Tuesday, May 15, 2007

First I was Their Fan

It may not be fair of me to write this blog about some of my favorite people, but a vast part of my unbiased mind tells me I’m allowed to. Before I was their friend I was their fan.

The B3nson blog was set up so that members of the B3nson Collective could share with our readers the bands and music that has struck a real chord with us. But what happens when the music that has become the most prevalent in your life, the most listened to, the most stuck in your head, is the music made by the people in the very Collective you are a part of? Is it something you ignore? I’m afraid it can't be.

I first saw them sometime at the end of last year’s summer. They knocked their way into the Muddy Cup coffee shop, banging hard cases against door jams and their own shins. The hard cases were covered with stickers like the one that says “Love your Enemy.”

I didn’t know them. I’d never seen them before. But they had handkerchiefs hanging out of the back pockets of pants they wore in three quarters lengths and lumberjack looking shirts and musical saws and Jacques Cousteau red knit hats. I hoped their music would live up to the expectations I had of them. I elbowed my own partner in crime. He was tuning his guitar, trying to figure out what two songs he would play at the open mic.

Open mics can be awful painful at times. But this band was the reason we kept going back. We sat in hard chairs from 8pm until 11, just to watch them play two songs. Just to watch them pull out their choose-your-own-adventure combinations of instruments…accordion, typewriter, French horn, trumpet, trombone, saw, guitar, ukulele.

I’d never seen anything like them; their joyous lyrics, their magical earwormish melodies, their phenomenal musicianship, and their exuberance on stage made them an act I didn’t want to miss.

Sgt. Dunbar & the Hobo Banned released their newest CD While Waiting for the Space Age this past Saturday at a show held at the Capital District Federation of Ideas. Each time I see them live I’m impressed by them. They have managed to grow and evolve as musicians even in the less than a year that I’ve known them. On stage they work. They sweat. They laugh. They stand on tables. They play two instruments at once. They get the crowd shouting for more.

I am their friend, but first I was their fan.
They impress me.
And so does their music.


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