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Ben Folds Five have released a music video for “Do It Anyway”, and they have done so in tremendous fashion. The band has teamed up with Fraggle Rock, the world famous Jim Henson creations. Anna Kendrick, Rob Corddry, and Chris Hardwick from The Nerdist (who produced the video) all appear as well.

Ben Folds Five + Fraggle Rock? How awesome does that sound? This video will brighten up your Monday. I guarantee it.
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On September 18 Ben Folds Five will release The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, their first new album in 13 years. Last week the band released three new songs from the album. The first is “Erase Me”, a very classic Ben Folds Five song that officially marks their fully formed return. The other two, “Michael Praytor, Five Years Later” & “Sky High” also hit home just as well. The latter should please fans of his solo work.

It’s been a long time since Ben Folds Five have been around, but you really wouldn’t know it from listening to these new songs. The band have aged gracefully.

“Erase Me” (via Spin):

“Michael Praytor, Five Years Later”
(via TeamCoco)

“Sky High” (via Spinner)

Ben Folds Five @ Bonnaroo (June 10, 2012)

By Will Oliver, June 14th 2012

Ben Folds will always have a space in my heart. His music was a big part of my teenage years. So to be finally able to say I saw Ben Folds Five live is a special thing. The band played a show a week before their Bonnaroo performance, but before that, they hadn’t played a show together in 13 years. That’s a long time.

They didn’t lose anything on the way. They weren’t too dramatic about it, just went along their business rocking out all of the classic jams that graced the ears of many a generation in the 90s. Ben Folds is always a pleasure to watch live, and the rest of the band seemed just as happy to be playing again.

Many great things to praise about these guys being back. But honestly, just being able to hear songs like “Brick”, “Army”, “Narcolepsy” was enough to put a smile on my face, sending me down a memory lane of sorts.

They got a new album on the way, so hopefully the good vibes keep on coming from BF5.

[new]: Ben Folds Five – Do It Anyway

By Will Oliver, May 7th 2012 — with 6 comments

Over the weekend Ben Folds posted a giant message on his facebook detailing the new album (the first in 12 years) from Ben Folds Five and what exactly they are doing with it. This announcement also came with an unmastered new track from the album called “Do It Anyway”.

The song definitely has that classic Ben Folds Five feel to it. Fans of both the band and Ben Folds solo stuff have plenty to be happy about.

[mp3]: Ben Folds Five – Do It Anyway

The band is releasing the album on their own, and are rely on fans to help them promote the album. There’s a pledgemusic page and everything. Folds says if fans help him relay messages then he will reward them with credit on the actual LP art. That’s pretty awesome. Find the full facebook message from Ben after the jump.
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[new]: Ben Folds Five – Stumblin’ Home Winter Blues

By Will Oliver, October 14th 2011 — with 1 comment

October 11 brought the release of Ben Folds retrospective compilation, The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective. We can all agree that one of the best parts of this release is that there are three new Ben Folds Five songs attached to it.

We already heard “House” and “Tell Me What I Did”. Now we have a chance to listen to the final new track, “Stumblin’ Home Winter Blues”. It’s a somber ballad not shy of showing plenty of substance, in typical Ben Folds Five fashion. We can only wish that the band would reunite to release more stuff of this quality.

Check out a stream of it below:

If you haven’t already, but the compilation album right here.

[new] Ben Folds Five – House

By Will Oliver, August 24th 2011 — with 9 comments

It’s been quite a long time since we’ve heard Ben Folds. It’s been even longer since we’ve heard Ben Folds Five. Of all places, NBC has uploaded a new song of Ben’s called “House” onto his profile page for The Sing-Off, the show which he acts as a judge. The song is being billed as new Ben Folds Five, which should be enough to make you smile just a little bit.

When I was younger I used to be a huge Ben Folds fan. My tastes have changed since then, but this song is good enough to remind me of why I used to like Ben so much in the first place.

“House” will be included on Ben’s upcoming greatest hits album, The Best Imitation Of Myself: A Retrospective, which is out on October 11.

Album Review: Ben Folds – Way To Normal

By Will Oliver, October 14th 2008 — with 1 comment


Ben Folds is a man of many talents. He can write beautiful melodies, create big hooks, and write a funny song. Sometimes all at once. However I feel that he is at his best when he has a combination of each in separate tracks. Some of my favorite Ben Folds songs are ‘Not The Same’, of the best tracks are ‘Kylie From Connecticut’ and ‘Cologne’ where he hits on relationships over some beautiful piano. These delicate moments really show Ben’s true talent. He can make a beautiful ballad. Thats for sure. But Ben is more so known for his mix of hooks and comedy. Ben has tons of fun with tracks like ‘Bitch Went Nuts’ which I dare you not to tap along at all. ‘Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hit His Head)’ discusses Ben’s fall on stage at a show at Hiroshima which only Ben could make fun of himself over a catchy chorus. It is the type of song you have come to adore from Ben. It has a great beat, and a big hook that draws you in. ‘Dr. Yang’ is one of the more experimental tracks on the album with Ben putting his voice at an unusual register. The track has a lot of energy and even though it may not go where you hoped, it provides an interesting listen.

The standout track is Ben’s duet with the wonderful Regina Spektor on ‘You Don’t Know Me’. This is one of Ben’s best work recently, which many relationships can relate to. The best moments for Ben are usually when he combine’s his sense of humor with this soft tender side. Such as in ‘Effington’ which talks about a lonely town, but in Ben fashion. “If there’s a god/he’s laughing at us/And our football team.”. The track has all of the components of a good Ben Folds song, and he really hit a homerun with ‘Effington.’ It is quite an enjoyable song!

Howeved the album doesn’t quite always reach its potential. Songs like ‘Errant Dog’ and ‘Free Coffee’ don’t seem to reach the heights Ben was going for. Those songs lacked a serious component. ‘The Frown Song’ is killed by some random/dumb lyrics about “Fucking The guru”. Things like that just kill songs for me. I just didn’t get too much out of them. Ben can really make some beautiful ballads, I think if he can find a good balance between ballads and fast paced pop songs he will get back to where he wants to be. This album has some really beautiful songs mixed in with some songs that Ben probably had fun doing, but didn’t turn up as good as he hoped. They do sound better live at least…

All in all this is not as bad of an album as critics are saying. You got some classic Ben ballads, some goofy upbeat tunes, what else can you ask for. I will say one thing, the album definitely gets better over time. So don’t give up on it yet, somethings aren’t as normal as they used to be! Ben is one of the most talented piano players making music at the moment. There is a lot of good stuff there, just you may have to decide which of his styles is more for you! Ben is an amazing performer live, and if you really want a full appreciate of him, go see him live!!

Rating: 7.0

(Bold = Top track picks)

Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hits His Head) – 3.5
Dr. Yang – 3.25
The Frown Song – 2.75
You Don’t Know Me (feat. Regina Spektor) – 5
Before Cologne – N/A
Cologne – 4.5
Errant Dog – 2.5
Free Coffee – 2
Bitch Went Nuts – 3.75
Brainwascht – 2.75
Effington – 4.5
Kylie from Connecticut
– 4.25

[MP3] : Ben Folds – You Don’t Know Me (Feat. Regina Spektor)
[MP3] : Ben Folds – Effington

Purchase Way To Normal: Insound | Amazon

Myspace

Concert Review: Ben Folds at Terminal 5

By Will Oliver, October 1st 2008 — with 1 comment


I spent my 18th birthday in NYC seeing Ben Folds live. Cannot complain with that. Waiting on line for the show I actually saw Ben’s band members Jared (Bass) and Sam (drummer) walking around calling someone (prob Ben) trying to figure out how they get in. Pretty funny. It was just the start of a wonderful evening. If anything it said a lot about Ben Folds and his band. They are laid back guys, who have a lot of fun doing what they do.

It was my second time seeing Ben Folds, my first time was their surprise tour when they stopped by Hammerstien Ballroom on November 19th. It was one of the best experiences I have had since I started going to shows. Ben Folds is a great muscian, but also a great performer. He talks to the crowd, interacts with them, tells jokes, improvs songs. He has fun with his job, afterall it is a pretty good one. He played all his hits, mostly a mix of Rockin The Suburbs and Supersunnyspeedgraphic: The LP. It was a good time full of singalongs. I don’t care what anyone says he should keep playing ‘Army’ and ‘Brick’ because they are GREAT.

Coming into the show I read reviews of his ‘Way To Normal’ tour, for his brand new album. Ben played songs from the album and fake leak for an hour straight. Fans were disappointed because the album didn’t even come out, so most of the attendees didn’t know the lyrics. People said they didn’t get the fake songs, and thought it was a waste. That the hour of all new stuff was unsuccesful, and that the only fun was the encore of old, familiar material. I can gladly say non of these problems occured last night at Terminal 5. Ben Folds was rockin the city.

Ben and company entered with one of those fake leaked tracks ‘Way To Normal’ and it was a fun way to start the show. Ben was having a lot of fun with the song, and explained the background to all who were not “nerdy enough to know about it”. He then performed three real tracks from ‘Way To Normal’ that included single ‘You Don’t Know Me’ which included voices from opening singer Missy Higgins doing Regina Spektors part. Folds included the wonderfully familiar ‘Landed’, ‘Always Someone Cooler than You’, Annie Waits’ in between the full set of new songs. It was a smart choice that was a breath of fresh air. The crowd’s energy level went up so much it was incredible. The album tracks were fantastic, Hiroshima and Dr. Yang were delivered with tons of energy and even comedy. I honestly did not see the problem with the Fake Songs. They were very funny, and sounded fine live. It is all about performing, and Ben did that for sure, even with the songs being “fake.”

Ben’s Encore woke the crowd up, to say the least. ‘Bastard’ got a great reception and was a warm up for songs to come. ‘Still Fighting’ it was beautifully done, and the crowd appreciated it with a delicate sing along. As Ben was halfway through the classic ‘Army’ he got up to direct the crowd how to sing, but he realized we already knew it. You could tell he was amazed at how much we were into his older songs. ‘Rockin The Suburbs’ got the crowd into a frenzy singing it proudly. ‘Not The Same’ was a great contrast of what Ben Folds brings. He can rock out hilariously, but then come back with sincere ballads that can bring out a beautiful sing-along. Ben came back for a short 2nd encore, defying Terminal 5’s wishes playing the hilarious ‘Hava Nagila’ and the classic ‘Philosophy’ along with Dr. Pyser.

As I left Terminal 5 I honestly felt I got more than my moneys worth. I got most of his new album, classic songs from his back catlalogue, and a great geniune performance. Ben Folds took Terminal 5 and made it a night to remember. He may be in his 40’s but he is still rocking the suburbs.

*Set-List, photos and videos that I recorded below:


You Don’t Know Me (Feat. Missy Higgins):

Still Fighting It:

Not The Same:

Set List:

Way to Normal
Brainwascht
Effington
You don’t know me (featuring missy higgins)
Lovesick Diagnostician
Landed
Frown song
Free coffee town
Cologne
Annie Waits
Bitch Went Nuts
Hiroshima
Dr. Yang
Always Someone Cooler than You
Bitch Went Nutz

Encore:

Bastard
Still Fighting It
Battle of Who Could Care Less
Army (the crowd knew what to do, as he went to stand and direct us we had already started singing, and ben smiled and was like so be it when it turned out he didn’t have to do anything)
Rockin the Suburbs
Not the Same
Kate
fake Frown song

SECOND ENCORE:
Hava Nagila
Philosophy/Dr. Pyser




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