Marco Benevento New Album Covers MMJ, Beck, Deerhoof

With Interpretations of Songs by MY MORNING JACKET, LEONARD COHEN, DEERHOOF, BECK and More

Marco Benevento by Greg Aiello
On February 3, Marco Benevento will release Me Not Me, a new studio album featuring his interpretations of songs by artists including My Morning Jacket, Leonard Cohen, Beck and Deerhoof among others. The ten-track collection arrives within a year from release of Benevento's critically acclaimed debut studio effort, Invisible Baby (read the review here). Like its predecessor, Benevento is joined by bassist Reed Mathis and drummers Matt Chamberlain and Andrew Barr. The band recorded at Chroma Sound in Seattle during days off on a West Coast tour earlier this year. Engineer Bryce Goggin (Pavement, Antony & The Johnsons, Phish) mixed the sessions in Brooklyn. Of further note, Benevento takes a giant step into the 21st century with the formation of his own label, The Royal Potato Family (distributed by MRI/Red), for the worldwide release of Me Not Me.

"When I first started touring with the trio, in addition to my own material, there was a great opportunity for me to perform tunes from other artists that I'd always wanted to play, both a combination of older rock songs and modern tunes that are part of our current culture," explains Benevento. "So the next step was to make a record with some of this material. I decided to leave the harmony of the songs pretty close to the originals, but really get into messing with the arrangements. I got into sculpting sound around the original piano parts by using some of my favorite keyboards and re-amping them in interesting ways. This album has more layering and textures than the last one. Bryce and I worked closely in developing that idea as an underlying concept for the music."

Marco Benevento, who first attracted national attention playing Hammond B-3 organ and Wurlitzer in the Benevento/Russo Duo, shifts the focus to acoustic piano with his own trio. Throughout Me Not Me, he proves to be one of the most compelling sonic innovators of his generation, re-imagining the instrument through guitar pickups, delay and distortion effects and a Fender Super Reverb Amp. He shapes and shifts the aural depth of the recording by adding layers of Ace Tone drum machines, Farfisa, Optigan, Mellotron, tack piano and other unconventional keyboards, while using circuit bent toys to develop the emotional character of the songs. Beneath the blanket of colors, the core of the album is the collective energy of Benevento's trio. Reed Mathis, Matt Chamberlain and Andrew Barr provide a take off point for magnetic post jazz improvisations.

The three original compositions on Me Not Me underscore Marco Benevento's inclination for simple pop melodies, multihued sound and playful composition. "Now They're Writing Music" was first debuted in a rough sketch when the pianist was a guest on "The World Cafe With David Dye." Benevento asserts the "toys" themselves wrote the song. The instantly familiar "Mephisto," often performed by the Benevento/Russo Duo, is the closest the album comes to straight-ahead jazz, hinting at 1970's Keith Jarrett. On the other hand, "Call Home" seems to summon the spirit of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Marco Benevento will play at San Francisco's intimate Connecticut Yankee on December 22 before the official Me Not Me blow out residency at Yoshi's in Oakland, appearing every Tuesday night in February with different special guests. Additional West Coast tour dates for February will also be announced shortly.

The track listing for Me Not Me is:

1. Golden (My Morning Jacket)
2. Now They're Writing Music (Marco Benevento)
3. Seems So Long Ago Nancy (Leonard Cohen)
4. Mephisto (Marco Benevento)
5. Twin Killers (Deerhoof)
6. Call Home (Marco Benevento)
7. Heartbeats (The Knife)
8. Sing It Again (Beck)
9. Friends (Led Zeppelin)
10. Run Of The Mill (George Harrison)

Check out our double-review of Benevento's recent trio tour here.

[Published on: 12/8/08]

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tourfan starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/8/2008 09:15AM
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If you happened to catch any of his Northeast run recently, you know damn well how cool this is going to be. Can't wait.

moephishH2O starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/8/2008 09:33AM
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Sweet. He also does a great version of Ween's 'Baby Bitch'

ColoradoMatt Mon 12/8/2008 09:39AM
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I just caught THE JOIN the duo & the new deal .....this past saturday night...... very good.... marco is alot of fun to watch on stage....very analitical of the music.....

DeadBandofPhishes420 Mon 12/8/2008 10:11AM
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sounds uber heady....interested to hear golden...if it keeps the quality of everything marco has done in the past this is gonna be trill

SmashySmashy Mon 12/8/2008 10:21AM
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This is completely off topic, but I think a lot of you will be interested since most of us enjoy organic, local grown food. Some of you might also belong in a food co-op. This story is getting no media attention, of course, so that's why I am posting OT... Anyways, a SWAT team raided and held hostage a family of organic farmers because they weren't registered with the state. Soon we will be next. I have seen lots of organic co-op stands at festivals. Soon they will be undercover ODA agents and our names will be on a list for peacefully going to a festival and trying to enjoy healthy local grown food... I also apologize about the website being religious - they also track ridiculous crimes cops commit against the Amish for using unpasteurized milk. This site just had the best info and links. If you belong to a co-op or an organic club, spread the word, the main stream media wont touch this:

fishbone1 starstarstarstar Mon 12/8/2008 11:48AM
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hell yeah Dead... I gotta hear this cover of "Golden", as well as the cover of "Friends", one of my favorite zep tunes.

PooDolla Mon 12/8/2008 11:57AM
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A George Harrison cover? Niccccce.

Flat5 Mon 12/8/2008 12:15PM
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This song has a Vince Garauldi feel to it, I kinda think. Im intrested to hear this album.

lsamuel3 Mon 12/8/2008 01:16PM
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this should be an amazing album, can't wait to hear it!

dovetail Mon 12/8/2008 01:53PM
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whatever happened to Joe Russo?

rainydaywomen420 starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/8/2008 09:18PM
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marcos the man

cujo starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/9/2008 05:17PM
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Looks like Marco just added a solo show with Tim Bluhm of Hips and Fred Torphy of Big Light at the Connecticut Yankee on 12/22!! (100 Connecticut St in SF) That is going to be a real special show!

yemmw starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/9/2008 06:12PM
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Marco Rules and this is great news. It seems the trend in modern jazz is to cover rock tunes(see: Brad Mehldau, Bad Plus, JFJO, etc), and I'm all for it.

BGsteveBG starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/10/2008 10:57AM
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Marco is the best, but I can never understand why he would rather work with a non Joe Russo drummer

cujo starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/10/2008 03:49PM
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There is no drummer, he is playing solo.


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