Ben Franklin Blog

The blog of the band Ben Franklin from NY and NJ

Thanks, and Goodbye

with 2 comments

Dear friends, last night’s show at the Brick City Sound Riot in Newark, NJ was amazing. It was a fantastic event, the bands were truly incredible all weekend long. Our friends at Spillpeak and GhostTrain who organized and staffed it deserve praise and accolades, you just don’t see an event like that come together very often, and I hope there’s another next year. And you guys in the crowd during our set—you’re incredible! You may very well have caused structural damage to the Kilkenny Ale House from all your shaking and moving! We’ve never had such a wonderful welcome, seen that kind of dancing and singing along, it was a ton of fun and totally astounding. Thank you very much!

I’m sorry to say that that was our last show together, we’re disbanding, and our future appearances have been canceled. While it may be time for us to move on to new things, I’m quite proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and I’ll always remember the really fun times we had together. Thank you, Frenz Banklin, for being so supportive of us, you really are the best! It’s you guys who keep folks like us going. In the last two or three years we’ve come along way, thanks in no small part to all the other fantastic musicians and artists around us who helped us along. Thanks in particular to Ryan Gross and Mike Sylvia of Killing Horse Records for putting out our 7″ and taking a chance on us as soon as they saw us.

Our tunes are available for free over on our Bandcamp page, they’ll remain that way. The Urgency 7″ is still in print from Killing Horse, order it up here.

We’ll post again in the future to let you know what we all get up to. There was video footage of last night’s set if you missed it, and interviews. I’ll link them up once they become available.

Thanks again, and take care, everyone!

~Billy

Written by billymeltdown

September 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Wave of the Future

with 2 comments

Alan Smith of The Porchistas got in touch with me in the lead up to Hurricane Irene looking for this tune. “Wave of the Future” is a song I wrote for The Meltdowns, a band that Adam and I used to be in, and in this iteration of the band (the final and best one) Adam is singing lead.  I thought I’d lost it, couldn’t seem to find it, but it was lurking on an old compy. How fast, the tempo! I can’t comprehend even trying to play this so fast listening to it now, I’m not sure I’d want to. But that’s certainly some of the charm of this recording, this is probably how we had to record it. As usual, Adam did an amazing job recording it with what little gear we had. I’m surprised by how well you can hear everything.

Click the little down arrow on the player above to download an mp3 file.

Written by Ben Franklin

September 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Brick City Sound Riot! Our Last Show w/ Sarah!!!

leave a comment »

So all Summer our dear friends at Ghost Train PR and Spill Peak Media, in conjunction with the Tiny Giant Artist Collective have been working their asses off to put together a two-stage, three-day music festival featuring some of the best local music acts from the area, the Brick City Sound Riot! We’ll be playing with some of our favorite and amazing friends, like Holy City Zoo, Nico Blues, No Pasaran, Invisible Lines, The Press, other badass up-and-coming acts that we don’t know so well but who’s music we love (Not Blood Paint! Killing the Messenger!), and finally there are the headliners, Rye Coalition and The Black Hollies! Click the poster to the right to see the full line-up or turn on the little flash player below. It makes for an amazing compilation, and thorough afternoon of excellent rocking.

For Jen Schwartz, the lead organizer, the festival is about bringing all our amazing friends together and showing off what kind of talent is abounding in the area, an entire scene of music that one might not ever hear about from the supposedly “indie” local media that tends to focus almost exclusively on national acts. We’ve got some of the best bands from Brooklyn, NYC, Jersey City, and Newark on the bill with us, and we’re so jazzed up about it. If you’ve been following Rocker Tycoon’s blog and wishing you could have caught all those bands he’s always telling you about, this is the festival for you! Don’t miss it!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

There’s also another good reason for you to get a three-day ticket and make sure you don’t miss our set at 7PM on Sunday of the festival: this will be our last show with our dear drummer Sarah Tomek!!! She’s been offered a great touring gig that she’s been working towards for a long time, and it will be pretty hard for all of us to keep working together regularly once Sarah sets sail, so she’s stepping aside after BCSR so that we can find someone new to take her place. We’re sad to see her go, but we’re happy for her, and we’re really going to burn it down next Sunday in Newark!

We’ve got some more excellent shows coming up this October, and we won’t be out of commission. The original Benny Franks drummer, Gorgeous Joe Borges will be learning our set and filling in for us in Washington D.C. on Oct 8th for the STPP Festival, and here in NYC on Oct 19th at Bowery Electric for a CMJ label showcase! The original Ben Franklin line-up, back together for a limited time only!

We’re going to start auditioning for a new drummer soon. If you know someone who might be a good fit and dig what we do, please send them our way (we.are.ben.franklin@gmail.com), we’re going to ask everyone who’d like to give it a shot to learn a few of our tunes and come play them with us at our studio. We’ll bring the beer, you bring the boom!

Written by Ben Franklin

September 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Friday: Led into the Lanes!!!!!!!!

leave a comment »

We are rolling in to Asbury Lanes in something like, uhh, 20 hours! Or so. We’re playing at The Amboys’ release show for their new EP, Led Into the Woods, and I’m really excited about it. Great band, looking forward to hearing all the new tunes and seeing them live, it’s a rad funky show,  a cow-punk style rock band with some folk and funk thrown in for good measure. You’ll love the way their bassist Manny shakes his booty, deeeelicious.

Doors at 8pm, we’re on third, right before The Amboys. Also playing are Thomas Wesley Stern, and The Vampire Bats!!! Catch up with our fun loving peoples over on the Facebook event page. Someone should post a lewd picture in the comments.

xoxo
Billy

Written by Ben Franklin

August 18, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tuesday: A Night to Fight at Mercury Lounge

leave a comment »

Make with the clicky for more info

Dear friends, we’re playing a special show this Tuesday night, August 16th, at Mercury Lounge in NYC. In this reminder post let me recount what’s so freaking special:

Yours truly, Ben Franklin, has OUTFITS! Costumes you could even call them. It’s a start down the path of getting weirder and weirder as we relax our creative sphincters together and shit gets real. Poorly chosen metaphor, agreed, but we’ve got a seriously fun show planned for you.

Somebody is dying! Not really. Not yet. Hopefully not yet, but we could use your help to make sure that it doesn’t happen until he gets good and old and is ready to go home to Space Dad. The Everymen asked us to play this show because their good friend Tim Strazza has come down with MS, and the proceeds are going to help Tim pay for his medical care, which is very expensive, and you know how well our healthcare system works. Rush Limbaugh goes to Costa Rica, where they have Soshulist healthcare and everyone is happy. If you are Soshulist with a heart, and you can’t make this show, but you’d like to throw Tim a few bucks you can do so right here.

DINOSAUR FEATHERS is playing! That’s the special guest that we’ve been talking about and now we can name names, takes faces. They are a really good, up-and-coming Brooklyn act, some people say THE NEXT BIG THING! Give their new tune a listen, it’s fucking fantastic.

BE STRONG AMERICA,
~Billy

Written by Ben Franklin

August 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer Shows! EP Releases and Municipal Mischief

leave a comment »

Hello, Princess

So we’re doing a couple of shows this Summer, despite that whole no-shows thing. The idea was that it was high time for us to stop trying to put together our own shows for the next few months, as we’re not a headliner, and work on our act and wait for something good to come along. Some good things came a long! How about that. A bit about each below:

  • Tues Aug 16th—The Mercury Lounge, NYC
  • Fri Aug 19th—Asbury Lanes, NJ
  • Wed Aug 24th—Groove on Grove, Jersey City

The Mercury Lounge gig is a big deal for us. I’ll just wear my heart on my sleeve and say it’s one of those places you hope to get into but don’t know how or whom will help you, but you know you want to play there on any night and really impress them (those phantoms that need impressing, who probably won’t be there) so that maybe you can be the opener next time a national or international act  is coming through town. I mean, I’ve seen worse bands open for Art Brut, but saying that doesn’t necessarily get your foot in the door. Doesn’t matter how good you are, you need to show a pretty big draw to impress the Serious Booking Phantoms.

Aaaaaanyway. The gig itself is actually a benefit for a fellow named Tim Strazza, who’s been diagnosed with MS and may not be able to handle the medical bills long enough to survive. The band The Everymen has put this evening together for their friend Tim, and they asked us to play. All the proceeds from the door/tickets go to Tim after the club takes its cut. There are tickets on sale! They expect this show to sell out to friends and family, so go pick up a pair now. FB event page here. One band on the bill isn’t being named yet. Secrets! I have no idea why, but they are a rather good, up-and-coming act here in NYC. We’re on at 9pm.

Asbury Lanes (Fri Aug 19th)—This is the release show for The Amboys’ new EP, Led Into The Woods. I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m really excited and honored that we were asked to participate. I love these guys, they’re great musicians and song-writers, and their material just keeps getting better and better. It’s a Friday night in Asbury Park, it’s going to be a lovely time, some come on out and dance in them bowling shoes. There’s an event page on Facebook, I imagine they’ll be posting links to the released record on the date of the show, so Like it or some such and keep an eye out.

Groove on Grove  (Wed Aug 24th)—This is going to be hard fucking core Groove on Grove night, as we’re playing with our label mates ¡No Pasaran! I hear the rich new neighbors have been complaining to the town about the not-very-loud live music events and farmer’s markets in downtown Jersey City’s public space created just for that purpose with the cooperation of the local developers. Damn shame, these events have been going on forever and have helped create some life and community in the area. And the music is usually over by 8pm; some people gotta hate. If you’re a JC local, help support the arts and community activism, all you have to do is be there with your smile and enjoy a beautiful evening in the square by the PATH train, usually kicks off at 6pm. If you want to take it a step further, sign the petition to protect events at Grove Pointe, and you’ll be added to a mailing list so you’ll know when to go to the city council meeting and tell them what kind of city you want to live in, and that you vote.

Written by Ben Franklin

August 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Cluster Cascade

leave a comment »

We made some new friends with the band Meet/Pause not too long ago. Of the group of bands known as Tiny Giant Artist Collective (to which we’ve been added as honorary clown members), they put on a really enigmatic set at McCormick’s when we were there. Singer and guitar player Scott Thompson is one of those rather sweet and clever smart-alecks who’s got a great strut. Earlier this week, on Aug 2nd, they released a brand new EP, Cluster Cascade. It’s really, really good. A release covered in pretty and badass guitars, it’s great to hear a band that isn’t metal or hardcore and still knows how to rock a palm-mute once in a while, and the song-writing is earnest and full of depth. Certainly owes a bit to New Jersey emo, for sure, but I wouldn’t call this emo.  Give all five tunes a listen, don’t miss out on the closer, “Coworkers.” It’s that kind of record, you want to know what he’s been up to; there is animation in this man’s world.

xoxo
Billy

Written by Ben Franklin

August 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.