The Light

When I first moved to Seattle I was looking for a job like anyone moving to a new city. I hit up some people that I went to school with came up with nothing. That was fine, it was expected, but it’s funny how contacts have a great sense of timing. I had been working in Pioneer Square as a retail gorilla when I got a call from Rich.

“Would you be interested in doing some internet radio?”

“Yeah, sure. What can you tell me?”

“Nothing, just wait for a phone call,” he said.

Okay. So I got a call about an hour later from Linda and she went into her 30-second elevator speech. Sounded interesting. Didn’t sound half bad. We agreed to meet with her husband Mark at a Starbucks a couple days later.

Between the initial call and when we met, a lot of things ran through my mind:

  1. Why start an internet station when there are so many out there already?
  2. What’s the revenue model like?
  3. Will I be able to hold down my full-time gig and do this as well?

Long story short, the answer was no. I gave it a full year before I threw in the towel. I don’t give up easily, but this project was taking up a lot of my free time with very little to no payout. However, there is a silver lining to this cloud. Our focus was unsigned Seattle bands from all walks of life. If you had a CD, we would put it on the station with one of the many available programming options. This is how I heard Ben Union for the first time.

We were holding a band showcase at a local restaurant and Ben Union were closing out the night. Being involved with the radio station also meant that I would run the board at some of the live events. By some, I mean all. Just before the Ben Union set, one of the other people from the station was able to give me a break and run the board himself. I headed off to the green room and had a cold drink.

I wasn’t paying attention to the clock but something caught my ear. I have always had this sonic fetish for good instrumentals. Not just the instrumental of a vocal track, but a true instrumental. I asked the band’s manager sitting in the green room what the track was and was it something that they reserved to play live. He said, “No, it’s on the album. It’s called No Name.”

I usually have to hear more than a single track to buy an album, particularly from such an unknown performer but I made an exception. I got over to the merch table where it was being run in shifts by the girlfriends of the different band members. I think it was $10 for the CD, coulda been $20, didn’t make a difference. I wanted to reconnect with the exhilaration I had listening to No Name in my car for the first time again.

To my surprise, there was a second instrumental on there called Ready, Set, Go and it couldn’t have been placed at a better point in the album. The Light became an album that I wanted to get everybody I knew. But here’s the thing about Ben Union and I have to respect it, they give away all of their music on their website for free. You can buy the stuff online if you want to but they have links on their homepage to the free stuff. It’s not just singles here and there, it’s entire albums!

I, for one, still choose to pay for Ben Union’s albums. They are a great sounding band and bunch of great guys as well.

The Light4:09
No Name5:42
Take Me Higher4:38
Kiss The Girl4:37
Paul Sartre'4:32
Take Her Away4:36
Ready, Set, Go6:37
Light Of The World4:22
Too Many9:28