Sunday, December 28, 2014

Best Indie Album Of The Year

First let's be clear about what this music is's not about pickup trucks, booze in plastic cups, or lovers that treat you bad. It's not about anything normally discussed in pop culture. It's substantial. If you like a little substance in your music, you may find this to be just your cup of tea then. The music on "Western Front Of Dreams" has been described by fans as having elements of Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp, The Beatles, 10CC, and David Lindley. It's's related to pop and rock...but not exactly the same thing. The key to really appreciating the album is the layers...songs all have layers to them both musically and conceptually. There is immediate gratification, but there are subtle hues and complete twists that reveal themselves only with repeated listens. Conceptually It's a search for some sort of detente where the matters of heart and the matters of the mind coexist precariously, but coexist none the less.
Ben New is indeed a masterful songwriter and performer with a unique style that fuses elements of seemingly diametrical concepts into cohesive and ultimately beautiful wholes. The lyrics are guaranteed not to insult your intelligence. The music is crafty and expressive, covering a remarkably wide range of genres.
You'll be treated to unexpected but truly satisfying orchestrations and arrangements with dynamic twists wrapped around surprising rich timbres featuring everything from banjos, to lap steel guitars, to wood flutes and melodica. Yet the guitar arrangements, chord voicings, and soloing are definitely worth the price of admission in themselves. Ben's virtuosity on guitar is evident even when not the focus of a piece. Be prepared for a memorable experience exploring this music.
It's deep and iconoclastic while remaining wholly accessible.
You can get yours at
By the time this is published, the album should be available on itunes and Amazon as well.

 If you like digging deeper, and who doesn't really? There is a lyrics page here. (Click on the text below the breaking news banner that says Western Front Of Dreams).

Also check out Ben New on Facebook here.
Need a teaser video?
Say no more!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014



I love the smell frankincense in the morning

By far, the longest running war, the War on Christmas...and all the counter wars against counter wars associated with this sordid affair is the most lengthy conflict in the history of mankind.  Its origins are sketchy, even among those on the front lines, but actually the modern conflict (though rooted in older events, Cromwellian and other skirmishes)  started in 1959 when the John Birch Society released a pamphlet called “There Goes Christmas,” in which they claimed there was a new communist plot to take the Christ out of Christmas and replace the baby Jesus with United Nations decorations.

In this enlightened era of course we know that it isn’t Communists or the U.N. trying to destroy Christmas it’s those vexatious, sinister, secular liberal types who are obviously the minions of Satan!

This holiday terrorism has been raging apparently during my entire lifetime and one wonders just what the effects the war has on everyday citizens.  I mean when one grows up in war, one becomes accustomed to it immune to it's horrors right?  I’m completely chagrined to confess that while my fellow citizens have been fighting this battle year after year neither my family nor I personally have  felt the effects. Why, there is a Christmas tree lit up right now as I type and no one has stormed in to arrest me or rip the tree away to taken it ( or me) to the public square for burning.  

The soldier's on the front lines, Christian Soldiers... Commander and Chief Bill O’Reilly and his Chief Propaganda Minister Sarah Palin have been instrumental in keeping the public informed on this matter.  I was astonished to learn there were two new fronts in the war, one on either coast. Not surprising, the coasts are heavily populated with the Secular liberals. Why they even have a glitzy interactive map that showed where every battle was raging!
 Apparently a new front line had moved to my own backyard, Teaneck, New Jesey.
Where for the last few years during the holiday season, Teaneck Township has had a menorah and various decorations and lights scattered around their town hall, but according to at least one community activist, they refuse to appropriately acknowledge Christmas. Christian Soldier Hector Ferrer has been fighting to get a nativity scene and Christmas tree displayed on the municipal building's property, but the township has resisted!!!
“The former city manager stated that it was too controversial of an issue,” Ferrer explained.
The township finally agreed a few years ago, but Ferrer said that it caused a very contentious relationship. The nativity scene was placed in a lower visibility area and the spotlight for that display was seemingly aimed away... and the Christmas tree lights allegedly burned out and hadn't been replaced in over three-years!

The Township has attempted to placate Ferrer with numerous excuses... first they said the nativity scene and tree were controversial.  Then they said there were electrical issues that led to the Christmas tree not being lit, however Ferrer took photos which showed that the lights simply weren't plugged in! To which the township has responded just yesterday saying  they have no obligation to provide any decorations or lights and these things just take time.

Wanting to get a firsthand look at how the war was affecting people I chose to venture there since there was no budget to go to the other front on the west coast.
As I ventured closer to the site of this latest battle I expected to see a city ravaged by intense fighting. I was certain to see hoards of out-of-work elves feasting on the carcasses of downed reindeer, the bodies of blow up Santa’s strewn across the road, their suits made crimson by their own blood; yet I saw none of this. In fact, everything looked normal; even festive. Every shop I passed had Christmas displays, Christmas lights sparkled on nearly every house even giant decorated trees adorned the malls and government buildings. How could this be, Christmas decorations in public? Were these people mad? Surely bands of black, gay, atheist, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, Festivus worshippers would descend at any minute and destroy everything. I was beginning to think I’d been misinformed about the war for all these years
Yes, when I reached the front lines there in Teaneck my suspicions were confirmed.
The park was filled with people caroling, strolling with Christmas packages; there was a Santa on a skateboard....but there were no Nativity scenes. I asked a passerby what had happened to them and was astonished to hear that there that there had been a battle, a year or two ago, about having 14 Nativity scenes displayed on land owned by the city. OMFG!!! Was Fox news right??
I asked a passing stranger what had happened to the nativity scenes.
Were they fire bombed? Was baby Jesus hurled into the ocean?
Were the 3 Wise Men napalmed? 
“No, no, no” she responded.
“They moved them to the front lawn of the Lutheran Church across the street.”
Of course!
Well we do have a separation of church and state in theory
so that one group's religious beliefs can not be forced on another.
And to be fair, government; local or otherwise, really does have a responsibility to deal with other issues besides seeing to it that religious icons are placed about to the satisfaction of every citizen.

So this war really wasn’t much of a war after all.
No reports to be filed today from the front.
There is no front.
As I stood there puzzled, Christmas was everywhere I looked.
I couldn’t escape it. No matter where I went.
Even if I couldn’t see displays of Christmas I would hear the nauseating sound of the “Little Drummer Boy” droning on in elevators and supermarkets.
  Commander O’Reilly and Chief Propaganda Minister Palin were simply talking shit.
They were particularly incensed by people saying “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” Claiming that saying Happy Holidays pulls the Christ out of Christmas and infringes on the rights of Christians.
I always thought saying “Happy Holidays” was a nice way to include everyone, since many religions celebrate this time of year and for those that aren’t religious it’s a nice holiday as well.
Apparently however, being inclusive and pleasant to one another is unchristian.
The latest strategy in the war is for good Christians to shank anyone who says “Happy Holidays".

 In related news, the image of Cthulhu has appeared on toast.

 And...the image of Satan has appeared on Rupert Murdoch's head.
 As well as Santa!
In summary, it's a miracle...
not that these images appear to us on toast or grilled cheese sandwiches
...but that a species that is obviously so mentally deficient has survived this long.