Local Record Review: Benbenek from Long Beach

Beat Blvd. is Heard Mentality's weekly review of local releases. If you're an OC musician or band with something new to offer–vinyl single, full length album, CD, cassette–we want to hear from you! Send copies, along with any photos and PR material, to Beat Blvd., c/o OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Suite 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. You can also e-mail us digital downloads at lb***@oc******.com.


Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Cassette Player


Long Beach's Ken Benbenek has been happily working at both his music and, via his Houseplant Picture Studio website, his work as a curator of wonderfully weird audiovisual cultural artifacts for some time. 

It makes sense that much of his music seems informed by that; Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Cassette Player, the most recent of a clutch of CDR releases, balances out rough edged home recording aesthetics with a feeling of long vanished mid-20th century pop, easygoing arrangements with songtitles like “Making People Cry for Fun and Profit” and “Kicking the Guy That's Kicking the Dog.” Anyone who enjoys the skillfully intimate work of people like R. Stevie Moore or Ariel Pink should give Benbenek an ear but he definitely has a style–even a grace–all his own. Besides, it's hard to knock an album that comes packaged with restaurant business cards, wallpaper samples and old Peanuts cartoons.

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