Ben Greenman

Ben Greenman appears in the following:

Soundcheck Smackdown: Is The Ukulele Lovely, Or Just Lazy?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Is the ukulele a charming, portable composer's dream... or a twee novelty whose time has passed? Vulture writer Jesse David Fox, and Ben Greenman, contributing editor to The New Yorke...

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Smackdown: Ukulele Edition; Ballet Dancer Jenifer Ringer; Parker Millsap Plays Live

Thursday, February 27, 2014

In this episode: It seems like everywhere you look these days, someone’s thoughtfully strumming a ukulele: in the Spike Jonze film Her; on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother; or, in like 2.6 million videos on YouTube. After a decade of building ukulele enthusiasm, the uke has officially hit the mainstream -- and it’s high time that we throw the tiny guitar (and soon-to-be official state instrument of Hawaii?) into the Smackdown ring.

Then: Jenifer Ringer recently retired from the New York City Ballet, where she was a principal dancer. She talks about her nearly 23 years as a professional ballerina, which she chronicles in her new book Dancing Through It.

And: Parker Millsap’s voice was once described by a reviewer as “like velvet laid over gravel.” We have to agree. The Oklahoma-bred singer-songwriter and guitarist has a heck of a voice for someone who’s still unable to drink legally in the United States. Hear Milsap perform with his band in the Soundcheck studio.


Soundcheck Smackdown: Record Store Day Edition

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Every third Saturday in April since 2008, faithful fans of vinyl have lined up at the doors of their local independent record shops to buy limited edition releases in honor of Record ...

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Record Store Day Smackdown; Guitarist William Tyler; New Releases

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In this episode: Since 2008, the third Saturday of April has been unofficially designated "Record Store Day." It’s become an international celebration of music and independent record stores -- and, a holiday worthy of a Smackdown debate. Perhaps we’ll issue a limited edition 7” vinyl of the audio recording of Joe Levy of Billboard and Ben Greenman of the New Yorker duking it out in our studio to mark the occasion.

Plus: Guitarist William Tyler joins us in the studio to play songs off of his third LP, Impossible Truth

And: It’s been a good season for new releases. eMusic editor-in-chief J. Edward Keyes shares some new music that's been catching his ears.

This Is What A Contractual Disagreement Sounds Like

Monday, April 01, 2013

It's a simple fact: recording contracts sometimes go sour. And when artists are held to those contracts against their will -- sometimes you end up with some... interesting... results....


Smackdown: When Rockers Use Choirs

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A good choir can send chills up your spine. And in recent years, choirs have really broken out of their traditionally religious mold -- like the Scala & Kolacny Brother’s choir from Belgium, which has become world renowned for their covers of pop and rock songs like Radiohead’s “Creep” and Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”

But what about when rock and pop artists are the ones leading the choir? We asked New Yorker editor Ben Greenman and author and music writer Sean Manning to join us for a Soundcheck Smackdown.

So, What do you think. Are choirs in rock songs heavenly… or hellish?

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Animating Music: Cartoon Rock

Thursday, August 25, 2011

From Alvin and the Chipmunks and the Beatles to Gorillaz and Studio Killers, animated bands have come a long way since the '60s. Joining us to discuss the evolution of cartoon rock is Ben Greenman of the New Yorker. And to give us a taste of what it's like to be the voice behind an animated musician, we'll be joined by Britta Phillips, the voice of Jem from Jem and the Holograms, and Brendon Small, the creator of and musician behind Dethklok from the Adult Swim program Metalocalypse.

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Summer's Cauldron

Friday, July 22, 2011

As extreme temperatures invade New York City, everyone's talking about the heat - so why not sing about it, too? New Yorker editor Ben Greenman shares his heatwave-inspired playlist, plus we want to know: what are your favorite hot weather songs?

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Smackdown: Whistling

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Whistled melodies have inspired great music from Otis Redding, Paul Simon and others. But whistling has also inspired murderous looks on the subway. We debate the sometimes-awesome, sometimes-annoying art of whistling. Guests include New Yorker editor and writer Ben Greenman and singer, teacher – and competitive-whistling champion – Emily Eagen.

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Classic Stories, Now With Famous People

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The literary mashup sensation has so far paired Jane Austen with zombies and Abraham Lincoln with vampires. Now, the literary great who gave us The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull is rubbing elbows with Lindsay Lohan, Eminem and others in New Yorker editor and music writer Ben Greenman's new collection, Celebrity Chekhov. Greenman joins us in The Greene Space to talk about the book -- and to test our live audience's music knowledge with a celebrity quiz.

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Ben Greenman & Swamp Dogg

Friday, May 07, 2010

Ben Greenman's book, Please Step Back, now out in paperback, appears to be a biography of the 1970s soul and funk legend Rock Foxx. But Foxx is totally imaginary. So Greenman teamed up with a real-life funk legend, Swamp Dogg, to release one ...


The Search for Soul

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Search for Soul: Beatlemania was rekindled briefly this year with a set of Fab Four remasters. But in recent years, obscure soul-music reissues have sparked a different obsession. Today: we look at the quest for “outsider soul” at labels like Numero Group, Wax Poetics and Soul Jazz. Guests include ...

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Building Musicians From Scratch

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sometimes imaginary rock stars are better than the real thing. Today: a look at fictional musicians in pop culture, from "Spinal Tap" to the Dylan-esque characters in novels by Don DeLillo and Nick Hornby. We’re joined by Ben Greenman, New Yorker editor and author of the rock novel Please Step ...

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Is One Song Enough?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The world's four biggest music companies are set to face off with Apple in a war of competing "digital album" formats. But Radiohead's Thom Yorke, leader of one of the most influential bands in rock, says making albums can be "creative hoo-ha." Today: Maura Johnston of music blog Idolator and ...

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Ben Greenman & Swamp Dogg

Friday, May 08, 2009

Ben Greenman's new book Please Step Back looks like a biography of a 1970s soul and funk legend named Rock Foxx. Except Foxx is imaginary. Greenman wanted to release one of his fictional hero's songs, so he teamed up with a real-life legend ...

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