Guest List: Non-Epic Music by Ben Martindale

This week's guest list is from Ben Martindale, jokester, talented writer (as you'll see in his intro), spiderman tattoo owner, and guitarist and vocalist in two projects that are securely locked in the storehouse of my heart, never-to-be-plucked: Snow Day and Dry Bones (RIP?). This is one of our favorite music/theme combos, so we'll waste no time jumping right in. Enjoy his intro because it's really something.

Phenomenal art by  Kyle Williams

Phenomenal art by Kyle Williams

By Ben Martindale:

I'm at Taco Bell. I take a gulp of my Baja Blast before I put the cap on. I feel sugary sweet goodness, yellow 5, and blue 1 cover and soften my teeth. Then, I feel a mysteriously thin string wrapping itself around the tip of my tongue. I reach in and I pull out a hair—course and jet black, wet with my saliva.

In this moment is poetry, but not of Homer or Shakespeare. Neither of them has heard of the Crunchwrap Supreme, or Mountain Dew. They don't understand the joy that comes from listening to Cap’n Jazz in your car at 3:00 a.m., or the cold, sterile beauty of a dimly lit parking garage. Their first kiss didn't follow a failed attempt to fill a premade smoothie bottle with urine. They don't know what it's like to listen to Boston and wonder what their cousin’s dad was like in the 80’s (well, 1980’s).

Growing up, my favorite lyricists didn't have enough of a sense of humor to write about finding a hair in their Baja Blast. They knew the minutiae (I learned this word from Seinfeld!) of twenty-first century suburbia, but instead wrote songs about drowning in the ocean, or pushing their demons out to sea (PLEASE, God, no more nautical imagery). They’re always angry, but never really all that honest. And despite playing shows in basements and VFW halls, the bands I loved sought a bigger, more epic sound. Well, screw that garb.

This list celebrates the beauty of the everyday, and intimacy of homemade music.


  1. Bodega Run - Crying
  2. Vegetables (Mono) - The Beach Boys
  3. Pickin' Boogers (Best Of) - Biz Markie
  4. Water - Alex G
  5. Punk Rock Girl - The Dead Milkmen
  6. Teeth - Elvis Depressedly
  7. She Don't Use Jelly - The Flaming Lips
  8. Total Doofus - Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid
  9. Mia - Spencer Radcliffe
  10. In The Garage - Weezer 
  11. Stupider - Stove

Apple Playlist.