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Saturday, March 15 • 10:00pm - 10:30pm
Ben Jelen

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Ex-Sensitive, the new album from singer-songwriter Ben Jelen, is all about love. But listeners familiar with Jelen’s debut LP (Give It All Away/Maverick Records) – a lush and romantic tribute to a girl named Isabel – may be surprised to learn that the object of Jelen’s affection in Ex-Sensitive isn’t a girl at all. It’s the Planet Earth and everyone on it. Jelen’s drive to re-discover himself took him to India, the UK, and even the American South, where he holed up in the isolated home of Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools. He pulled his disappearing act - after months of touring - in hopes of catching up with all the changes in his life since his first album release. “The first week, I found myself in a daze,” says the Scottish born Jelen, who was raised in London and Texas before settling in New York City. “I hadn’t had much time to myself and now I was alone in the woods.” Jelen listened to everything from Sigur Ros to Jet to Pink Floyd to The Beatles as inspiration. Months later the fruits of his labor were 30 songs with the central theme of the world being in a state of flux and every choice we make as individuals mattering. He took the tunes to producer and Custard record label head Linda Perry and with her support, Jelen found the haven he needed to trim the work down to 13 tracks for Ex-Sensitive. Linda Perry asserts that “Lyrically and melodically Ben’s perspective is creative, visual and beautifully stated. He's the type of artist that will continue to grow because nothing will ever be good enough and in my book, that's what makes a true, genuine artist.” “Working with Linda confirmed that my sound was a more vintage one,” according to Jelen. “Not a single sample or pre-recorded sound was used, everything was organic.” With the sweeping start of a sitar and spoken word, Jelen dives headfirst into a deceptively jaunty call to arms in the first track “Pulse,” urging the listener to “feel the rhythm pulsing through the science/one by one connecting who we are.” The tracks range from Beatles-esque love romps (“Where Do We Go”) to the romantic (“Wreckage”) and beyond. The time Jelen spent working on humanitarian causes profoundly influenced Ex- Sensitive. “I am incapable of ignoring what’s going on around me,” he admits. “World events often affect me as much as personal ones.” In recent years, he found time to work with the Natural Resources Defense Council, tour extensively for Rock the Vote and Live for Darfur, donate charity tracks to WasteNotMusic.com, Amnesty International, and Tori Amos’ RAINN, march against global warming, share the stage with Wyclef Jean, Marc Anthony, Moby, Maroon 5, and Rufus Wainwright at benefit concerts across the US, establish the Ben Jelen Foundation for the Environment, protest the war, and do work with the United Nations. In Ex-Sensitive Jelen has realized his goal of having music move and affect people both physically and emotionally. The album represents the beginning versus the end of the journey for this tremendously talented artist.
http://2008.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/59788.html

Saturday March 15, 2008 10:00pm - 10:30pm
Cedar Door 201 Brazos St

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