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June 29, 07
V 35 Issue 26

 
 
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the Music Lounge by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A & E Writer
From happy hour at The Crescent to the rooftop of The War Room, Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses remembers Seattle all too well
From happy hour at The Crescent to the rooftop of The War Room, Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses remembers Seattle all too well On the morning I rang Ben Bridwell on his cell phone, he was waiting for a ride to a Seattle recording studio, where Band of Horses is finishing up its second album for local indie label Sub Pop. The trio quickly became a hot commodity on the alternative music scene with the release of its mindblowing debut Everything All the Time (SGN's Top Ten Albums/CDs, 2006), a finalist for the 2006 Shortlist Music Prize - an industry award given out by a panel of fellow artists. Bridwell, who once worked and partied on Capitol Hill, is a very happy camper these days. He's glowing in his group's success and prepping an upcoming solo venture, and he's relocated Band of Horses to his native South Carolina to be near his family. Monday night's concert at The Showbox is completely sold out, and has been for several weeks. The much-lauded threesome will likely introduce the packed house to new material from their forthcoming effort. To ear-sample music by Band of Horses, visit www.myspace.com/bandofhorses. The new album is due this fall.

From a Seattle sidewalk, here's what a friendly and quite chipper Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses confessed when he popped into "The Music Lounge".

Albert Rodriguez: So you're recording the new album here in Seattle?

Ben Bridwell: Yeah, it's our third session for the album, second session in Seattle.

Rodriguez: Which recording studio?

Bridwell: Avast, at the edge of Magnolia and Fremont. We're almost done. We're actually wrapping it up on this session.

Rodriguez: When did Band of Horses officially make the move to South Carolina? Bridwell: It was November of last year. We played a couple of shows here in Seattle and right after that we left.

Rodriguez: For any particular reason?

Bridwell: Um, that's where I'm from. My family still lives down there and my siblings are having babies. And my parents are getting older.

Rodriguez: How do you like being back home?

Bridwell: It's great. I missed it terribly. I don't get to be there often, but when I am there I enjoy it very much. I have a really cool house and I live right down the street from my dad. My girlfriend just moved there from Minnesota. It's my little sanctuary.

Rodriguez: Where did you live at here in Seattle? Bridwell: Capitol Hill, Central District, U District, Ballard. I lived pretty much everywhere around here. I was here for like 10 years.

Rodriguez: Where were your haunts on Capitol Hill?

Bridwell: I worked at the Cha-Cha (Lounge) forever. I worked at The Crocodile (Café). I was definitely a Cha-Cha kid for a long time. Then I worked at The War Room.

Rodriguez: What's your favorite watering hole on Capitol Hill?

Bridwell: These days, I guess it's still The War Room up top, on their deck. When the sun's shining really good I like to go up there. All my friends are bartending there and my friend Marcus owns it, so sometimes I get the occasional discount.

Rodriguez: Did you ever do a Gay bar crawl in Seattle?

Bridwell: Maybe a long time ago. I've been to R Place. And what's the one on Olive, right across from the Wing Dome?

Rodriguez: The Crescent.

Bridwell: The Crescent! You know, when I first moved here we asked someone where a good place was for a happy hour beer and they pointed us in there, and us being naïve we walked in and didn't realize there would be Gay porn on the screen.

Rodriguez: But the beers are cheap there.

Bridwell: (laughs) I know. But for a straight dude, it's a little overwhelming.

Rodriguez: When you're on the road, are there any items you notoriously leave behind?

Bridwell: I probably go through about three phone chargers during a tour. That's the worst. Seems like every city we go to, we stop to find a damn mobile phone accessories store.

Rodriguez: Well Ben, I'm going to let you go to record the next album. It's been cool talking with you. Looking forward to seeing you at The Showbox.

Bridwell: Please come up and say hello.

Rodriguez: Sure thing. Will you guys play "Wicked Gil"? It's a personal favorite.

Bridwell: Absolutely! We'll do that one for ya.
 

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