5 p.m. on the Meltdown Stage [and] part two, a free listening/art opening/poetry reading/party at 7 p.m. at The Rendezvous. There will be an exhibit up of album art and art inspired by the album; it will also be a release party for the chapbook I Have A Song To Tell You Now, which features a poem about every song on the album."

For more information on Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves please visit www.thefrostheaves.com/ and www.facebook.com/pages/Daniel-hales-and-the-frost-heaves/241667492692.

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