Ben Folds

recovering a post

i wrote about my top 5 bands last year, and the post got lost, so i thought i would recover it today and add a band making it my top 6.

so here they are:

6. The Black Keys
black keys

if lo-fi is your aim then Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have you covered. lyrically they are prolific. musically and rhythmically they always keep me wondering where they will go. i love their scaled back approach and gritty sound. also anyone who would name an album after my favorite classic automobile has to make the list.

5. Travis
travis band

i first came across these Scottish rockers in about 2003 when i was living in the Houston area. i heard a cover of Britney Spears “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, and i was sold. many people describe Travis’ music as a soundtrack to park a running car in a garage, but they haven’t heard “Sing” if that’s the case. i’ve always thought that Coldplay just wished they were Travis.

4. Ben Folds Five

Ben is one of my favorite artists ever, and when you put him in this power trio, magic happens. Robert and Darren’s bass and drums are the perfect complement to Ben’s keys. it’s like a jazz trio from the 50’s except they play balls out rock and drop the F bomb a lot. Ben calls it “punk rock for sissies”. they are known for pranking their audience at shows, and the Nashville concert from Ben’s studio that was broadcast live on myspace was pure magic. their live album is one of the 4 cd’s i keep in my car. it’s that good.

3. Gungor

i met Michael Gungor in New York in 2006. he had won a grammy for “Friend of God” and “Say So”. he had a guitar strapped on his back and was a genuinely nice guy. fast forward to 2010 and the recreate conference in Nashville. Gungor debuts the album Beautiful Things live at the conference. mind. blown. i had not seen such artistry and musicianship in a long time. i’ve seen them about 6 times since and have not been disappointed. their live show is absolutely not to be missed. go buy their records now. now.

2. Wilco

my friend Todd bought me “A Ghost is Born” in 2005 and i never looked back. i had to have every record by this Chicago alt-rock outfit. Jeff Tweedy is just a genius and has surrounded himself with a most amazing band. lyrical perfection coupled with controlled musical chaos is how i would describe Wilco. they unleash tasty musical fare followed by 2 minutes of frenzy. i got to see them live in 2011 and it still stands as my favorite concert of all time.

1. Radiohead

if you follow me on instagram, it says i like radiohead, you should too. i discovered the band as many people do with “Creep”, but knew there was more as i dug deeper. Thom Yorke has infected me. i can sit and listen for hours upon hours to their music. it wavers between melodic perfection and trancelike repetition. i hope someday to see them live. it’s a bucketlist item for me. and no i’m not pretentious.

so there you have it. my top 6 bands. go check them out.

One of the highlights….

of the Sing Off for me was this performance.  now i definitely think that Committed deserved to win and i loved every performance they had.  they were amazing singers, arrangers and their musicality and range was huge.

that being said, i connected on an artistic level with Street Corner Symphony.  i loved all of their songs choices (i even enjoyed the performance of “Hey Soul Sister” one of my most hated songs ever)  but this, this proved that these guys are amazing artists.

i’ve always liked this song…

i just can’t decide which version i like the best.

the original (the postal service)

iron & wine’s version

Ben Gibbard’s version


Ben Fold’s version

although i personally prefer the version he does with the crowd on his MySpace concert

what do you think?  which is your favorite?

so i ran across this song the other day…

as i was listening to Ben Folds.

this song is such a truthful song.  there is a great debate on blogs about “offensive” language and it’s use in authenticity.  this song has some “explicit” language which i will edit.  you will know what the words are,  and i can say that i get what Ben is trying to say when he uses the words.  i love to shock people into action.  i don’t always like to offend them, plus i think some kids read my blog.  i have to look past language and topic at times to see the truth in something.  i think Ben hits consumerism right between the eyes.


All You Can Eat by Ben Folds

Son look at all the people in this restaurant
What d’you think they weigh?
And out the window to the parking lot
At their SUVs taking all of the space

They give no f*%#
They talk as loud as they want
They give no f*%#
Just as long as there’s enough for them

Gotta get on the microphone down at wallmart
Talk about some s*%#  that’s been on my mind
Talk about the state of this great of this nation of ours
Poeple look to your left, yeah look to your right

They give no f*%#
They buy as much as they want
They give no f*%#
Just as long as there’s enough for them

Son look at the people lining up for plastic
Wouldn’t you like to see them in the national geographic?
Squatting bare-assed in the dirt eating rice from a bowl
With a towel on their head and maybe a bone in their nose
See that a**hole with a peace-sign on his licence plate
Giving me the finger and running me out of his lane

God made us number one because he loves us the best
Well maybe He should go bless someone else for a while, give us a rest
[They give no…]
Yeah and everyone can see
[They give no…]
We’ve eaten all that we can eat

so in response to my blog yesterday…

i actually had comments both here and on facebook.  so i will address these treatments of bands that my readers thought might make good musicals.

first up Explosions in the Sky


i like this band a whole lot, but the fact that there are no lyrics makes them only a background soundtrack, which they have already done in “Friday Night Lights”.  now don’t get me wrong, this is pure sonic goodness, but I don’t think we could write a treatment for a musical.  possibly a ballet, but i’m thinking no!

second up

Counting Crows


for sure the lyrical content of Adam Duritz makes for great story telling.  i mean his songs are stories in themselves.  Jeff had a great treatment of this in his comment and since he is my friend who is the resident expert on this band, i would have to collaborate with him.  i’m sure this could be the next great rock opera to hit the scene.

in my conversation with Jeff about this subject, i mentioned another of his favorites.  Ben Folds…


we both agreed that the show would definitely have to be rated R because of Ben’s fondness for the F-bomb.  again, though, another amazing story teller.  of course the two main characters would have to be Zak without a “c” and Sara without an “h”.

a friend of mine from High School joked to me that Michael Jackson songs might make a good story.


he then said something about Michael’s penchant for little boys and France.  i do think “Thriller” is a story in itself, and you can probably take any song and put it into a story.  but i’m really not a fan, and would not be too passionate about doing a story on “the gloved one”.

one of my former students chimed in on how they would give their left arm to have a musical written based on Jars of Clay songs


so if you need a left arm, get to work.  I think Jars have a lot of great songs.  maybe a wonderful redemption story.  i can think of 4 songs for the opening for sure.

so there you have it, people actually weighed in, and i had the most hits on my blog ever yesterday.  not that stats count.  only good writing.  i hope that you feel you get something here.  i’m by no means an expert, but i will continue to write as it is fun and therapuetic for me.

have a great day