Filed Under:

Ben Allison: Leading A Stellar Band Far Beyond The World

Play associated audio

Most music fans will recognize the title of Ben Allison's new album, The Stars Look Very Different Today, as a reference to the song "Space Oddity," itself a reference to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The era that birthed David Bowie and Stanley Kubrick's respective masterpieces had a lasting effect on the bassist and composer — and, Allison says, on the crack team of musicians he currently has backing him up.

"The band has, I guess you could say, a decidedly rock feel, but there's all these other sounds coming out of these guys these days: lots of kind of sci-fi sounds, which is what was happening on the scene at that time," Allison tells NPR's Arun Rath. "Electronics really hit the music scene, and it was a big influence on me, coming up as a young musician."

The Stars Look Very Different Today features drummer Allison Miller, guitarist Steve Cardenas, and guitarist and banjo player Brandon Seabrook, all of whom lead bands of their own. Learn more about the making of the album, including what commonplace object Allison used to play its opening notes, by clicking on the audio link.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Comic-Con Fans Continue The Epic Battle Between Science And Fiction

Fans of science fiction have long wrestled with the question of just how much science should be in their fiction. Advocates of different approaches met at San Diego's Comic-Con.
NPR

Scraped, Splattered — But Silent No More. Finally, The Dinner Plate Gets Its Say

Instagram is the Internet's semi-obsessive, borderline-creepy love letter to food. But behind every great meal is a plate doing a pretty-OK job. So a comedian made an Instagram to celebrate plates.
NPR

Leaked Democratic Party Emails Show Members Tried To Undercut Sanders

Just days before the Democratic National Committee convention gets underway, WikiLeaks releases almost 20,000 emails among DNC staff, revealing discussions of topics from Bernie Sanders to the media.
NPR

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Few people can demand what kind of electricity they get. But Microsoft and Facebook, which operate huge, power-hungry data centers, are trying to green up the electricity grid with their buying power.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.