Nature And Falling In Love With Synthesizers: An Interview With R Beny

Bay Area musician Austin Cairns aka R Beny is a true ambient wizard. To be honest, I only discovered him about 6 months ago thanks to his fantastic Youtube channel, but he's been inspiring the modular synth community for some time now. His debut album 'Full Blossom of the Evening' was one of the best surprises of 2016 (I listed it as #3 in my Best Albums of 2016 list) and a wonderful glimpse into his hypnotic ambient world, reflecting on nature and emotion. For those new to R Beny's music, his music is a powerful, mesmerising mix of sounds that layer and mingle, harmoniously combining, disassembling, and submerging into one another. Fans of Stars of the Lid, Oval and Tim Hecker will absolutely love R Beny.

In this interview R Beny talks about how Nature plays a big role in his creativity and how falling in love with synthesizers helped him recover his creativity after hitting a wall creatively and quitting making music for nearly a year.

Click HERE for his interview with That Special Record, and be sure to head to GAMH this Sunday (April 16) to see him open for Bing & Ruth!

Chuck Prophet On KQED

San Francisco singer and songwriter Chuck Prophet has been entertaining audiences for decades. He talks to KQED’s Marisa Lagos about his new album, Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins, and the tension between gentrification and the arts in his hometown. He closes the interview with a performance of one of his new songs, “A Bad Year for Rock and Roll.”

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express + Cocker Power perform at GAMH on Sat. April 15!

My Breakfast with Bowie – Slim’s 1997

I had just started working at Slim's (in the box office) in 1997. The ladies of the office (Dawn and Dana) had somehow managed to keep it QUITE a secret that Live 105 was planning a Breakfast with Bowie morning here at the club. The day I found out, I nearly fell out of my chair. I offered to do anything to help... serve bagels, pour coffee, etc.... whatever it took. That's exactly what I did (at the rather ungodly hour of 7am!)To be in a room with just a couple hundred lucky fans... and Bowie... was amazing. I also decided to be brave and brought along my copies of Ziggy Stardust and The Hunger soundtrack on vinyl. Having only worked here at Slim's a few months, I had no idea if I might be crossing any lines, but I was ready. So ready.

The interview & performance were (of course) amazing. A car was parked and waiting in the alley and Bowie was soon to leave. I knew I had the green light when Dawn said "if you're going to do it, now is the time." I met him at the top of the stairs, said hello, thanked him for a wonderful morning and asked if he wouldn't mind signing my records. He joked that he had never seen The Hunger on vinyl - so of course I offered him my copy. Thankfully I got to keep it.

Needless to say, it was one of the best days... ever. I think of that morning quite often. The audio of that amazing morning surfaced on YouTube a couple of years ago and I've made it a habit of posting it on FB every year for his birthday.

Thank you, David Bowie, for... everything.

~ Tracey Buck


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