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New items since the breakup

Ben Folds Five on PBS Series

The last song ever recorded by Ben Folds Five, "Honey Don't", the Carl Perkins classic, is featured in the Public Broadcasting Service special Good Rockin' Tonite: The Legacy of Sun Records. The show is part of the American Masters series.

From the PBS Website:

Carl Perkins was a soulful balladeer from Jackson, Tennessee, whom Phillips envisioned becoming the biggest country artist ever. Nearly 50 years later, musicians from Ben Folds Five come together in "Good Rockin' Tonight" to marvel over Perkinsí history-making "funny chord change" as they reprise "Honey Don't," the song that best illustrates Perkinsí transition from country to rock.

In addition to is run on the network, the show is intended for use by local PBS stations during their December fundraiser campaigns. Check your local PBS station for details and schedules.

Rockin' the Suburbs

The new and much anticipated solo record by Ben Folds, "Rockin' the Suburbs", is now out worldwide.

The first single, the title track, hit radio on July 10th with fast track adds in several markets. The video for "RTS" is being produced by none other than "Weird" Al Yankovic.

Tracks on the new record include:

What do we know about the new record? It's 100% Ben, just him playing various instruments (with a bit of collaboration - orchestration from John Mark Painter, vocals from John McCrea). It was recorded, in large part, in an old church in Adelaide, and was mixed in his home studio as well as in Los Angeles. The long delay in getting the project out the door is due to the production process, where Ben had to lay down each track separately and then mix them down. As the mixing process proceeded, many different situations came up where tracks didn't quite sound right and had to be re-laid.

But the finished product, from all reports, is outstanding. It's not Ben Folds Five, though the elements are certainly there. Neither is it Fear of Pop. Fans of BFF will have every reason to hate this record - but they will have every reason to love it too.

Rolling Stone has substantially more detail in a story by Greg Heller, including some of the recording details, comments by Ben about the "Rockin' the Suburbs" video, and a touring band to include old Folds compadre Millard Powers, former 24-7 Spyz drummer Anthony Johnson, and a keyboardist/guitarist to be named later, though frequent collaborator John Painter has been rumored to be part of the touring band as well.

updated 2001-05-23

Ben Folds describes the sound of his current work in this note of December 17, 2000:

Here's what I can tell you about the new record, since I've gotten cards and letters asking about it...

People have asked me if the record I'm working on sounds like "Fear of Pop". The answer is: nope. Not much like that at all.

Granted, yes, the demand for "Fear of Pop" is staggering. The record label has been pressuring me to make "Fear of Pop vol. II". Billboard featured an article on the void that exists in radio this year, without a "Fear of Pop" album to play. Some of the top names in music have taken this opportunity, this absence of "Fear of Pop", to put out smash hits, which otherwise, wouldn't stand a chance on the shelf next to "Fear of Pop".

But despite all of this, and all of the fans that want to hear another Folds/Shatner collaboration, I'm putting it on the backburner while I make a record of songs. Singing, piano, songs. instruments. beats. I write the same song over and over anyway, so you'll know what it's going to sound like. I like vocals, ahs, silly sh** like that. Distorted basses, some slap basses. a powerballad here and there. A few nasty words. Short drum solos. (Darren has spiritually advised me, but takes no responsibility for anyone who might get hurt trying to dance to my spastic drumming.) And there is a Folds/Jessee collaboration actually; still untitled - we're thinking we'll call it "the wind beneath my sheets"... There's some acoustic guitar, some electric guitar (I suck but so do most guitarists). Songs that speed up and slow down. Words about what I'm thinking about. There are elbows on pianos... we're whiddling down from 16 songs that we've recorded for the album. I think we're about half done. There's still a lot of work left to do and I'd guess the record will be out late May, early June. I'll tell you all about it. For now, I just thought I'd break the news about "Fear of Pop"...

Oh yeah. and it doesn't sound much like that Grinch song either. That's a kids song for a movie I recorded with my portable Roland demo recorder and 3 mics. When they asked me for a song, I didn't understand that it was a kids movie and I wrote a song about Santa that went, "Ole Santa, he's a big fat fu**. Went down the chimney and got his fat ass stuck". When i realized it was a kids movie, I put that song away and gave 'em a kids song and now I can afford nappies for the next year. Funny how that works. I'll put out the fat ass Santa song next year and that won't pay for anything but it'll be fun. Maybe I'll send out an mp3 of "Santa's a big fat fu**" and don't tell anyone where it came from or the boss will be pissed.

Okay, I'm off. I just didn't want everyone to think I'd sold out and was putting out "Fear of Pop" just for the cash.

Here's the names of some songs that have been recorded for the album so far:

You win if you can figure out what they all have in common. Is there a theme?


Whatever and Ever Amen rerelease cancelled

Plans to re-release Ben Folds Five's platinum selling 1997 record, Whatever and Ever Amen, on September 11 were put on hold, according to the band's management company. According to a report in Rolling Stone Online, WAEA was to be re-released with four additional tracks, two recorded after the release of The Unauthroized Biography of Reinhold Messner and intended for another BFF album. However, the band's management company reports that the re-release project was cancelled for now. The band's breakup put a stop to that project, but the band members felt that the material was good and the fans deserved to hear it.

The new tracks were to include:

News of the breakup of Ben Folds Five

Ben Folds Five Break Up

The three members of Ben Folds Five have come to a very amicable parting of the ways, dissolving what has been known as Ben Folds Five.

Their label, Sony/550 Records, was notified around the beginning of October that drummer Darren Jessee, bassist Robert Sledge and pianist Ben Folds would be breaking up as a band and going in their own directions, musically and geographically.

Those who frequent these pages or the Magical Armchair mailing list know that Darren has been performing quite a few solo gigs off and on in New York and, in fact, moved from the Chapel Hill, N.C. area to the City a couple years ago. It's expected he'll continue pursuing a solo career. Robert has been doing work outside of Ben Folds Five, mainly with pre-BFF friends the Gladhands and, more recently, touring with Tom Maxwell and The Minor Drag (Maxwell formerly of Squirrel Nut Zippers). Robert built a recording studio in his North Carolina home.

Distance may have played a part in the breakup. Not merely musical distance (it's been said that the band members had felt they had done everything they could do together as a band, musically speaking) but physical distance. Ben took an Australian bride and moved Down Under two years ago, and he and Frally are mom and dad to one-year-old twins. It's been speculated that Robert and Darren were reluctant to travel to Australia for recording sessions, but this has neither been confirmed nor denied.

Ben is still with Sony/550, which means he will presumably make at least one more record for the label, possibly in the coming months. Much of his recent work, including the song for the Jim Carrey Christmas movie, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," was done entirely by Ben, playing all instruments and supplying the vocals himself. It is still to be decided as to whether his new venture will be a solo one or if he will include sidemen, either as replacements for Darren and Robert or as an ensemble, as with the collaborations with members of the Klezmatics on "Steven's Last Night In Town" or the orchestrations of John Mark Painter on the last two albums.

The official statement

The following statement was released today by Girlie Action, BFF's public relations representative:

Ben Folds Five Announces Split: New Projects Forthcoming

After six great years as a band, touring and making records, Ben Folds Five is calling it quits. Alan Wolmark, the band's manager, says that the split is amicable and that the decision was made because all three members felt the band had run its musical course and wanted to pursue other musical interests.

As Ben Folds confirms "The band is splitting on good terms. We are very proud of our three albums, our little hit and our audience. Now it is time to bow out with dignity rather than to make that final 'cash-in' record and tour which, of course, is very tempting."

Ben Folds has written, recorded and produced the song, "Lonely Christmas Eve," for the film "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," opening later this month and for the soundtrack CD out next week. In addition, "Wandering", another new song written, recorded and produced by Ben Folds, will be in the forthcoming independent film "100 Girls." Folds, who lives in Australia with his wife and twins, is currently in the studio recording a new album with producer Ben Grosse for release on Epic Records in the spring.

Darren Jessee is assembling a band and has been playing his own new material on the New York club circuit for the past year. Robert Sledge is currently putting together a new group and producing bands in his Chapel Hill, North Carolina studio. Sledge has also been touring with ex-Squirrel Nut Zippers Tom Maxwell and his band The Minor Drag.

Ben Folds Five and their crew would like to thank all their loyal fans who have made them feel comfortable and welcome throughout the world where they have been fortunate enough to visit and entertain.


Items related to The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
[Cover of The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner] NOW AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE! The "rest of world" release date of April 27 completes the release sequence for the new album (was April 20 in the UK and Australia). Track listing:

  1. Narcolepsy
  2. Don't Change Your Plans
  3. Mess
  4. Magic
  5. Hospital Song
  6. Army
  7. Your Redneck Past
  8. Your Most Valuable Possession
  9. Regrets
  10. Jane
  11. Lullabye

All songs are originals and all written by Ben Folds except "Magic" entirely written by Darren Jessee, "Lullabye" by Ben and Anna Goodman, and "Your Most Valuable Possession" by Ben, Darren, Robert, Caleb, and Ben's father, Dean Folds. "Magic" is a full band production version of the 4-track demo of "The Magic that Holds the Sky Up From the Ground," the Darren Jessee solo track included on last year's benefit album "The Garden Place: Songs By Our Friends".

There is also a limited-edition combo pack consisting of the CD in a Digi-Pak case combined with a 45-minute video "Spare Reels", which has concert footage, interviews and studio scenes including alternate takes (minus strings and horns) of "Don't Change Your Plans" and "Army".

The album has debuted on the UK charts at #22 and in Australia at #5.

"Don't Change Your Plans" to be second single

A change of plans resulted in "Don't Change Your Plans" being the second single to be released to radio and consumer distribution in some markets. The release dates are as follows:

The video, shot in June, had its debut on MTV's "120 Minutes" program on Sunday evening, August 29.

The band's official website has posted some photos from the video shoot.

[Promotional Sticker] Snazzy sticker/postcard in the mail

If you are on the band's postal mailing list you should be getting one of these clever postcards that is also a two-part sticker. Perfect for your dash, bumper or backpack.

Army is the first single, released to radio April 6 in the US. It's also receiving airplay in Australia and England, and audience reaction is very good. The video for "Army" debuted on MTV's program "120 Minutes" April 19 and is in rotation on VH1 as well as Canada's MuchMusic. Sony has put the video up on their site in both Real Video and MOV formats.

Call and request Army from your local radio station. See a list of request line phone numbes for many stations around the country. Also, call MTV Total Request Live at 800-342-5688 between 3:30 and 4:30 PM Eastern and Pacific (2:30 and 3:30 PM Central) to request "Army".

Incidentally, Target Stores are running a co-op TV commercial for the new album on VH-1.

Reviews of "Messner" are on their own page in the Interviews and Reviews section.

Launch Magazine, a magazine-on-CD, features a live track of "Don't Change Your Plans" for free download (in Windows Media Player format only, however) on their website.

Ben Folds Five Participate in Koncert for Kosovo

The band headlined Koncert for Kosovo, a benefit concert for Kosovo refugee relief. The show was held on May 28 at Blockbuster Pavilion in Charlotte, NC. The show also featured Fountains of Wayne, 2 Skinne J's, Dovetail Joint and Jimmy Eat World, and was sponsored by WEND Radio, "The End" in Charlotte, along with Mindspring and Ric Flair's Gold's Gym.

Sneak Preview Show in London

The band performed a sneak preview show on Wednesday, April 7, 1999 in London for an invited group of press and music industry people. A bit rusty from not having played live in several months, the band pulled it together to please the audience even though Ben got the giggles during one song and drew a momentary blank when getting started with "Underground", ironically their biggest hit in the UK. Sony executives were on hand and, while reportedly concerned about the performance, were buoyant about the band's prospects for European success.

Fleming and John to Join Ben Folds Five Tour

Frequent Ben Folds Five collaborators Fleming and John will join the first leg of the US tour, starting with the April 16th date at Bowdoin College and ending May 3 in Chicago.

Fleming and John (wife-and-husband team of Fleming McWilliams and John Mark Painter) are touring in support of their new album, "The Way We Are" on Universal Records.

The two groups have collaborated many times in the past, and the relationship continues on their current offerings. Ben has lent backing vocals for both F&J albums including "I Fall for You" and co-writing credit on "Ugly Girl", both on the new F&J album. John has handled string arrangements for Ben's solo venture Fear of Pop and did strings and played horns on BFF's upcoming release "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner". Fleming contributed backing vocals on BFF's cover of the Flaming Lips' "She Don't Use Jelly" for the Loungeapalooza compilation.

(March 1999)

Items related to Fear of Pop

Fear of Pop: Volume 1
"Volume 1", by Ben's solo project, Fear of Pop, was released in the US on November 17, 1998. Other worldwide release dates:
Europe - Nov. 23
Australia - Nov. 23
Canada - Dec. 1
Japan - Nov. 21
Track listing and some sound samples are in the discography pages. Be prepared, though: This is not Ben Folds Five material. It's a vast departure - much more electronic, avant-garde style. Ben plays everything himself, and describes it as being more like Air or Propellerhead than anything he's done up to this point.

First track: "In Love"
The track "In Love", featuring William Shatner, is the first single to be promoted. Ben has commissioned three club remixes of "In Love" by Mark Saunders from New York, The Thievery Corporation (Washington, DC) and Attica Blues (UK).

CMJ features "In Love"
The December issue of CMJ New Music Monthly includes "In Love" on its enclosed CD.

Consumable reviews Volume 1
The online music magazine Consumable, edited by Bob Gajarsky, features a review of the album, by Daniel Aloi.

More about Fear of Pop

Other news

Sessions at West 54th DVD

A DVD of the complete Ben Folds Five performance before a live audience at the PBS show "Sessions at West 54th" is being released October 9, 2001. Order your copy from Amazon.com. (It's for Region 1 encoding, US and Canada only.)

Piano Instructional Songbook Now Available"

Ben Folds Five: Keyboard Signature Licks is now available from Hal Leonard Publishing. The book, inspired by suggestions from fans including visitors to this very website, includes examples from selected Ben Folds Five songs in a 72-page book and CD package. The book features standard notation, vocal melody, chord names, instructional text and introductory text.

Songs included: Lullabye, Philosophy, Underground, Boxing, The Last Polka, Alice Childress, Narcolepsy, Brick, Song For The Dumped, Battle Of Who Could Care Less, Evaporated, Kate, Eddie Walker, Don't Change Your Plans, Mess, and Magic.

The book sells for $19.95 and can be ordered online or through your local music dealer.

Ben Folds contributes song to Christmas movie soundtrack

Ben Folds does "Lonely Christmas" on the soundtrack of the upcoming Jim Carrey movie "How The Grinch Stole Christmas." Also on the soundtrack are Carrey, who duets with rapper Busta Rhymes in the theme song, Barenaked Ladies doing "Green Christmas," The Eels with "Christmas Is Going To The Dogs," and selections by Faith Hill, "N Sync and Smash Mouth. The soundtrack is now in stores and the movie is playing nationwide.

Ben Joins Rickie Lee Jones on New Covers Album

The new Rickie Lee Jones album, "It's Like This", features Ben contributing vocal and piano to Traffic's "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" and vocally joins the legendary bluesman Taj Mahal and '70s-era rockabilly crooner Dan Hicks on Hoagy Carmichael's Southern classic "Up a Lazy River".

The soundtrack for the movie "Me, Myself and Irene", which stars Jim Carrey, was released June 13, 2000. The soundtrack features Ben Folds Five performing a cover of Steely Dan's "Barrytown".

The band leads off the newly-released compilation "Songs for Summer" with "Where's Summer B". The record is a benefit for the Los Angeles charity Free Arts for Abused Children in memory of kidney cancer victim Summer Brannin, who was a big fan of Ben Folds Five. The project was spearheaded by Brannin's boyfriend Adam Gimbel. Other artists on the compilation include Jonathan Richman, B-52s, Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Posies, and former Jellyfish guitarist Jason Falkner, who performed at Brannin's memorial service in 1998. Most of the songs have a "summer" theme. The online music news website Sonicnet has an article about the project.

Ben Appears in Another Priceline Commercial

Ben is in another Priceline commercial. This time, it's just he and William Shatner; Ben's at the piano playing "Do You Know Where You're Going To" and Shatner is singing along. It's the best appearance by Ben in any of the Priceline spots. Catch it on MTV, VH1 or another network soon! 2000-08-28

More media news in Check Your Papers And The TV.

Requiem for a young fan

karen Rilett let us know about a memorial website for a 16-year-old high school student, Chris Kempa of Livonia, Michigan, who was killed by a pickup truck while walking to school in November 2000. Chris was an artist and musician, an emo/core fan, and a fan of Ben Folds Five. Please visit the website, sign the guest book, and explore some of his works and creations. 2001-02-01

Ben Folds in soundtrack of teen romantic comedy movie "100 Girls"

According to the producers of the movie 100 Girls, Ben has contributed a new solo song, "Wandering", to the soundtrack of the picture. He is also credited with additional music scoring. The film debuted on May 11, 2000 at the Cannes Film Festival. 2000-05-11

Report: Ben Folds Five to contribute a song to Paul McCartney Tribute; McCartney Camp Denies Existence of Project

Bud Owsley, brother of Will Owsley, is reporting that several artists including Owsley and Ben Folds Five will participate in a tribute CD featuring covers of the works of Paul McCartney. According to the report, BFF will cover "Listen To What The Man Said". Other participants tentatively include Barenaked Ladies, Fountains of Wayne, XTC, Squeeze, Foo FIghters, Neil Finn, Matthew Sweet,Sloan and They Might Be Giants. There are reports of other bands and tracks to be covered, but since it is premature, it will not be posted here.

However, in a story by Billboard Magazine's Paul Sexton in London, Paul McCartney's music publisher and UK representative deny that they are involved in or working on any such project, and Andy Partridge of XTC also denies involvement, stating that they don't want to get involved in any tribute records.

Note that this report has not been confirmed by BFF, or other bands, as participants were listed as tentative in the report. Once an official announcement is made by the band, this item will be updated.

Will Owsley, of the band which bears his name, is a friend and collaborator of Ben, who played drums on the demo sessions of Owsley's former band The Semantics. Ben later turned over the sticks to another Beatle's offspring, Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr's son). On Owsley's current record, Will is joined by another of Ben's former, and now current touring, bandmates, Millard Powers (Majosha). 2000-02-25; updated 2000-03-06 and 2001-09-07

Jane Scarpantoni on Morphine's new album

Cellist Jane Scarpantoni, who has toured with BFF and is heard on several recorded selections, is a guest musician on the new Morphine release "The Night." Jane has also performed with Bob Mould, R.E.M., Sheryl Crow and the Lounge Lizards. 2000-02-22

Ben in Priceline commercials

Ben is appearing in two Priceline commercials starring William Shatner currently running on various stations and cable networks. The spots feature Shatner rapping about Priceline's services with a cadre of musicians jamming behind. In one, Ben is seen in the distant background playing the bongo drums, and in the other, he's whacking a cowbell pretty much directly behind Shatner toward the end of the spot. 2000-05-01

Online Club Network Appearance

Ben Folds Five will be headlining a Digital Club Network Festival show on July 24th at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro (Chapel Hill), N.C. The show is at 9:00 PM Eastern time (GMT-0400) and will be available live on Digital Club Network. (Note: Macromedia Flash Player and Real Video G2 are required to view. Macromedia Flash is available for

Letterman Appearance Scheduled

The band will appear on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS television July 19th, 2000. They will be performing "Barrytown", the Steely Dan cover that is in the soundtrack of the upcoming Jim Carrey movie "Me, Myself and Irene".

Robert Sledge touring with former Squirrel Nut Zipper Tom Maxwell

Robert will be joining Tom Maxwell and The Minor Drag on their tour of northeast and mid-south venues in May, June and July.

Maxwell, former co-leader of the Chapel Hill neo-jazz group Squirrel Nut Zippers, enjoyed success with his old bandmates as frontman, sax, clarinet, guitar and percussion, and strikes out on his own tour in support of his recently-released album, Samsa$

Find out more about Tom Maxwell.

Ben Folds to participate in Australian cultural exchange

Ben will participate in the sixth international Music Bridges Around the World cultural exchange, to be held in Melbourne, Australia, in March 2000. The event will mix American and Australian songwriters in daily writing sessions, and the results will be featured in a concert on March 17 in Melbourne. Besides Ben, other songwriters involved include Dave Koz, Montell Jordan, Matt Slocum from Sixpence None the Richer and country artists Lee Roy Parnell and Rodney Crowell. In the past, Music Bridge events have been held in Cuba, Ireland and Russia. January 2000

Note: Ben did not participate in the event after all due to scheduling conflicts. March 2000

BFF contributes a song to album for Kosovo relief

On June 15, 1999, Epic Records released "No Boundaries", a unique compilation created for the benefit of the refugees of Kosovo. The 16-track album will feature rare, live and previously unreleased special versions of songs by many different artists. Ben Folds Five's "Leather Jacket", a B-side on the UK "Army" single, will be included, along with songs by Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Rage Against the Machine, Alanis Morrisette, Oasis, Jamiroquai, Tori Amos, Bush, Sarah McLachlan, The Wallflowers, Peter Gabriel, Indigo Girls, Black Sabbath, and, oh yes, Korn. In advance of the release date, based on projected sales, Epic will donate $1 Million to CARE, OXFAM and Doctors Without Borders, in "the first collective response by the international music community to the crisis in Kosovo", according to David Glew, Epic chairman.

Order "No Boundaries" online from Amazon.com.

Frally Gives Birth To Twins

Ben and Frally are proud parents of twins! Born in Adelaide, Australia were Louis Frances Folds, who arrived at 11:04 PM on July 22, and Gracie Scott Folds, who arrived at 1:54AM on July 23. Mother and children are healthy and everyone is happy!

Those are the only details we have right now. When I hear more (weight, length, etc.) I'll add them.

Ben's Answers to Fan Questions Posted

Ben's answers to questions submitted by fans have been posted here on this web page and on the band's website.

Please note that not all questions submitted were answered. There were about 1,200 questions received and many were of an informational nature like "When are you gonna play in Peoria?" and such. Questions of that sort were weeded out and the best ones remaining were sent to Ben. He replied to the ones he had a chance to answer and those replies are posted. Apologies to those whose questions were not answered and thanks to all who sent in questions!

Ben and Frally Get Married!

Australian newspapers are reporting that Ben Folds and Frally Hynes were married at their home in Adelaide, Australia, the week of May 20, 1999. It was a small family affair with only Frally's sister and brother in attendance. Ben and Frally met at a party in January of 1998 when the band was on tour in Australia. The Adelaide Advertiser, which has been a good source of other news, reported that Ben told them that he used to play at weddings as a teenager but this was "the best one".

Incidentally, Ben and Frally are expecting twins in July. When it happens, you'll read about it right here!

"Brick" wins BMI Pop Award

Brick has won a Citation of Achievement from BMI at its 1999 Pop Awards ceremony May 18. Seventy artists were honored at the gala ceremony at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The Citation of Achievement is awarded in recognition of popularity in popular music as measured by broadcast performances. BMI is the American performing rights organization which represents over 200,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers and licenses their works for performance on broadcast and commercial establishments.

Band's Official Website Redesigned

The official Ben Folds Five website has been redesigned to include more photos, different graphics, complete information on "The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner" including excerpts from an interview with the band, as well as the usual links to touring, merchandise and sound clips. Visit http://www.benfoldsfive.com.

Darren Jessee: Eco-Quizzer

Darren recorded a public-service announcement on motor oil recycling as part of a series of radio messages called Eco-Quiz. The series includes personalities as varied as actress Kathleen Turner, sportscasters Dick Vitale and Keith Olbermann, comedian Martin Short, ice-cream moguls Ben & Jerry, and fellow hometown musicians Superchunk. The messages are in observance of Earth Day, April 22, are produced by the Steel Recycling Institute and the National Recycling Coalition, and produced by Jameson Broadcast in Washington, DC.

Listen to the 60-second PSA in WAV format (approx. 500 kb download)

E-Mail Address for Ben Folds Five Shut Down
The band's e-mail address, bffmail@juno.com, was discontinued effective August 9, 1998. Mail to the band may be sent by postal channels to:

Ben Folds Five
P. O. Box 1028
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
The band will be adding staff to help with handling the increased mail volume. Be sure to enclose a self-addressed stamped (US postage) envelope if you would like a reply.

Photos from Glastonbury Festival
Photos taken at the 1998 Glastonbury Festival in England have been posted at the festival's Video Caps page. Follow the link to Saturday, June 27 for pictures of Ben Folds Five playing before tens of thousands of adoring fans.

Video Project Update
Duplication of video submitted by fans is now underway. Tapes are being returned to contributors. It is still undecided exactly when the video will be released.

"Southern Edge" Compilation Features BFF
A new compilation, out January 26 on Beloved Recordings, called "Vol. 1 - Southern Edge", features Ben Folds Five, Cake, Jawbox and others.

Burt Bacharach Tribute Show Video and CD released; Repeats of Broadcast Scheduled
The audio and home video versions of "Burt Bacharach: One Amazing Night", the Burt Bacharach Tribute Concert which aired on the TNT Cable network on April 15, is in US stores as of Tuesday, November 17, 1998. The concert featured Ben Folds Five performing their anarchic version of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head." More information in the discography.

"Boxing" covered by Bette Midler
A cover of "Boxing" by Bette Midler is on her new album, "Bathhouse Betty". It's out in stores as of September 15, 1998. It's the first cover of a BFF song by a reputable artist.

Darren Jessee Contributes a Song to N.C. Benefit Album
A song, written and sung by Darren, called "The Magic That Holds The Sky Up From The Ground" will be on a compilation called "The Garden Place: Songs By Our Friends" to benefit Chatham County (N.C.) Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services and its safe house, Garden Place. The album was released Sept. 22, 1998 on Yep Roc Records. Other North Carolina bands participating include Whiskeytown, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Hobex. This is the same song as "Magic" on The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner but as a solo, Darren-only first edition.

A short MPEG sample of the song has been posted by Daniel Davis on his web page.

"Kate" on Sabrina soundtrack
The song "Kate" appears on a compilation from the movie "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." See the discography for the track listing.

Ben Folds cameos in Squirrel Nut Zippers video
In the Zippers' video, "Suits Are Picking Up The Bill", Ben Folds has a cameo appearance as a music industry casualty and the monkey from the TV show "Friends" plays a role as well. The new album by the Zippers, "Perennial Favorites", is now in stores. Mammoth Records has made available a Real Player file of the song on their website.

The band recorded a song entitied "Air" for the summer blockbuster movie "Godzilla". It is an original song for the soundtrack.The soundtrack album was released Tuesday, May 19, 1998, and the movie opened Wednesday, May 20. More information on the other bands on the album are contained in the Epic Records Press Release.

Ben Folds records with Whiskeytown
Early in 1998 Ben guested on piano for the Raleigh, NC band Whiskeytown. Chris Stamey produced the session, which included 16 songs and may be released in the near future.

Best of Sessions at West 54th DVD
Sony DVD released the "Best of Sessions at West 54th" on Digital Versatile Disk (DVD) on December 9, 1997. Included is "Smoke" by Ben Folds Five, along with a number of other tracks by artists from the first season of the show. It's available now wherever DVDs are sold!

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