Benjamin Wagner Biography

January 1st, 2007

When the walls collapse, the storm passes, and the dream ends. When the bones are healed, and the song is over. What’s left behind?

New York City singer/songwriter Benjamin Wagner probes these depths with lyrical nuance and melodic faculty in his extraordinary new album, “What’s Left Behind.” The 11 songs reflect the zeitgeist: entropy, decadence and decay. Things fall apart. The center will not hold.

“Everything around you,” Wagner sings in the album-opening stomper, ...

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Waterloo Bar Invites Iowa Native For Performance

December 1st, 2005

Though Benjamin Wagner has no idea what he'll face in Waterloo Saturday, he knows he'll be coming full circle.

When Wagner, a singer-songwriter who was born in Iowa and now lives in New York City, performs at Smitty's Bar, he'll fulfill his end of a bargain made months ago. Looking for some funding for his most recent album, "Heartland," Wagner offered rewards on his Web site --- signed CDs, T-shirts, assorted tchotchkes --- to those who would donate certain amounts to his recording efforts. ...

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Judging A Band By Its Covers

September 8th, 2005

Buying "Tiny Dancer"? Would you prefer the original Elton John, the Ben Folds or the Tim McGraw? "Smells Like Teen Spirit"? Can we interest you in Tori Amos or Paul Anka?

With the advent of searchable music sellers like iTunes, it has become easier than ever to discover -- or stumble on -- covers of favorite songs. And since it's only a few clicks from "Heart of Glass" (Blondie) to "Heart of Glass" (Space Surfers), some savvy musicians are realizing that doing their own take on a popular ...

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Songwriter And MTV Producer At Emerson College

December 4th, 2004

Benjamin Wagner, songwriter and executive producer of MTV News Digital spoke and performed a song to an intimate crowd of about 30 students at the Bill Bordy Theater last Sunday.

"It's a lecture and a rock show," Wagner said.

Wagner summarized the last 34 years of his life in hopes of explaining how who he was as a little kid growing up in Washington, DC led him to who he is today As he spoke about his life, he continually emphasized the significance of asking for help when you need ...

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Part Bard, Part Blogger

May 15th, 2004

Benjamin Wagner has been playing New York's watering holes since the early 90s. His songs are straightforward, with easy-to-hum melodies and memorable choruses. Now on his sixth CD, the boyish singer/songwriter is part bard, part blogger, crooning about life in the big city and on the road. He's Ryan Adams without the 'tude, Pete Yorn without the hair, John Denver without the glasses, Dave Matthews without the dance moves.

New York Press (New York, NY)

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Sleepy-Eyed Songwriter

August 18th, 2003

Benjamin Wagner first started playing music in high school. He practiced his songwriting skills and learned the guitar well enough to perform in bands at Syracuse University, including the alternative pop group, Smoky Junglefrog, which opened for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

After college, Wagner moved to New York City and started playing as a solo artist in clubs like the Mercury Lounge and Arlene Grocery. While working for Rolling Stone Online and MTV News, Wagner developed a fan base and ...

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Welcoming Benjamin Wagner

September 19th, 2002

New York City singer/songwriter Benjamin Wagner may be one of the music world's best kept secrets.

Wagner has been writing, performing and recording music for more than 10 years and released his fourth major self-released album, "Crash Site," in 2001.

He is also about to release "Summer's Gone," the second single from the album, which features several remixes and two new recordings, "Hollywood Arms," and a cover of Phil Collins' "Take Me Home."

To celebrate the CD's release, Wagner is ...

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Crash Site: Extraordinary

September 27th, 2001

This chap Benjamin Wagner has been sending me demos of his music for about five or six months now. And a week or so ago he finally sent me an album that he is self-releasing and that he is selling on his website and at gigs.

It's an album that has been a year in the making and the title of the album, which was decided upon months and months ago, and the cover of the album, which was printed months and months ago, well the title of the album is "Crash Site." The cover of the album is of a ...

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Rock & Scroll: The Intel Music Fest

August 7th, 1998

If someone yells out "Free Bird" at a computer screen, does it still make a sound? In the Internet era, rock tours are coming to homes (and offices) near you; this summer's websites range from glorified souvenir programs to on air concerts. The latter concept remains in the developmental stage, but certain traditions remain: Even online you can buy an overpriced T-shirt.

The most ambitious sites create a new kind of surf rock that literally brings it all back home. During the Intel New ...

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Wagner Acoustic Again for ‘Bloom’

February 8th, 1995

Although his music has been compared to that of James Taylor, Michael Penn, Jeffrey Gaines and Suzanne Vega, Saratoga Springs resident Benjamin Wagner has his roots in a somewhat louder tradition.

While an undergraduate at Syracuse University, Wagner led a jangly alternative-rock aggregatioin called Smokey Junglefrog, which opened concerts for Dada, the Samples and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

"The Replacements Paul Westerberg is more my style as a songwriter. I love the way his music ...

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