The Ben Folds Five – a band that only had three members – is one of the bands that’s been the most influential for me in terms of what I listen to today, even though I was never really a big fan of theirs. Here’s how that came to pass: In the late 90’s, I started to catch wind of some critically acclaimed artists like the Ben Folds Five. The weird thing about it was that I never heard anything about these guys on the radio (which, for me at the time, mostly meant WDVE, 97 Rock and maybe WAMO?). Doesn’t that make no sense at all? Why wouldn’t a radio station want to be playing some of the best new music?
Anyway, right around then, I started listening to WYEP. They played an eclectic mix of stuff that helped broaden my horizons, not just into the indie rock world, but also blues, soul and even a little bit of classic country music. I would go on to learn that while critical acclaim works to boost interest in film and television, it does little to help music gain popular traction. Since then, the understanding that in the music world, popularity and acclaim don’t always overlap has certainly colored my listening habits as I’ve sought out new and interesting things to listen to.
[UPDATE] Hey, and I forgot to mention that these guys have their first new album in 13 years coming out tomorrow! Here’s a video for the first track, “Do It Anyway”, co-starring the gang from “Fraggle Rock”!
Selfless, Cold and Composed – Ben Folds Five