Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ah, Reminiscing

So over at my other blog, Loud Monkey Music, where I catalog mix tapes that I've made throughout the years, I started writing about a personal soundtrack project I had undertaken a few years back at the beckon of my good friend Langstaff. The original version was 4 CDs long but I managed to whittle it down to an eighty minute version that touches on late high school through college. One of the songs that really stood out was Ben Folds Five's "Underground."

While Jason and I have discovered nearly hundered of bands over the years and gone on to share them with eachother and now with you, this is one of the few we found out about together. We were bored "housesitting" for my father the summer before starting college and fucking around with some combination Lego-Lincoln Log knockoffs, listening to the radio a program called "Breaking and Entering" on Providence's WBRU. "Breaking and Entering" was this great show that was on Thursday(?) nights at midnight and a DJ would play new songs by established alt-rock acts and new bands, ellicit feedback from listeners and ultimately help determine what should crack the daytime playlist.

Instantly looking up at eachother with a mutual "Wow this song is fucking awesome" look, we decided to call in. The DJ, whom I think went by Ben Kenobi or something similiar, was in full agreeance. It was certainly different, comparisons to Elton John and Todd Rundgren were exchanged, and needed to be played more! A week later I found an advance copy of the album in a used bin for 1.99 and pretty much packed and headed off to college. When we returned for winter break, myself from Syracuse and Jason from Colorado, we decided to attend a big New Year's event that WBRU was having. Lo and behold the song finished 2nd in their end-of-the-year countdown, losing the top spot to Smashing Pumpkins "Bullet With Butterfly Wings." Everyone I played it for at school loved it and eventually, by the time the second album came out and "Brick" became a success on MTV, well, the rest became history....("and then Ben folds was on Love Monkey last week" Jay adds.)

The moral of the story- Sometimes the little bands make it. Sometimes good songwriting and/or a unique sound can find mass appeal and make its mark in the pop culture. Some might argue that some (so-called ALT) bands couldn't and SHOULDN'T enjoy mass appeal but I beg to differ. I think we're acually at a point where the impetus exists for bands the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Bright Eyes and Cat Power and Spoon to have the potential to make the rock act the force it has rarely been since the days of what is now classic rock. Why shouldn't the underground have the upperground? And that's why I'll support the OC but I'll never watch it.

P.S. Why hasn't anyone covered this song yet?

Ben Folds Five: "Underground"


At 11:38 AM, Blogger Eric Grubbs said...

>Why hasn't anyone covered this song yet?

I don't know; maybe the ragtime-like outro? It's a great song regardless.


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