What music did Ben get you hooked on? What concert(s) did you see with him? What music did you share with him?
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Ganesh is Fresh by MC Yogi
Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants
A Ben Karaoke classic. Cafe Japone on P Street. Only eclipsed by his legendary rendition of Paradise City.
Freshman year of college Ben completely expanded my mind in terms of music. We saw Liz Phair at Lisner, Blues Traveler at the Smith Center, Barenaked Ladies, Evan Dando and Weezer at the old 9:30, Green Day at GMU…and likely at least a half dozen more shows. I still have lots of awesome mix tapes he made – now I just have to get them converted to CD.
So much 90s! NOFX, Social Distortion, Mazzy Star, Nine Inch Nails, Type O Negative, also the Heartless Bastards, who I love
Music from Ben’s DC Memorial on October 25, 2011, courtesy Michael David Thomas.
This is GREAT! cant wait to burn this and listen to it – a lot. Great idea. thank you, L.
Vintage Mufti. We saw Social Distortion a few times together and it was of the earliest bands we bonded over after we became friends during Freshman year at GW. I remember heading to see them at RFK on the Warped tour with a bag full of quarter pounders (it was Monopoly time at McDonalds, and you know how Ben loved that). It was that show where Ben picked up the infamous (at least Summers circa 97-2001) Social D. ribbed wife beater t-shirt that haunted us for quite a time…
I Am, I’m Me – Twisted Sister
Another Mufti classic…
This one comes from youthful hair metal indiscretions that returned with a vengeance when we were living at 1010 23rd St, right off Washington Circle. Around that time our best buddy, Vinu organized a series of Master of Metal parties out at a local bar.
Not just any local bar, mind you, but the former site of Mr. Henry’s, which served as the alcohol underground railroad for underclassmen at GW in the 1990s. The conductor on this particular train was Rocky, who was always happy to take GW I.D. as proof of age (even though no age was listed).
Before it closed, I watched Ben down many a pitcher at Mr. Henry’s and our crew spent more than a few evenings gathered round a sticky table upstairs, sampling some of DC’s cheapest watered down brews and mystical 1990s delights like Zima with grenadine (I am looking directly at you Chris Flemming).
But I’m getting off track…
We all dressed the part for Vinu’s Masters of Metal parties at the former Mr. Henry. Twisted Sister was an essential ingredient to that good time. Somewhere I have pictures of Mufti doing his best to freak dance with an avowed lesbian wearing leather pants and a Motley Crue t-shirt. Goonies ever say die, after all.
This was the same era when we hosted a series of, I like to think, best ever house parties at 1010 23rd Street. Ben, Mike and I worked extremely hard on the party mixes (recorded on cassette tapes… children, gather round and hear tales of analog times). This song was, I’m pretty sure, on every one of them.
Ben and I spent our collage years together as roommates and the best of friends. That relationship continued on but as we finished school that outcome wasn’t so clear. The year after we finished school Ben was adamant that he was leaving DC and not coming back. I don’t know that I totally believed him at the time but just the thought was a pretty heavy one for me. When he left town, I made a CD for him, as we often did for one another (and for many a young lady as well, it should be said). I found that CD this week, as we worked together to clean Ben’s apartment and pack his things away. I won’t include the whole playlist, but I wanted to share at least this song: http://youtu.be/SzCp_CspIDY
Please Tell My Brother – Golden Smog
Ben and I shared my music I remember once he came to the Holiday Market on a particularly chilly evening. Everyone else was shivering but I watched him writing away in the audience while I sang. When I finished my set, he told me he’d taken notes to let me know which of my new songs were his favorites. Half of them didn’t have titles yet but he’d written down lyrics so I would know which ones he was referencing. It was really thoughtful and I’ll never forget it. Another huge Ben/music memory happened last year when I decided to make a music video. I sent out an email to my mailing list asking if anyone knew of a good diner that might be cool with letting me use their space for the shoot. Within 3 minutes of sending out that email, Ben sent me a message about the Capital City Diner. He said the owners were really nice and that it was basically the quintessential diner. He was totally right. I went to visit it and I knew immediately that it was the perfect place. We shot the whole video there and it was an awesome experience for which I have Ben to thank. Thank you, Ben. Thank you for being you.
For you and your dad, Ben.
Aaj Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai
Discovered The Dharohar Project EP by Mumford & Sons on Spotify. Mumford & Sons in India–so Bhakti, Ben. You would love it. http://www.last.fm/music/Dharohar+Project
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