Old Favourites: Ben Folds – “Rockin’ The Suburbs”

“You better watch out, ’cause I’m gonna say fuck!”

Ahh, Ben Folds. An artist I grew up with, although not quite as the involved fan that I am today – I spent years singing along to the Ben Folds Five hit “Brick” before I ever knew what it meant. In terms of videos, however, I’ll always remember the first clip he did as a solo artist – the title track to the awesome Rockin’ The Suburbs album.

This is one of those videos where, at the time, I’d never seen anything else quite like it. Folds performing as every member of a full band could have just been him stroking his ego, but it was also pretty symbolic of becoming a solo musician for the first time, now that I think of it. The energy with which each version of him performs is also a bold message of being free and ready to be the piano-pop smartarse he really wanted to be. Ripping on the nu-metal fad by dressing up as Fred Durst and also throwing in a subtle message of “Korn sucks” (look out for it!) was also incredibly timely and entertaining. There’s just too much fun to be had in this video, which is probably why I remember the whole thing so vividly. I’m not a massive fan these days, but you get me to this era of his career and I’m more than willing to worship at the altar of Foldsy. Another tip: look out for the sound engineer near where the bridge kicks in – pretty “Weird” dude, right?

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