90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Ben Folds Five

After a break-up and a decade of silence, the alt-piano-rock trio Ben Folds Five is back. Louder and prouder.  They join us.

Ben Folds Five (Autumn de Wilde)

Ben Folds Five (Autumn de Wilde)

Ben Folds Five was a life raft in the ‘90s for music lovers who weren’t finding their joy in mainstream pop.  Just three guys – yes, not five – with an alt piano rock sound that was smart, not big.  Funny, not fiery.  “Punk rock for sissies,” Ben Folds once said.  Nuance.  Melancholy.  Self-conflict.  Sarcasm.

Think Todd Rundgren or early Joe Jackson or a post-modern Elton John.  They broke up.  They wandered.  And they’re back.

This hour, On Point:  the return of  Ben Folds Five.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ben Folds, singer-songwriter, producer, pianist and frontman for Ben Folds Five. He was a judge on the NBC a capella contest “The Sing-Off.” His latest album (with Ben Folds Five) is: The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind.

Robert Sledge, multi-instrumentalist for Ben Folds Five.

From Tom’s Reading List

Rolling Stone “Ben Folds insists he’s the last one to heap praise upon his own work. But as the singer tells Rolling Stone, after listening to the new Ben Folds Five album, he couldn’t help but swell with pride.”

New York Post “Asked why Ben Folds Five broke up back in 2000, bandleader Ben Folds offers a surprising explanation: “Darren [Jessee, the band’s drummer] made a pass at my mom. That just wasn’t acceptable.” Folds, long known for a barbed sense of humor, is joking, of course, and this skewed worldview is ever present on “The Sound of the Life of the Mind,” the band’s first album in 13 years, out on Sept. 18.”

Video

“Brick” was the break-out hit for Folds in 1997.


Check out Folds’ piano playing on his “Song for the Dumped.”


And on the song “Army.”


You can hear a track, “Erase Me” from the new album here.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 29, 2014
A 1597 map of Lesbos / Mytilene, Greece by Giacomo Franco. (Flickr / Creative Commons)

How Aristotle invented science. The great ancient Greek, and life on Earth.

 
Sep 29, 2014
In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Peter Thiel speaks in San Francisco. (AP)

Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel; the entrepreneur, investor and the PayPal co-founder’s call for deep invention.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Transcript: Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

A transcript from our September 25, 2014 conversation on the Islamic State and sexual violence.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment
 
NPR’s Chris Arnold On Garnished Wages
Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014

NPR’s Chris Arnold took part in a remarkable new reporting series tackling the rise of garnished wages as a way to pay off debt. He talked to us today about the series.

More »
3 Comments