On a Jet

  • Submitted on time! Feb 26, 2023
Earth Tones

I played bass using a capo on this one.

Hi all, great to be cooking with you all again.

And glad to be back making/recording tunes for the first time of the fatherhood.

I decided to rock out to a B2 cello drone. Played it for a while and wrote a chord progression over it. Kind of a stone soup (drone soup?) situation where I kept adding veggies and eventually could no longer taste the stone. But no stone does not mean no rock. I had a good time screaming for this one. Rock and roll.

But the stone does come thru nicely when the space opens up a little.

I gave it a little bit of a classic rock and/or 90s rock treatment in the guitar, a rarity for me i think.


Here I am

And I’m goin left


Beers and wine

But I’m on a jet


I’m piloting

From A-14

(By the wing)


Well I could pee

But the guy’s asleep

(In the aisle seat)


Years not lying awake alone 

Here’s what I wanna know

Lets Go

Gonna buy my ride right

(right thru the snow and weather balloons)

Looking for feedback on

Jeez, as always... the mix. i tried to just do the vocals straight up, minimal bullshit this time. how do they come thru? i'm usually pretty nervous about singing and hide behind flange. also often when i record vox, i'm self conscious about upstairs neighbors etc so i do my quiet voice, which often produces too much wind from my mouth into the mic. welp, no more upstairs neighbors now, just a sleeping baby. So I actually tried singing with volume for parts of this one. Curious what you think the beat and style of the song reminds you of (i have a few thoughts). Also, i think this is prob my first songy-song that doesnt have keyboard/synth in it (i can't find my cable for my keyboard) so it's all strings (+ vox and digital drums). Too much guitar/bass? Could something be replaced with keys?


nick March 8, 2023 12:21pm

towing the line of familiar/accessible and unique/surprising is something you always deliver on. not only is the pre-chorus, as julia referred to, a sick composition, but damn that low bass note is stinky. very evving cool. and yeah baby screeeam. go where you have to go to free yourself of imaginary neighbors and the ghost of andre. love hearing those decibels out of you. vocal mix never bothers me. some guitars get a little pokey but that’s for the *professionals* to figure out. iiiii will say, especially with the “perfect” electronic drum rhythms, would appreciate nudging the guitar jun-jun-juns back behind the drums. yes plz yum and thank you. well done.

Ben March 12, 2023 9:23pm (edited)

classic advice.

the kids on a hill ep guitar+drums berkshires macbook treatment

nurphgun March 7, 2023 10:33pm (edited)

Love it Beni. I hear all the references others have called out, and I will add that the ending reminds me of “Voodoo Lady,” but much more chill. I am also hearing The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth.

We’ve talked about this: I often prefer a shorter song, and if this were on an album, I might split it into two tracks, with the end and beginning of each stopping abruptly (think Yoshimi or Dark Side of the Moon). Or it could be one track with one of those pretentious “[XYZ]/[XYZ]” titles. For me, superficial stuff like that sometimes makes things more accessible.


Ben March 12, 2023 9:21pm


TylerK February 28, 2023 11:22pm

Wood block heaven. It takes a real musician to use woodblock tastefully. A little something for the table. A little woodblock tiramisu dessert. Damn cool vocal style too. Really small guitar sound that works to make the solo soar, like a jet. You could probably record an album in a library and it’d still sound sick. Reminds me of The Unicorns and Elliott Smith. Great song Ben.

Ben September 11, 2023 2:46pm

Thank you! the woodblock is tasteful because i forced myself to cut out like 50% of it.

juliapiker February 28, 2023 7:52pm

oooo :58 i really like this pre-chorus. This is really cool! also 1:51 vocal the word “alone” gives me Billy Corgan vibes. I really like your songwriting a lot it’s super vibrant and moves in fun and interesting directions. Love the percissive breakdown at the end as well. I’m definitely not feeling like i miss any keys, i really don’t think your track needs em! I agree with back half of Sam’s comment! xo!

nick March 8, 2023 12:16pm

vibrant is the right word

Ben March 8, 2023 1:44pm (edited)

Thanks for the Billy Corgan comment. No joke, I was trying to channel T.S.P. for a lot of the vibes in this. The fizzy little electro beat that sits above the regular drums is 100% inspired by “1979.”

Ben March 12, 2023 9:25pm

Also found myself thinking about the song “Assessment” by The Beta Band while i was making the outro jam.

Sam Pearce February 28, 2023 3:54pm

Hey Ben, I had all the projects streaming while I was doing dishes, and I knew this one was you right away. I think your voice sounds great. Maybe the best I’ve heard it, which is maybe because it’s minimally processed. Elements of your singing remind me of both Elliott Smith and Jeff Tweedy.

Sick guitar tone and licks at 3:10 and beyond. I don’t think this piece is wanting, as in lacking, any keys. I think it’s nice how every instrumental sound has a guitar-or-drum-like attack. Gives it a pleasing angularity.

atalinkay February 27, 2023 11:38pm

Fun and eclecto-poppy, dig it!

EliasSZ February 27, 2023 7:54pm

Im getting like a Beatles in the 90s vibe from this. And then that killer guitar solo at 2:19 is so sick leading to those yelled vocals. Great vibes in this tune – there’s some really careful songwriting going on here that I really appreciate it and some wonderful textures in the arrangement.

Ben September 11, 2023 2:51pm

thank you! drooling imagining what the beatles in the 90s would sound like. id be into it.

Z February 27, 2023 5:15pm

Yeah I hear ya with the mix stuff. I know I end up wrestling with that stuff so much more than I want to. And I have to do quieter singing more often than I’d like to when it’s not what the song needs.

Having that said I have a lot of respect for overcoming those challenges and I think this song totally does that.

Not only is it exciting to hear you lean more into guitar and bass live performances and going outside of your comfort zone vocally, form-wise it feels like a complete thought, there are a lot of ideas in here and none of them get abandoned or un-realized, just feels like fluid and creative AF.

great work man!

Ben September 11, 2023 2:53pm

thank you! fun to let loose a little in guitarandbassland

lizzie February 27, 2023 5:05pm

i LIVED for the guitar at 2:20. neither it or the bass is too much at all. this is a song that my friends and i growing up would put on in one of our cars, smoke a little weed to, and just marvel at. i agree with @@agasthya about the percussion at the end. it’s comes after you’ve set the mood as enjoyable/relaxed in a jam kind of way, so it’s not annoying or distracting at all. great job!

Ben September 11, 2023 2:54pm

as someone who for many years pretty much *exclusively judged music based on how good it would be to smoke weed to in the car,* that means a lot. thanks

froebusiness February 27, 2023 1:46pm

Yeah dude. Big Elliot Smith vibes for me at times. I don’t know why, but “I’m going left” just really speaks to me. It’s such a simple little line but sounds so cool.

Ben September 11, 2023 2:55pm

now if only i could go left on the bball court

alechutson February 27, 2023 12:35pm

Ben, this is one of my favorites of yours. Vocals sound great. Loving your choices for sounds and the mix sounds great to me. Maybe the wood block is a little more pronounced than I would have gone for? It’s giving me like Dave Grohl meets Eliot Smith meets Silversun Pickups and they all cook a tasty treat together

alechutson February 27, 2023 12:36pm

A bit of Talking Heads in the outro

Ben September 11, 2023 2:56pm

ah yes, i def hear that in the intro.

and yeah, you know, the woodblock can be a very divisive block. im just glad you didnt hear the original mix and arrangement.

agasthya February 27, 2023 8:39am

either i never actually submitted a comment last night or @@peter might wanna check something out, BUT i love this. it doesn’t feel like a 5 minute song at all. I love the percussion-heavy section near the end and the bassline at around 2:45 is very McCartney (maybe hints of I Want You/She’s So Heavy?). love it!

Ben February 27, 2023 4:18pm

Thanks (and i’m glad i have a couple seconds that are reminiscent of my favorite bassman of all time). I’m usually disappointed in the sound of my bass recordings. i’m fine with my playing, but it’s always fretbuzzy if i hit a note anywhere in the first 3 or 4 frets. I usually have to either scoop out a bunch of frequencies to get rid of the buzz (i’m playing on my childhood Korean squire pbass, which i havent properly had a setup on in at least 20 years) or dramatically change how i play and where i hit my notes. But for this recording i put a capo on the second fret and played with a pick and it sounded kind of nice. minimal effects. Still has the grindy effect that i like and when i swing up to hit an octave on the same string (which is becoming a thing i do a lot i guess?), it wasn’t overbearing (i hope). A little overdriven but fairly well-contained and not gross sounding.

nick March 8, 2023 12:11pm

so true, agasthya re she’s so heavy

Ben September 11, 2023 2:59pm

sir paul, and weirdly chris squire of Yes, are masters of the using-a-pick bass slide up. i feel like something about their style of bass guitars (hofners and rickenbackers) lend themselves to being slid on.

Ryan February 26, 2023 11:12pm

“Bumbumbumbumbumbumbumbumbum” really does something for me in the intro haha. I hear a mix of Wilco and @@nick. And when the jam takes off, I get a little early Japanese Breakfast. But funkier.

You do such a great job of blending sections together—I never know what’s coming next from your songs and love that feeling. I could learn a thing or two from you in that regard.

I’m loving your vocal delivery here. And that you let it fly in the back half! Keep going with it—I thiiiink I hear a few spots where you’re still being careful to not disturb an imaginary judgmental listener. The parts where you do open up are great, though. Both tonally and emotionally. Love the “I’m on a jet!” delivery.

Ben February 27, 2023 5:07pm

yeah, i hear a couple imaginary neighbor spots too.

remembering something from 7 or 8 years ago:

The first time I ever met Andre was the morning after I did some *highly experimental* shrieking background vocals in my room on the third floor of 50 Garry Somerville when I thought I was alone.