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Who is Ben Sommer? I am a composer, performer, and writer. I’m also a pent-up curmudgeon. I vent on political and economic matters in my music. more…

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Recent News & Blogs

A Long, Dry Year - Its been a year since I released any new music – and it was a cover at that: 2012 (and 2013 so far) has been bone dry in the creative musical output department. This alone wouldn’t be so horrible if I … Continue reading
Why Copyright is Still Evil - I published an article last year on copyright and its evils. Both the title and tone were deliberately provocative for a reason – I argued against copyright from moral not utilitarian grounds. That is, I attacked head-on the fundamental injustice of … Continue reading
Deep Music Criticism #21 – Pharaoh – The Wolves - A recent discovery is the Philadelphia-based Power Metal band Pharoah. I stumbled onto them on Rhapsody last week. I am so enthused about them, I’ve been blabbing to everyone I know who likes: Iron Maiden Judas Priest Rush Black Sabbath … Continue reading
Douche Chill Music - Perhaps the most expressive pop culture phrase I’ve ever heard is Douche Chill. Until I heard it first uttered in 2002 on the Howard Stern show I had been without an accurate term to describe that cringing embarrassment I frequently … Continue reading
Deep Music Criticism #20 – TesseracT – April - A TesssracT is: The name of a mythical, 4-dimensional geometric cubic shape and The uber-pretentious name of a young “Djent” metal band from the UK. I stumbled onto them when winding my way down the list of popular djent metal … Continue reading
Deep Music Criticism #19 – Frank Zappa – Dirty Love - Sorry to keep returning to the fertile spring that is Frank Zappa’s song collection, but I know of no other rock composer with such a massive and popular output. By which I mean: an output that is massive and popular … Continue reading
Political Wednesday – Price Gouging Saves Lives - That frat-boy of a bully, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, issued warnings against price gouging to merchants in the aftermath of this Hurricane Sandy: “During emergencies, New Jerseyans should look out for each other — not seek to take advantage of … Continue reading
MP3 Rock Music Download – Yahoooo!! - Wow – that’s some article title, huh? Welcome to the absurd world of “search engine optimization” (SEO). This is the world of horribly vacant websites with computer-generated non-content, spam, phish and malware bait. Well – that’s usually the case with … Continue reading
Political Wednesday: When Does Human Life Begin? - Yeah, I know its Thursday. Sue me. I got into a debate with a friendly colleague of mine at work right before we headed home  tonight. He’s a guy with generally cynical tendencies who will subscribe to left/liberal positions when pressed. This … Continue reading
Deep Music Criticism #18 – Donald Fagen – I’m Not The Same Without You - So far in this series of music criticism posts, I’ve stuck to composers and songwriters working in a relatively simple format – pop, metal, mainstream progressive rock, etc. Rush and Frank Zappa are certainly adventurous by comparison with Katatonia and … Continue reading