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Messages - Playhouse

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1
News / Ben planning to hit the studio in 2018
« on: August 12, 2017, 12:14:17 AM »
In a great article talking about Ben's career and becoming an advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra, they mention that Ben plans to go into the studio next year after he finishes touring to start working on new music.  An album in 2018 or 2019, perhaps?

Quote
Despite his busy schedule, Folds will be returning to his bread and butter soon. In addition to a 2018 tour through Australia, New Zealand and the U.K., Folds plans to return to the studio next year to start working on new music.

http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2017/08/10/ben-folds-grows-pop-star-nashvilles-artistic-renaissance-man/536110001/

2
News / Ben talks about the Folds sound on Broadway
« on: April 23, 2017, 10:25:53 AM »
Ben talks with Yes Broadway about some of the various people creating musicals on modern Broadway who have credited Ben's music as an inspiration.  In particular, they discuss Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton and Benj Pasek's Dear Evan Hansen.

https://www.yesbroadway.com/newsandfeatures/when-ben-folds-grows-up-hell-be-on-broadway

There is also a mention of what he's doing next:

"Hes thinking of his next project - perhaps an album, or finishing the book hes been writing. But the seed has been planted. As Ben Folds says, 'I enjoy [Broadway] and I have so many friends in these things and one day when I grow up Im going to make one.'"

3
General Board / Re: Rockin' the Suburbs 180g 2-LP reissue
« on: March 01, 2016, 04:25:39 AM »
Audio-wise, like the WEaEA reissue this was not remastered for vinyl so it's pretty much identical to the first release but pressed on 180 gram vinyl so audiophiles can balance it on their erection while enjoying the warmer tones of wax-based audio.

*slow clap*

4
News / Ben & Nashville Symphony Orchestra Launch New Kennedy Center Series
« on: December 05, 2015, 06:37:42 AM »
Ben and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra performed his concerto at the Kennedy Center to launch a new series called DECLASSIFIED.

They offer a sample of the Dec 4 performance called "In Motion with Ben Folds": https://youtu.be/N9pC_LgNyOw


Looks like Ben's really working the balding spot there a bit.

5
Album Board / Re: Limited So There Promotion?
« on: December 05, 2015, 04:02:48 AM »
I hadn't realized that Ben had left Sony/Epic altogether. I thought the New West thing was only for this album.

6
News / Re: Capable of Anything Quasi Music Video
« on: October 31, 2015, 01:46:33 AM »
"You are capable of anything
But you don't seem to think
That you can fly so high or sink [shrug] so high...[smile]..."

Ha!

7
Album Board / Re: Your Reviews of So There
« on: October 08, 2015, 12:49:45 PM »
Didn't Ben already record a new solo album w/ his band?  It's just being kept underwraps since So There was just released.  I thought Phone In A Pool was rerecorded from that album to this album.

Depends on if you believe the rumors or not. He supposedly recorded a solo album in Ireland back in February based on various RTB improvs that's supposedly scheduled for 2016 at some point.  But Ben usually isn't the cagey type when it comes to any album work, and I have yet to see him mention anything about this album.  Press is definitely about So There right now, but we haven't seen or heard anything about another album other than the mentions of recording around the time of his Ireland trip with the U.S. ambassador.

8
Album Board / Re: Ben Folds orders his solo and Ben Folds Five releases
« on: October 08, 2015, 12:26:46 PM »
To each their own, as that's perhaps my favorite song on the album (my favorite modern Ben Folds bridge until So There unseated it).  :)

That's the great thing about Folds music.  Something for everyone.  :P  Looks like Sutter agrees with you too.  I think it's a lovely lyric, but musically I find it extremely uninspiring, like something he could have just crapped out for a 4.6 type contract.  Oh well, haha.

Oh, and also, since I (and others) have been critical of WAEA's sequencing, I thought it only fair to post how I'd order the tracks:

1. One Angry Dwarf
2. Battle Of Who Could Care Less
3. Kate
4. Song For the Dumped
5. Missing The War
6. Brick
7. Fair
8. Steven's Last Night
9. Cigarette
10. Selfless
11. Smoke
12. Evaporated

This is an interesting mix, though I have to agree that it seems too split into a fast/slow double album kind of approach.

For me, I'm obviously used to listening to the album as-is all the way through, but I've always felt the second half of the album is sequenced pretty well compared to the first half.  It's the back and forth of the first six songs that really lends it a collection feel at times rather than a given arc. 

Taking a look at this for funsies, I found that you could order the first half of the album fairly well, but "Song for the Dumped" becomes a bit of sore thumb.  Surprisingly, it could work as an album opener, particularly with the count-off to start the song, but the beginning of "One Angry Dwarf" just lives as the start of an album and the two don't work in sync close to each other.  So, I broke with my idea of keeping the last six songs in place, moved "Battle" up like you have it here, and sent "Dumped" down to the second half of the album.

I think, for flow, this works fairly well...

1. One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
2. Battle of Who Could Care Less
3. Kate
4. Fair
5. Selfless, Cold, and Composed
6. Brick
7. Smoke
8. Cigarette
9. Song for the Dumped
10. Steven's Last Night in Town
11. Missing the War
12. Evaporated

9
Album Board / Re: 'So There' Debuts at #1 on Billboard Classical Music Chart
« on: September 30, 2015, 10:47:15 PM »
Week 2 didn't go too well.

Already out of the Top 200 and other album charts.

Down to #3 on Classical.

Sound of the Life was out of the BB 200 chart in its second week as well, after debuting at #10.  It seems to be standard for a Folds album performance.

10
Album Board / Re: Ben Folds orders his solo and Ben Folds Five releases
« on: September 25, 2015, 08:02:37 PM »
Intriguing order by Ben.  Would've thought he'd have placed Silverman higher than Suburbs, but it pleases me immensely that he didn't.

And a thing I love about this catalog is that, other than perhaps Way to Normal, there isn't an album among them that I couldn't put on and listen to at any point.  They are great listens all.

My own order:

9. Way to Normal
8. Songs for Silverman
7. Lonely Avenue
6. The Sound of the Life of the Mind
5. So There
4. Ben Folds Five
3. The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
2. Rockin' the Suburbs
1. Whatever and Ever Amen

11
Album Board / Re: Your Reviews of So There
« on: September 22, 2015, 02:31:11 PM »
super off topic (sort of) but is anyone else disappointed that the album debuted at #44? Do people seriously pay that much more attention to his music when the word "five" is tacked onto the end of his name?!
I think that pushing it so hard from the classical music angle probably turned people off from it.  It did hit #1 on the Classical Music chart.

12
Album Board / 'So There' Debuts at #1 on Billboard Classical Music Chart
« on: September 22, 2015, 02:29:38 PM »
So There debuts at #1 on the Billboard Classical Music chart, the first number 1 record for Ben on any of the charts.

For the week ending October 3, 2015: http://www.billboard.com/charts/classical-albums

In addition, the album debuts at #6 on the Alternative Albums chart, #44 on the Billboard 200 chart, #23 on the Digital Albums chart, #9 on the Top Rock Albums chart, #17 on the Tastemaker Albums chart, and #23 on the Top Album Sales chart.

http://www.billboard.com/artist/281188/ben-folds/chart?f=794

13
Album Board / Re: Your Reviews of So There
« on: September 22, 2015, 12:24:06 AM »
Capable of Anything - Having spent months with the album cut of the song, it feels a bit old hat when listening to the whole album. That doesn't draw from how fun of a song it is. I was quite enamored with it when I first heard it and felt it was a smart lead to sample the collaboration with yMusic.  In fact, I was a bit baffled when Ben talked about "Phone in a Pool" being the single. The song's a bit cacophonous on first listen but that's the magic of the group.

Not a Fan - I always enjoy when Ben goes with a decidedly different style of music from most modern pop. This is a wonderful waltz and I was quite stunned at how beautiful the album cut of it is; even more powerful than what I'd heard of it played live. And I've always loved when the lyric is completely incongruous with the music in Ben's work. This is a terrific example.  It does feel a bit oddly placed on the album, though there isn't really a strong ebb and flow to the album.

So There - Terrific title song. The harmonies with Gracie are superb. The use of the strings throughout is marvelous. And it's one of the best showcases of Ben's piano playing in his catalog. And it just might feature his best telling off of someone in any of his songs.

Long Way to Go - I'm particularly partial to this song because I absolutely loved the refrain when it popped up on the Way to Normal fake leak. The chorus does feel a bit tacked on to the rest of the lyrics, but this feels like a drinking song in a darkened corner booth of a bar and it's a wonderful character. The boozy horns are delicious and I dig the rather '70s feel of the whole thing. The carnival atmosphere of the falling voices during the bridge is a nice flair.

Phone in a Pool - I like the song and it's imminently listenable. There are terrific lyrics throughout, though while I enjoy the chorus, it's one of those that I like in one listen and can't stand in the next. To be honest, though, I'm not as big on the song as most everyone else.

Yes Man - I was surprised to take to this song. Upon my first few listens, it wasn't really connecting, but I suddenly found it one that just kept sticking in my craw. The plaintive open followed by the double-tracked opening vocals makes for one of the more distinctive songs on the album. And the swells of the chorus are some of the best vocal elements Ben's ever recorded. It's a beautiful, moody piece that feels as full of regret as the lyrics suggest. This is one of the real highlights of the album for me.

F10-D-A - Just a fun, dorky cavalcade. I love the claps and the overall structure.

I'm Not the Man - This is a gorgeous song with a poignant lyric that really hit home. I know the concerto follows but there feels like a clear separation between the chamber music and the orchestral, so this is a pseudo album closer. It follows a grand tradition of strong, moving last tracks on Ben's albums ("Prison Food" the odd song out in that group).

Concerto - I'm just not ready to really break down the concerto. There's a lot to it and I don't feel that I've really got a grasp of it all yet.  I do love that you can feel Ben's musical training/background in it, but as for "classical" music, it definitely feels filtered through Gershwin and Joplin and Berlin and that 20th Century lens of classical music. And true to Ben, it doesn't follow traditional classical music format, which I'm sure will probably cause the purists to wince. The one thing that really does stand out to me about it, much like "Thank You for Breaking My Heart" really made the case for Ben to write a stage musical, is that his desire to score a film could be very well realized.

14
Was Losing Lisa ever a Ben Folds Five song?  Frally is listed as the co-writer.

Carrying Cathy dates back to Ben Folds Five, but if I recall, Folds said they didn't record it because it seemed too easy for its emotional content or something.
"Losing Lisa" was always a solo Folds song.  And there is tell that "Carrying Cathy" was actually recorded during the Reinhold Messner sessions but has never been made available. Then, Ben recorded his solo version.

15
Album Board / Re: Ben's usage of autotune
« on: September 16, 2015, 08:34:32 PM »
I know Ben has not shied away from autotune on his albums - it's plainly evident on Army and Secret Life of Morgan Davis, and I think I just heard it on So There. Some artificial pitch changing on "I'm Not the Man," the line "dancing on my own grave." Anyone else hear it?
I can tell what you're picking up between "my" and "own" on those two phrases, but it sounds like natural voice to me rather than anything processed.

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