Back From Illinois (again)

Congratulations to Ryan and Jen Haley and I hope they have a great life together. It’s not every day one of your favorite cousins gets married especially one only a few months older than you. Ryan and Jen are perfect for each other and I’m so happy for both of them.

We all had a great time at the wedding and I even played a short set in the hospitality room. While sufficiently buzzed I remember playing “I Can Drink Any Woman Pretty,” “I Hope I Die on the Moon,” “Get Miles,” and the “Cut in Half Blues.” My cousin Alec Haley completely topped me by leading a singalong of a particular song by the Tenacious D. Chaos/fun ensued.

On the flight home we went through all the required security checks (I lost my swiss army knife on the way out even though I made fun of Jeanne for losing hers on the last trip), but strangely a woman was sitting in my seat when I boarded the plane. It turns out she got on the wrong freaking flight and wanted to go to Pittsburgh! Her ticket had to have been looked at several times by various people and the ticket agent gave her the incorrect gate number. It’s good to see they’re on top of things at O’Hare. Personally, I don’t know why anyone would want to go to Pittsburgh, so maybe the airline was doing her a favor.

Congratulations to Ryan and Jen Haley and I hope they have a great life together. It’s not every day one of your favorite cousins gets married especially one only a few months older than you. Ryan and Jen are perfect for each other and I’m so happy for both of them.

We all had a great time at the wedding and I even played a short set in the hospitality room. While sufficiently buzzed I remember playing “I Can Drink Any Woman Pretty,” “I Hope I Die on the Moon,” “Get Miles,” and the “Cut in Half Blues.” My cousin Alec Haley completely topped me by leading a singalong of a particular song by the Tenacious D. Chaos/fun ensued.

On the flight home we went through all the required security checks (I lost my swiss army knife on the way out even though I made fun of Jeanne for losing hers on the last trip), but strangely a woman was sitting in my seat when I boarded the plane. It turns out she got on the wrong freaking flight and wanted to go to Pittsburgh! Her ticket had to have been looked at several times by various people and the ticket agent gave her the incorrect gate number. It’s good to see they’re on top of things at O’Hare. Personally, I don’t know why anyone would want to go to Pittsburgh, so maybe the airline was doing her a favor.

Open Mic Recap

Could John and Adrian be the best artists frequenting the Living Room these days? If you haven’t seen them yet they’re going to be featured on Monday, August 5th at the Living Room from 8:00 – 8:30PM. They’re also playing at Ebeneezer’s in Moorestown on August 10th, so check them out if you hate me, but still want to hear music on the 10th.

Matt just keeps getting better and better. He uses a digital delay pedal to loop samples he creates on stage including guitar slapping precussion, pick noise, and even sticking the end of a guitar chord into his head. It’s funny to watch and it has a great improvised sound.

The host of the open mic, Jason Wheatley, is playing there on Saturday, August 3rd with Roz King and Cathy. I’d check him out, but I’ll be out of town this weekend.

Last night I played “16-18” and “The Genius of it All” and I thought it went over very well. It has been a while since I played either of those songs, so they were definitely due. I almost brought out “Thesis” which probably gets the least play out of any of my “good” songs. Thinking back to a few years ago, I can’t believe some of the garbage I used to play and I’m sure there are about 10 songs I couldn’t relearn if I wanted to. Maybe it had something to do with playing most of my gigs with my Dad’s guitar since everything sounds so much better and fuller on it. Thanks to Lynn for giving me a few free bottles of water during the night. Some goon in there last night sprayed her with Windex to get her attention and I can’t believe she didn’t throw him out. I would have.

Observation: Do they design the packaging for Carefree Koolerz gum to completely come apart as soon as you open it? The gum is fantastic, but as soon as you take the first piece you realize you now have a pocket full of individually wrapped gum blocks instead of a neat, contained, partially opened package of gum. Maybe they think you’ll chew it faster if they’re all over the place which may have some truth to it because I have a pack of gum sitting next to me here I bought over two months ago stil unfinished.

It’s a busy time for me. I have a wedding to go to this weekend and a gig to promote next week. I also quit my job and am trying to find the time to finish a new song I’m working on. Right now the song is either really good or really lame.

Could John and Adrian be the best artists frequenting the Living Room these days? If you haven’t seen them yet they’re going to be featured on Monday, August 5th at the Living Room from 8:00 – 8:30PM. They’re also playing at Ebeneezer’s in Moorestown on August 10th, so check them out if you hate me, but still want to hear music on the 10th.

Matt just keeps getting better and better. He uses a digital delay pedal to loop samples he creates on stage including guitar slapping precussion, pick noise, and even sticking the end of a guitar chord into his head. It’s funny to watch and it has a great improvised sound.

The host of the open mic, Jason Wheatley, is playing there on Saturday, August 3rd with Roz King and Cathy. I’d check him out, but I’ll be out of town this weekend.

Last night I played “16-18” and “The Genius of it All” and I thought it went over very well. It has been a while since I played either of those songs, so they were definitely due. I almost brought out “Thesis” which probably gets the least play out of any of my “good” songs. Thinking back to a few years ago, I can’t believe some of the garbage I used to play and I’m sure there are about 10 songs I couldn’t relearn if I wanted to. Maybe it had something to do with playing most of my gigs with my Dad’s guitar since everything sounds so much better and fuller on it. Thanks to Lynn for giving me a few free bottles of water during the night. Some goon in there last night sprayed her with Windex to get her attention and I can’t believe she didn’t throw him out. I would have.

Observation: Do they design the packaging for Carefree Koolerz gum to completely come apart as soon as you open it? The gum is fantastic, but as soon as you take the first piece you realize you now have a pocket full of individually wrapped gum blocks instead of a neat, contained, partially opened package of gum. Maybe they think you’ll chew it faster if they’re all over the place which may have some truth to it because I have a pack of gum sitting next to me here I bought over two months ago stil unfinished.

It’s a busy time for me. I have a wedding to go to this weekend and a gig to promote next week. I also quit my job and am trying to find the time to finish a new song I’m working on. Right now the song is either really good or really lame.

Guitar Images

I added pictures of my guitars to the image page. They came out pretty nice and I should have a few more when Jake finds the time to send them to me.

I also changed the color scheme of the site from green to blue and removed the 3D shadowing from the boxes. I got rid of the shadows, because it limited how easily I could change the color scheme and so far I like the blue a lot better.

As for my “Current” block on the right, I have a hard time keeping up with my “listening” list. I listen to about 10 CD’s pretty heavily, so I’m thinking of changing it around. I also might keep a list of everything that has made the “Current” block.

As for this week, I think I’ll definitely hit the Crab’s open mic on Wednesday since I haven’t been there in forever. The Kelly Bell Band is playing Grape Street this Friday and I might check that out if I don’t end up driving to Illinois.

I added pictures of my guitars to the image page. They came out pretty nice and I should have a few more when Jake finds the time to send them to me.

I also changed the color scheme of the site from green to blue and removed the 3D shadowing from the boxes. I got rid of the shadows, because it limited how easily I could change the color scheme and so far I like the blue a lot better.

As for my “Current” block on the right, I have a hard time keeping up with my “listening” list. I listen to about 10 CD’s pretty heavily, so I’m thinking of changing it around. I also might keep a list of everything that has made the “Current” block.

As for this week, I think I’ll definitely hit the Crab’s open mic on Wednesday since I haven’t been there in forever. The Kelly Bell Band is playing Grape Street this Friday and I might check that out if I don’t end up driving to Illinois.

Open Mic Recap: Ended Up in the ER

Thankfully the smoke has started to clear from all the Canadian fires. This week has been like living in the Denny’s smoking section. I couldn’t even see the city yesterday while driving over the Walt Whitman Bridge.

I figured I’d be waiting by myself for a long time for Grape Street to open so I brought along John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen Meany” since my girlfriend gave it such a good review. I probably wasn’t there 5 minutes when two people got in line behind me. We were finally let in and I snagged the slot right after the host, Tom Gillam. A lot of people don’t like playing first, but at Grape Street you won’t go on until 10:30PM so there is a decent crowd and everyone is bored enough to appreciate the opening act.

There were a few artists there I’d seen before, including the famous Ray Naylor, but I don’t know most of their names yet. I met a few guys from the Next Big Thing and they sounded really tight. Their name gives Tom plenty of corny joke material and I know if I was in that band I’d probably get sick of that after a while. If anyone from NBT is reading this, here’s a free band name alternative from Ben Garvey: The Neck’s Big Thing. Just think of all the cool flyers and album covers you could make with a picture of a neck and something growing out of it. I also met a guy named El who swears his hip hop group, the Wild Bulls, will be out in force at Grape Street next week.

El had just finished his thing when I got a call from my girlfriend. She had to go to the hospital because she messed up her foot at the gym and couldn’t walk. So I drove home and hung out at the hospital until 2:30AM. The highlight of the trip was trying to guess what a bunch of doctors and nurses were looking at in a container at one point. It looked like it could be a little fish or a severed finger, and I got the impression someone had just passed the oddity. We never found out for sure what was in the container.

Thankfully the smoke has started to clear from all the Canadian fires. This week has been like living in the Denny’s smoking section. I couldn’t even see the city yesterday while driving over the Walt Whitman Bridge.

I figured I’d be waiting by myself for a long time for Grape Street to open so I brought along John Irving’s “A Prayer for Owen Meany” since my girlfriend gave it such a good review. I probably wasn’t there 5 minutes when two people got in line behind me. We were finally let in and I snagged the slot right after the host, Tom Gillam. A lot of people don’t like playing first, but at Grape Street you won’t go on until 10:30PM so there is a decent crowd and everyone is bored enough to appreciate the opening act.

There were a few artists there I’d seen before, including the famous Ray Naylor, but I don’t know most of their names yet. I met a few guys from the Next Big Thing and they sounded really tight. Their name gives Tom plenty of corny joke material and I know if I was in that band I’d probably get sick of that after a while. If anyone from NBT is reading this, here’s a free band name alternative from Ben Garvey: The Neck’s Big Thing. Just think of all the cool flyers and album covers you could make with a picture of a neck and something growing out of it. I also met a guy named El who swears his hip hop group, the Wild Bulls, will be out in force at Grape Street next week.

El had just finished his thing when I got a call from my girlfriend. She had to go to the hospital because she messed up her foot at the gym and couldn’t walk. So I drove home and hung out at the hospital until 2:30AM. The highlight of the trip was trying to guess what a bunch of doctors and nurses were looking at in a container at one point. It looked like it could be a little fish or a severed finger, and I got the impression someone had just passed the oddity. We never found out for sure what was in the container.

Open Mic: Grape Street Tonight

I’ll be heading out to Manayunk tonight for the Grape Street Open Mic. I haven’t been there in a while, but it should be a good time. The sign up starts when they open at 7:30PM and from recent experience I’ve found that if you aren’t there before 8:00PM you’ll be falling asleep by the time you go on.

I’ll be heading out to Manayunk tonight for the Grape Street Open Mic. I haven’t been there in a while, but it should be a good time. The sign up starts when they open at 7:30PM and from recent experience I’ve found that if you aren’t there before 8:00PM you’ll be falling asleep by the time you go on.

Flea Market Find

Yesterday I visited the world famous Berlin Flea Market with my siblings to find a few odd items for my brother’s new apartment. Along the way I picked up a crummy electric guitar for $45 from a guy named Milton. It’s missing a pickup, has holes all over it, and “Grunge Sucks” is scratched into the side. No you can’t buy it. You can tell it was previously owned by some kid who spent more time customizing his guitar than practicing with his band. My guess is he sold it to Milton to buy cigarettes. It looks like the pick guard was removed and replaced with a smaller one. The head has also been cut into two points, making it looks like a snake’s tongue. The neck is actually in fairly good shape the sound is a lot better than I expected. I might stick in a new pickup and see what I can make out of it.

I also went to see the minor league AC Surf (who I refer to in my mind as the Serfs) play against Bridgeport. I think I might go to see more minor league baseball, especially with the impending MLB strike coming up. I think it’s a good way to stick it to those greedy players. Mitch Williams manages the Serfs and I’m not surprised seeing how they pulled their pitcher in the 3rd inning.

After the game we headed to the Trop to play some craps. Jake and I had about as little fun as $80 can get you pissing away our money at a $5 table. Playing the cheapest tables in the casino will definitely introduce you to a few new smells. The guy next to Jake actually took his shoes off as a good luck charm.

Yesterday I visited the world famous Berlin Flea Market with my siblings to find a few odd items for my brother’s new apartment. Along the way I picked up a crummy electric guitar for $45 from a guy named Milton. It’s missing a pickup, has holes all over it, and “Grunge Sucks” is scratched into the side. No you can’t buy it. You can tell it was previously owned by some kid who spent more time customizing his guitar than practicing with his band. My guess is he sold it to Milton to buy cigarettes. It looks like the pick guard was removed and replaced with a smaller one. The head has also been cut into two points, making it looks like a snake’s tongue. The neck is actually in fairly good shape the sound is a lot better than I expected. I might stick in a new pickup and see what I can make out of it.

I also went to see the minor league AC Surf (who I refer to in my mind as the Serfs) play against Bridgeport. I think I might go to see more minor league baseball, especially with the impending MLB strike coming up. I think it’s a good way to stick it to those greedy players. Mitch Williams manages the Serfs and I’m not surprised seeing how they pulled their pitcher in the 3rd inning.

After the game we headed to the Trop to play some craps. Jake and I had about as little fun as $80 can get you pissing away our money at a $5 table. Playing the cheapest tables in the casino will definitely introduce you to a few new smells. The guy next to Jake actually took his shoes off as a good luck charm.

Added Chicken Head Flyer

I added the famous chicken head flyer from my June 21, 2002 Grape Street show to the images page Most people seemed to enjoy the humor of putting a fried chicken head over my face despite the corny jokes I made about it (“I’m not very photogenic,” etc.). I hope I’ll be able to track down copies of my super old flyers. Some of them were pretty good.

I added the famous chicken head flyer from my June 21, 2002 Grape Street show to the images page Most people seemed to enjoy the humor of putting a fried chicken head over my face despite the corny jokes I made about it (“I’m not very photogenic,” etc.). I hope I’ll be able to track down copies of my super old flyers. Some of them were pretty good.

Open Mic Recap

The night started out pretty dead, but picked up later on. Unfortunately, my set was during the dead period. Despite sweaty palms and near heat exahaustion, I ripped out decent versions of Why Now Satan?, All My Dreams are in Cartoon, and the Genius of it All.

“Chasin” Jason was great as always and Roz King played a surprisingly good set. Roz has improved a lot since I first saw him play in ’97. A guy named Andre really impressed me with his 10 minute song about waking up for the Brazil – Germany World Cup Final. Matt did his usual guitar insanity along with two covers. I really think he should consider getting someone to do poetry or spoken word over his “guitar stylings.” It would add a lot of depth to both Matt and the poet.

In other news, the red haired chick behind the counter started giving me half priced Lattes, probably because I’m the only one who buys them in 90+ degree weather. I’m not sure what the owners at the Living Room were thinking, but they moved the refrigerated drink cabinet right into the middle of the counter. It looks really awkward and I hope they move it back to where it was. The new artwork on the walls is a nice addition.

Overall it was a good night. The atmosphere at their open mics has improved 200% since Jason took over the hosting duties.

The night started out pretty dead, but picked up later on. Unfortunately, my set was during the dead period. Despite sweaty palms and near heat exahaustion, I ripped out decent versions of Why Now Satan?, All My Dreams are in Cartoon, and the Genius of it All.

“Chasin” Jason was great as always and Roz King played a surprisingly good set. Roz has improved a lot since I first saw him play in ’97. A guy named Andre really impressed me with his 10 minute song about waking up for the Brazil – Germany World Cup Final. Matt did his usual guitar insanity along with two covers. I really think he should consider getting someone to do poetry or spoken word over his “guitar stylings.” It would add a lot of depth to both Matt and the poet.

In other news, the red haired chick behind the counter started giving me half priced Lattes, probably because I’m the only one who buys them in 90+ degree weather. I’m not sure what the owners at the Living Room were thinking, but they moved the refrigerated drink cabinet right into the middle of the counter. It looks really awkward and I hope they move it back to where it was. The new artwork on the walls is a nice addition.

Overall it was a good night. The atmosphere at their open mics has improved 200% since Jason took over the hosting duties.

Bio

I’m a 27 year old singer-songwriter playing original Acoustic Rock. During extended sets I also cover Beck, Nirvana, Gomez, Johnny Cash, Todd Snyder, John Prine, The Pixies, The Monkees, and The Beatles

Contact Info:
Email: bengarvey@comcast.net

I was born on October 26, 1978 in northern Illinois, but my family moved to the South Jersey area when I was young. When I was 16 I started learning to play the guitar and fell in love with it immediately.

One day I met Jay Earley who soon asked me to do the vocals for his band. With a new singer the band changed its name from Slight Return to Stickfigure. We broke up after only 6 months and 8 gigs, but it was a fun time and I learned a lot about being in a band although I haven’t put any of that knowledge to use.

After I left the band I started gigging regularly at Coffee World in Marlton, NJ. They booked me for a couple of shows in their South Street store as well. When I left to go to college in DC, Coffee World sadly went out of business. Coincidence?

In college I performed at various gigs, campus events, and open mics around DC, but music took a backseat to getting my degree in Computer Science. Now, I’m back in the Philadelphia area and looking to revive my music career. So far the Philadelphia scene has been pretty good. I can usually be found at various open mics and acoustic venues.

From June 2003 – August 2004 I hosted the Wednesday open mic night at the Tree House in Collingswood, NJ. It’s now hosted by the talented Johnny Miles.

I also care about freedom in the Information Age and favor the repeal of laws like the DMCA. I’m a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and advocate the rights of end-users online.

I’m a 27 year old singer-songwriter playing original Acoustic Rock. During extended sets I also cover Beck, Nirvana, Gomez, Johnny Cash, Todd Snyder, John Prine, The Pixies, The Monkees, and The Beatles

Contact Info:
Email: ben@bengarvey.com

I was born on October 26, 1978 in northern Illinois, but my family moved to the South Jersey area when I was young. When I was 16 I started learning to play the guitar and fell in love with it immediately.

One day I met Jay Earley who soon asked me to do the vocals for his band. With a new singer the band changed its name from Slight Return to Stickfigure. We broke up after only 6 months and 8 gigs, but it was a fun time and I learned a lot about being in a band although I haven’t put any of that knowledge to use.

After I left the band I started gigging regularly at Coffee World in Marlton, NJ. They booked me for a couple of shows in their South Street store as well. When I left to go to college in DC, Coffee World sadly went out of business. Coincidence?

In college I performed at various gigs, campus events, and open mics around DC, but music took a backseat to getting my degree in Computer Science. Now, I’m back in the Philadelphia area and looking to revive my music career. So far the Philadelphia scene has been pretty good. I can usually be found at various open mics and acoustic venues.

From June 2003 – August 2004 I hosted the Wednesday open mic night at the Tree House in Collingswood, NJ. It’s now hosted by the talented Johnny Miles.

I also care about freedom in the Information Age and favor the repeal of laws like the DMCA. I’m a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and advocate the rights of end-users online.