View Full Version : Ben Folds

06-18-2010, 02:44 PM
Any other Ben Folds fans here? I'm thinking "probably". :)

06-18-2010, 03:06 PM
Yes! :D

I only have one album, to be honest, but I really like what I've heard of his music.

06-18-2010, 03:16 PM
If you get the chance try to get to one of his gigs. He puts on the best live shows ever.

06-18-2010, 03:33 PM

Ben Folds has such a long history of excellent songcraft. His later albums are a little watered-down, but peppered throughout his discography, including with BFF, are many masterpieces. He is criminally overlooked, I think.

Regina Phalange
06-18-2010, 03:43 PM
I just came across a shitload of his early demos and b-sides and such. I think I have all his albums.. except the Shatner one and the college chorus one. I had loved Brick when it came out but I never dove into his catalog. When I saw him on Lottapianos, I was floored. So I really got into him then.

His live shows are awesome. I haven't seen him on this tour (couldn't afford tickets), but I highly recommend him. He is criminally undervalued.

This tour, he performs a little improv piece while hooked up to Chatroulette. It's hysterical and he knows how to play it up for the Partner and the audience



The second one won't embed, but it's better quality than the first. Different concert.

06-18-2010, 08:44 PM
Yes!! I love him so much.

New album 'Lonely Avenue' with lyrics by Nick Hornby is out September 28th on Nonesuch. (http://www.nonesuch.com/albums/lonely-avenue)

06-18-2010, 08:50 PM
I really like Whatever and Ever Amen, which is the only album I have. And then any other songs I've heard have been great, like Not The Same or Cologne, so I'm going to have to check out more of his stuff. :)


Perky Compson
06-18-2010, 09:20 PM
I'm a bit disappointed with what I've heard of demo Picture Window from Lonely Avenue. It was so heartbreaking and plaintive live and so blah in demo form. Too many added instruments and beats. Hopefully studio is a different take!

I'd highly recommend Rockin' the Suburbs and Way to Normal, of his solo stuff. Rockin' the Suburbs is, to me, a series of vignettes about various characters and scenarios Ben's come up with and has some of his catchiest hooks (Zak and Sara, title track, Annie Waits) and some of his most heartfelt or powerful songs (Not the Same, Fred Jones Pt. 2), and Fired is the ultimate "fuck you guys, I'm goin' home!" track. Way to Normal is much snarkier but has some truly fun tracks, and some lovely moments. Bitch Went Nuts, Effington and Free Coffee are all fabulous.

Also, Ben Folds Live is full of win.

06-18-2010, 09:28 PM
I'll second the recommendation for Rockin' The Suburbs' and Ben Folds Live and also highly recommend The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.

06-18-2010, 10:32 PM
'The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner' is one of my favorite albums ever, it's just wonderful. My favorite Ben solo album is 'Songs for Silverman' but I know that's an unpopular opinion; I'd probably recommend 'Rockin' the Suburbs' first. :)

06-19-2010, 01:20 AM
I love Ben!! One of my favorite shows last year was seeing Ben at the Paramount. It was one of the best shows I went to last year. As far as records go, I love the self titled Ben Folds Five album. He's an amazing pianist, and a great storyteller.


06-19-2010, 01:47 AM
Yay for all the love for Ben. :)

06-19-2010, 02:13 AM
he's so good live...

07-17-2010, 11:42 AM
Ben puts on one of the best live solo shows I've ever seen. I saw him earlier this year in Orlando and got to stand right at the front center by the piano. It was absolutely incredible. No one plays piano like that.

His live Chatroulette improvs were amazing:



Regina Phalange
08-05-2010, 03:45 AM
Trying to find some high-quality recordings of his orchestra shows, I came across this gem


I love the audience interaction with Not The Same and Army. I so hope Tori's orchestra show is good too.

08-16-2010, 03:21 PM
The Ben Folds/Nick Hornby collaboration, Lonely Avenue, is out on September 28th!


Regina Phalange
09-29-2010, 12:38 AM
The Ben Folds/Nick Hornby collaboration, Lonely Avenue, is out on September 28th!

Downloading it now from iTunes and their deluxe version comes with some bonus songs and a video of something.

09-29-2010, 02:01 AM
Digging what I hear from the new album.

First single


features an amazing (P)OPera singer from Australia, who has been touring with Ben this year.

Kate Miller-Heidke -


11-11-2010, 01:51 PM
Ben Folds UK Tour (http://www.ents24.com/web/artist/36699/Ben_Folds.html). :D

I'll be booking for London first thing tomorrow!

02-24-2011, 08:06 PM
Ben performing a cover of Kesha's Sleazy at the HMV Apollo in London on Sunday.


Perky Compson
02-25-2011, 02:20 AM
I loved the original, but that is just FABULOUS. Thanks for sharing!

02-25-2011, 09:19 AM
Glad you liked! :) I've got another video from the show to that I'll upload tomorrow.

02-26-2011, 10:47 AM
Here's the other video.


Ben Folds featuring Kate Miller-Heidke - From Above

02-26-2011, 11:42 AM
Oh god, that Sleazy is just awesome! Glad you had a good time, beanstew.

Regina Phalange
08-30-2011, 05:13 PM
A never-before-released song is available for streaming. (http://stereogum.com/794231/ben-folds-five-tell-me-what-i-did-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/) Tell Me What I Did is its title. It's coming out on a greatest hits album in October. Disc 1 is best songs, 2 is live, 3 is b-sides and rarities.

It's nice that it explicitly tells you what is on the whole thing and you can hear something from it so early. *cough NOH cough*

Peter Z
08-30-2011, 05:40 PM
They're also streaming "House," the first "Ben Folds Five" song in over a decade on his NBC SingOff bio page. I was sorta underwhelmed, but I only heard it a couple of times.

02-01-2012, 11:58 PM
Ben Folds Five recording new album!!! (http://consequenceofsound.net/2012/01/ben-folds-five-recording-new-album/)

After getting back together last year to record a trio of tracks for Ben Folds’ new retrospective album, the members of Ben Fold Five are now working on their first full-length LP since 1999′s The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.

As SPIN.com points out, Folds revealed the news on Twitter last night, tweeting a photo of himself with bassist Robert Sledge and drummer Darren Jessee. He wrote as a caption, “It’s happening fo sho – Day 1 in studio with Robert and Darren through March #NewBenFoldsFiveRecord.” When asked by a fan when the new music would see release, Folds responded “Spring.”


@BenFolds (https://twitter.com/#!/BenFolds) tweeting about #NewBenFoldsFiveRecord (https://twitter.com/#!/search?q=%23NewBenFoldsFiveRecord)

Wooooo hoooooo *happy dance*

04-26-2012, 09:28 AM
Woooo Hoooo Ben Folds Five tour!

Thursday 07 June 2012 – Sunday 10 June 2012 Bonnaroo Music Festival 2012 Manchester, TN, US
Friday 08 June 2012 Ben Folds Five at Chastain Park Amphitheatre Chastain Park Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA, US
Saturday 24 November 2012 Ben Folds and Ben Folds Five at Rock City Nottingham, UK
Thursday 29 November 2012 Ben Folds Five at Manchester Apollo Manchester, UK
Saturday 01 December 2012 Ben Folds Five at O2 Academy Leeds Leeds, UK Monday
03 December 2012 Ben Folds and Ben Folds Five at O2 Academy Birmingham
04 December 20212 Ben Folds Five at O2 Academy Brixton Academy Brixton London, UK

*happy dance*

Father Lucifer
04-26-2012, 05:35 PM
I might see you at the London gig ;)

04-27-2012, 02:37 AM
Cool. I'll almost certainly be at the Brixton Academy gig. :)

05-02-2012, 10:46 AM
Brixton Academy presale live now (http://www.seetickets.com/Event/BEN-FOLDS-FIVE/O2-Academy-Brixton/637323/?src=63&utm_campaign=Ben_Folds_Five_presale&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email7323&pre=BFF&pureprbb5)

05-05-2012, 03:23 PM
New Ben Folds Five song!


Heaps of reposts. streams, downloads and such on @BenFolds timeline (https://twitter.com/#!/BenFolds)

05-06-2012, 12:27 AM
Ahhhh I do love how it started.... classic BF5!

07-16-2012, 10:01 PM
Album release date and lots of gigs!

Ben Folds Five Releasing First Album in 13 Years (http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2012/07/ben-folds-five-releasing-first-album-in-13-years.html)

Piano-dominated trio Ben Folds Five will be reuniting for their first album in 13 years, The Sound of the Life of the Mind.

The new album came about through a grassroots campaign on PledgeMusic, where artists, fans and charities work together to create albums. A portion of the funds from the album will go toward music education and music therapy, and those who’ve participated in the campaign will receive an early delivery of the album. Ben Folds Five will embark on a full North American tour this fall in support of The Sound of the Life of the Mind, and you can check out the tour dates below.

The new LP will be released worldwide through ImaVeePee Records/Sony Music Entertainment on Sept. 18.

Ben Folds Five Tour Dates

13 – Holyoke, Mass. @ Mountain Park Amphitheatre
14 – New York, N.Y. @ Central Park Rumsey Playground
16 – Cary, N.C. @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre
18 – Atlanta, Ga. @ The Tabernacle
19 – North Charleston, S.C. @ North Charleston Performing Arts Center
21 – Pensacola Beach, Fla. @ DeLuna Fest
23 – Dallas, Texas @ Palladium Ballroom
24 – Austin, Texas @ Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheatre
25 – Houston, Texas @ Bayou Music Center
28 – Kansas City, Mo. @ Starlight

2 – Detroit, Mich. @ The Fillmore Detroit
5 – Buffalo, N.Y. @ Kleinhas

10 – Melbourne, Australia @ Harvest Festival – Werribee Park
17 – Sydney, Australia @ Harvest Festival – Parramatta Park
18 – Brisbane, Australia @ Harvest Festival – Botanic Gardens
23 – Bristol, England @ O2 Academy
24 – Nottingham, England @ Rock City
26 – Dublin, Ireland @ Vicar Street
29 – Manchester, England @ O2 Apollo
30 – Glasgow, Scotland @ O2 Academy

1 – Leeds, England @ O2 Academy
3 – Birmingham, England @ O2 Academy
4 – London, England @ O2 Academy Brixton
5 – London, England @ 02 Academy Brixton

I am so ready for new BF5! :D

Regina Phalange
07-16-2012, 10:38 PM
He's also doing one of the versions of the themesong (Little Boxes) (http://www.benfolds.com/news/listen-ben-folds-little-boxes-showtimes-weeds) for Weeds this season

07-16-2012, 10:49 PM
^ Thanks! That's great! :)

07-17-2012, 09:15 PM
I just heard about the new Ben Folds Five album. :) I only have one album from them (The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner), and it's one of my favorite albums of all time. I don't know why I never took the time to listen to their other albums.

07-17-2012, 09:59 PM
^ Whatever and Ever Amen is essential. It has one of my favourite BF5 tracks:

Ben Folds Five - One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces

Regina Phalange
10-03-2012, 06:43 PM
BF5 on Colbert (http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/mon-october-1-2012-ben-folds-five) Monday. Starts around 13:13.

12-07-2012, 11:25 PM
I am currently obsessed with BFF's "Eraase Me" I have no idea why. That is all.

04-23-2013, 02:27 PM
BFF live album on the way!

Ben Folds Five announce first live album (http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/news/latest-news/ben-folds-five-announce-first-live-album-124000)

lt piano-rock types, Ben Folds Five have unveiled details of their first-ever live album release.

The LP, imaginably-titled Ben Fold Five Live, will feature a number of live recordings taken at several of the band’s shows over the last year or so.

It’ll drop on 4 June, with the career-spanning tracklist looking like below:

1. Jackson Cannery (The Warfield, San Francisco CA, 1/31/13)
2. Erase Me (The Warfield, San Francisco CA, 1/31/13)
3. Selfless, Cold and Composed (House of Blues, Boston MA, 10/13/12)
4. Uncle Walter (Kool Haus, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 10/5/12)
5. Landed (The Warfield, San Francisco CA, 1/31/13)
6. Sky High (The Barton Theatre, Adelaide AU, 11/16/12)
7. One Chord Blues/Billie’s Bounce (The Wiltern, Los Angeles CA 1/26/13)
8. Do It Anyway/Overture-Heaven on Their Minds (O2 Academy, Brixton UK, 12/4/12)
9. Brick (The Warfield, San Francisco CA, 1/31/13)
10. Draw A Crowd (Capitol, Port Chester NY, 10/9/12)
11. Narcolepsy (Hitomi Kinen Hall, Tokyo JP, 2/16/13)
12. Underground (Mielparque Hall, Osaka JP, 2/22/13)
13. Tom and Mary (O2 Academy, Brixton UK, 12/4/12)
14. One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces (The Warfield, San Francisco CA, 1/31/13)
15. Song for the Dumped (The Barton Theatre, Adelaide AU, 11/16/12)

Sounds essential! :)

04-30-2013, 08:48 PM
Selfless, Cold and Composed is the main reason I'd buy that.

01-20-2014, 03:12 AM
Oh, man. I just landed a gig, singing with 7 other singers with Ben at his show in SF in May. We'll be singing on 8 songs, as a jazz choir. OMGOMGOMG. And the San Francisco Symphony. OMGOMOMGOMG

01-20-2014, 09:54 AM
^ Wonderful! Congratultions! Have a great time and then come and tell us all about it!

Bryan Alan
01-20-2014, 01:39 PM
Oh, man. I just landed a gig, singing with 7 other singers with Ben at his show in SF in May. We'll be singing on 8 songs, as a jazz choir. OMGOMGOMG. And the San Francisco Symphony. OMGOMOMGOMG


01-20-2014, 10:47 PM
Oh, man. I just landed a gig, singing with 7 other singers with Ben at his show in SF in May. We'll be singing on 8 songs, as a jazz choir. OMGOMGOMG. And the San Francisco Symphony. OMGOMOMGOMG

Wow! That is so exciting!!! Congrats to you!!!

01-21-2014, 06:59 PM
Thank you! I have worked Kerry Marsh, the guy who arranges and works with the vocal jazz side of Ben's tour. They've worked together for a while now and they usually hold auditions in different towns for these things. I guess, for this gig, Kerry wanted to work with specific people he's worked with in the past. Save time and all that. Still, I'm over the moon excited about this!

Regina Phalange
01-22-2015, 10:32 PM
From his fb page

Stumbling from out of the shadows.
Rubs eyes, squints.
Blinding light overwhelms him at the cave door.
A million memes, hashtags, even platforms have lived and died.
All the while, he composed.
He emerges. Grey beard.
He speculates blogs may be a thing of the past.
He blogs.

Okay, that’s bullshit, but it has been a while since I’ve told anyone what I was up to. So here it is.

I don’t recall ever being quite so excited about an album I’m making. I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or not. It’s just that we don’t often get to make a record that we’ve never heard before. I LOVE my band on this record - NYC’s almost classical sextet, yMusic. Love 'em musically and personally. They are pushing me. Collectively and individually they’ve been on quite a few great recordings (Sufjan Stevens, Bjork, Dirty Projectors, Bon Iver, Blake Mills and lots of other stuff) since most of the group graduated Julliard nearly a decade ago. Then there’s their new cellist, Gabe who just got out of Curtis, which is a maximum security music conservatory - hardcore shit. He’ll cut a bitch over a parallel 5th.

We tracked this album in 12 days total, with a lot of time spent, me, Rob Moose and CJ Camarieri, sometimes in New York, LA or Nashville, arranging. The playing, the recording, happened quickly.

On this record, yMusic are the rock band, straight up - not ornamentation. We call the ornamentation, “and strings” which is beautiful of course, just not what we are doing. The odd instrumentation is yielding something that I can’t wait to release. It’s a pop record, if that’s what you call what I write. But the instrumentation is:

Flute, Piccolo, Alto Flute
Trumpet, French Horn
Clarinet, Bass Clarinet

And… minimal booms and beats from drums from time to time. The odd marching snare, or concert bass drum. More often than not, no drums but still pop songs. Also, no bass ever. This limitation is FUN when you get it right. When we began, it wasn’t yet great. I love that kind of process. Anyway, the record is something I mean, and without getting too damn braggy about it, I’m proud of it.

Looks like the album will be up to10 of these songs, along with full orchestra recording of Concerto For Piano and Orchestra that I’ve been previewing snippets of with orchestras over the past year.

We can easily get this record out by September. On vinyl it will be a double album I suppose with the concerto being side 4. That’s my thinking at the moment.

Touring beginning April with vague plans to do some last minute announced gigs where the whole show is improvised. Maybe a ‘bring your poetry’ and we’ll rock this bitch kind of thing. We’ve been discussing that one.

But we’ll be hanging around each city longer to do more, smaller gigs, take time.


01-25-2015, 10:23 AM
^ Thanks for the news! New Ben is always exciting!

01-26-2015, 02:31 AM
Did we know that B-Fo was dating Alicia Witt from 2012-2014? They worked together on a movie theme, and he produced her (unreleased?) album.





01-26-2015, 09:42 AM
The last time I saw Ben, as Ben Folds Five, Alicia was one of the support acts. I really liked her! I bought one of her CDs (Live At Rockwood) and am hoping she comes back to the UK at some point to do her own show. Her mailing list which you can subscribe to at her official website (http://aliciawittmusic.com/) is hilarious. Her twitter is funny too.

09-10-2015, 07:19 PM
New album tomorrow! Yay! It was streamed on NPR for a bit and I really liked my casual listen.

09-12-2015, 02:27 AM
I am so excited for this record! The concerto is STUNNING, absolutely brilliant. He performed it in SF, and to be sitting up on stage, in the orchestra... ksaldfjsdhfsjd I was in tears. <3

Regina Phalange
12-14-2018, 11:59 PM
Did anyone else watch his PBS Christmas special, Tis the Night?

I was... well... I hate to use the word disappointed because the musicians and singers were fantastic. But I wanted to watch *Ben* perform and he did one song as a drummer, and one song on the piano as an accompanist. I thought we'd at least get a good "Jingle Bell Rock" or "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" from him, banging on the piano while it held on for dear life. It was more like he was a curator for some classical performers. And they were excellent... but not Ben.