Ben Folds Five
The Ben Folds Five reunion continues. Ben and his two Five mates made a visit to Conan O'Brien last night (Jan. 30) to bust out a pair of songs off their 2012 comeback album, 'The Sound of the Life of the Mind,' and the performance was loose, lighthearted and full of life. The trio opened with 'Draw a Crowd,' a song that, given the lyrics, benefited from the fact that 'Conan' is now on cable TV now. ("If you’re feeling small/ And you can’t draw a crowd/ Draw d---s on a wall," he sang repeatedly.)
Since the breakup of Ben Folds Five a dozen years ago, the trio’s piano-pounding frontman has balanced his time making overly earnest solo records, producing Kickstarter millionaire/cheap boss Amanda Palmer, collaborating with ‘High Fidelity’ author Nick Hornby, serving as a judge on the TV show 'The Sing Off' and hanging out on Chatroulette, making up songs for people in their underwear. This long list of achievements goes a long way in explaining Folds’ ups and downs, his ambitions and comfort zones and, most importantly, his quirks and seriousness.
Ben Folds Five's comeback album 'The Sound of the Life of the Mind' hits stores tomorrow (Sept. 18), and one day ahead of that comes the video for its first single, 'Do It Anyway.' The trio -- yes, for the uninitiated, Ben Folds Five are actually a three-piece -- has teamed up with Jim Henson's 'Fraggle Rock' for the clip, which features the adorably fuzzy creatures joining the band in the studio after the pounding music causes a minor quake down in the Fraggles' underground lair.
We think it's pretty safe to call this one a comeback -- and a comeback of epic proportions. After a 13-year hiatus, Ben Folds Five have regrouped and will release a new album, 'The Sound of the Life of the Mind,' on Sept. 18. The disc's first single, 'Do It Anyway,' has been floating around the Internet for a few months, but now it's getting its official release ahead of the album, which is their first since 'The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.' Yes, that one really came out all the way back in 1999.
Twelve long years have passed since Ben Folds Five decided to call it a day. While there have been one-off shows and various collaborations among band members during that time, it wasn't until earlier this year that the Chapel Hill, N.C. group officially reunited. They are currently working on a new album and took time recently to give some details on it.
Ben Folds Five have launched a crowdsourcing campaign to fund their new album -- and reached more than 85% of their undisclosed goal only six hours in, with more than 1,200 pledges. Check a track from the forthcoming record on the campaign's site and make a donation if you wish -- surely beginning your week with good indie rock karma.