Ad Frank
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Ad Frank


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The best kept secret in music


"Boston Globe"

Ad Frank almost fills the hole in his heart

After he made the fabulously preening, heartbroken "Mr. Fancypants" two years ago, Boston singer-songwriter Ad Frank wondered wether it was time to explore cheerier musical terrain.

"I did deliberately say that I wasn't going to make another album like that. I didn't need it, and the world didn't need it," says Frank, who with his backing band, the all-male Fast Easy Women, wind up a month-long residency at the Lizard Lounge next Tuesday. "And when I heard the music that was going to be on this album, I despaired and didn't think it was dark enough."

So was the gaping hole in his heart just too big to fill with flowers and candy? Frank laughs. "Yeah, I'm afraid so," he says of his predilection for brooding, which continues on Frank's new "In Girl Trouble," released on the Cambridge-based Stop, Pop, and Roll label.

"That's the only thing I'm good at. Besides," he says, "there are still girls out there who want to give me a hard time, so there's always fresh material. I have been told that I deliberately seek out situations to get fresh material, and I hope it's not true. Only my subconscious knows for sure."

That creative process accounts for self-explanatory song titles such as "You Have Murdered something Fine In Me," "Girls As Sharp As You Are Something Rare," and "Goodbye Cruel Girl," although Frank seems more intent on skewering himself rather than the parade of paramours who've wronged him. You know this from the moment you hear Frank's epically jaded crooning as it dissects his psyche, gliding over some of the cleverest couplets this side of Morrissey or the Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt in the process.

Don't be misled, though: there are also love songs on "In Girl Trouble" that drop the ironic pose for genuine affection. "You may laugh or disagree, but I like the little snippets of hope that peek through here and there," Frank says, undoubtedly referring to gorgeously glistening valentines like "Martini Bouquet" and "Future Imperfect."

With the top-shelf musical muscle of the Fast Easy Women - a.k.a. Sean Connelly (guitar), Eric Donohue (bass), Shayne Phillips (drums), and Jake Zavracky (keyboards) -- lending support, "In Girl Trouble" is an album of insatiable wit, personality, and self-mocking attitude that commandeers its way through the rocky ruins of Frank's heart.

"I'm lucky enough to have some great people with great ideas playing with me, and I just let them go for the most part," says Frank of the group that's made up of members culled from two of Boston's most popular bands, Quick Fix and Francine.

The singer himself is no newcomer to the stage either, having started a dozen years ago with the local glam-pop outfit Miles Dethmuffen, which later morphed into Permafrost. Like his old bands used to do, Frank claims he'd like to bring his particular brand of heartache to a few more towns and cities.

"I know there's 100,000 Ad Frank fans worldwide," he says. "I just have to find 'em." - Jonathan Perry


In Girl Trouble (2003)
Mr. Fancypants (2001)
Ad Frank (1999)


In Harm's Way (1998)

Miles Dethmuffen:
Nine-Volt Grape (1996)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Ad Frank

Probably the most unlucky guy in love, Boston's AD FRANK, is gearing up for the release of The World's Best Ex-Boyfriend, his third full-length album on indie Stop, Pop, and Roll on April 19, 2005.

With this follow-up to 2003's In Girl Trouble, Ad Frank delivers sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes bitter, but always razor-sharp and witty trips through his psyche. The awesomely-titled "If I Find Another One of Your Bobby Pins in My Bed, I'm Coming By to Shove Them Up Your Ass" drips with angst while delicate strings weave in and out of Queen-esque epic guitars. The spacy and spooky treatment of "Cool" traipses around smoky hallways of the mind, yearning for times when "you used to be cool." "Unspeakable" recalls 60's car-revving crooners, and can bring tears to even the strongest of men. "I love these songs and the boys [his band The Fast Easy Women] did such a lovely job with the arrangements," beams Ad.

A critics' darling, Ad Frank's previous two albums have garnered praise from The Big Takeover who proclaimed, "he remains the poet laureate of the lovelorn with a wonderful album of yearning, regret and recriminations." The Boston Globe heralded, "Frank's epically jaded crooning? dissects his psyche, gliding over some of the cleverest couplets this side of Morrissey or the Magnetic Field's Stephin Merritt.

Ad Frank's foray into the world of rock began in Boston in 1990 with the often-misspelled Miles Dethmuffen and its LP Nine-Volt Grape. A string of well-received albums and singles followed before the band changed its moniker to Permafrost for 1997's In Harm's Way. Buoyed by the pop of songs "Johnny Marr" and "Sequin In Your Dress" the CD seemed poised for greatness until eventually being sunk by an uninterested record label. In 1999 Ad Frank released his first solo album. The self-titled album was anchored by catchy fan favorites "Only One Lonely" and "You May Already Be A Winner." 2001 saw the release of Mr. Fancypants, Ad's heartbreak-inspired album typified by the melancholy "Barking Up the Wrong Girl" and the angry, pulsing "Davy I Didn't Mean To Push You Off."