Aaron’s Radio Show

Episode 36

My Three Songs with Evelyn Freitas

 

Notes

Episode Notes

EPISODE 36 – My Three Songs with Evelyn Freitas:  Welcome, everyone, to Episode 36. This is the 26th in our series of episodes called My Three Songs where my guest chooses three memorable songs and we listen to the songs and talk about why they are meaningful to my guest. Evelyn Freitas is a good friend of mine also from the San Francisco Bay Area. We listened to and discussed three songs she chose because they are powerful reminders to find hope and positivity during trying times.

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Three Songs

  1. Callin Out – Lyrics Born (2003)
  2. Moon Over Marin – Dead Kennedys (1982)
  3. Positive Contact – Deltron 3030 (2000)

Aaron’s Radio Show has been licensed by ASCAP and BMI to include songs from their repertories in performances on this website.

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Transcript

This transcript was originally generated using artificial intelligence ("AI") software. It has been edited by a human being, but it may still contain some misspellings, lack necessary punctuation, or include other anomalies. We are regularly working to improve our transcripts!


Jake:

Coming to you almost live from Berkeley, California. It's Aaron's Radio Show, with your host, Aaron Gobler.

Aaron Gobler:

Welcome to My Three Songs, where I play three special songs chosen by my guests, and we talk about why they chose each song. Today, my guest is Evelyn Freitas. Evelyn also lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I've known her for several years. She's an amazing mortgage broker, and her partner Jake is the golden voice that welcomes you to each episode of the show. Evelyn, thank you so much for being my guest. today. I'm psyched to talk with you about music. What inspired you to be on the show?

Evelyn Freitas:

Well, first of all, thank you, Aaron for having me on the show. I have to say I was inspired to be on the show because I've always wanted to be a radio DJ myself. And I've taken advantage of virtually any chance I ever gotten to be on the radio my whole life from calling in to see if I could be the 10th caller to win an album to calling in to the college radio station at UC Berkeley KALX while, I was going to school there. So this is just helping me live out part of my dream.

Aaron Gobler:

Thank you again for taking the time to make your list and sharing it with me. Evelyn, before we get started, can you tell me how music fits into your life? Like do you seek it out? Is it usually in the foreground or background of each day?

Evelyn Freitas:

I would say that music is in the forefront of my life. I have loved music ever since I was a child. I grew up playing music and I listened to music. You know, pretty much every day. I love all kinds of music. So on a daily basis, I'm listening to music, I've usually got some some kind of a streaming thing playing in the background at home. I usually play Pandora on you know, whatever kind of music is fitting my mood of the day. So it's an ever present thing. And it's been an ever present thing in my life. For as long as I can remember.

Aaron Gobler:

You said that you had played music when you were younger? Is that you mean you're you are an instrumentalist at some point.

Evelyn Freitas:

Yes. So I started in fourth grade, I started playing clarinet in school band me too. And fortunately fortunately for everyone, thanks to an orthodontic issue. I switched to the flute in fifth grade. And so I played flute in band. all through high school, I was in a marching band that marched in the 1976 Tournament of Roses Parade. I went on to study jazz and jazz improvisation on the flute. And that eventually took me to getting very interested in rhythm. So I switched to drums at the age of about 25. And I played in a couple of local bands that I'm positive you've never heard of. And so yes, I love to play music, I love to listen to music, I haven't really played much for quite a while. Okay, but for I still have my wonderful vintage Gretsch drum kit and I love to play my drums once in a while.

Aaron Gobler:

That's awesome. And having learned and played instruments, and several different types of instruments like you're describing, when you hear music, can you in your mind separate out the different parts? Can you can you like, listen to the same song a few different times and actually, like, concentrate on a particular part of that song because you are familiar with that kind of tone?

Evelyn Freitas:

That's a great question. Yes, I am able to focus on the different parts. In fact, part of the training that I did when I played jazz flute, was to listen to each part of a song and then sing it and then sing it in a different key. However, still sing that same part. Okay, so anyone who spends very much time with me will tell you that I will be more likely to sing the guitar solo Then the words the song because I actually may know that part better.

Aaron Gobler:

Hmm. Okay? Are there times where you'll hear a song for the first time and something would jump out about it instrumentally that will spark something in you that maybe wouldn't just in the in a general listener,

Evelyn Freitas:

you know, it can be something that jumps out at me musically, it can be an interesting time signature, or an interesting sound that I haven't heard before. And it can also be just, you know, a feeling that really grabs me and draws me in. And I think that's something about each one of these songs today, perhaps in a different way. It's, in a way for me, it's got to be both to be a song that I truly love for it to be captivating.

Aaron Gobler:

Are you currently playing any instrument or practicing? You mentioned you pick up the drums once in a while. But is there anything else that you're actually like still practicing? Or? Or toying with now and then?

Evelyn Freitas:

No, not really, I just enjoy playing along or singing along and, you know, one of the things that I really have missed over the last couple of years is going to see live music locally. So I think at this point, I feel like I'm more of a spectator than a performer.

Aaron Gobler:

Was it a challenge for you to come up with your list? Or was it something that you like, right away ... you had this gut feeling that these were the songs,

Evelyn Freitas:

It was quite a challenge to come up with the list. Because ... was it my favorite songs? Was it songs that I love to listen to? So loving music as much as I do, how could I narrow it down to three songs? That was the difficult part really was picking three songs. And then I would just think of another song. So for a while, it was just sort of a process of, you know, throwing out one song in favor of another until I ended up with my ultimate list.

Aaron Gobler:

Awesome. Thank you for describing your process. I've had some guests that say, oh, like these are not necessarily their three favorite songs, but they just knew right away, these were the ones I wanted to use. And for others, it's been a much more methodical. And some people have said it took them a couple months to finally say they were comfortable with their list, but by no means does it have to be your favorites. Before I go through the song names. Can you tell me Is there some kind of general theme that you've discovered after you put the list together?

Evelyn Freitas:

Yes, there is. And actually the theme, once I realized one of the things that I really truly love about music and living here in the Bay Area, it made the themes sort of pop out from the background of everything I was listening to. And so if anything, the theme is that these are all musicians from right here in the Bay Area. And that's really wonderful. That's one of the great advantages of living here in the area. Where we are is that there is so much fantastic music that comes from this area that you literally can just go watch the performer play it live. That's really something.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah, it is. Evelyn, the songs you chose were "Callin' Out", by Lyrics Born, from 2003; "Moon Over Marin", by the Dead Kennedys, from 1982; and "Positive Contact", by Deltron 3030, which was from the year 2000. So before I listened to your songs, I mentioned I had never heard of any of them before. I've known about the Dead Kennedys for quite a while but I don't believe I had heard any of their songs. So I'm definitely eager for us both to listen to these songs together. And I'm interested in knowing why each of them is meaningful to you. So let's start out with the first song which is "Callin' Out" by Lyrics Born. Evelyn, this song is so funky and it sounds to me like ... the sounds I hear in it are like some of the O'Jays, and James Brown, and some late-70's bass-driven stuff by Chic. What inspired you to include this on your list?

Evelyn Freitas:

It is such a great, funky song. It is so absolutely upbeat, both in the sound and in the take on the ups and downs of life. It's got a call-and-response thing going on which is absolutely fantastic to just draw you in as you're listening to it, I find this song very difficult to sit still too. I mean, it is just a funk dance hit at my house for sure. Okay, if I had a radio show, I might open my show with this song because it's just calling the people out saying, you know, are you ready? Let's get this started. And it's really one of the things I love about listening to lyrics born, he incorporates an incredible variety of sounds and styles into his music. And yet, it's always funky, and really fun. It's just really fun music to listen to,

Aaron Gobler:

And thank you so much for choosing it. Through the show, I've been exposed to a lot of stuff that I wouldn't have normally sought out or was even be aware of. And like, as I mentioned, in right after we finished listening to it, I often ... after the song plays, tell my guest and listeners what I hear in it. And it's usually not necessarily about the lyrics, but about the influences and the different parts. And my brain immediately starts playing those parts of my head, like, "that sounds like, you know, a bass-line from an O'Jays song. And maybe that's what inspired the artist to include that kind of sound. But it really, it's really fun for me to hear something like this where somebody has incorporated all these different types of sounds. And it's like a really rich dish, of all these different sounds brought together. As I was listening to it right now, reading the lyrics, and processing it ... lyrically. I agree, you know, the themes here are all like, "I've had some challenges like we all had, and, you know, I don't want to be put in a box. I am my own person", all these kinds of themes. Yeah, it's, it's like a proclamation ... the song.

Evelyn Freitas:

Right? He mentions, you know, playing in the Coliseum. Love it.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah. So it has those local to local references in there, too. Yeah, yeah. And how did you ... how did you first hear about lyrics boring.

Evelyn Freitas:

Honestly, it's just something that popped up on a Pandora station one day, and my ears were sort of drawn over to the screen to see what I was listening to. And then I just started listening to more and more of his music and really, really fell in love with it.

Aaron Gobler:

Evelyn, your next song is "Moon Over Marin" by the Dead Kennedys. And I have to say this is very different from the previous song. So let's give that a listen. And we'll talk about it on the other side. Evelyn musically, this song sounds so purely punk to me, and very accessible punk at that. It made me think about the Sex Pistols and also the Replacements. So what inspired you to include this on your list?

Evelyn Freitas:

The Dead Kennedys were one of my favorite bands in the early- and mid-80's. They used to play in Berkeley very frequently. And I would go see them. I've probably seen them seven or eight times. In fact, the first time I ever saw Metallica, Metallica actually opened for the Dead Kennedys at this little club called Ruby's down on San Pablo Avenue. And I really loved their energy. This is one of only a couple of songs of theirs that I think could really be played on the radio, the other one being "Holiday in Cambodia." And that is because to say that the Dead Kennedys were irreverent would really be an understatement. I mean, they were absolutely blasphemous. And you're right that this is one of their more poppy songs. And I think it is like the last track on the album that it's on the it's on the album "Plastic Surgery Disasters". And it just it's a song. I think that Jello Biafra didn't really want to promote because it doesn't have that really raw F-U feeling. I really love the song for a couple different reasons. It's believed that the inspiration for this song is a Bay Area oil spill that actually took place in 1971. That happened when a couple of oil tankers collided in the Bay and dumped about 800,000 gallons of oil into the Bay. And oil immediately began washing up later that day in the Berkeley Marina on the shores of San Francisco and all up the Marin coast. And what eventually happened there was like lots and lots of Bay Area people volunteered to clean up that oil. However, it was just this horrible, horrible thing that actually happened right here. The story of the song is that there's this guy in the future, and he's got his beachfront Marin property. And he's out there doing his workout on the beach every night, in his uniform and his gas mask. And that just painted such a picture for me of, on the one hand, how dark the future could be. And on the other hand, how good people could be at ignoring that and going about something that they would call their daily life. And then at the end, there's this segment where we hear from this this nice lady who tells us that a psychiatrist is available 24/7. And there are pills. And it's not exactly clear whether she's talking to the character in the song, the guy working out on the beach, in his gas mask, or us after having listened to this story of what the future could be like if things continued in a certain direction. Even as a science fiction fan, that made this song extremely interesting to me and made it well made it one of my

Aaron Gobler:

You mentioned "Holiday in Cambodia", and I free songs. believe maybe I've heard that song on "Guitar Hero" or something that's, I believe that maybe I heard that song.

Evelyn Freitas:

Wow, on Guitar Hero ...

Aaron Gobler:

But I don't know, really, their catalogue. And you're saying this particular one is more pop-focused, as opposed to some of the other stuff that they've done. I did look at the lyrics and and also watched the video for it. And the video basically, is a bunch of film clips of people cleaning up the beach. So yeah, that may be you know, back from what you're describing from 1971. And I hadn't really pictured the song as being some kind of futuristic thing, but it sounds like it's an an irreverent or dystopian view of like, what it would be like that the beach is so polluted that you have to protect yourself when you go out and, and the dead fish between your toes and all that other stuff.

Evelyn Freitas:

Right. Right? It's, it's awful. And it's almost a comic-book-like picture that we could imagine this guy out there with the moon, a beautiful full moon there in the sky. Meanwhile, this gaseous haze is coming up from the sand and the sheen of the oil is reflecting the light of the moon. And you got this guy, you know, what is he doing? Is he doing jumping jacks? Is he jogging laps up and down his little section of the beach? Who knows?

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah. So very ironic take on this and very kind of dark.

Evelyn Freitas:

It's very, very dark.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah, wasn't very inspiring. I think we have nice beaches. And I think the Marin beaches are nice right now. But I think we can fear that they may one day be situation like that.

Evelyn Freitas:

We have to be very, very careful to take care of this area where we live, and the Bay is ... it almost looks like two lungs in a way. It's got these two lobes that the Golden Gate is this little small entryway to and so it's important that we're very careful and aware and make sure that something like that doesn't actually happen here.

Aaron Gobler:

The Exxon Valdez spill happened in 1989. So it actually happened seven years after the song. So and we keep hearing about other spills that continue to happen.

Evelyn Freitas:

Right, and that these other spills that actually in terms of the volume of oil being spilled make this one in 1971 seems small. And that's incredible.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah. This may be kind of prescient that they saw the horror of a spill. And almost foresaw that as part of our future.

Evelyn Freitas:

I think it's sort of a cautionary tale. It's a little bit of a warning. It's a warning that rocks.

Aaron Gobler:

Yeah. It's a way of getting that message into our psyche, through the means of a very, very accessible punk song. Now the last song on your list is a little bit different again, and I'm really delighted that you introduced me to this group, the song's title is "Positive Contact", and it's by Deltron 3030. Let's give that a listen. Evelyn I really enjoyed this song; it evokes from me sounds of Grandmaster Flash and Digital Underground and a bunch of other artists, and again, I really like this tune and thank you for including it. Why did you choose to to have a song when your list?

Evelyn Freitas:

Well, I'm really glad that you liked this song. I included it in my list because I really love a great concept album. And I'm also a science fiction fan. The whole album is a really great story. I'm actually going to read the Wikipedia description of it because the story is so great. "It's a concept album set in the year 3030. That tells the dualistic conflict of fatalism that takes place between the moral concepts of righteousness and malevolence. The story tells a prophetic tale of a warriors thirst for battle. As Del's alter-go, who goes by the name 'Deltron Zero', along with his comrade, who happens to be a time-traveling cyborg wizard named at 'The Automator' face off against megalithic corporations, that meglomaniacally roll over our thermodynamic universe." And the lyrics to the entire album were written in less than two weeks. It's just such a fun story. If you listen to the whole album, you get this whole sense of this future that is very information-based, and doesn't seem to be too much of a projection from where we are now. Except maybe for the fact that it's supposed to be taking place out in space somewhere.

Aaron Gobler:

Now this album was recorded in 2000, can you identify themes in it that we feel like maybe are already occurring in 22 years after it was recorded?

Evelyn Freitas:

That is a really great question. I find it interesting that it came out in the year 2000. When back then we were really wondering if our, you know, were our computers gonna stop working on at midnight on New Year's to see, I would say yes, there's a track on the album called "Virus", where the characters talking about devising a computer virus that will stop corporations from working and basically bring the system of commerce to a halt. In the words of that song, "crash the whole computer system and revert you to papyrus." We're seeing that happen right now, where companies are having their data taken hostage, and having to pay ransom just to be able to operate their businesses. And we had a pipeline shutdown, was that last year?, that really created a real situation that prevented people from being able to go about their daily lives as they had known them? Fun. Yeah? One thing, in answer to the reason that I picked this song, there's a line in the song itself, and it's because the song "clap your ear with Soulsonic Mantronik phonics" I'm powerless to resist ...

Aaron Gobler:

... that kind of sound.

Evelyn Freitas:

Exactly.

Aaron Gobler:

It definitely had some very creative lyrics. And how did you find out about this group?

Evelyn Freitas:

So actually, I got turned on to this music when I met Jake Ralston, who MCs or who introduces your show ... that voice at the beginning of the show, Jake played this album for me, and I really fell in love with it. It's been one of my favorites ever since. We listen to it pretty frequently.

Aaron Gobler:

Evelyn, is there anything else you'd like to share about your selections, like anything you thought about as we were playing the songs or something we haven't asked you about?

Evelyn Freitas:

No, I can't really think of anything. What I will say this .. as I was listening to these songs, they all just give me such a ... It's funny to say; they're so dark in some ways, and yet they give me such a wonderful optimistic feeling about the human experiment, because we have the ability to be so creative, and the songs, a couple of them, at least in some ways, talk about situations that can be pretty messed up. And if we can figure out ways to mess things up and figure out how they could be messed up in the future, we can also figure out ways to have them be perfectly wonderful in the future. And so that's one of the things that I really was feeling in myself listening to this music. And I think that may be part of what is attractive to me about them, even though they are somewhat dark. Music is wonderful, we happen to live in an area where there's so much music being created all the time, I would say, get out there, or get your ears out there and just listen to as much great music as you possibly can. Whatever kind you like, and let it feed your spirit.

Aaron Gobler:

It definitely feeds my spirit. I think it's difficult for it not to have a certain impact on your spirit. I'm just thinking again about the themes from the songs, and like you were saying about them being kind of dark, but then hopeful. And I was just wondering, do you feel like the stories are more like, there can be kind of darkness and problems, but there's always hope, or listen to my prophecy about the darkness and try to avoid it.

Evelyn Freitas:

I do not know what the answer is for each ... each performer. I think it's so fascinating that anybody who creates a work of creative expression, whether it be music or anything else, that thing that they create is so unique to them, it is a product of their mind and their vision. And each one of us is such a product of where we come from, and the experiences that we have. And so it's truly fascinating. It could be the cautionary tale, "people, please listen to me. And be careful so that the things I'm about to describe for you never happen!", right? Or it could be "no matter how bad things get, we're always going to find a way to get through it, because there will always be a moon over Marin". Even if the sand is laced with sticky blob, and you have to be careful not to step on fishbones, I certainly hope that we're not going to have that be our future reality. Either way, it is important for us to entertain the imagination, the possibilities of the outcomes, because what we do right here and right now puts us on a pathway to whatever is going to happen in the future. And so art in general, and music in particular, gives us the possibility of being able to think about these things that we do not want to have happen in a way that allows us to really kind of process them for ourselves without having that phobic reaction that makes us just want to run away and put our hands of yours.

Aaron Gobler:

What you said is great, and just encapsulates so much. Thank you for framing it that way. I think that's that's really a great encapsulation.

Evelyn Freitas:

Great.

Aaron Gobler:

So Evelyn, I had a lot of fun. Again, these three songs I had never heard before. And I got a chance to listen to them and digest them and then talk with you about them. It was it was it was a great time.

Evelyn Freitas:

Yes, I had so much fun today. Aaron, thank you so much for having me on your show. It's just been such a great time.

Aaron Gobler:

Great. Thank you for taking the time to put your list together and to be on the show, Evelyn. And to my listeners if you want to be part of the show, start by going to our website Aaron's Radio dot show and clicking on the My Three Songs button on the homepage. You can also sign up for our mailing list so you'll know immediately when a new episode is available. You can also find Aaron's Radio Show on your favorite podcast service, but the podcast episodes only include interviews and no licensed music. Until next time, keep your ears and mind open and let more music into your world.

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