Ben Cooper is a talented dude. He is one half of a fantastic electro-indie duo called Electric President. He has a side project called Radical Face, whose album contained one of my favorite tracks of 2007, “Wrapped In Piano Strings.” Cooper typically does a fantastic job of making music that sounds like it has been thrown together and yet seems well-crafted, expertly constructed. It’s why I love so much of what he’s had a part in – many of his songs are just brimming with emotion and complexity and seem like they could burst at any moment. And yet they are usually very somber creations.
I stumbled upon “Patients” not too long ago and fell in love with it all over again just yesterday. This collection of stray Cooper tracks became a fantastically interesting side project (one of many) that he dreamed up and carried out. Basically, he burnt 100 copies of the album, decorated their cases with spray paint and markers and traded them with loyal listeners for, well… anything. It’s explained quite well and in greater detail here in an article by David Isaacson of Examiner.com.
And here Cooper lists what all people traded to get one of the 100 copies. Oh yeah, and Cooper also does artwork, my favorite of which is No. 16 of the painting/illustration category on Cooper’s art site here.
And if you know bearded TWJ contributor Matt, I think he bears a striking resemblance to Cooper. Hmm…
Oh, and I think Cooper’s lyrics are usually fantastic.
“Tall Tale No. 5” by Patients: and I learned to laugh /by watching you burn all your photographs/and you’re right that the good stuff won’t last/but these wars are never won by our twiddling thumbs.
“Mind Ur Manners” by Patients: nothing ventured, nothing gained or it’s what they say/but you’ve done well by sitting idle/there is no fixing you this time
Preview these two tracks on the right!
Just for good measure, my favorite Electric President song “Insomnia” from their self-titled 2006 release.