On Shuffle: Frank Lenz – "Pentasynth" [video]


Frank Lenz is a lifer. Yeah, dude’s been around. Ever hear of Starflyer 59, Pedro the Lion, Richard Swift? Yeah, thought so. He’s drummed for them. (And my gosh, can you imagine being the drummer in an ever-shifting outfit like Starflyer, knowing that the singer/guitarist/songwriter Jason Martin is also a drummer, and has written and recorded all by hisself before? Wouldn’t you be a little afraid of your job security?)

(I think it was somewhere around 2000 or 2001 when I saw Starflyer play at a school or a church or something, and they had the classic Leave Here a Stranger touring lineup which featured, I’m sure, Lenz on drums. I also met Velvet Blue Music label head/Starflyer bassist Jeff Cloud at that show, but I’m sure he doesn’t remember. I’m an audience member, I’m not memorable. He was very nice though. Thanks for that Jeff.)

(This whole thing is going like an aside. I didn’t mean to do that honestly. I meant to talk about Lenz’s video for “Pentasynth,” from his forthcoming record Water Tiger due out June 25 on VBM. I’ve barely got past Lenz’s drumming history. Crap. Let’s get back to that.)

water tiger

Water Tiger, out June 25 on VBM. In case you hadn’t heard before.

…Lenz also has composed film scores. Holy Rollers, and Strictly Background – heard of them? Actually, I wouldn’t begrudge you if you haven’t. But Lenz the solo artist! He’s out there, man, the preeminent purveyor of instrumental heartstring tuggin’, an emotional roller coaster that gradually ascends from heartbreak and descends from nostalgia. His music is tailor-made for visual accompaniment, not unlike Jon Brion to whom he’s been compared. And hey, speaking of, we’ve got a video here for you! “Pentasynth,” the first track from Water Tiger out June 25 on VBM (wait, did I mention that? Are the asides all in my head, or are they here on the page? Can’t look back to check, must proceed…), is the perfect score to a sepia-toned road trip video. Part desperate escapism, part lonely reminiscence, the video is a top-down journey through hills and city alike, where you’re rendered inadequate in different, but no less equal, ways.

So it’s sad, yes, but hopeful too, because it reminds you there’s an individual there behind it all: you. And you’re important. At least I am. That’s what I was taught in school, anyway, and by my parents. This was before the fall of the Berlin Wall, though, so it may have been an exaggeration. I’ve never been to a shrink.

Did I say Water Tiger was out June 25 on VBM? I can’t be bothered to check.



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