Monday, May 30, 2005

Ben Folds Forever

Dear Ben Folds,

Is it so great to be you? It must be so great to be you. If I were to interview you, that might be the only question I would ask. I would say, Ben Folds, is it so great to be you? And you, I imagine, would say, It is really really great and I would say Thank you very much, that was Ben Folds. I cannot imagine that when you’re at the keyboard, bangin’, that you don’t think, Wow, it is so totally fucking great to be me!

Listening to your music, what I think is so great about you, is that rather than wishing I were you (which is something I have been known to do, historically, having wished on occasion that I were, yes, Billy Joel, Fred Astaire, Shawn Colvin, Edward Gorey and David Foster Wallace, to name just a few who come to mind) I find myself, thinking, wow, it is totally fucking great to be me. Which is not at all mutually exclusive of thinking it must also be fucking great to be you. It’s just that for the first time, thinking along these lines, I also thought, you know, although it must be fucking great to be Ben Folds, since I am not Ben Folds, I am glad there is a Ben Folds to be Ben Folds, so that feel the indescribably full feelings I am made to feel when listening to Ben Folds.

I would like to say, however, Ben Folds, that if you ever need someone to sing Aaaah, or Bop-aah, that sort of thing, that I am qualified to do exactly that, in tune and in harmony, not just because I have sung along many times over to Carpenter and Partridge records in a similar fashion, but because I do have an actual musical resume, albeit a short one. Plus I would make a cute addition to your backup singers, and I am willing and available to travel starting immediately. I realize my current C.V. does not exactly qualify me for this position, but I think it would give you an extra cachet to have a short story writer in your backup band. I have been called both “literary darling” and “short story mastermind.” That could be cool, right? I only ask because although it is truly great to be me (my husband and I have a hammock), writing is a different kind of thrill than making music, not to get too esoteric, but although the process of writing can be immensely satisfying, as is the ability to connect with a reader, physically, well, it’s lacking. I don’t get to bang on my keyboard, and even if I did, kick-ass melodies wouldn’t come out. I’m just putting the offer out there.

Yours most sincerely with not even a little bit of irony in case that’s what you think because it is 100% for sure with all sincerity,

Elizabeth Crane

12 comments:

Teodoro Callate said...

There is no remotely possible way that he could ever even a little bit think that taking up your kind generous and sincere offer would be a bad idea because clearly you offer cachet and cuteness to his backup band and you also add the storyline of having restless legs so it just has to happen. Has to.

kfoz said...

Shawn Colvin? Many years ago I went to a book party she threw with Philip Glass for a mutual friend. I felt like a total imposter. But I was sort of charmed by the fact that she was going around with a copy of "A Few Small Repairs" in her back pocket, taking it out to show her friends (this was about six months before it came out).

Elizabeth Crane said...

Aw, thanks, Ted! Do you know anyone who knows him? Do you, Ken? You're more horrified by Shawn Colvin than Billy Joel? I have felt at times, that she was actually having my life. I'm so jealous that you were in the same room with her, but I know that impostor feeling - I have it pretty much all the time. Well, all the time when I leave the house and have to go anyplace populated with any of the following: people with lots of degrees, rich people, cute young hipster girls. I guess it's slowly getting better, but I keep finding myself in increasingly more intimidating settings. One of my early stories was actually called "The Impostor" based on an experience I had at a day spa. I loves me a spa, but I do not know who those people are who go there.

kfoz said...

I love Shawn Colvin! But I was shocked that you do too. I actually bought her album the day it came out that year, because it came with two free tickets to a show at the Supper Club...and I had to drag a friend along with me. And, in the balcony at the show was another of my idols: Rosanne Cash.

I am now posting more here than on my own blog, dammit.

Elizabeth Crane said...

Oh, I'm so glad. I would think Shawn would fall in line with Aimee Mann, who I also like a lot. Shawn Colvin has gotten me through some ROUGH times, and I've seen her in concert three or four times now.

Elizabeth Crane said...

Ken, all you need to do is start posting every random opinion you have about anything and we'll all hop over to your blog.

Teodoro Callate said...

Shawn is The Man. Well, I suppose to call her that is a bit ridiculous. More acurately, she is the Real Deal, and one of the more talented musicians/songwriters around. I do not begrudge her fame whatsoever, even though that one recore (Repairs) got a bit overplayed. It wasn't overplayed until about 2 years after it was out.

And Betsy, I know what you are saying about that intimidation thing. Totally. But the secret is that the young hipster chicks are likely trying to become exactly who you HAVE become. So there.

Now, when I'm in the room with psychologists, I know they aren't jealous of me...so I just have to get smarter in order to hang with them. You, however, have already become what you have aspired to be. Once again: so there.

Elizabeth Crane said...

That record was a little overplayed, it's true. It's the two that came before it that I never get tired of. Oh, I feel myself wanting to be her again!!!
Anyway, you are too kind, Ted! I actually had a nice conversation with a very cute hipster girl the other day in which I mentioned this issue and she said something similar and she also said that the secret is that all hipster girls have it.

Teodoro Callate said...

Steady On and Polaroids....both excellent records. Her last one was very good, too. I don't think she's really made a bad record. What does it mean that I want to be her, also? Well, not really. Mostly. I do, artistically. That way. You know? You know.

Elizabeth Crane said...

I do know.
What I don't know is why someone thinks I'm a pretentious hypocrite because I eat meat and watch PBS.

Teodoro Callate said...

they think that because they're insecure with them own bad selves? yep.

be as you are and don't let nobody tell you different.

Elizabeth Crane said...

O-tay.