Our partner in published music, Sheet Music Plus, now has the songbook for Ben’s album Lonely Avenue available. The book, published by Alfred Music Publishing, is the officially-licensed piano and vocal sheet music transcription from the 2010 album that combined Nick Hornby’s lyrics with music by Ben. Order your copy and learn to play and sing along.
Radio Triple J, the Australian pop station, is conducting its annual Hottest 100 listener poll. Ben has two selections in the list of a few hundred tracks from 2010: Levi Johnston’s Blues and From Above, both from Lonely Avenue. Vote and show your support for Ben’s nominations.
Continuing the Lonely Avenue tour, dates have been announced for several US Midwestern venues in January, including Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, St. Louis, Athens and Champaign. Details on the tour dates page. Update: Also a show at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo.
As expected, tour dates have been announced for a swing through Australia. Six shows at venues coast to coast have been booked over a two-week span. Check the tourdates page for all the information.
Here’s the press release announcing the tour:
BEN FOLDS TOURING AUSTRALIA IN SUPPORT OF LONELY AVENUE ALBUM
Ben Folds and his band are set to tour Australia in May 2011 in support of his latest album, the acclaimed Lonely Avenue, a collaboration between him and bestselling novelist Nick Hornby, which was released on Nonesuch Records in September.
Folds previously collaborated with Hornby on a song for the Folds-produced William Shatner album Has Been, which The Huffington Post called “One of the few records in recent memory that dared to tell the unvarnished truth about the human condition.”
Ben Folds first found mainstream success in Australia as leader of Ben Folds Five, who ranked #3 on triple j’s Hottest 100 of 1996 with the song ‘Underground’, from their self-titled debut. Their second album Whatever and Ever, Amen went platinum. From inciting the wrath of Midday Show legend Geoff Harvey (Folds threw a stool at Mr Harvey’s piano on daytime TV, prompting a week long on air rant from Harvey), to selling out four consecutive nights with the Sydney Symphony at Sydney Opera House, to penning an ode to his once hometown of Adelaide (called ‘Adelaide’ of course!), Folds has remained part of the Australian popular culture scenery for more than a decade.
Folds’ Australian collaborators have included Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke and Ben Lee. Back in his native USA Mr Folds has performed with the Boston Pops and the National Symphony Orchestra among dozens of others, composed all songs for international blockbuster movie Over The Hedge and is currently a judge on NBC’s Sing Off, a prime time television show featuring acappella music. Mr Folds’ home made Chatroulette video “Ode To Merton” went viral last year, racking up nearly 5 million views in just over a month.
Nick Hornby often writes about music, musicians, and music lovers in his fiction and nonfiction work. His six novels, some of which have been turned into successful films, are High Fidelity, About A Boy, How To Be Good, A Long Way Down, Slam, and Juliet, Naked. Hornby’s involvement in Lonely Avenue is the perfect complement to Ben Folds’ melodic piano ditties and charming wit. He has also published several works of non-fiction, including Fever Pitch, 31 Songs (a collection of essays about songs that influenced his life), and The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, as well as a book of short stories, Otherwise Pandemonium. Hornby wrote the screenplay for the film An Education for which he was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay.
“Lonely Avenue is a meeting of two brilliant minds in near perfect sync.” Rolling Stone, Australia
“In a truly memorable collaboration, Hornby has helped Folds deliver some of his finest songs to date” The Weekend Australian
As a live performer Ben Folds displays a rare kind of energy and exuberance, one of pure passion and excitement and his performances with his live band are not to be missed.
It’s been on the calendar for a while, but the promotion is kicking in (and so are ticket sales) for the Nashville Symphony show Keys to Music City, a benefit for the Nashville Symphony and for two volunteer firefighting companies. The show, on Saturday, November 27, is Folds’ only appearance in Nashville this year. Tickets, at $50-175, are now on sale. Item from WSMV.com (Original post Sep 25th 2010)
Update: Ben adds that Jason Sudeikis from Saturday Night Live is coming down to lend moral support, and one of Ben’s favorite conductors, Francisco Noya, is also planning to be there. Noya is an associate professor of composition at Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music and is the resident conductor of the Rhode Island Symphony. He’ll also be joined on stage by nine-year-old piano sensation Ethan Bortnick (pictured at right with Ben’s son Louis), who has appeared on many national TV shows, at public events, and has his own YouTube channel.
Update 2: Drummer Sam Smith designed a poster for the event. Sam told me the good news that they sold out, raising money for flood relief in Nashville.