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Ben Folds leaving historic Studio A

bens_studio_250After leasing the iconic recording studio for fourteen years, Ben Folds has announced that he is passing Nashville’s former RCA Studio A over to renowned music producer Dave Cobb.

The transition is expected to take place in April. Folds expects to devote more time to his successful touring, most recently with the New York sextet yMusic, and other projects.

Folds won’t be a stranger to Studio A, however. He’ll continue to use the space, and his management team, which also oversees day-to-day operations, will remain in offices at the studio.

Folds, as you may recall, led an eleventh-hour effort to save the historic recording space from the wrecking ball in 2014. (more…)

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 magicalarmchair.com 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…)

A five-hour energy drink on tightly-wound strings

Ben Folds

Ben Folds

That’s how NPR music critic Bob Boilen describes Capable of Anything, the first track from the Ben Folds/yMusic album So There, which dropped today on NPR’s All Songs Considered website.

Calling it “the most lovable piece of music I’ve ever heard from Ben Folds,” Boilen praises how yMusic fills in and punctuates the lyrics, which Ben says are about needing to accept and embrace the things you purport to be capable of doing – even the ones that you’re not so proud of. Indeed, the song is a piano romp backed up seamlessly by the lilting flute and neo-baroque winds and strings that yMusic brings to the mix.

The album So There is slated for a September 11 release. Folds and yMusic continue their summer tour.