My best Ben Lee story revolves around 2004's Film Fest New Haven. At the festival, a movie starring Lee, "The Rage In Placid Lake," was playing, so the singer/songwriter was in town for a couple Q and As and two shows at The Space in Hamden. I was covering Film Fest, writing daily columns from the events, and one of the event's organizers knew I liked Lee's music, so she thought I'd like to meet him.
I didn't really care about re-meeting Lee, who I'd actually met at a previous CMJ festival, not like he would have remembered that or anything. But somehow we ended up in some back room at the late York Square Cinemas talking about music awkwardly. I didn't want to just leave and be rude, and he was waiting for someone to tell him what to do. About 15 minutes went by and Lee finally said, "Can we just go get a beer?" Of course, Lee knew his way around the city because he dated Claire Danes for many years, a lot of that time included Danes' stay at Yale, so he knew Yorkside Pizza served beer.
Anyway, Lee gets a bad rep for being kind of an ass, for lack of a better word, especially in these parts where you can always find someone willing to share a bad story about Lee and Danes. That's really not true. The two times I've met him, he's been a cool guy. And the second time, I spent about an hour with him just shooting the poo.
I mention all of this because in my experience, most of the time you meet musicians that you like, they disappoint you and it becomes more difficult to like their music. With Lee, I actually started to like his music more. And his recent record, "Ripe," is actually his best in years. But it came out in September, which is when I wrote a good review of the disc.
What I want to talk about today is the video for "American Television," a good pop song that comes alive in this video. Seriously, go here and watch it. If you grew up watching TV in the '80s, like Lee did, you'll really enjoy this.
In other news, Beyonce's dad and I have something in common: We both have used the word "ridiculous" to describe Aretha Franklin's response to the Grammys. Seriously, where does someone like Franklin get off saying stuff like this. Get a grip. You were a great singer; you didn't cure cancer. Other people can be called "queen." Whatever.
If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone notice?
It looks like Bai Ling has something in common with the wonderful Winona Ryder. I wonder if Bai is going to use pills as an excuse.
Last night featured another great episode of "Survivor." Frequent readers of this blog know that for some reason, this is the one and only reality show I can watch, and I love it unconditionally. Certain recent seasons have been labeled poor, yet I still love them.
It seems like there's a controversy brewing over at "American Idol." I've never seen the competition portion of the show, but here's my take on this contestant: Who cares? Seriously, if she got through the auditioning portion, why can't she be on the show?