Dissected – Now available for download!

Dissected

Dissected

After completing my last album, Great & Terrible Potions, I began thinking about how I could possibly perform it live.

Upon returning from the hills, still screaming, I fell in with a three-piece band instead. Throwing the original song arrangements out the window, we rehearsed over a period of months, generally late at nights so as to avoid all natural light. Practising the subtle arts of refining and distilling, we pieced together new versions of old and not-so-old songs.

Unfortunately we found ourselves forgetting some of the new arrangements, so we decided to spend a day recording in the studio. The audio release, Dissected, is what happened that day.

Luckily the cameras just happened to be rolling. The resulting film, which is also called Dissected, captures our performances and documents the shenanigans and tomfoolery in which we engaged.

Several takes of each song were recorded and filmed throughout the day. The eagle-eyed amongst you might think you spot the odd “continuity error” during the film. These would, of course, be nothing of the sort whatsoever. In fact, they would be much more correctly interpreted as exciting opportunities for artistic editing decisions by the director.

Dissected is now available for download and preview

  • At Bandcamp (audio only)
  • In the Music Store on this website! (audio and video)

View the trailer:

Mailing List Update – Live Video Podcast 11 May

Hi everyone

Been a while since my last email, so I hope you’re doing well.

Just wanted to let you know that Ben Craven & The Section (that’s us), in proud association with Kevin Mulryne at Yes Music Podcast, will be holding a live video podcast this coming Saturday, 11 May, at 14:00 UTC.

I believe that’s 3pm in London, 10am on the US east coast, 7am on the US west coast (sorry about that – we’ll set a better time next time!) and midnight here in Brisbane, Australia. Please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes there..

We’ll have a chat with Kevin, perform a few songs live in the studio, and aim not to resort to all sorts of increasingly desperate measures to be entertaining.

If this works out, I plan to do more like it. If it doesn’t, I plan to get it right and do more anyway. It’s difficult to tour the world and get the message out, so I think this might be a good way forward.

The broadcast will be accessible via a YouTube link, posted to my website, Facebook and Twitter accounts right before we start. We’ll see how it goes!

Cheers
Ben.

Upcoming Gig – The Tempo Hotel 30 November

Only a few weeks to go now until the first outing of Ben Craven & The Section, right here in Brisbane, Australia. If you’re in the area on Friday 30 November, feel free to drop in to The Tempo Hotel (388 Brunswick St) for our inaugural live three-piece experiment!

There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps..

Live and more – Mailing list update

Hi everyone.

OK I’ve been pretty quiet lately I’ll admit, but not inactive.

Welcome to the mailing list if this is the first email you’ve received. And thank you of course to everyone who’s bought a copy of Great & Terrible Potions or Two False Idols recently, or ever.

Over the past few months I’ve been rehearsing with a three-piece band here at Desert Comb Studio, generally late at nights and very early in the mornings, and knocking together new arrangements of old and not-so-old songs. I’m excited to announce that the first live performance of “Ben Craven & The Section” will be happening on Friday 30 November at The Tempo Hotel, 388 Brunswick St, Brisbane, Australia. More details as the date approaches!

As you might imagine, I was fairly doubtful in the beginning that we’d be able to reproduce any of these songs without an army of backing musicians or backing tracks. But through the gentle art of refining and distilling (and potion ingestion), I think we’ve managed to pull it off in a traditional power-trio configuration.

Not long ago we spent a day recording and filming the new arrangements in the studio. Mainly so we wouldn’t forget them, but also with the idea of a commercial release in mind. The video editing is currently underway, and I’d like to point you to a very early test-edit of Diabolique.

This clip is not public on YouTube and won’t be in its current form, so you’re amongst a select few who know about it. In fact it’s only been seen so far by the band members themselves. For the eagle-eyed amongst you interested in continuity errors, we filmed several takes of each song during the course of the day, and we won’t be wasting any shots!

If you’ve missed any updates from my website lately, here are a couple links which might be of interest..

Recently I was interviewed by Music Web Express 3000 about the reissue of my first album, Two False Idols. It’s an in-depth piece which gives away all sorts of dark and dirty secrets about the making of the album and how it evolved from a band project to a solo record.

Also, in its barely-edited glory, is my audio interview with DJ Rael from the Prog Rock show on Voice FM in Ballarat. We hit on such topics as dueling banjos, Star Wars, Barry Williams, cloth-eared nincompoops and English accents.

And of course (gratuitous plug alert) vinyl copies of Great & Terrible Potions featuring a glorious gatefold sleeve designed by Roger Dean are still available from my Bandcamp site.

Thanks for making it this far. Be sure to follow my Facebook or Twitter accounts if you’d like more frequent updates!

An Interview with Rael

Here now, in its barely-edited glory, is my recent interview with Rael from the Prog Rock show on Voice FM in Ballarat, Australia.

Huge thanks to Rael for the long chat and for featuring so many songs from both my albums on the show.

Listen below as we hit on such topics as dueling banjos, Star Wars, Barry Williams, cloth-eared nincompoops and English accents (in that order).

Introduction: 
Part 1:
Part 2: 
Part 3: 
Part 4: 
Part 5: 
Part 6: 

New Interview – Music Web Express 3000

I recently was interviewed by Robert Silverstein from mwe3.com about the reissue of my first album, Two False Idols. It’s a terrific in-depth piece which gives away all sorts of dark and dirty secrets about the making of the album and how it evolved from a band project to a solo record.

Read on, if you dare.

Things To Come

Last Saturday the three-piece got together in the studio for an all-day session to capture our current live arrangements. This, we hope, will address our current habit of forgetting them. There were also a number of cameras present, so now there’s a double-whammy of audio and video waiting to be mixed and edited together. It captured a great moment in time and I’m hoping it will see an official release down the track.

Here is a sneak-peek of the opener, Diabolique. Just pretend your eyes are closed. Featuring Chad “The American” Borchard on bass, and Jason “Bloke Falling Down A Long Set Of Stairs With Drum Kit In Hand” Green.

New Interview – Yes Music Podcast

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of attending the Yes concert in Sydney, and I was recently interviewed for Yes Music Podcast about the experience! Fortunately I got to talk about Yes, and not myself.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Somehow in the interview I forgot to mention one of the funniest moments of the evening. During the meet-and-greet afterwards, a young girl handed poor Steve Howe a copy of the Trevor Rabin-era Talk CD to sign (yes, I find this sort of stuff funny). I could see Steve considering it for a moment, and then I think he must have decided it was best to make his fan happy.

One of the absolute highlights of my night was stalking asking Chris Squire to sign my Rickenbacker 4001 bass pickguard. I hate to think the guitar might be out of action now since I’m scared the autograph might rub off.

Great & Terrible Potions – Vinyl now available!

Finally!

As some of you have already argued, this is the way Great & Terrible Potions was meant to be heard – on vinyl.

Well, the records have arrived, and are ready for shipping!

The album is pressed on 180 gram heavyweight “audiophile” vinyl, and factory-sealed in a magnificent gatefold sleeve designed by the great Roger Dean.

This is a limited production run and at present there are no plans for a repressing.

If you purchase the album from my Bandcamp site, you’ll get an immediate digital download of the CD version to go with it. I specifically mention “CD version” because the track running order and mix are slightly different for vinyl:

Side 1
1. Diabolique
2. Nobody Dies Forever
3. Aquamarine
4. Ready To Lose
5. The Conjurer

Side 2
1. No Specific Harm
2. Solace
3. Great & Terrible Potions

A quick note on international shipping. I’m not a fan of Australia Post’s prices, especially since they have no competition. I’ve managed to minimise the shipping cost by keeping the weight of the package just below 500 grams (this saved $20!). The flat fee I’m charging is the actual cost of postage and packaging to the US, and this amount is cheaper than most other countries.

So, Great & Terrible Potions on vinyl is now available at http://bencraven.bandcamp.com. If you don’t already have the CD, you can order a combined package and save on shipping costs!

Now excuse me while I go find my anti-static carbon-fibre groove-cleaning brush.

Two False Idols – 2012 remix

Some of you might know that in 2006 I released an album called Two False Idols under the name of “Tunisia”. It started out life as a band project and went through a number of changes before being branded with a solo moniker.

Two False Idols by Tunisia was a lush production with a spacious sound and dense atmosphere. A version in 5.1 surround was even released. During the making of Great & Terrible Potions my sonic preferences changed. I wanted to revisit the first album to bring out all the parts more clearly in the mix. I also re-sequenced the track running order to improve the flow of the album.

Here then is my new take on Two False Idols, this time released by “Ben Craven”, and remixed with the benefit of hindsight. You can listen to it in its entirety at my Bandcamp site (and even purchase it for as little as AUD $5).