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 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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Ben’s 10 Volume LIII: The 90s One Hit Wonders Are Back!

There’s been a resurgence lately of bands that were popular in the 90s. All of the following groups are primarily known for one hit single. Some of them have had to make small sacrifices in order to seem more relevant, but by slightly changing their style or collaborating with others, they are now back in the spotlight. EMF “Unbelievable” After …

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Saved By The Bell: Where Are They Now?

Daniel Amaral and Ben Allen, staff When Saved by the Bell ended in 1993 so many questions were left up in the air. Sure, we saw some of the cast pursue higher education in the far inferior “The College Years,” but that too came to an end in 1994. The lives of the beloved Saturday morning sitcom’s characters went in …

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Foxxxy Cougars – Go Funk Yourself

On their first record in six years, the trio of elderly women comprising  the Foxxxy Cougars continue to embarrass themselves. On their 1991 debut Young Meat, their shtick was cute; sexy women in their 50s singing about young men they desired and their numerous sexual conquests. But after 25 years and 13 albums the novelty has worn off. The only …

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Ben’s 10 Volume LII: Choose Your Own Song

The enormous elephant you’re riding in a wildlife park in India suddenly squats and takes a 30 pound, violent shit. Right at that moment a man rides by on a bicycle holding a boom box blaring: a) “Drop It Like It’s Hot” by Snoop Dogg b) “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes c) …

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Live Show Preview: Teach Me Equals / RedRumsey / The Tweeners

Ben Allen, music editor Two touring indie rock bands as well as local favorites The Tweeners will be performing at the Jambalaya this Monday, September 8th. Teach Me Equals is a duo comprised of New Jersey Native Greg Bortnichak and Floridian Erin Murphy. They play guitar, cello, violin and keyboards over homegrown samples created through effects pedals, noises and old …

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