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Topics - rocket21

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News / Ben Folds - Grammy Museum Interview
« on: May 19, 2016, 10:44:10 AM »
Yet another unpromoted video from this year, this one in excess of an hour:

News / Ben Folds - Key Tracks
« on: May 19, 2016, 06:11:35 AM »
Yet another seemingly unpromoted interview.  Ben talks about Not the Same, Learn to Live With What You Are, and Capable of Anything:

Interesting Ben Folds interview about how So There was made, etc.:

News / Ben Folds NPR Tiny Desk Concert (2016)
« on: February 16, 2016, 02:01:55 PM »
Just went up today, a solo performance:

"Phone In A Pool" (stops in the middle due to flubbed lyric)
"Not A Fan"
"Capable Of Anything" (false start)
"Emaline" (false start to tell a story about writing the song)
"One Angry Dwarf And 200 Solemn Faces"

News / Capable of Anything Quasi Music Video
« on: October 29, 2015, 07:36:42 AM »
Just posted on Ben Folds' Facebook:

Capable of Anything Acoustic Music Video

News / Ben Folds with yMusic on CBS This Morning
« on: October 28, 2015, 05:17:10 AM »
This one snuck under the radar, but Ben Folds and yMusic were on CBS This Morning Saturday Sessions a month ago:

Capable of Anything:
So There:
Phone in a Pool:

Album Board / Limited So There Promotion?
« on: October 27, 2015, 03:01:26 AM »
Considering he's appeared on major television shows for nearly every album (even including Fear of Pop and Songs for Goldfish), I've found it interesting that Ben hasn't been on any of the shows to promote So There.  Any insight?

News / Ben Folds on Concerto
« on: September 24, 2015, 03:21:22 AM »
From his Facebook a few hours ago:

Having just been told my new album tops the US Classical and Classical Crossover charts, I’d like to share some thoughts on it.
So many beautiful compliments on this piece of music. There’s no greater satisfaction to me than creating a piece of music that means something to me, that finds a home in hearts of people I would probably hate in traffic.
I’m honored of course and with a straight face. I’ve never been in a club or a genre and that has more than often presented a commercial and social challenge. I’m lucky to still have a job. So, yes, I’ll take this little moment of number one-ness with my sights set on bringing people to the real masters of orchestral and chamber music and putting asses in seats of our great symphony halls.
I’ve done a lot of talking with press, as we do, on the release of this album and I haven’t quite felt that I’ve said it right yet. The truth is, the Concerto For Piano and Orchestra on the new album, is simply expression. I mean every note of it. I had the opportunity to express myself using the incredible tool of a symphony orchestra and I put my heart into it. It’s certainly not terribly lucrative! Sure, we all have something to prove, but quite honestly I never thought this thing would survive past one performance with the Nashville Ballet and Nashville Symphony Orchestra who commissioned the piece, during a tipsy dinner in late 2012. I’d been regularly doing pops concerts with orchestras around the world for the past decade, and my feeling was that I should come to their side of the fence and create an exclusive piece. To create something that was made of my melodies, but not a rethinking of my old material, seemed appropriate. I would compose a piece, perform it with the Nashville Symphony and Ballet, and have something to add to my orchestra shows.
One night became three, all sold out. Then night six. All in Nashville, the home of country music. That’s a lot of tickets to a piano concerto. It felt profound. I’m not saying the piece alone felt profound, but the encouragement and support did, along with the piece. It told me people do not want to dumb it down as much as is presumed. Despite the challenge of orchestrating and composing a 21 minute piece of music, this concerto was in many ways effortless. I didn’t have to argue or beg to do it. I could say it was the path of least resistance, but more accurately it was the path of greatest encouragement. I even tried to quit a few times. Fear of failure at something as lofty as a piano concerto drove me nearly ill. But with such kindness and expectations, I had to stick with it.
Every day of 2013 found me waking with little rest as I was churning melodies and orchestration. I could hope to achieve 15 seconds of finished orchestration a day. I had a co-orchestrator, Joachim Hoarsely and he taught me a lot. I needed those lessons but I also put nearly every note of orchestration into this piece personally (NOT the norm for a rock guy composing for orchestra), with the guidance of someone who knows the orchestra. I might have otherwise sent a french hornist to the emergency room for lack of oxygen. Or arranged flute mimes that would never be heard. Arrangement and orchestration are two different things. I’m a good arranger. I’m an orchestrator in training. Some of our great composers have been neither. Some have been orchestrators first. Creation is some ambiguous stuff.
There are three moments which often get standing ovations at my orchestra concerts: one movement from the concerto, getting the audience to sing perfect three part harmony, and my speaking on the survival of the symphony orchestra. Not when I play my hits. The enthusiasm for the institution of the Symphony Orchestra is more incredible than you can know. People intuitively understand that the orchestra is the symbol of civilization itself. 60, 80, 110 players - all trained at gun point and full of passion - playing in ‘concert’, in ‘harmony’ (concepts that so many politicians would love to harness). It’s now time that the symbol of civilization itself, the symphony orchestra, can inspire and remind us how working together makes something more beautiful than the sum of it’s parts. In truth, we need that institution more than it needs us. That’s what I feel from the audience, and that’s what I get from the universal encouragement not to dumb down, but to smart up.
I grew up playing with orchestras. At the age of 10 I was playing percussion and timpani in a youth orchestra, and school orchestra. My full tuition scholarship to University Of Miami was helped by my having been awarded first chair in nearly every state and regional orchestra and wind ensemble I could audition for from 8th - 12th grade. My regular chores at home included patching up walls where I’d punched through or thrown sticks through the dry wall (once I was unlucky enough to punch where a wall stud was, breaking my hand badly). Many who’ve worked at their craft that hard can relate to that frustration. I studied theory and composition. I made up songs in my head from the time I could walk and finally could peck them out on a piano when I had access to one. I dropped out of college when I realized I made more money playing night time gigs than my professors. I was c*cky, and I was ready to make my own music. I often regret not having stuck it out, but that’s a whole other essay for another time. Kids, stick with your studies.
I don’t know what my concerto is. I know what it isn’t. It’s not in the legacy of classical music directly via mid 20th century atonalism, and it’s not in the family tree of rock music. It’s not from movie score, as I am ashamed to say I see about one movie a year and never remember the score. (That said, I believe there are some masterpieces born of movie scores) It’s not revolutionary either. It’s earnest. It’s my life. Really, when we listen to common pop music, we don’t think about whether it will last. We just enjoy it or not. The same should hold true for a piece of “classical” music. We will never know what holds up beyond our lives. We can only express our experience, honestly. I made that piece for me and for human beings living now. I have a melodic, perhaps genetic, thumbprint. It’s called a style and it’s dead honest. This piece is my paddling ferociously to allow melodies to swim in a sea of orchestration. I have a lot to learn. There are masters among us. I am not one of them. However, I have the gift of honesty of melody and there are many incredible composers who can develop a mediocre melody until you weep at the sight of something soaring, despite all gravity and chance. I am a pop musician and nothing without a melody worth repeating like Gertrude Stein. I am a melody whisperer. I aspire to develop like a master one day and I will keep at it. At moments, I do this in my concerto. At moments I opt out, as if it were a suite or a medley. I drop the needle on my favorite composers, but so do Dr Dre or Kendrick Lamar. I’m allowed. It’s 2015 bitches. I tip my hat. Ultimately, back to paragraph one, I feel and I express and this piece is where I was at when I composed it. It’s not that different from any of my songs.
Why the straight face, as a rock musician, while receiving the news that I had a glorious week of number one on classical charts? Because I want those who encouraged me, those who are curious, those who are passionate, those who are intimidated by ‘classical’ music, by the orchestra, to come to love the masters, past and present, of orchestral music. I want every person who comes to my gig to be moved the way I am by composers who have created beyond their ability to make such high art. I want people to feel civilization in music and surrender more than three and a half minutes to the rollercoaster of orchestration, poetry and life. I want to know that there’s something just beyond MY ability, that I can eek out one day that can move people like I’ve been moved. The encouragement from orchestras, audience, business, and now a simple chart, gives me a bit more fuel and hopefully gives other pop artists some fuel to keep smarting up rather than dumbing down. I bow to the composers and performers, #2-40 on this week’s brief chart, who do this all the time and I want to bring human beings to that music.
Finally, and ultimately, I want to get rich as f*ck and ride around in a stretch limo with a hot tub and bikini clad bitches. But for now, I will be moving on to a piece I have tumbling in my head, for university orchestra and choir.
Thank U God and Prince.

Album Board / Your Reviews of So There
« on: September 21, 2015, 04:04:05 AM »
Unless I missed it, there haven't been any threads actually discussing folks' reviews of the album.  What do you think?

News / Ben Folds Ask Me Anything on reddit
« on: September 15, 2015, 07:19:35 AM »
Some interesting tidbits, such as the link between Song for the Dumped and Where's Summer B, as well as what happened to the extended Don't Change Your Plans recording.

News / Ben Folds with yMusic at FU
« on: September 14, 2015, 08:18:21 AM »
Great version of Steven's Last Night with yMusic from WFUV:

Also a version of Phone in a Pool:

News / Ben Folds on Nerdist Podcast
« on: June 27, 2015, 03:32:33 PM »
This somehow popped up on my Facebook News Feed:


I've listened to the first half hour...talks a little bit about his hand injury, as well as writing the concerto.

Tour Board / Boston, MA - 10/13/2012
« on: October 14, 2012, 04:22:26 AM »
Didn't write down the setlist, so this is a best effort of what was played (not in exact order):

Michael Praytor
Missing the War
Jackson Cannery
Selfless, Cold, and Composed
Hold That Thought
Erase Me
Battle of Who Could Care Less
Thank You For Breaking My Heart
Sky High
Rock This Bitch (old Avalon Theater, Boston)
Do It Anyway
Song for the Dumped

One Angry Dwarf

Show was at House of Blues.  Most of it is standing room only - I had standing room only tickets for the mezzanine (didn't know the venue).  Thought it was terrible - if you didn't get to squeeze to the front, you saw little to nothing.  Would probably never bother with that again.

Some running jokes throughout the night, relating to having played at the venue when it was still the Avalon, Berklee College of Music, and angry mobs/turf wars.

Do It Anyways had a comical start, as Folds talked about how in working with symphonies, he learned that having the band leader count down '1-2-3-4' to start a song has been uncool for a few centuries, yet it's the norm in rock.  So, he said they'd attempt to start a song without doing it...then he struck the same pose as Sledge (looking at each other, Sledge making a pointing at eyes gesture), then basically stood there frozen for awhile (before finally starting the intro to Do It Anyway).

The band was top notch.  As noted elsewhere, Ben's voice was in better form than in recent tours.  He played a lot of additional notes and improv fills in the older songs, which sounded good.  Sledge and Jesse were also good.  I particularly noted how intricate Jesse's drumming was, as he was constantly changing from sticks to mallets mid-song and playing with precision rather than the 'hit things as hard and fast as I can' cliche of some live drummers.  Great to finally see the Five perform live.

Album Board / Christian Life
« on: September 28, 2010, 06:23:13 AM »
In purchasing the MP3 Lonely Avenue album from Amazon, a 12th track called Christian Life was tacked onto the end...the track shows the artist as Folds/Hornby, so I assume this also came from the collaboration?

News / Ben Folds at 2010 Webby Awards
« on: June 16, 2010, 03:29:00 PM »
Haven't seen this posted anywhere else yet, but Ben Folds did a brief performance at the 2010 Webby Awards:

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