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We have finally finished recording, mixing, and mastering the album! Please check out our kickstarter campaign to help fund a live session at GBS Studios in Detroit and for pressing our new CD.

02:39 pm: benkeeler

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2011 - What a Year

Happy Holidays to all. As the year is coming to an end, the standard “looking back on the year” analysis sets it. My conclusion…2011 has probably been the craziest year of my life so far. There may be epic years ahead, but its hard to believe any will come close to 2011.

For the sake of my own memory, a recap is necessary.

After…

A home San Francisco, one solo coastal tour, another full band coast tour, a profound relationship, some vacation time in the southwest, a long drive back to Chicago, a new home in metro-Detroit, my grandfather’s funeral, shedding some serious elbow grease on building our studio, recording the new album, living/collaborating/performing with my best bro David Dionise, breaking into the Detroit music scene, and working on a huge movie set…   Its definitely time to relax for the Holidays and welcome a new year in comfort:)

On more current and immediate situations…

I just wrapped on the set for the new Wizard of Oz movie last night. It was an incredible experience. To see the creative process being played out on such a large scale, is inspiring and intense. It gave me insight on my own creative work with the new album. It reinforced the fact that it takes a LONG time for creativity to work right. Days on set would sometimes be 16-17 hours, and the movie took 6 months to shoot. I met some great people, made some new connections (especially LA folks) and got to see the likes of James Franco, Mila Kunas, Zach Braff, and Tony Cox on a regular basis. Pretty rad.

The new 500 Club album is coming along, still a few more things to track, and it has definitely taken longer than we expected…but we are doing it right. It will be the most meticulously crafted recording to date.

Seeya next year with some new music and the new face of the 500 Club.

04:53 pm: benkeeler

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Summer is coming to an end. Unfortunately, and Fortunately.
It has been a very memorable one. We are Looking back on a west coast tour, a long drive across the country, a couple amazing hometown shows, Beaver Island Music festival, and some major hours in the lab working on the new record.
Along with being incredibly fun and life changing, it has also been exhausting. So we are eagerly looking forward to recording the new record and some fall shows!
Were hitting some new spots, so hope to see some old and new faces at the shows.

Summer is coming to an end. Unfortunately, and Fortunately.

It has been a very memorable one. We are Looking back on a west coast tour, a long drive across the country, a couple amazing hometown shows, Beaver Island Music festival, and some major hours in the lab working on the new record.

Along with being incredibly fun and life changing, it has also been exhausting. So we are eagerly looking forward to recording the new record and some fall shows!

Were hitting some new spots, so hope to see some old and new faces at the shows.

12:35 pm: benkeeler

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Three words to describe the last three weeks…?
 Intense. Memorable. Stressful.
I’m in Chicago, looking back on the west coast tour, moving out of San Francisco, and spending time with some of the most important people in my life.
My best friend/drummer extraordinaire, David Dionise and my two lovely sisters arrived in San Francisco in the last week of May. It was such a blast showing them around the incredible city. We did the first show as a duo, then Tony Hays flew in to SFO to kick off the tour. We did two shows in San Francisco, and it was amazing. After doing my songs solo for so long, I was thrilled to show San Francisco the sound of the full band. So come June 1st, its time to hit the road and head down the coast. My sisters went on their way down the coast via planes and trains and we packed up “Lady” our Trusty touring vehicle with our gear, the contents of my life, and the 500 Club. And just like that, I am moving out of San Francisco, the place I have called home for the last 8 monthes.
As we are leaving for Jose’s Underground in Monterrey, the first stop of tour, we learn that the show is canceled.
We decide to make a stop there anyway, get a free round of beers and a few burritos. We head down to San Louis Obispo that night.
The show in San Louis Obispo was great, despite the fact that we had to pack tightly onto the small stage, because the worlds largest drum set (belonging to the next band) was already set up and was not to be moved. We worked on some new tunes in the hotel room that night, left a little late the next day for LA, hit traffic, and got in to Long Beach just in time for dinner at the Pike (owned by drummer from Social Distortion).
The next night our show in LA was great. We had a great group of friends, some new colleagues, and an American Idol in the house. It was amazing.
Tony flew out the next day. David and I played the Doll Hut in Anaheim that night, and got back in touch with our punk rock roots. It was an outdoor punk rock/skate fest, and within two steps onto the outdoor patio, BAM! I was nailed in the head with a glazed donut. A glazed donut? Yes, a Glazed donut. We laughed hysterically as we witnessed the mosh pit/donut war that was happening in front of the stage. I was just caught in the cross fire.
After the California portion of the trip, the band dispersed and I headed to Lake Havasu with my sisters to unwind and relax with my family. Next stop was Phoenix. Hang there for a few days, played solo sets at a couple bars. Then drive to Albaquerque, NM to pick up my girlfriend. We drive 24 hours straight to Chicago, and here I am.
Heading up to Michigan to play Festival of the Moon on June 24th and to start recording new record all July.
Its been a lot of planning, a lot of driving, and a whole lot of fun. Commence next chapter.

Three words to describe the last three weeks…?

Intense. Memorable. Stressful.

I’m in Chicago, looking back on the west coast tour, moving out of San Francisco, and spending time with some of the most important people in my life.

My best friend/drummer extraordinaire, David Dionise and my two lovely sisters arrived in San Francisco in the last week of May. It was such a blast showing them around the incredible city. We did the first show as a duo, then Tony Hays flew in to SFO to kick off the tour. We did two shows in San Francisco, and it was amazing. After doing my songs solo for so long, I was thrilled to show San Francisco the sound of the full band. So come June 1st, its time to hit the road and head down the coast. My sisters went on their way down the coast via planes and trains and we packed up “Lady” our Trusty touring vehicle with our gear, the contents of my life, and the 500 Club. And just like that, I am moving out of San Francisco, the place I have called home for the last 8 monthes.

As we are leaving for Jose’s Underground in Monterrey, the first stop of tour, we learn that the show is canceled.

We decide to make a stop there anyway, get a free round of beers and a few burritos. We head down to San Louis Obispo that night.

The show in San Louis Obispo was great, despite the fact that we had to pack tightly onto the small stage, because the worlds largest drum set (belonging to the next band) was already set up and was not to be moved. We worked on some new tunes in the hotel room that night, left a little late the next day for LA, hit traffic, and got in to Long Beach just in time for dinner at the Pike (owned by drummer from Social Distortion).

The next night our show in LA was great. We had a great group of friends, some new colleagues, and an American Idol in the house. It was amazing.

Tony flew out the next day. David and I played the Doll Hut in Anaheim that night, and got back in touch with our punk rock roots. It was an outdoor punk rock/skate fest, and within two steps onto the outdoor patio, BAM! I was nailed in the head with a glazed donut. A glazed donut? Yes, a Glazed donut. We laughed hysterically as we witnessed the mosh pit/donut war that was happening in front of the stage. I was just caught in the cross fire.

After the California portion of the trip, the band dispersed and I headed to Lake Havasu with my sisters to unwind and relax with my family. Next stop was Phoenix. Hang there for a few days, played solo sets at a couple bars. Then drive to Albaquerque, NM to pick up my girlfriend. We drive 24 hours straight to Chicago, and here I am.

Heading up to Michigan to play Festival of the Moon on June 24th and to start recording new record all July.

Its been a lot of planning, a lot of driving, and a whole lot of fun. Commence next chapter.

05:31 pm: benkeeler1 note

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Veni, Vidi, Vici.

It was approximately one year, when my friend Aaron and I made our decision to leave Chicago for California. We tacked a U.S. map on the wall, drew up our route, packed up the Jeep and split in early September. After 3 weeks on the road, we arrived in San Francisco on October 1st. Since that date crazy times have occurred. We got jobs, our belongings were stolen, Aaron went back to Chicago, I played shows, found a lovely girlfriend, and wrote the next album. After 8 months of living in the amazing city of San Francisco, I will be ending my stay here (for now). The 500 Club and I will embark on our first west coast tour, then I will be returning to Chicago and Michigan for a while to record the next record set up mid west/east coast tour plans, and engage the next phase of the band. Its been a wild ride. Living in California has changed my outlook, influenced my music, and given me mountains of confidence as a performer and person. I can’t wait for you to see and hear the results. 

Take a look at video of highlights from the road trip out.

07:04 pm: benkeeler

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Writing from a cafe off Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Killing some time   before a meeting with a Press company in a bit. Did the beautiful drive   down the 101 yesterday, stopped off in Santa Barbara for the sunset.   Finishing up the solo “California Coastal Conquest” shows tonight in   Santa Monica.
The 500 Club is coming out for a West Coast tour! I’ll be announcing official dates soon.
Beginning  recording of new record this summer in the midwest. Yet to  be  named..but in essence, it will be…the California record

Writing from a cafe off Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. Killing some time before a meeting with a Press company in a bit. Did the beautiful drive down the 101 yesterday, stopped off in Santa Barbara for the sunset. Finishing up the solo “California Coastal Conquest” shows tonight in Santa Monica.

The 500 Club is coming out for a West Coast tour! I’ll be announcing official dates soon.

Beginning recording of new record this summer in the midwest. Yet to be named..but in essence, it will be…the California record

08:49 pm: benkeeler

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CALIFORNIA COASTAL CONQUEST
Reporting in from the lovely San Louis Obispo. I am on the 2nd day of the California Coastal Conquest. Over the next two months I will be playing several solo acoustic shows down the coast.
What better way to kick off a west coast tour in support of the “Water Water” record, than with a Tsunami Warning! Woke up in the hotel today, turn on the news…TSUNAMI! San Luis Obispo is 315 ft above sea level, so we should be ok. Crazy. Thoughts and prayers for people in Japan..its quite the disaster.
The record is coming along well. It is slowly becoming more than simple acoustic songs. Drum tracks are being added, new songs are being written, string and horn arrangements are running through my mind. Can’t get too carried away though. I will be posting a song from the record soon.
Big future plans. I’ve got a full band west coast tour in the works for this summer, some midwest dates brewin’, and east coast ideas for the fall. Very exciting.
I’m excited for you to hear the new batch of songs. Still working on exactly how I will release them, but they will surely be available for your listening pleasure in the near future.
Cheers:)

CALIFORNIA COASTAL CONQUEST

Reporting in from the lovely San Louis Obispo. I am on the 2nd day of the California Coastal Conquest. Over the next two months I will be playing several solo acoustic shows down the coast.

What better way to kick off a west coast tour in support of the “Water Water” record, than with a Tsunami Warning! Woke up in the hotel today, turn on the news…TSUNAMI! San Luis Obispo is 315 ft above sea level, so we should be ok. Crazy. Thoughts and prayers for people in Japan..its quite the disaster.

The record is coming along well. It is slowly becoming more than simple acoustic songs. Drum tracks are being added, new songs are being written, string and horn arrangements are running through my mind. Can’t get too carried away though. I will be posting a song from the record soon.

Big future plans. I’ve got a full band west coast tour in the works for this summer, some midwest dates brewin’, and east coast ideas for the fall. Very exciting.

I’m excited for you to hear the new batch of songs. Still working on exactly how I will release them, but they will surely be available for your listening pleasure in the near future.

Cheers:)

12:59 pm: benkeeler

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Enjoy this live acoustic/piano version of “Mary May I” recorded live a while ago. The very talented Tony Hays is the piano player and spot on harmonizing vocal.

08:12 pm: benkeeler

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Welcome to my woodshed. I am currently living in a 10 x 10 ft. hotel room in San Francisco’s Mission District. Complete with sink, bed, desk, and broken TV. It is here where I am attempting to write the bulk of new lyrics. It is my time to enjoy the solitude of this egg white room and read, write, and practice. I am “woodshedding” as they say.
My woodshed is missing many tools of the trade. As I’ve began diving into new work, I am continually reminded of the many things that were stolen. There are many moments of, “well my electric guitar would be nice to have right now”, or “I wish I still had that book”. However, I’m over all that. Nothing my darling acoustic and a new San Francisco Library card can’t take care of.
With such a direct attempt at writing new lyrics, I am running into some creative difficulties. I will not admit it to being writers block, because I know I have plenty of new experiences that will surely make their way in to the new songs. However, I am trying to find the right perspective, theme, and voice to use for the new songs. I know these lyrics must be bigger, better, and more concise than my previous songs.
Right now the books on my desk are, “East of Eden”, a Paul McCartney biography, a thesaurus, and a Rhyming dictionary. I am realizing that I need new input, in the ways of new books, stories, and songs, before I can create my ideal output.
So with that being said, Please suggest any songs, books, poems, stories that could introduce me to new material and ideas.
Also, I’m coming home for Christmas! We’ve got some shows too, so I hope too see you and your wonderful smiling faces:)
Thursday December 16th- Quenchers Saloon - Chicago. with Jessica Robbins and Mike Middleton
Thursday December 23rd- The Loft - Lansing. With Billiards Music

Welcome to my woodshed. I am currently living in a 10 x 10 ft. hotel room in San Francisco’s Mission District. Complete with sink, bed, desk, and broken TV. It is here where I am attempting to write the bulk of new lyrics. It is my time to enjoy the solitude of this egg white room and read, write, and practice. I am “woodshedding” as they say.

My woodshed is missing many tools of the trade. As I’ve began diving into new work, I am continually reminded of the many things that were stolen. There are many moments of, “well my electric guitar would be nice to have right now”, or “I wish I still had that book”. However, I’m over all that. Nothing my darling acoustic and a new San Francisco Library card can’t take care of.

With such a direct attempt at writing new lyrics, I am running into some creative difficulties. I will not admit it to being writers block, because I know I have plenty of new experiences that will surely make their way in to the new songs. However, I am trying to find the right perspective, theme, and voice to use for the new songs. I know these lyrics must be bigger, better, and more concise than my previous songs.

Right now the books on my desk are, “East of Eden”, a Paul McCartney biography, a thesaurus, and a Rhyming dictionary. I am realizing that I need new input, in the ways of new books, stories, and songs, before I can create my ideal output.

So with that being said, Please suggest any songs, books, poems, stories that could introduce me to new material and ideas.

Also, I’m coming home for Christmas! We’ve got some shows too, so I hope too see you and your wonderful smiling faces:)

Thursday December 16th- Quenchers Saloon - Chicago. with Jessica Robbins and Mike Middleton

Thursday December 23rd- The Loft - Lansing. With Billiards Music

07:35 pm: benkeeler

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I must say, it is awesome to move to a city just in time to witness and experience the excitement of a World Series championship. Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on their victory.

On a less exciting note. Today, we found our dear stallion Jeep, whom had taken us across this great country, had been broken into. Aaron’s and I’s bags had been stolen, along with my Gretsch guitar, all my music books, and my journal (written documentation from my first days in Chicago to now). The Gretsch marked a very distinct era of music in my life. I know it sounds sappy, but its true. It makes me sad. Many, many songs came from her…she will be missed:(

Our couch surfing stage is coming to an end, and with this recent turn of events, Aaron and I’s decisions on our future in California has been put in question. I plan on staying, Aaron may be deciding otherwise. I may be living in a hotel for a bit, which sounds oddly appealing. I still need to write two records, and play more shows. I’ve got work to do. What a day. One for the records, for sure. Here is a tune I recorded a couple years ago in Chicago on my darling Gretsch.

Enjoy. Go Giants!

Cheers, Ben

12:09 am: benkeeler