Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

Ben’s 10 Volume LXIII: Top Songs the Week My Senior Yearbook Came Out

The Billboard pop charts have sucked ass for years. The following are the top 10 songs in the country for the week of June 8, 1996. Mixed in with the Toni Braxton and Mariah Carey is an awful track by Metallica from arguably their worst album, Load. Also, who the hell is Tony Rich? Bone Thugs-N-Harmony “Crossroads” Mariah Carey “Always …

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Ben’s 10 Volume LXI: The Best Songs of 2015

I can hear it now. “Hey! It’s only May, why are you doing a year-end list already, you asshole?” It’s a very valid question, but one that can be answered with “there’s already been an abundance of great music come out this year, you dipshit!” Howlin Rain “The New Age” For some reason, Howlin Rain leader Ethan Miller has invited …

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Ben’s 10 Volume LIX: Great Albums For a Leisurely Breakfast

Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days Elliot Smith – Elliot Smith Fleet Foxes – Sun Giant Fleetwood Mac – Future Games Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back Miles Davis – Kind of Blue Neil Young – Harvest Tortoise – TNT Bob Dylan – Highway …

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Ben’s 10 Volume LVIII: Broke-Ass Rockstars

Sly Stone Years of bad financial planning and excess left the former 70s star practically homeless. In 2010 he was living in a van in Crenshaw, smoking PCP, and continually rambling incoherently. Courtney Love Love has claimed that somehow $530 million of her fortune from Kurt Cobain’s estate has been stolen. A more likely explanation would suggest she took the …

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Howlin’ Rain – Mansion Songs (ALBUM OF THE MONTH)

We last heard from Howlin’ Rain on 2012’s sprawling The Russian Wilds. It was an album written, arranged, and meticulously recorded over five years and executive-produced by industry icon Rick Rubin. While it lacked the copious amounts of cocaine and relationship turmoil, the record was equivalent to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours in its scope and ambition. Most songs stretched over the …

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Ben’s 10 Volume LVII: The Dinosaurs of Rock

Lacking cultural significance or critical acclaim, many aging bands continue on past the prime of their careers. While some are sustained by older fans willing to purchase their sub-par new releases, others end up playing the county fair and casino circuit, their albums relegated to bargain bins. What exactly will it take before these aging rock veterans go the same …

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Live Show Preview: Teach Me Equals

The debut recording by Teach Me Equals is a bold, visionary glimpse into the future of pop music. The duo combine traditionally orchestral instruments with samples and noise to create dreamlike soundscapes. Greg Bortnichak’s hushed, understated voice is perfectly complimented by bandmate Erin Murphy’s stunningly beautiful vocal delivery. No where is this more evident than the third verse of “Coelacanth” …

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Teach Me Equals – Knives in the Hope Chest

The debut recording by Teach Me Equals is a bold, visionary glimpse into the future of pop music. The duo combine traditionally orchestral instruments with samples and noise to create a hypnotic, dreamlike soundscapes. Greg Bortnichak’s hushed, understated voice perfectly compliments band mate Erin Murphy’s beautiful vocal delivery. On “Coelacanth” Murphy’s voice stands practically alone as she sings “Now I …

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Ben’s 10 Volume LIV: Terrible Truths About Neil Young’s Harvest

Neil Young’s Harvest was the best selling album of 1972. The record’s popularity was due largely to the success of singles “Old Man” and “Heart of Gold,” Young’s first and only number one single. There are a number of celebrity guest appearances and the London Symphony Orchestra performs on two tracks. As Harvest has been overanalyzed by critics and writers …

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