Porches’ Aaron Maine talks home recording, alternate album takes; Survey of state senators gauges arts funding interests; Jackie Greene tonight

Porches’ Aaron Maine talks home recording, alternate album takes

Earlier this year, Porches’ Aaron Maine waded into new territory with his introspective, heavily electronic bedroom album Pool. While the record itself explores a tangle of internal two-way pulls, its recently-released companion gives further insight into its making.

Maine’s new EP Water offers a handful of early and alternate cuts. Some, like “Mood,” are as old as three years. He says those initial takes informed both the LP itself and his direction since.

I think a lot of magic happens when you first record a song, that’s very hard to recreate when re-recording,” Maine tells HN via email. “Since Pool, I’ve been focusing on recording for keeps in hopes of capturing all the weird stuff that goes on when you work on a song for the first time.”

Largely critically acclaimed, Pool dropped Feb 5 on Domino Records, followed by Water this past September, both expanding on themes introduced in earlier albums and concepts Maine stumbled upon while recording. Sonically, it lies somewhere between hazy beach and late-night metropolitan, a less peppy, more calculating record than some of his indie contemporaries.

In advance of tonight’s Milk Run show, Maine and HN exchanged emails on his apartment recording sessions, visual incorporation and recapturing the magic of a new creation. Read the transcript below.

Hear Nebraska: In press for your most recent album, Pool, you’ve stated recording at home, being able to dive deep into the songwriting, helped sharpen your focus. Alternatively, was there anything about the insular environment that made writing difficult at any point? If so, how did you remedy that?

Aaron Maine: I think sometimes it worked against me to have access to the songs at any given point in the day. I think it would’ve been good to be able to let it rest sometimes, but when the studio is 10 feet away from you at home, I found it hard to not work on stuff. Obviously I think a lot of special stuff happened due to that circumstance as well. Vocals were kind of hard at home sometimes too. It helped when I took it out of the house and had someone else press the record button and tell me what takes were good etc. I was able to just focus more on singing and less the technical parts of recording vocals.

HN: You told SPIN that a few of the same characters you’ve utilized in past work appear on Pool. Was there an effort to carry them (and corresponding) themes through here, or was it more natural?

AM: Definitely pretty natural. I just write a lot and there seems to be these themes that make themselves present when the songs are put together without me even being aware of them during the writing process.

HN: The new EP Water gives some insight into select tracks from the full-length. How early are those versions? What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from cutting alternate takes?

AM: Some versions are like three years old. “Mood” is the first song I recorded in logic when I got a laptop and that kind of informed the rest of the songs. I think a lot of magic happens when you first record a song, that’s very hard to recreate when re-recording. Since pool, I’ve been focusing on recording for keeps in hopes of capturing all the weird stuff that goes on when you work on a song for the first time.

HN: Among your live sound and recent music videos, there’s a fairly identifiable common aesthetic. What importance do you place on the role of visuals and how they complement the overall vibe of the music?

AM: I think visuals are extremely important. They can elevate the project to the next level, or sometimes really ruin it for me. I don’t know. I’m still figuring out how to make it work. It’s exciting though.

HN: You toured Europe earlier this year, and you’re going back later this fall. What differences have you noticed in audiences between ones you encountered there and in the states?

AM: There’s not many differences in the audience reaction really. There are less ppl at the shows. Maybe some more dancing. Some of my banter is a bit too dry to land sometimes too.

And some general quickfire:

HN: What about relative success/failure scares you, if anything?

AM: I guess not much. Just trying to ride this wave and make sure I keep making stuff that I believe in and challenges myself.

HN: What do you consider to be your most notable achievement to-date?

AM: Not quitting?

HN: Favorite road snack?

AM: String cheese haha

HN: What are you currently listening to?

AM: A lot of new Frank Ocean and Angel Olsen albums. A lot of podcasts in van too. Criminal is a pretty good one.

HN: What is the most interesting venue in which you’ve performed?

AM: Awhile ago there was this garage we played at in NJ where we had to load in down a ladder into the basement.

HN: This won’t be your first time in Omaha. When you think back, what about the city sticks out in your memory?

AM: We had such a nice time there in the spring. We stayed at a big old house, played a good show and met some nice ppl.

Porches plays Milk Run, 1907 Leavenworth, tonight at 9 p.m. with Japanese Breakfast and Rivergazer. Doors are at 8 p.m., entry is $10. RSVP here.

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Survey of state senators gauges arts funding interests

Every two years, Nebraskans for the Arts sends out a survey to our Senators and to the candidates vying for their opening seats. The survey’s purpose is to gauge their opinions on funding the Arts in Nebraska and to then inform the public.

As steeped in the Arts as our mission is, we at Hear Nebraska find it of the utmost importance to hold Nebraska’s legislators accountable and to know where the candidates stand before they are elected to office.

Of 41 Senators and candidates, twenty have filled out the survey, which means half did not. While not all of the candidates will make the ballot in November, we urge you to contact the Senators and candidates who have not yet filled it out and ask them to do so.

Below we have made a list of the Senators and candidates who did and did not fill out the survey. Find your Senator’s response here. Read their answers and see if they measure up. If you see your Senator has not made this survey a priority, those who have made an email available are listed for you to contact.

Have filled out their surveys:

Dist 3 (Bellevue) Candidate Carol Blood
Dist 5 (Omaha) Candidate Mike McDonnell
Dist 7 (Omaha) Candidate Tony Vargas
Dist 7 (Omaha) Candidate John Synowiecki
Dist 9 (Omaha) Senator Sara Howard
Dist 9 (Omaha) Candidate Larry Rowland
Dist 21 (Raymond) Candidate Larry Scherer
Dist 23 (Wahoo) Senator Jerry Johnson
Dist 25 (Lincoln) Candidate Jim Gordon
Dist 27 (Lincoln) Candidate Dick Clark
Dist 27 (Lincoln) Candidate Anna Wishart
Dist 29 (Lincoln) Senator Kate Bolz
Dist 31 (Omaha) Senator Rick Kolowski
Dist 35 (Grand Island) Candidate Greg Neuhaus
Dist 37 (Kearney) Candidate Bob Lammers
Dist 37 (Kearney) Candidate John Lowe, Sr.
Dist 39 (Elkhorn) Candidate Lou Ann Linehan
Dist 39 (Elkhorn) Candidate Bill Ambrust
Dist 43 (Hyannis) Senator Al Davis
Dist 45 (Bellevue) Senator Sue Crawford

Have NOT filled out their surveys:

Dist 1 (Syracuse) Senator Dan Watermeier* dwatermeier@leg.ne.gov
Dist 3 (Bellevue) Senator Tommy Garrett
Dist 5 (Omaha) Candidate Gilbert Ayala
Dist 11 (Omaha) Senator Ernie Chambers
Dist 11 (Omaha) Candidate John Sciara
Dist 13 (Omaha) Candidate Jill Brown
Dist 13 (Omaha) Candidate Justin Wayne
Dist 15 (Scribner) Senator David Schnoor dschnoor@leg.ne.gov
Dist 15 (Fremont) Candidate Lynne Walz
Dist 17 (South Sioux City) Candidate Ardel Bengtson
Dist 17 (Thurston) Candidate Joni Albrecht
Dist 19 (Norfolk) Senator Jim Scheer* jscheer@leg.ne.gov
Dist 21 (Lincoln) Candidate Mike Hilgers
Dist 23 (Brainard) Candidate Bruce Bostelman
Dist 25 (Lincoln) Candidate Suzanne Geist
Dist 29 (Lincoln) Candidate Melody Vaccaro
Dist 31 (Omaha) Candidate Ian Swanson
Dist 33 (Hastings) Senator Les Seiler lseiler@leg.ne.gov
Dist 33 (Hastings) Candidate Steve Halloran
Dist 35 (Grand Island) Candidate Dan Quick
Dist 41 (Albion) Candidate Tom Briese*
Dist 43 (Gordon) Candidate Tom Brewer
Dist 45 (Bellevue) Candidate Michael Cook
Dist 47 (Ogallala) Candidate Karl Elmshaeuser
Dist 47 (Bayard) Candidate Steve Erdman
Dist 49 (Gretna) Senator John Murante* jmurante@leg.ne.gov

* Mark those running unopposed and will be in office next session.

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Concert Round-Up

Tonight, singer/songwriter Jackie Greene comes to Slowdown, 729 N 14th St. The blues-rock guitarist and former Black Crowes member released his seventh studio album Back to Birth last year on Yep Roc Records. He has played with the likes of Gov’t Mule, Los Lobos, Huey Lewis and B.B. King. Nashville band Cordovas joins Greene on his national tour, and on tonight’s billing. The band is a regular festival draw in its hometown, and has a new album slated for this year. Doors are at 7 p.m., tickets are $20. RSVP here.

View more of tonight’s shows at our statewide calendar here. Email all news tips, story ideas and song submissions to news@hearnebraska.org.

Editor’s note: a previous version of this article incorrectly named Porches’ frontman Aaron Maine “Alex.” It has been corrected.