Saturday, November 15, 2008

Black Thirteen - In a Small Room (2006)


This an old one, one of the first Black Thirteen records ever recorded. It features the original lineup of Simon Sharp and myself. It was recorded in the laundry room at my house and by now I don't think I need to tell you that it was all improvised.

I'm pretty proud of this record, I think it sounds pretty great even now. Hearing how good the chemistry between Simon and I was even back then makes me very happy.

It's good autumn music, give it a try, you might like it.

Simon Sharp: Lead vocals, guitar
Ben Collins: Guitar, backing vocals

recorded by: Ben Collins

1. The Barrens
2. Rite of Thunder
3. Yr Girlfriend Makes Me Nervous
4. Oneric

Download HERE

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Various Artists - Songs With No Home (2004 & 2004)

I'll probably write more about this later, and put up a cover or something. But in short this is an old bundle of songs made by many of the people who are regulars on this blog now. Including proto versions of Cat People and Black Thirteen.

Like I said more info later, but the basic breakdown is:

-Saint Francis is me, (although I think Mike Flemming plays drums on one song)

-Pretty in Pink was the first band that Travis and Simon had together.

-Faux La Tengo was a joke name for Travis Jessica and I playing together, (the song "Hip Hop No" features Mike Flemming on drums)

-TK 421 is of course Travis (and note these are his first solo recordings)

-Cat People is Jessica and I.

-and the track credited to Black Thirteen is Simon and I improvising.


I put up a bunch more links on this page, more cool places to find all sorts of music. So you know, check it out.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Out with the old out the new...


I hesitate to post anything new when there are still some of you who have not downloaded Jessica's most recent album Black Seas. If you are one of the poor unfortunate souls who does not yet have this album then stop reading this instant and get it.

Now that that's all dealt with I'll move on to the completely worthless other things I have for you.

More of my albums! I know I know, no one cares, at all. I don't blame you, I don't even care! But I got all these albums here and I gotta do something with them!

And honestly though I really just have more albums of my own than I do albums from other people, so I have to pace myself with posting the good stuff so that I don't run out. But I am getting a little sick of the rate all this is going so here, in this post, I'm offering three albums at once.

They are:

After I Dream (2008)

Fragments of a Great Event Viewed from a Tiny Room (2005)

The Grey Shoes (in G major) (2003)

As you can see from the dates one of these is recent and the other two are old. In fact the Grey Shoes is actually the forth SFCD album I ever made, and I think Fragments etc. is the fifth. Both are more song-based affairs and pretty embarrassing to me in many ways, but oh well, who cares NO ONE will listen to them anyways.

So click on the titles to download. I will be really offended if someone leaves a comment, even more offended if someone actually downloaded an album, and probably reduced to tears in the fetal position if any one of you so-called "friends" actually listened to one of these albums. I would hate it so so much. In fact I hope that none of you have even read this far, that you all got bored and clicked over to boingboing where you are excitedly reading about some new creative commons steampunk Iphone crack app that makes yr apartment into a precocious geek paradise while satisfying you sexually and electing a democratic president orwellian super-economy free gas wi-fi..............................................

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Uncle Owen Aunt Beru - Black Seas (2008)


The last time I told you about Jessica's upcoming albums I mentioned the beat-driven BloodLionAngelHouse and the folk collage Daughter of Eve. Well both of those albums are being mixed and mastered at the moment, and soon they will be with us. As I'm sure I've said elsewhere, both of those records are incredible beautiful experiences.

So while she's waiting for her two brilliant albums to be released, what does Jessica do? Why record another brilliant and completely different album and here it is: Black Seas.

So if somehow you are ignorant of Jessica Calleiro's music as Uncle Owen Aunt Beru, then I strongly suggest that you remedy that pathetic state of being and download this, and all of her other albums (two of which are available at Birdsong, a link to which can be found in the links section of this page.) I make it no secret that I think she is one of the best writers of song out there today, totally amazing and not quite like anyone else who has ever made music. However if you need comparisons, I would say that Vashti Bunyan playing with Current 93, commonly comes to mind as a way of describing Jessica'a music.

About this album Jessica offered this:

“ I dream of a day when they may rise above the billows to drag down in their reeking talons the remnants of puny, war-exhausted mankind – of a day when the land shall sink, and the dark ocean floor shall ascend universal pandemonium.”
~H.P. Lovecraft from the story Dagon~

All songs recorded and played by Jessica Calleiro.

Download it HERE

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Black Thirteen - Harp's Crossing vol. 1


So this record was recorded almost a year ago, I think, at Travis' parent's church. Playing on the album are Travis Knowles, Simon Sharp, Wesley Rose, Josh Nelson and Myself. If I am not mistaken this is Josh's first (and possibly only) Black Thirteen appearance thus far. Not including his "appearance" on the cover of the earlier "Grounds of Pleasure" album.

I'm not really sure who did what at any given point, but if you have heard other B13 records that you will probably recognize Simon's vocals, Wesley's classical guitar playing and me playing I think either drums or electric guitar at different times. Travis and Josh each play the piano at different times and I'm sure there are tons of other ins and outs, but that doesn't really matter.

What does matter is that it is a pretty cohesive, mellow, mostly instrumental improv session that would probably be good music for reading or taking a nap or something. The acoustics in the room where pretty interesting and we used two minidisc recorders to mic different parts of the room and then I blended the two together recording together to interesting effect.

So you know, download it, it's pretty good.

1. Icarus Blues
2. Chapel Skull
3. Hymn of the Long Shadows
4. Through Empty Nighttime Streets

Download it HERE

Sunday, August 31, 2008

SFCD - I Wish You Were Here 2007


So okay I know that I lost whatever few readers I had for this blog. It's probably my fault. And if there were ANYONE left who cared about this blog I know that the last thing they would want to listen to is another solo acoustic album from me. But the other day Jessica told me that she was listening to this record and that it is one of her favorites. I honestly didn't even remember ever making it, but I went back and listened to it and I think it is pretty okay. So here it is.

Just me sitting outside my house playing Ed's acoustic guitar and singing a little. I think it is more focused than some of the other records I have done in this style, but whatever, NO ONE is going to download this. Yes that includes YOU the person reading at this very moment.

And really you probably shouldn't download it, poor Wesley's second album is so awesome and less than ten people have heard it, if yr going to get something off this site it ought to be that anyways.

Whatever though, right?

Download HERE

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Mooninites - The Thirty Minute Moon


Ahh yes here is another lost record from my old band the mooninites. For anyone who didn't see my previous posts about this band all you need to know is that it consisted mainly of Zach Smola, Travis Knowles and myself with a slew of guests appearing on various recordings.

This particular record is one that I actually had never heard in its completed form until two days ago when Zach randomly gave it to me. What it is is a collection short clips edited out of longer recordings that Zach compiled into a thirty minute long album. He would probably describe it as the "good parts" of all the songs, and I don't know that I disagree with him. Some of the clips have appeared in other mooninites records, so in effect it becomes sort of like a greatest hits record or something.

I think it is the most accessible record we ever made and with twenty-four tracks and only thirty minutes in length I think it can keep anyone interested for its duration.

So no track titles. And other than the primary members I am unsure of who all is playing on this disc, but I am certain that both Simon Sharp and Stephanie Clayton are in there somewhere.



Post script: upon further listening I now believe that Josh Nelson plays somewhere on this album, and that he recorded some of the tracks as well.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wesley Rose - Trapper Redux


I am happy to bring you Wesley's second album, TRAPPER REDUX. And I apologize for taking so long to do so. It's a great record and a step forward from his first effort. If you are like me, and you felt that that little fragment of acoustic guitar in the last six seconds of 'Southern Elegance' was a bit of a tease then you will be happy to hear that the guitar makes many more appearances on this album.

I give it the highest recommendation, for lovers of noise, or Wesley. For those who totally dug his first record, or those that didn't. For all people really.


Friday, June 13, 2008

A Jerusalem punk music space



Jessica, Gil and I recorded almost three hours worth of music on our last night in town. Jessica is currently editing it into an album and I will post it up as soon as I can. I'll go ahead and say that it is guitar/bass/drum improv stuff, it is loud and messy and I loved every minute of it.

Also, I hope to be posting Wesley Rose's second album sometime in the next few days. I don't know what it is called or I would say, but I have heard one track from it already and it was awesome. So look forward to that.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Jerusalem part II

So last night Jessica and I randomly got into a conversation with Adam from the Jerusalem band "The Pit that Became a Tower". We ended up going over to his house where he and his wife Betheny (who is also in the band) fed us and gave us wine. They are wonderfully kind people who have four beautiful children (with another on the way).

Everyone should visit their website and check out their music because they are genuinely cool people who are making truly independant music that is full of their love and kindness.

check them out HERE

Also: we have plans to play some music with Gil from Birdsong tomorrow night. I hope that this happens and I look forward to sharing the fruits of that session with you.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


So I don't have any music for this post... but i thought it worth mentioning that Jessica and I are in Jerusalem at the moment and that we played a brief Cat People set the other night at the best venue in the whole city: a place called Uganda.

We also hung out with Gil, the founder of Birdsong and may possibly be playing some music with him before we leave. If we do, we will record it and I hope to have it for you at some point.

So although I have no music, here is a video I just found of OM playing at Uganda. I didn't even know about it at the time but I feel honored that Cat People have played in the same space as one of my favorite duos.

Also: everyone should go to the birdsong page (check the sidebar links column) and download Gil's album "Homunculus". It is under his band name Tiny Creatures and it is an awesome record of fantastic lo-fi pop stuff, just incredible music from one of the nicest guys I've ever met.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Albums you might have missed:

Black Thirteen - Whiskey and Honey

Original Post



SFCD - Consideration

Original Post



Black Thirteen - The Six Hundred

Original Post



Sunday, May 4, 2008

Wesley Rose - Southern Elegance


I am very proud to be posting here, on this blog, the debut solo album from Wesley Rose. The album is called "Southern Elegance" and it is a hypnotic, noisy experience. Fans of noise will find this a welcome listen, with early digital-era Merzbow, later Whitehouse and Birchville Cat Motel coming as reference points. And for people who do not consider themselves fans of noise, I urge you to consider giving this a listen, it is music of joy and excitement, of discovery and freedom, or just basically music of a dude at his house freaking out on his computer for the first time.

It seems like only yesterday I was watching fourteen year old Wesley flailing away to an out of tune Misfits cover at the high school talent show and now with the help of audio mulch he is shredding my ears with this beauty.

And like I said, it's his debut album! I think that deserves a listen from all of us. And so, noise fan or not I highly suggest everyone sit back, dim the lights, pour a glass of yr favorite beverage and grab a mirror so you can watch in awe and ecstasy as Wesley's music tears the skin from yr face!


Download album HERE

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ben Collins (SFCD) - What is a Lover? (2008)


I've been posting too many of my own albums and not enough by other people. I know this and I will change that soon. But in the meantime here is another solo albums of some noise, and drone and some song-like parts as well. I did this over the past two weeks or so.

Download album HERE

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Cat (2003)


This is a collage piece I did in the 2003 that compresses an entire afternoon into about an hour of time.

Not many people have ever really listened to this record, but it should be mentioned that Jon Lynn (of Unsolved Mysteries) is not only one of few people who have heard it in its entirety, but that he specifically likes this record among all of the other records of mine he has heard.

As far as how it sounds: Luc Ferrari is the main reference point, although I didn't actually hear his music until later. But "The Cat" has some conceptual similarities to his album "Cycle Des Souvenirs".

Download HERE

Post script: I have this fantasy of a sort of role-call with anyone who reads this. What that means is that maybe, just maybe, if you are reading these very words, that you will leave a comment and say hello and what yr name is. Something as simple as, "it's me Simon Sharp" or "hey it's Joe McNeill, I'm sitting in the same room as you." Just a thought, but it would be nice.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Ben Collins (SFCD) - Upon the Shaving of my Head (2008)


This album is pretty much an all-out noise affair. The first four tracks are done with tape loops and vocals, and the last two tracks are guitar based. It's all just me, each track is performed live and unedited.


Download the album HERE

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Two SFCD albums


Download it HERE


Late nights and quiet afternoons

In two parts, download part one HERE and part two HERE

I finished these records today and so they are being posted together.

Natural is an album that I have been working on for a few weeks. My approach for this record is incredibly simple: about half acoustic songs with singing (and some form of lyric) and half old-fashioned harsh noise, made primarily with voice and tape loops.

All of the music was recorded in garageband, over the course of four sessions, two for noise two for songs. Then I brought it all into pro tools and edited it over this past weekend.

I haven't made a record quite like this before and I am eager to hear what anyone thinks of it.

1. Maybe yr favorite
2. Too many words
3. Strengths
4. Calls
5. Young voices
6. n/a

Late nights and quiet afternoons was actually recorded a few months ago, over a couple different sessions. It is a drone album. Each track is made with just my guitar plugged through a distortion pedal and a loop pedal and recorded direct into the computer. It is a long record (just under 80 minutes) but I think it could be a rewarding listen.

1. Sunday
2. Citizen Cannon
3. Snow
4. Redwine

All sounds made by Ben Collins

Saturday, March 22, 2008

MEGA - MEGA (2007)


I had forgotten about this album until Jon reminded me of it the other day. And now that I remember it I have to post it for you.

This was one of several albums I recorded in February 2007, intended for submission to the RPM challenge, that for some reason I didn't take the few seconds it would cost me to send it to them. Oh well whatever.

MEGA is a duo of Jon Lynn and myself. Many of you will know Jon Lynn from his band Unsolved Mysteries (whose album is available on I-tunes and finer Marc Jacobs stores nation wide). This album was recorded in more or less real-time one Sunday afternoon. I probably don't need to tell you that it is all improvised, but you should know ahead of time that it not like much of the other improvised music I have on this blog. I would describe MEGA as a garage-rock, no-wave, punk band.

Jon plays guitar and sings on the majority of the albums twenty tracks. I play guitar and sing on the last seven tracks and whoever is not playing guitar is playing drums. The music is certainly different depending on who is leading, with Jon doing more of the garage-rock thing involving songs with more coherent lyrics. My stuff skews more no-wave, and features more wailing and screaming.

I don't know what to say about the experience as an album, because the tracks are just in the order in which they happened, but at thirty-eight minutes, it's not an incredibly long record and since most of the songs are two minutes long I think most people will be entertained.

Please listen, please enjoy, tell yr friends, and although I am going to try and keep a shred of dignity and not beg you all to post comments, (because no one other than awesome Ian and Lars will) I will tell you that I have so much un-posted material from the different bands that I usually just follow my whims with what to post and when. But if anybody has specific stuff they want to hear (say for instance: more records featuring Jessica, or more noise stuff, or more folkish stuff) they can tell me and I will try and carry out their wishes. Otherwise I will continue to do whatever I want and hope that it pleases the unmoving stony gaze of you, o "reader/listener," if you do exist after all.

Download the MEGA album HERE

Note: the cover photo was taken by Jessica Calleiro

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cat People- Long Distance


I am sometimes slow to put things out, I'll admit it. Take for instance this Cat People record: it was recorded in the Summer of 2006. Why have I not previously made this available? I don't know. But here it is now.

This Cat People record is so old (how old is it?) It's so old that when we recorded it we hadn't yet decided to call ourselves Cat People, that decision came a few months later. But still this album features only myself and Jessica Calleiro and as the title implies we were at a long distance from each other when it was made. in fact I was in Rutland Vermont and she was in Fayetteville GA. All the songs began their lives as guitar tracks recorded by me and came to fruition after Jessica overdubbed vocals and percussion and keyboards and all sorts of interesting sounds.

Those familiar with Jessica's music as Uncle Owen Aunt Beru will recognize her style and that's a good thing. Those familiar with the noisy power-duo format that we usually do as Cat People might be surprised in these mostly not-noisy folkish songs, but hopefully all can enjoy.

The cover photo is from a short trip to New York I made during the time we were recording this album, as referenced in the track titled "English Breakfast Tea".


Black Thirteen - BlackXIII


This is a Black Thirteen album from sometime in autumn 2007. Again it features the classic lineup of Simon Sharp, Wesley Rose and myself. Simon sings and plays steel-string acoustic guitar (sometimes with a slide or an e-bow) Wesley plays the classical guitar and I play an electric bass.

The sound is similar to other Black Thirteen albums: long form, improvised folk music, but the instrumental parts seem more repetition based and less erratic than they sometimes are. In comparing it to other music I would meekly suggest that it bears some similarities to (my hero) Jim O'Rourke's album Bad Timing. I credit this sound mainly to Wesley's playing, (so don't think I am patting myself on the back too much).

This is peaceful music, not incredibly emotional, probably good for an afternoon or a late night listen.


1. The End
2. The Record
3. The Night


Post Script: I am going to go back and tag each previous post with the band name as well as the names of the people playing, so that it is easier for you to find other albums on this blog featuring musicians you have grown fond of, collect 'em all!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SFCD - Two Songs for Jessica


The title is literal, and maybe a little too emotionally on-the-sleeve, but oh well. These "two songs" are slightly less improvised than most of my recordings are, but still pretty loose. They are more song-like than most anything I've done in a while, in that they have normal chords and lyrics. Both tracks were done live with a guitar and a distortion pedal, a loop pedal and an amp, and recorded into the built-in microphone on my macbook pro in garage band. The recordings are are understandably crappy, but I guess if garageband is the new four-track then the sound of spinning hard drives is the new squeaking tape wheels.



Friday, February 15, 2008

Uncle Owen Aunt Beru - Fall & Summer 2003


I somehow doubt that I really need to introduce anyone to Jessica Calleiro and her musical pseudonym Uncle Owen Aunt Beru (or UOAB), but just in case, here goes: Jessica Calleiro has been making music for awhile now, since 2000 or 2001, and as far as I remember she first used the Uncle Owen Aunt Beru moniker sometime in early 2002.

In 2006 she became incredibly productive, posting at least a song a week on her myspace page and eventually getting her first album released by Israeli netlabel Birdsong.

She has recorded more than one hundred songs in the past two years alone and has a new album due out on birdsong any day now.

This record is a collection of songs that was under-heard at the time and thought to be lost forever due to Jessica's computer crashing a few years ago. But when I was going through all the old music in my collection I found the two discs that comprise this album. As the title implies these recordings are from 2003, when Jessica was only eighteen years old. Fans of her music now will be surprised to hear that even five years ago, at this early stage all of the main elements of her sound are present. Including early use of electronic beats, which haven't reappeared in her music until 2007.

Also included in the folder are two songs from Candace Calleiro (Jessica's Sister) from the around the same time. Candace records music under the name Marie Byrd Land.


Me, Jessica and Simon 2002

Jessica on Marta

Will Melton & The Year of Love - Summer of Love


Okay, I am very pleased to tell you all about this album. If any of you have heard this before then I'm sure you have fond memories and if you haven't ever heard it then you have fond memories ready to be made.

Oh but before any of that:


NOT drone, noise, improv, folk, metal or any of it.


I just wanted to draw the distinction, because it is very different than much of the other music that I have given to you on this site.

I am calling this an album, but actually it was originally given to me by Will Melton as a random collection of music he had made that he was happy with. I don't know that the track listing or thematic shifts were really in the forefront of his mind when he sequenced he whole thing, but over time, the more I listened to it in this order, the more I started to think that there was a sort of "Faust Tapes" or Guided By Voices "Bee Thousand" charm to all the short, possibly unrelated songs.

So what this collection consists of are various recordings made between apx. summer of 2002 and I think summer of 2004. All of the music is basically written by Will Melton, who plays all of the piano and midi elements, he also write sthe lyrics on many of the songs and frequently sings lead and backing vocals (listen to the track "Tomorrow Girl" to hear him doing everything). But often, as you will hear, there are guest musicians guest vocalists and guest lyricists. I'll go and a limb and say that the most notable of the guests are Luke Piotrowski and Stephanie Clayton.

Luke sings lead vocals and writes lyrics for roughly ten of the songs, his are the songs frequently about monsters and marvel comic characters, (listen to "fairy brothel" for his crowning achievement.)

Stephanie, some of you might know, is half of the thought-entity known as Telenovela. I think she plays or sings on five of the songs here and I'll tell you that I think all of her stuff is pre-Telenovela, (but still not the earliest Stephanie recordings that I am aware of.)

Other guests include: Joe McNeill playing acoustic guitar (AND SINGING!) on a few tracks, Simon Sharp singing on a few tracks, Travis Knowles playing bass and possibly drums a few places, myself playing drums on one track and guitar on another, Missy Piotrowski singing backing vocals and Rachel Nelson singing on one track.

This is fun music, it is sad music, it owes a big debt to They Might Be Giants and any piano-pop you can think of. It is a good introduction to the rich musical world of Will Melton and I urge everyone to give it a few listens.


A note from the editor: I think I was reaching a little with this album cover, if I find a way to improve it I will take this one down and post up a better one.

Friday, February 8, 2008

SFCD - inandoutofdoors


And here is another of my SFCD albums. This one is fairly recent actually, it was recorded at my old house in Savannah in the summer of 2007 and was edited and mixed here in Fayetteville around Christmas 2007. I'm not exactly sure why I am only just now posting it, but whatever.

The album consists of two tracks, one recorded outside the house in the daytime (the scene on the cover is from this event) and one recorded inside my house at nighttime. All the sounds are made by guitar drums and vocals all played by me and layered on top of each other to give the illusion of synchrony.

The music is very free, the drums rarely keep any kind of consistent beat and often the guitar is frantic, noisy and atonal. The second track features some more melodic playing and singing with a healthy dose of free-noise spattered on top.

Two of my big heroes on the electric guitar are Ray Russell and Keiji Haino, so I'm sure that their influence can be heard throughout the record.

All sounds played and recorded by Ben Collins


Ben Collins & Zach Smola - Guitars and Loops


I failed to mention in my previous posts that Zach Smola (of the mooninites) is also, and primarily, the front-dude of Telenovela who were voted fifth best unknown band of 2007 by NPR, (check it out).

At any rate this record is Zach and I both on effected electric guitar setups. Zach is playing a Fender Jazzmaster through a bunch of pedals and a roland sampler and I am playing a Fender Jaguar through a bunch of pedals including a line six looping pedal.

It drones and stretches out in long noisy passages slowly evolving and changing. Fans of Robert Fripp, Growing, Rafael Toral, etc. will find these sounds familiar.

1. Guitar Heaven
2. The Caveman and the Motorboat

recorded at my dad's house in Fayetteville, GA sometime in 2007 (maybe January?)


TK&BC - Afternoon


I had briefly forgotten about this one. I think this is from October 2007, it was recorded at TK's parents' house one afternoon before he went to work. I don't remember too much about what we did, except that I think TK played most of the electric stuff and I played most of the acoustic stuff.

To describe the music I would say that it is fairly dynamic, energetic, noisy, free improv. When TK does this stuff he has this whole rig with keyboards, broken microphones, and a mixer and stuff. So there are a lot of indeterminate electronic sounds, feedback and the like. Also in the room was an old out of tune upright piano, which I played for some of the time. I also seem to have played an acoustic guitar and some bongos.

It is instrumental and largely atonal with aspects of free-jazz and minimalism.

So again: Played by: Travis Knowles and Ben Collins

(cover photo by Travis Knowles)



Music for Coffee and Grapefruit Juice (Sine Wave Quartet Version)


I could have sworn that I already uploaded this album, but I guess I didn't...

Anyways, this is a composition I did a few months ago (July, August, 2007?). It is performed here by four Sine Waves. It is a very linear piece with six distinct movements, which is where the track breaks have been placed. It marks my second solo electronic piece to be posted, and as opposed the other one (which I thought of as a primarily night-time record) this album, I think can be enjoyed on a calm morning (as well as at night).

Made by: Ben Collins


Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Mooninites - ACA Sessions (2004)



In my previous post I made mention of unfinished mooninites records. After I thought about that I checked and saw that I had on hand some of that material and it was ready to be uploaded. So here are four tracks of long improv synth jams the mooninites recorded at the now defunct Atlanta College of Art.

I've also been thinking that one of my failings as a blogger thus far has been that I don't adequately describe the albums I post, so as to further entice one to listen to them. So here goes.

This record is a collection of four long, free-form jams. The longest is twenty-one minutes and the shortest is eight minutes. Fans of the Black Dice, Fripp & Eno, and the crazier seventies Sun Ra records will find many of these sounds welcome. The sounds are mostly derived from vintage analog synthesizers, although digital keyboards, electric bass and guitar are present as well.

The music is performed live, collectively improvised by only three people, (myself, Travis Knowles and Zach Smola) but often times there are more sounds being heard than three people could normally produce. This effect is derived by having all of the instruments plugged in at all times, which made it easy for all of the players to move around the room and play multiple instruments at once.

Although the tracks are all longer than standard pop music length they are all very linear and frequently go through several movements in the course of a single piece. Sounds and instruments, some recognizable and others pure noise, appear and disappear seemingly at random, giving the music a very dynamic quality.

This record is, in many ways, one of my favorite things I have ever played on. The biggest reason for this is that the setting allowed for total improvisation, without the sonic sacrifices one often has to make when recording improvised music.

I think this record can be a very rewarding experience if it is given a fair chance.


Played and produced by the Mooninites

mixed by Ben Collins

Zach Smola, Travis Knowles and Ben Collins played all of it and it is hard to distinguish who did what except on "part 6" where Zach played keys, Travis played bass and Ben played guitar.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Mooninites - Gentlemen Behold! (2003)


Continuing with this series of records from a few years ago I bring you the second Mooninites album.

I guess I should first explain that the mooninites were a band formed during the summer of 2003 by Zach Smola, Travis Knowles and myself. We recorded intermittently, (as each of us attended a different college in Georgia) completing three albums in a year, playing one show at the UGA radio station, and leaving at least three albums unfinished to this day (which makes me think I should cobble those together at some point). Due to the atmospheric nature of the music and its lack of vocals, many of the tracks were used by fellow art students I knew at SCAD to score various video projects they made.

The mooninites never officially broke up or anything, we just all got busy and stopped going out of our way to make time to play together.

In any case, I like this record. Travis and I were nineteen years old at this time and Zach was only eighteen. We did it all at my Dad's house in Fayetteville Georgia during Christmas break that year.


Composed, Produced and Recorded by the Mooninites

Mixed by Ben Collins

-Zach Smola played most of the guitars but also other things.

-Travis Knowles played most of the bass parts and many of the keyboards and other things

-Ben Collins played all of the drums as well as some keys, tape manipulation and noise and other things

Featured on the last track are Joe McNeill on Trombone, Jessica Calleiro on Clarinet and Mike Flemming on strings

1. Luke Song Title Go!
2. Battle Royale pt. 1
3. Luxury Travis
4. Burning Cars
5. Teeth, Wisdom
6. Deaf Jam
7. Closer


Oh yeah, there is a very old and barely updated mooninites myspace page:

Oh and again if anybody actually downloads any of these albums, please leave a comment or something just so that I know if I truly am writing this to no one (I am).

Monday, February 4, 2008

TK&BC - "Radio Edit"

Yesterday's post got me nostalgic for other times where TK and I have jammed as a duo. So I decided to post this unheard gem. This half-hour long session was done in the same day that most of the LIGHTSNAKE material was recorded. This is basically us doing a kind of DJ set, I'm operating a minidisc player and a delay pedal and Travis is messing with filters and effects and stuff.

It's very loud and noisy and features a wide array of popular songs being mutilated live on the spot.

recorded in May 2006


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dixieland Teenbeat Spiritual Waltz


Shortly after purchasing my four-track cassette recorder in the summer 2004 I had a very strange weekend where I traveled to Savannah and then to St. Augustine Florida and purchased two upright organs. My good friend Travis 'TK' Knowles was vacationing in Florida and called me to tell me about a thrift store with several organs for sale, each with a price tag of $50. He wanted to purchase one but had no way of driving it back to Atlanta. He sheepishly asked if there was anyway I could come to St. Augustine and drive the organ home in the back of my Ford Ranger. Looking back I can only say that it must have been 'just that kind of day.' So I drove there, met TK and we went to the store. The proprietor recognized Travis and saw the opportunity for a sale, he saw me and decided it could be a double. "Two for $75," he said. "Sold," we said. We strapped the organs into the back of my truck as best we could and I took to road. Under constant threat of rain, I gritted my teeth through what turned out to be the worst drive of my life. After several failed attempts at covering the organs I decided the best course of action was to constantly rebuke the sky, in full shout, with no one to hear but me and God. Eventually I arrived safely at home and with both organs intact.

A few days later we recorded this album.

It is all improv, Travis is in the right channel and I am in the left.



SFCD - Sketchbook (Summer 2004)


As often seems to happen to people who record music, today I came across a box of tapes that I had not seen in a while. It contained mainly tapes of weird stuff that was recorded three and four, sometimes even five, years ago.

As to be expected, some of this stuff is so embarrassing I dare not even speak of it, but some of it is surprising to me.

This tape was the first one I made when I purchased my tascam four-track back in 2004. It is an odd collection of random stuff I recorded. As far as I can remember I am playing all of it with the exception of the viola at end which was played by my friend (and former member of the now defunct band "I Would Set Myself on Fire for you") Lindsey Harbour.

I am pleased with the discovery of this tape and if you listen to it I hope that you will be as well.


Post Script: I will likely continue with a few more of these "Archival" posts. I have some other stuff from 2003 and 2004. Expect at least "Dixieland Teenbeat Spiritual Waltz" the dueling organ record Travis Knowles and I did, and probably the "last tape" from Homeless Joe Navarro, the dead free-folk, stoner improv band I was in during my freshman year in Savannah.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Black Thirteen - Plate Tekroniks


hello friends,

Another Black thirteen album, a rather band-like one this time. With drums and bass and guitars and all that. It was recorded in Wesley's garage sometime in early 2007 or late 2006, and though I think everything on the record is good, it still stings a little to hear because that night we fell victim to quite a bit of equipment malfunction. For whatever reason the minidisc recorder kept shutting off in the middle of recording. So at some point we completed our session only to realize that about half of it did not take, and so we played for much longer than we intended to and in a sort of bad mood because everyone had liked what we had done.

But in the end I think we got it all back and finished probably just as good as we had before, only I'll never truly know that for sure.

All music improvised collectively by: Ben Collins (drums, guitars)
Joe McNeill (bass, guitars)
Wesley Rose (Guitars, drums)
Simon Sharp (Vocals, guitars)

1. Cut Off
2. Dark Lolita
3. Going On
4. Truth and Treason
5. Blood Red Dress


Black Thirteen - Guitar Duets


The title is pretty self-explanatory, this album has two tracks and each is a duet of two guitar players.

Recorded over two nights at my Dad's house in Fayetteville GA last year in January.

1. Moonshine blind (played by Joe McNeill and Ben Collins)
2. Somewhere Shadows are moving (played by Simon Sharp and Ben Collins)


Thursday, January 24, 2008

SFCD - Consideration


Hello friends,

Two in one day!

Another solo guitar and voice record. Probably recorded in Savannah, although I couldn't be sure.

I don't remember much about what was going on when I recorded this and the titles of some of the songs are bewildering, especially the fifty-one second gem album closer "Trapped Moment by the River." What that means and where that song came from is a complete mystery to this day.

All songs by Ben collins.

1. Personal
2. Never had a chance
3. When the Wine runs out
4. I'm still okay
5. Trapped moment by the river
6. Slate


SFCD - arewerewill


hello friends,

So With this new post I give you all an old album, two years old anyway. I haven't really heard it in quite a awhile, but Jessica told me the other day that it is one of her favorites of mine, so I thought it would be worth putting up.

This album is called "arewerewill" and it is the first album of solo guitar and voice improvisation I ever made. And so could be seen as the genesis of much of the other music on this blog.