Ben Seretan, among other things, plays the guitar, makes long music, and sings.
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Born in California, lives in New York. Plays the guitar and sings with ferocity and a surprising tenderness and sometimes slowly walks through a dense fog of delay pedals.
If heaven exists, Ben Seretan, wants to find it with delay pedals and join the chorus of angels. Long, swirling clouds of tones met with cascading waterfall plucks of electric guitar joined together by a honeyed singing voice and a deep appreciation of tenderness. At times fearfully, ecstatically joyful, at other times whispering drowsily into the coffee cup of your ear.
Grew up in Southern California, studied music at Wesleyan University, Flux Factory artist-in-residence 2014, Sitka Fellows Program recipient 2013, Wassaic Project artist-in-residence 2012, organizer and performer of sunrise concert series, has performed in horse barns, bedrooms, churches, movie theaters, power plants, rooftops, and once on top of the wheelhouse of a tall ship.
A large, golden retriever puppy of a man who is frequently audibly delighted by the music that comes out of him. A secular youth pastor with high-fives at the ready who is most comfortable in cut-offs. Shreds hard, but not to show you that he can shred hard, but that life is wonderful. Proud subway commuter. Very gentle. He thanks you for listening.
TALKING POINTS BIO:
As a rule, electric guitar. Beard. Minimalism. Guitar pedals. Open tuning, finger style. "Ecstatic Joy" tattooed on chest. Goes swimming in most bodies of water in most weather, generally in underwear. California. New York City. Talks too much in-between songs. Sometimes really loud, sometimes really quiet, sometimes solo, sometimes with a band.
Big ups to Alice Coltrane, Jonathan Richman, Joanna Newsom, Arthur Russell, Stars of the Lid, Big Black, Ry Cooder, Don Caballero, the Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, Albert Ayler, James Blood Ulmer, Yo La Tengo, John Fahey, James Tenney, Black Flag, Lambchop, probably bands like Alkaline Trio and Weezer, Nick Drake, Bill Callahan, Why?, Derek Bailey, Bad Brains, Slayer, Bill Orcutt, Pelt, La Monte Young, Hank Williams, Charles Mingus, Broken Social Scene, Gastr Del Sol, the Carter Family, Dolly Parton...
Ben tries to play music that sounds like the time he and some buddies got it in their minds to go drink 40s on Brighton Beach after last call and they took the Q train all the way down from North Brooklyn and bought their bottles through one of the revolving bulletproof cases and they walked down to the shore over the part that was still covered in snow and sat in the sand on the beach at 5am talking and swigging and seeing the lights turn on as people got up to go to work and as the sun rose stupidly but full of smiles Ben took off his clothes and got in the water in February and his friends held his clothes and helped dry him off with his scarf and they all ate egg sandwiches and coffee and fell asleep on each other's shoulders on the train back with all the commuters. Or that time that it was raining and everyone was playing their favorite song of that day on the stereo and when the rain broke they all ran up to the roof to set off bottle rockets and roman candles before it started raining again and there were sparks flying everywhere. Or that time his band from high school played what was probably their last show and sweat was steaming off of Alex while he played drums and everyone was rolling around swapping instruments and jumping in the pool and we all got in the shower together and the few that survived the joyful mayhem went to the diner.
DETAILED BIOGRAPHIC BIO:
Ben Seretan was born two weeks late in a shiny new hospital that had a view of the Pacific Ocean. He grew up singing in church, taking piano lessons from the choir teacher and playing cello in the school orchestra. One fateful day - en route to orchestra summer camp - Ben's cello snapped in the heat of his parens mini-van, promptly stalling his growth as a cellist. In an effort of consolation, Ben's brother allowed him to play his electric guitar, which completely ruined him.
In high school, Ben continued to play guitar, focusing most of his free weekend time on an extremely exuberant and adorably goofy band that almost never performed live. Later, he enrolled at Wesleyan University, where he would play harsh noise, jug band, Javanese gamelan, steel drum, salsa, straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, etc. He would also never sleep enough and take classes with Alvin Lucier and Anthony Braxton.
Following a brief interlude of living in rural Missouri following his graduation in the summer of 2010, Ben foolishly moved to New York. For a while, he continued playing with Duchampion, the band he started in college whose recordings really hold up (see here).
Circumstance caused the band to break up, and Ben endeavored to play solo, trying to sound as huge as possible with just a single electric guitar. He put out his first solo EP in 2011 - "New Music," a collection of songs for the electric guitar with a long, meandering instrumental drone.
Later that year, Ben took up a residence at Badlands PDX, a wonderful but short-lived house venue / recording studio in Portland, Oregon. Joined by the Early, an amazing band, Ben wrote and recorded an entire album in the two weeks surrounding Thanksgiving. It's called "In Two," and was released on vinyl in the summer of 2012, a year that also saw the release of a second and third solo EPs called "New Space" and "New Song."
In 2013, Ben was selected for the Sitka Fellows Program, a residency in Alaska, where he would write an opera called "Three Sisters Music" and shoot a collage home movie called "Double Alaska," the soundtrack to which was released that Fall. Upon his return to New York, Ben organized a week-long series of sunrise concerts at the Silent Barn.
The following year, Ben began a 6-month residency at Flux Factory in Queens, organized another series of sunrise concerts, and eventually recorded and released "Ben Seretan," his first proper solo LP, in October of 2014.
In 2015, Ben released "Yellow Roses," an extremely chaotic chuggy rock 'n' roll free improv, recorded entirely live with an 8 piece band. Following the surprise success of his self-titled record in Italy, Ben embarked on a month-long tour of the country in July and had an extremely good time there.
In 2016, Ben moved to the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and released "Bowl of Plums," a new album of songs.
Ben Seretan is an accomplished instrumentalist, songwriter, and performer living and working in New York City. He has performed hundreds of concerts since striking out on his own as a solo artist in 2011. He has also been selected for a number of prestigious residency awards, including the Wassaic Project in 2012, the Sitka Fellows Program in 2013, and Flux Factory in 2014. Additionally, Ben has released a dazzling portfolio of recorded work ranging from introspective song collections to full band ragers to calm, minimal guitar drones. His most beloved work - 2014's self-titled double LP - has completely sold out of its first run and enjoyed a number of accolades, including Rumore magazine's album of the month, December 2014.
DATING PROFILE BIO:
Hi, I'm Ben - I'm outgoing and friendly and really loyal to those I love. I like going to shows and watching daytime matinees at Film Forum. I like to work hard, but I know how to let my hair down. I'd rather listen to Hot 97 than WNYC but I love them both. The six things I can't live without are whiskey, hot sauce, seltzer, my Doc Martens, my telecaster, and tote bags. Not looking for anything serious, just looking for a little fun. You should message me if you want to.
Ho boy listen up boys and girls! There's a new guitar boy on the scene! He's mean and clean on the string thing know what I mean? Singy singy songs songs make you feel good cuddles! Floating like a big balloon in the Thanksgiving Day Parade! He plays the big big band! Extra kraut and extra mustard, hold the onions my good man. O boy, I just love this Seretan Man!
CRIMINAL RECORD BIO:
Ben Seretan has violated automobile regulations in multiple states - including driving 90mph in a 60mph zone in Arizona and turning left from a non-left-turn lane in northern California. As a young driver, Seretan was found with more than 5 occupants in a 5-occupant vehicle and was ticketed for multiple seatbelt violations. In attempting to cross the Canadian border in 2006, Seretan and his companion were found with a number of questionable materials, including fireworks (they were legally purchased and held in the US, but illegal to carry over the border). Seretan and his companion were subjected to a thorough strip search but were eventually allowed to cross into Windsor, Canada after surrendering the explosives. Later, in 2013, Seretan was again held at the Canadian border but was not strip searched (although they did watch a woman carrying an infant cry for over an hour). In the summer of 2012, Seretan was found drinking a tallboy of Yuengling on the stoop of an apartment in Bushwick and was fined 40 dollars for drinking in public. Recently, he has acquired a number of parking tickets. Though he has admittedly urinated in public, smoked marijuana in parks, and hopped subway turnstiles, he has yet to be caught or convicted for these particular crimes."