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Tag: Ben Folds Five
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Tag: "Ben Folds Five"

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New Ben Folds Five Album – First One In 13 Years

After a 13-year hiatus, Ben Folds Five are back with a new album called The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind. The three original members, including pianist/singer/songwriter Ben Folds, bassist Robert Sledge, and drummer Darren Jesse, started the band in 1993 but split up in 2000 while Folds went on to pursue a solo career. Since then, nostalgia has grown among fans and band members alike, with a 2008 reunion show that found them performing their last album The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner in its entirety, and a “best-of” album released by Folds last year, reflecting upon some of the highlights of his and the band’s career.

The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind is due out September 18th, accompanied by a two-month international tour starting on September 13th. Head to Hypetrak.com to see tracklisting and hear a new song called “Erase Me.”

Ben Folds Five Set September 18 Release Date For First Full-Length In 13 Years

Ben Folds Five have announced that September 18 will be the official release date of their first full–length album since 1999′s The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner. A lot has changed since the group called it quits at the turn of the millennium, but Folds, bassist Robert Sledge, and drummer Darren Jessee haven’t missed a beat. Taking advantage of the new surge in crowdfunding popularized by sites like Kickstarter, the band has financed their entire new record, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, through PledgeMusic.com.

A few months ago, we got the chance to talk to Folds about the making of the album and the funding process, and we’re excited to see the project finally complete. Folds’ close friend Amanda Palmer also recently made headlines for her massively successful fundraising project on Kickstarter. Last week, Folds took to Facebook to share his thoughts on her upcoming album, Theatre Is Evil, which is also due for release in September.

Listen to “Do It Anyway,” the first single from the new album, below.

Do It Anyway by Ben Folds

Exclusive Q and A: Ben Folds Talks Crowd Funding, Amanda Palmer and A New Kind of Fan Community

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsWith record labels in a precarious spot, many up-and-coming bands have been turning to crowd funding as a way to raise money for touring, recording, merch production and more. Major artists have taken note, with acts like Secondhand Serenade and The Voice‘s Nakia using the “rewards for pledges” model through sites like Kickstarter, ArtistShare and more.

Shortly after their long-awaited reunion, Ben Folds Five decided to test out this innovative new platform to help fund their first record in thirteen years. In exchange for donations, the band is not only offering prizes like signed vinyls and t-shirts, but they’re also helping to promote the music, art, videos of their fans. They’ve even offered to call each fan who downloads their new song “Do It Anyway” or makes a pledge a Vice President of Promotions for their de facto record label, encouraging them to add “#ImaDamVP” on the end of their promotional tweets. We caught up with Ben to discuss the progress of the campaign, Kickstarter goddess Amanda Palmer and why we should help fight for continued arts funding.

OS: How is the record progressing? Can you estimate a release date at this point?

BF: I think we should be doing this in early September. Sometimes we’re late, but I think that should do it!

OS: Why did you choose to use a pledge model for funding this record?

BF: Looking at all our options, we had spoken to PledgeMusic a couple months ago. We thought that no matter how we do it, we may include that route, somehow. Last weekend, we started realizing, “Well, we’re going out on tour and it would be fun to put out something we recorded,” because we’re excited about what we’ve recorded, but we’re not on any kind of label or anything. We put it out free on a couple fan sites, which crashed pretty immediately. The next day, there were about 100,000 downloads out there. We thought, “Oh shit, we gotta put the record on sale.” You can’t be promoting it and then not pre-selling it too. The industry’s already screwed up enough as it is without shooting yourself in your own foot. We scrambled the next day to get it up and Pledge had been someone we’d been talking to, and we just did it.

OS: What made you choose PledgeMusic over other services, like Kickstarter or ArtistShare?

BF: I don’t know much about all of them, so I’m not good about shopping around. But what was compelling to me was that, in our position, I didn’t think it was really necessary to flash the sales number. That’s the way Kickstarter does it, Amanda [Palmer] did it that way and it’s been really great.But I play these things by feel, and that didn’t feel right to me. I likened it to sitting in a restaurant where, next to the food, the tally is turning over while you’re eating to see how much money is going to the restaurant…it’s not necessary to know that. But I think it’s really interesting, especially with Amanda Palmer’s campaign…it gives people an insight.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Ben Folds Talks Crowd Funding, Amanda Palmer and A New Kind of Fan Community’

The Second Coming of Ben Folds Five

Let’s face it, sometimes the past should stay dead. But when an awesome artist fades from popularity, their fans later wonder, “Where are they now?”  You may not know it, but many artists you’ve loved in the past are still hard at work writing new albums or preparing to tour once more. Fortunately, you now have “Second Coming” to reintroduce some of your favorite acts of the last few decades and give you the scoop on what you can expect from them in the future.

THEN: As we know, the early 90′s saw an alt rock explosion. Singer-songwriter Ben Folds jumped into the fray with a band of his own, Ben Folds Five. An indication of Folds’ off-kilter humor, the band was actually a trio (an in-joke unsurprising to anyone who knew that Folds’ first band, Majosha, released an EP called Five Songs About Jesus, which included four secular tunes). The band’s self-titled debut LP garnered them a significant amount of buzz upon its release in 1995, but it was their sophomore effort, Whatever and Ever Amen, that spawned the hit “Brick.” Though they went on to record a third record (and most of a fourth), but decided to “amicably” split up in 2000. Folds, of course, went on to rock the suburbs with a successful solo career, but it seemed as though the world had seen the last of the Five.

NOW: In 2011, Ben Folds Five reunited once more to record three tracks for Folds’ compilation album, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective. A few months later, Folds announced via Twitter that they would be writing and recording a brand new album: “It’s happening fo sho – Day 1 in studio with Robert and Darren through March #NewBenFoldsFiveRecord.” Looking ahead to the rest of 2012, BFF are slated to headline New York’s Mountain Jam, as well as perform a set at the legendary Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. The new record’s title and release date are still TBA, but we’re excited to hear what they sound like thirteen years after their last album.

Who could forget the wild video for “Underground?”

Tour De Force: Jukebox the Ghost

When did you guys start touring?
We booked our first tour on our own in 2005 — It was unbelievably bad.  Our manager, Seth, got us touring seriously in the summer of 2007, right after we all graduated college.  That was a lot better.
How often do you tour?
There hasn’t really been a pattern so far, but we’ve played over 250 shows since 2007, and no signs of stopping.
What’s your general mode of transportation?
Our E-150 Econoline van.
Who are some of the artists you’ve toured with?
Ben Folds, Via Audio, the XYZ Affair, The Winter Sounds, Pretty and Nice, Say Hi, Jenny Owens Young…..There’s more, but those are the ones we toured with the longest.
Are there any songs you only play live that you haven’t recorded?
Quite a few.  There were about ten new songs that didn’t make the record we just finished, some of which we played every night for awhile…Hopefully we’ll get the chance to record everything we’ve written at some point.
What are your favorite songs/bands to cover?
This year we’ve had a lot of fun covering “Temptation” by New Order.  We’ve used it a lot of times as our ‘hail mary pass’ if we’re not sure people are having a good time — Dance songs never fail.  At special shows in the last year or so we’ve also done a cover of the ending sequence from Abbey Road, which is always a blast.  We’ve covered a lot of artists in the past — The Cure, The Clash, Queen, Rage Against the Machine, Danny Elfman, They Might Be Giants, and the Smiths, just to name some off the top of my head.
What is your favorite region/city to play in?
The west coast is always exciting — The scenery is always exciting after being on the east coast for so long.  But as far as shows and fans are concerned, it’s hard to beat NYC and DC.  Our fans on the east coast are amazing.
Sketchiest hotel you’ve ever stayed in?
Sort of difficult to say, since we’ve stayed in dozens and dozens of gross motels all over the country.  We’ve had our share of strange-smelling rooms.
Which city has the most enthusiastic crowd?
DC, hands down.
Any crazy/funny tour stories you’d like to share?
Hm, so many to choose from…..The first one that comes to mind is tne time we went rock-climbing off the highway in some desert mountains in southern California only to be apprehended by the US border patrol — Apparently we were hiking around in a major drug trafficking spot on the Mexican border.  Whoops.

OSBlog02_TourDeForce_01Jukebox the Ghost has been compared to everyone from the Ben Folds Five to a “muted incarnation of Queen.” While these comparisons are both flattering and overall pretty accurate, the description NPR offers is spot on; “If School House Rock morphed into an actual band, it’d be Jukebox the Ghost.” Like School House Rock, their lyrics are witty and thought-provoking and the piano hooks and memorable melody lines prove that catchy and superficial don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. I mean who hasn’t had “Conjunction Junction” stuck in their head at least once in their lives.

Continue reading ‘Tour De Force: Jukebox the Ghost’

50 States In 50 Weeks… Week 28: North Carolina

OSBlog02_50States_NCFun Facts: State Flower; Dogwood, State Bird; Cardinal, State Song; “The Old North State”

Home of: Earl Scruggs, Ben Folds Five, Daughtry, Ryan Adams, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Nina Simone, Randy Travis, Annuals

The Venues:

The 1,000+ capacity Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC is a popular stopover for national artists in the indie rock, punk, hardcore and metal genres. Their sister venue, the 325 capacity Casbah is a great place to see local and regional up-and-coming talent.

In 2008, Rolling Stone named the Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club in Asheville, NC one of the five best venues in the USA. The club has hosted acts like Blondie, The Flaming Lips, Bob Dylan, Sonic Youth and The Smashing Pumpkins. Asheville is also home to The Christmas Jam, a annual music festival organized by Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule with proceeds going to Habitat For Humanity. This year marked the 21st anniversary of the festival and featured Ani Difranco, Counting Crowes, moe. and Gov’t Mule.

The Music:

QFYMKETXRZOL-320x240Amaye – While Amaye has only called North Carolina home since 2005, she’s made a big impression on her adopted state, touring all over NC as the lead singer of an R&B cover band at her school, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Check out Amaye’s radio-ready R&B jam “Make Up 2 Break Up,” which won her the Coke and Radio One “My Formula. My Chance” Channel Grand Prize: A collaboration single with Trey Songz!

PSSZCRGHMVNL-320x240Mark Kano – You may recognize Mark Kano as the former frontman of alt. rock band Athenaeum, who recorded and released 2 albums for Atlantic Records in the late ’90s/early ’00s. These days, Mark’s music is more in the singer-songwriter vein. His song “Telling You I Love You” from his debut solo album Walking On Broadway topped last month’s OurStage Singer-Songwriter (Male) Channel.

KNJCFSQJGHXM-320x240The Lo and Beholds – Hailing from Charlotte, The Lo and Beholds are a 5-piece alternative/indie rock group. With such a mature sound, it’s hard to believe that all of the band members are only in their early 20s. Take a listen to the melodic vocals and dynamic guitars of “North.”

MichaelMichael Thomas – With six Top 10 finishes and three Number 1 channel prizes, 23-year-old Michael Thomas has been making quite a name for himself on the OurStage Country Channels. Dedicated to the old-school country sound, Michael released his first album Bonafide Country Boys last year. Check out the album’s title track in the playlist.

Check out these artists and more great North Carolinan music in the playlist below!

Who’s your favorite OurStage North Carolinian? Where do you like to see live music in North Carolina? Let us know in the comments!

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: ANCHORS


Unsigned Georgian indie rockers Anchors are pumping out the kind of catchy, piano-centric pop music that would lift the spirits of former Ben Folds Five fans. The band formed in 2006 under multi-instrumentalist member Seth Hecox’s personal mission to make, “music that should be made, but isn’t being made by many other acts today.” The group as a whole is heavy into making well crafted pop with multiple part harmony vocals. This week’s featured Download of the Week is an Anchors’ tune, “The Legendary Matt.” It’s the kind of song that instantly has your feet tapping, your hands clapping and your heads bopping from start to finish. I dare you to try to keep this track from getting stuck in your head all day. In fact, I double dog dare you. Currently, the band is gearing up for a tour starting July 1st with dates scheduled in Illinois, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Florida. If you dig “The Legendary Matt,” be sure to vote for it in the Indie Rock channel this month.

 


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