I reached out to Ben because I've recently been reading and hearing a lot of what he's up to these days. He's basically being awesome. Not a far stretch from my memories of him in high school. Ben has always been interested and talented in all things music since I can remember. I was eager to learn more about his musical endeavours and of course, what he's been listening to. Ben is living with his lovely lady, Jane, in Rochester, NY. Since I know many of us like to day-trip to the city, I asked what some of their favourite places are - I'm really excited to go to the Little (Movie Theatre) - that one has been on my radar for a while now! Thank you, Ben, for all the musical goods and local digs!
(I would also like to add a small shout out to Ben's mom Kathy who owns The Lunch Box in Rushville, where Ben and I grew up. She is by far, by far a magical baking master. I've never been able to duplicate her mouth-watering pancakes or her home-made hash. She knows how to do some serious biz in the kitchen. Sunday breakfasts at her diner is one of my most missed things about that little town).
What album can you not stop listening to right now?
There are a couple of albums I can't stop listening to. One is Molly Drake by Molly Drake. This has been a constant album for me for the last year. It's haunting and beautiful and the most perfect morning music I know of. Listen to it while you're making breakfast alone, seriously. It's seems sad when you feel sad and it seems happy when you feel happy. There's not a lot of albums I know of that work like that.
It's Nick Drake's Mother. So that's the first interesting thing about it. You get to see where his genius comes from. It comes from his mother being a genius. Her songs are incredible. And I'm totally in love with her. They're home recordings from the 50s and they sound just as fragile and whimsical as the songs need them to sound. Just listen to her okay? Promise?
The other album is American Water by Silver Jews. It's incredible, strange, honest, poetry set to twangy country inspired 90's alternative rock. It's weird and it takes a minute to sink in but once it does, man, you'll never shake it.
Likewise, what are your favorite songs right now?
I can't stop listening to and showing people the song "Grounded" by Pavement. I love it. It's perfect. The guitar parts are so simple and so effective and catchy and I wish I wrote them. The lyrics are so sad and cryptic to me. I think the best part of the song is how mysterious it still seems to me. I don't know where it came from. Those are my favorite songs.
What’s your favorite thing to do around your area?
I live in Rochester and my favorite places are The Little (Movie Theater), The Memorial Art Gallery, Small World Books, The Bug Jar, Needle Drop Records and sneaking past the fence and walking out on the ledge of High Falls. I like coming to your neck of the woods too and going to the State Theater to see shows, and Angry Mom Records.
Tell us about the amazing music you create!
I'm currently in two bands and playing shows by myself under my own name. My bands are called Howlo and Dumb Angel. They're both sort of inspired by 90's alternative rock and 60's pop music but in really different ways. Howlo is new and we're recordings our first album now. We have 3 songs up at www.howlo.bandcamp.com and Dumb Angel is about to release our first album "Antenna", which we've spent the last 3 years writing and recording. You can hear some of those songs on www.dumbangel.bandcamp.com
I also just put out a solo album a few months ago, which is the first full length solo album I've ever released, and that's called "Pleasant" and you can listen to it and download it at www.benmorey.bandcamp.com