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 XLV

Most children are fond of animated female leads, especially when it’s a dazzling princess or a lovable animal character. They’re beautiful, they smile, laugh, and often express themselves in song, creating endearing figures for kids. Too often, though, it seems the male leads take the more heroic roles, while females are portrayed as unambitious, helpless damsels in distress. You’ll see …

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Album Review: Nirvana “In Utero 20th Anniversary Edition”

Matt Ashworth, contributor Even if you celebrate the release of Nirvana’s classic 1993 album “In Utero” by skipping all songs that were played on the radio and TV, it still rules. “Serve the Servants” is sublime. “Scentless Apprentice” demolishes. “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” is full of pounding awesomeness. And “Very Ape,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” and “Tourrette’s” are three …

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Ben’s 10 Volume XLIV: Questions for Bob Seger

Recently, I was fortunate enough to sit down and have a brief, but informative conversation with rock legend Bob Seger. Seger is an incredibly successful recording artist, known for his accessible songwriting referred to by some as “heartland rock.” Some of his biggest hits include “Against the Wind,” “Turn the Page” and “Old Time Rock and Roll.” He was inducted …

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Album Review: Tango with Lions “A Long Walk”

Cee Cee Hill, European Music Correspondent The Greeks from “Tango With Lions” write music in English and have a very distinctive, moody American or British vibe. Fronted by Kat Papachristou, their songs are dreamy landscapes that transport you to places where loneliness, love and memories live. Surprisingly, these places remind us more of  mid-western infinite landscapes than sunny white beaches …

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Album Review: Survival Knife “Traces of Me” / “Name That Tune”

For some indie music enthusiasts, the March 2012 live debut of Survival Knife was some of the most exciting news of the year. The band’s debut performance was attended by people from out of their area, recorded and widely distributed via the Internet, creating a buzz among music geeks. The band consists of singer/songwriter Justin Troper and guitarist Brandt Sandeno …

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Tim Kasher: His Sorrows Are a Gold Mine

A Review of the Album “Adult Film” Ben Allen, music editor Over the last two decades Tim Kasher has established himself as one of the most literate, self­-aware and influential songwriters of a generation. His lyrical content in his two primary projects (Cursive and The Good Life) is so brutally honest and introspective that it borders on self-absorbed. Kasher and …

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Ben’s 10 Volume XLIII: Rock and Roll Refreshments

Most of us will never partake in the excesses and debauchery associated with the lifestyles of some of the most celebrated rock stars. It’s unlikely you’ll ever drive a car into a swimming pool, throw a television out of a hotel window or engage in sexual depravity that would make porn stars blush. I did some research and discovered some …

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Ben’s 10 Volume XLII: Songs Secretly about Smokin’ Sinsemilla

I often listen to music with people who smoke entirely too much grass. These are dudes that Tommy Chong would refer to as “stoners.” Now it may be the mild paranoia, or the fact that these people tend to read too much into things while stoned, but they have provided me with insight into what some songs are “really about, …

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Ben’s 10 Volume XLI: Songs About Scrilla

Hall & Oates “Rich Girl” “Rich Girl” was inspired by true events that took place in the Fall of 1975. Hall & Oates had a three-way with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis one evening after a show in Coral Gables, Florida. Wu-Tang Clan “C.R.E.A.M.” RZA and GZA ran a successful dairy home delivery service before forming the Wu-Tang Clan. They never forgot …

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Album Review: White Manna, “Dune Worship.”

In many ways, White Manna is the quintessential Humboldt band. This is substance-inspired, modern psychedelic rock at its loudest and finest. Opening track “Transformation,” beats a two chord chugging groove into submission, while guitarist/vocalist David Johnson’s vocals float hauntingly in the background. Another highlight is “Illusion of Illusion” that follows a more relaxed path. At first the rhythm section holds down a …

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