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Benjamin Wagner - JPop.com
Artist info
Benjamin Wagner

Benjamin Wagner

Benjamin Wagner


Emotional gravity is the key to all of Wagner’s songs. Described by Entertainment Weekly as a “fuzz-guitar blast, ” Wagner churns up raucous, sing-a-long melodies. But like Ryan Adams, David Gray or Pete Yorn, he just as adeptly takes a more haunting, contemplative tact. Wagner’s been working the New York club scene for several years and has garnered enough of a fan base to release several EP’s. The limited edition, fan-only 1999 acoustic release Legend of the Evening Star, a compilation of unreleased demos and rarities, prompted R. Read more on Last.fm
Emotional gravity is the key to all of Wagner’s songs. Described by Entertainment Weekly as a “fuzz-guitar blast, ” Wagner churns up raucous, sing-a-long melodies. But like Ryan Adams, David Gray or Pete Yorn, he just as adeptly takes a more haunting, contemplative tact. Wagner’s been working the New York club scene for several years and has garnered enough of a fan base to release several EP’s. The limited edition, fan-only 1999 acoustic release Legend of the Evening Star, a compilation of unreleased demos and rarities, prompted R.E.M.

front man Michael Stipe to dub Wagner a “future superstar.” Notable releases include 2010's "Forever Young," 2008's "The Invention Of Everything Else," and ” 2004’s “Love & Other Indoor Games." “My father worked for the EPA, so I moved around like the stereotypical army ‘brat’,” Wagner says. Born in Iowa City, Iowa, Wagner lived in Washington D.C., Indianapolis, and Chicago, before his tenth birthday. After his parents divorce, Wagner, his brother and mother moved to Philadelphia. Growing up in the 80s, he vividly recalls getting his first transistor radio and listening, transfixed, to top forty radio stations in Chicago and Philly, loving everything from Hall and Oates to Phil Collins.

But like James Joyce’s Stephen Daedalus, Wagner finally had his defining, life-changing musical epiphany. “My big brother brought R.E.M.’s Reckoning home from college which immediately woke me up and snapped me out of my Phil Collins stupor,” Wagner laughs. “Hearing ‘So. Central Rain’ for the first time changed everything.” Reveling in bands like the Replacements and the Pixies (Wagner even does a “twisted” cover of the Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man”), the young songwriter strapped on a Martin acoustic and began playing in bands in high school and later, at Syracuse University. There, Wagner fronted the funky — and popular — local alt.pop band Smoky Junglefrog, opening for majors like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Samples and Dada.

Following the bands’ demise, Wagner moved to New York City and began playing a wide array of clubs like Mercury Lounge, Rockwood Music Hall, Arlene Grocery, Sin-e, and Brownie’s. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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