The Gift Of Music: Ben Folds

In late 2003 through early 2004 Ben Folds churned out three EPs under the radar. Speed Graphic, Sunny 16 and Super D each contain five songs, mainly originals with a few covers mixed in.

ben here. i just finished an EP. it’s called “speed graphic”. it has 5 songs on it. it is available now and i’m currently working on finishing another EP called “sunny 16”, to be released in september. a third EP will be recorded (no name yet) for release in november. a trilogy of EP’s. a full length cd will come out at the beginning of the year, for those who don’t like EP’s. i have 24 hour access to a studio now, so i’m using it.

quietly releasing my music as EP’s allow me to get it out there as i finish it. with a minimum of hype. it’s for people who buy my music anyway. it won’t be sold in the big ass chains, because that puts the price up and starts the big ass machinery – press, radio etc. then i have to pose naked at the piano, and really, i’m not a piece of meat, you know. the music will be available at gigs, and online, and on vinyl in some smaller stores.

The only song off of these EPs to make it to his next album, Songs For Silverman, was “Give Judy My Notice” off of Speed Graphic. So most of these songs you can’t get anywhere else.

I’m a pretty big Ben Folds fan but I missed these. I heard “Rent A Cop” off of Super D through Pandora and thought it must have been a b-side. Nope, entirely separate EP, which also contains a cover of The Darkness’s “Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman” and Ray Charles’s “Them That Got”. “Rent A Cop” is a great little diddy about a mall security guard and funny as hell.

All three of these give a good musical transition from his first solo effort in Rockin’ The Suburbs to his latest album Songs for Silverman. And if you’re not a Ben Folds fan, well, please, try and listen to something other than “Brick”. 90% of folks I talk to that don’t like Ben Folds specifically name that song as why and, well, I can’t blame them. Overkill at its finest.

Another Ben Folds find I’ve made as of late comes off of the Rockin’ The Suburbs EP. About six years back I caught Ben Folds Five live at an Earth Day festival down here in Richmond. Guster played as well as did a very crappy band that took up what I guess was the second stage and played really horrible songs. Pre-Irish-rip-off Carbon Leaf. Ugh.

Anyway, during their set, BFF played a song about a gentleman who wanted cream of wheat and then went on this late night urban adventure. Great song. But I had no idea what the name was and went years without finding the tune.

About a year ago I was poking around the web for music and such and came across a site of rare Ben Folds songs. They’d offer a few at a time, sweet stuff. One was a song called “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis”. Jackpot.

So I give to you “Rent A Cop” and “The Secret Life Of Morgan Davis”. These are hardly representative of the full joy that is Ben Folds but it’s a start.

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