Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ben Harper and Relentless7 - Looking for a New Sound

Could Canada's Matthew Good Band be the sound they're looking for?

I listened to this Austin City Limits presentation of Ben Harper and Relentless7 on PBS's WNED TV Buffalo last night.

Image from the October 10, 2009 premier of Ben Harper and Relentlee7 on "Austin City Limits"
In an interview near the end of the hour long concert Ben Harper talks about how the band formed. He said he was looking for a sound he'd twigged onto, and this band came the closest to the feel he was looking for.

I like it, I don't know much about Ben Harper but what I heard were a lot of tonal and subject references to Canada's Matthew Good Band.

This is the link to the Ben Harper and Relentless7 concert on Austin City Limits at (sorry, no embed available).

Below are two examples of Matthew Good Band, courtesy Google Video:

(WARNING: the production and content of these works of art WILL make you cry - have tissues available)

Apparations (1997)
(Update 2014/08/15 - Well here's a good example of why you should download everything you care about - I tried to update this video - which has been taken down by Google Video (Google Video doesn't exist anymore due to DMCA) ... So I searched it - it doesn't exist - this is the brilliant video about the Exec in Vancouver who orders a prostitute and commits suicide - and a janitor character, played by Matthew Good, who sees the consequences, via the ubiquitous video surveillance in the office tower. A real piece of art - a decade ahead of our understanding of the surveillance state that Edward Snowden revealed... .)
(Update II - Found the audio for this - but the film work of art, that was obviously the band's co-production, doesn't exist as far as I can find. Suicide in the first stanza... .)

Strange Days (2000)
(Update 2014/08/15 - same as above except this video is about a homeless person who plays the angle character in a story about how money creates vanity, which leads to hedonism, which leads to the angel's death.)
(Update II - found it - but I'll leave the above because it'll go down I expect, with some money-hungry play once agsin soon.)

Image from the Austin City Limits broadcast courtesy Eric Stroller Blog.

Ben Harper and Relentless7 website

Ben Harper and Relentless7 on Austin City Limits (

Matthew Good Band website.


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