Benjamin Wesley Geschichte EP www.myspace.com/benjaminwesleywinder3
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The driving force behind disbanded, fuzzed-out four-string symphony Basses Loaded and low-end minder for rap-rock rude boys Tha Fucking Transmissions, Benjamin Wesley is one of the most gifted, eclectically-minded musical catalysts in town. So when he turns his considerable talents toward his own compositions, the results are suitably impressive. "Stepping past the bullshit, that's my hobby," he sings on "People Will Never Stop Being Crazy," and his shoes are spic-and-span on Geschichte (German for "history"). Wesley's six-song EP, the first thing he's released under his own name, is a seamless hybrid of organic and electronic sounds unified by evocative lyrics ("The smell of trouble hangs in the air like rain"). "Ghost Story" weds lonesome Neil Young harmonica and deceptively innocuous Krautrock keyboards, resembling a lost My Morning Jacket track, while "Have You Ever Died?" answers that discomfiting question with a stuttery drum-machine track, fluttery accordion and wheezy Casiotone melody. Geschichte is as arresting and engaging a solo work as Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, which, as anyone who's heard Jeff Mangum's 1997 Elephant 6 landmark should know, is not a compliment to be taken (or given) lightly at all. With Bolt, Muhammid Ali and We Landed on the Moon, 8 p.m. tonight at Walter's on Washington, 4215 Washington, 713-862-2513 or www.4215washington.com. Free barbecue, too. Wesley also appears on KTRU's Revelry Report, 6 p.m. this evening on 91.7 FM.