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Augusta show moved to new venue

Westobou Festival logo_11Due to the possibility of bad weather, the Ben Folds show with the Symphony Orchestra Augusta is being moved from the riverfront Jessye Norman Amphitheatre to the nearby Bell Auditorium, an indoor venue.Doors open at 7:30 pm for the 8:30 pm concert.

Westobou Festival organizers were concerned because the orchestral instruments couldn’t tolerate being out in bad weather. Rain has been in the forecast for several days in Augusta including a 40 percent chance during Ben’s performance.

Tickets for the Norman Amphitheatre will be honored at Bell Auditorium using the same seat numbers. In addition, $20 balcony general admission tickets are now available through the festival’s website.

“So There” album reviews this week

sothere_200Here are a few of this past week’s reviews of So There:

  • Straight-up chamber pop, by Samantha Vincenty in PopCrush
  • A dramatic turn on par with Bob Dylan’s electric set at Newport, from Lee Zimmerman of Glide Magazine
  • Deceptively happy ruminations, by Bill Lamb in the Wisconsin Gazette
  • Never the same album twice, by Annie Zaleski in A.V. Club
  • I want to piss in your yard with this record, in which Ben drinks Scotch, plays knives like they’re drumsticks and gets all potty-mouthed with Danielle Bacher of Billboard Magazine
  • Pleasant, affable personality (could this be the same Ben? Never the same interview twice, I suppose) of whom the orchestra draws out the purest essence, by Adam Kivel writing in Consequence of Sound
  • Definitely sounds like a Ben Folds record but with strings and horns that aren’t merely part of the background, says Michael Quick writing in the University of New Haven Charger Bulletin
  • Kurt Weill meets Randy Newman and Leon Russell is Jon Sobel’s impression, writing in BlogCritics

The Magical Armchair returns

chair_200The Magical Armchair is the name of this website and our Twitter feed, true, but the original Magical Armchair was an e-mail discussion list – a chatroom for the horse and buggy age, if you will. But in this day of Facebook groups and Snapchat, e-mail is still very much with us, and everybody has one, so it’s time to continue the tradition.

Originally, the Magical Armchair didn’t have a name – it was just titled The Ben Folds Five Digest, a compilation of e-mails from fans like you, sent to me to painstakingly handcraft and e-mail out to each subscriber. Fans chose the new name, we automated distribution and it migrated to two other hosts, the most recent of which (Topica) closed its listserver last year, leaving the Armchair without a home.

I’ve fixed that up now, and the Magical Armchair e-mail list is once again alive, right here on the domain, and anyone can subscribe and participate! (more…)

“So There” album details

sothere_200As has been previously announced, Ben Folds’ new album So There comes out on September 11, 2015, and the press is heating up with articles and previews.

So There represents a turning point in Ben’s musical adventures. Last year he teamed up with the New York-based string sextet yMusic to create what represents a departure from his rougher roots and continuing his trend toward working with classical orchestras. (more…)

Ben dunks phone, writes song about it

caustic_light_200iPhone at the bottom of the pool? “My contacts! My photos! Did I have insurance???” Oops.

Unless you’re Ben Folds, in which case it’s an opportunity.

Keeping in the same vein as Hiroshima (B-B-B-Benny Hit His Head), Ben has taken another self-inflicted misfortune and written about it in song. This time, he chronicles the drowned cellphone in a track aptly titled (what else) Phone in a Pool, which can be heard on the upcoming album So There, due out September 11. (more…)