Pop Culture Detours – October 2016
It Is So Hard To Understand When Wonderful Talent Is Cut Down In Its Prime
By George McGowan
Last month, a life-long friend passed away suddenly. She was an incredibly talented person who inspired so many and left this world too soon. In my world, this seems to be happening much too often lately and each time it turns me nostalgic and wistful. And angry. It just doesn’t make much sense when people with wonderful talents are taken from us. Unfortunate losses such as these have often happened in the world of pop culture, as well. And 2016 seems to be reaching its limit with Prince, David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Glenn Frey, and several others gone.
One of the recent losses in the world of music is especially sad. A band with wonderful potential has suffered a great loss before they could get their music widely heard. The band is named the Frightnrs and released their debut album, “Nothing More to Say” in early September. While working on the album’s completion, in June, the band’s lead singer, Dan Klein, passed away at age 33 after a nine-month battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig Disease). The album was started before his diagnosis and finished while Klein was being treated for the disease.
I was introduced to the Frightnrs and their story through The New York Times and music writer Jim Farber. I encourage you to search out Mr. Farber’s article, but in summary, it is heartbreaking and poignant and ultimately very sad. In contrast, the music of the Frightnrs is wonderful and uplifting. Dan Klein’s vocals are amazing for someone who could not breathe without assistance for some of the recording sessions. The Frightnrs were put together because of their shared love for early Jamaican reggae. Or, as they put it on their website: “Rocksteady, reggae, & early dancehall inna the finest NYC fashunn.” After releasing an EP in 2015, the band was signed to Daptone Records and given the time and room to craft an album which quietly and steadily burns with intensity. The other members of the band have indicated that they will continue after the loss of Klein and may invite featured vocalists to join them on the road for live performances. While Mr. Klein’s lovely falsetto is the highlight of their music, the band is certainly quite talented with Rich Terrana on the drums, and the brothers Preet and Chuck Patel on the bass and piano.
And as providence would have it, and summarizing how I continue to feel after losing my friend, the Frightnrs open the album “Nothing More to Say” with the song, “All My Tears” which features this chorus: “All my tears, all my tears (Won’t bring you back), No no no no, My tears won’t do nothing at all.” I miss my friend very much but I will listen to the Frightnrs for some solace as they certainly also know of the pain of losing someone way too soon.by