Tag: Ben Folds

2008 – The Year in Recorded Musical Performances

2008 – The Year in Recorded Musical Performances

Music
A few months into this year I couldn't shake the feeling that 2008 just wasn't going to be the great year for new music that 2007 was.  And so here I am, about a week away from 2009, and I still feel the same way.  It wasn't a total wash mind you, as there was definitely some quality to be enjoyed.  So here's my take on the 2008 music year - good, bad, and ugly. The Best of the Best (Albums) Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop) Yeah, this seems like an obvious choice, but it's also a damn good one.  I'm always up for listening to good vocal harmonies, and this band has them in spades.  The music is gorgeous to boot, and is a highly engaging blend of folk titans like CSNY, America, and early '70s Fleetwood Mac.  The vocal round of "White Winter Hymnal" is worth the price of admission
BFF + RM = GFS happy

BFF + RM = GFS happy

Music
It's a rare pleasure when one of your favorite bands gets back together to play, long after having broken up (well unless you're a fan of Kiss, Eagles, The Police, etc.).  It's rarer still when they spend their lone reunion show playing one of your favorite albums of all-time. But it happened for me when Ben Folds Five got together about a month ago for a one-off concert at UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall to play the entirety of their criminally overlooked swan song, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.  That's right, the whole thing - Ben's dad even came out to recreate his answering machine message as heard on "Your Most Valuable Possession."  How fucking cool is that? To me, the band sounds like they've never been apart.  The only giveaways are Ben hiding what appears t
Showdown: Hasselhoff vs. Shatner

Showdown: Hasselhoff vs. Shatner

Funny Stuff
Truly these are great times to be alive, my friends, for we have walking among (amongst?) us mortals two men of such legendary accomplishments, that to even utter their names is to inspire greatness. I am speaking of course about David Michael Hasselhoff and William Alan Shatner. And while we are lucky in that we would never have to choose between the two, I thought I'd take a minute to compare the careers of these two titans to see just which one comes out on top. It's on! (more…)
The best (at least in terms of my iPod)

The best (at least in terms of my iPod)

Music
Creating and maintaining an iPod playlist with my favorite songs has been an interesting experience for me. I call the playlist "The Best" not because I really think these are the best songs ever, but because they are the ones that resonate the most with me. As the playlist has grown (it's now at 46 songs) some items of note have emerged. The first is that two of my all-time favorite bands, Kiss and Rush, are not represented once on the list. The second is that although I'm a pretty upbeat guy most of the time, I seem to respond the most to songs that are more subdued or melancholy. The third is that if a song has strong vocal harmonies it automatically wins points with me.So with that, here is the current list of The Best, with some commentary. As a side note, at least a few of these c...
Gray Flannel Mixtape – 10 Classic B-sides

Gray Flannel Mixtape – 10 Classic B-sides

Music
Looking back, mixtapes sure were a pain in the ass to put together. But man, were they fun. So for just a minute, let's imagine iPods don't exist (I know, scary) and we are putting together a new one. The ground rules for the songs on this mixtape are: Each song was released as the B-side of a commercially available single. The songs did not appear on a regular album (at least not at first). No more than one song per band. I must like the song (the critical part). "Total Eclipse" (Iron Maiden) - Over the years Iron Maiden has compiled what is probably the strongest collection of B-sides in heavy metal history. This one nearly made it onto the group's seminal 1982 album, The Number of the Beast, but was left off and instead included on the "Run to the Hills" single. Th...