Neon Bus God is a collection of songs that have been percolating around the studio like a cup of coffee with steamed milk, generously spiked with chocolate liqueur. Hmm, maybe that’s a bad simile, but it sounds delicious. Just a minute, I’ll be right back.
Ok, let’s continue. As I was saying, Neon Bus God is like a pastrami sandwich with a really good beer. Or if you prefer, you can stick with a salad and an Italian soda, and I’ll have a glass of wine, thanks. Wait, where were we going with this? Never write on an empty stomach.
The styles range from rock to folk to alt-country (and some pieces with genres hard to place), but skewed humor and home-grown arrangements link them together. Hand-crafted tunes, warts-and-all, fun and oddly catchy. Unreliable narrators and points of view that don’t match the author’s.
Instruments include electric and acoustic guitars, electric bass, treated acoustic bass, banjo, nylon-strung banjo, mandolin, violin, percussion, drum programming, keyboards and voices. Except where indicated, everything was played, programmed and sung by D.S. Benson.
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“If I Had a Stick” – a fun little song about the weapons race. Doesn’t everybody want a nuclear bomb? Doesn’t everybody want a sharpened stick?
“39 Women” – the guy who used to brag about getting horizontal with all the girls in high school shows up years later at the reunion, and nobody remembers him. One of many songs here that are about as far away from biographical as they can possibly get.
“Where’s The Future Gone”- weren’t we promised flying cars by now? Where’s my damn flying car?
Lead vocals by Ben Benson (who was 14 at the time). Doug sang the chorus vocals.
“Swept Away” – a serious song written after a bad flood in Texas. Mainstream country artists, take note. Big hit if you get this ready for radio next time the rain starts.
“Growing Some Friends” – A lonely and rather simple god creates Adam and Eve, then ends up leaving them. Because we always leave the ones we love, at least in songs.And I’m going away, but I’ll be back some day, if the place isn’t blown up by another Almighty.
“I Don’t Believe” – as sung by a clueless and wavering politician. The odd sounding stringed instrument at the start and end is a cheap banjo restrung with nylon guitar strings and played like a mandolin.
“My Heart Sustaineth Wounds” – beautiful and intricate acoustic guitar, with sensitive and lovely vocals about a heart-attack diet. And you thought it was a metaphor!
“Pig Meat Mama” – honestly, I can’t tell you what this is about. It just sorta happened. The title was a riff on Bow Tie Daddy, an old Mothers of Invention song.
“Hey Lady” – Let me shave your mole. Reprehensible! Whoever this guy is, he’s horrible! Let’s hope this isn’t based on a true story.
Lyrics by Greg Benson, of Mediocre Films. Follow him on YouTube.
Music by Doug Benson.
“Makoolan Love Song” – a traditional Makoolan song of love, sung in the original language, with a helpful translation into English. I’m not sure of the translator, but I like his style.
“The Pacific Is A Cesspool” – an overly earnest activist sings about trash. Hey, just because it hasn’t totally happened yet…have you read about Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Plastic: It’s What’s For Dinner!
“Baby Come Home” – another horrible narrator. Everybody sing along! You ain’t her but tonight you’ll do, so baby come home with me. Written years ago for my friend B_ on the occasion of a truly embarrassing party his father had thrown him in an attempt to marry him off—a pool party filled with attractive, available girls and no other guys apart from B_’s dad, his brother and me. I brought my guitar and sang this loudly as a singalong. You’re welcome.
“Shrivel Up And Die” was written by Doug and Greg Benson. The high harmony is Doug Benson, and the low harmony is Greg Benson. Greg played the electronic drums.
“Monsters Of Rock” was composed by Doug and Greg Benson. Greg played the electronic drums. The original title of the piece is “(Last Encore For The) Monsters Of Rock,” and it documents what our massively successful live stadium tour of a few years ago would have sounded like, if such a thing existed. The fake crowd was very enthusiastic over the light show. Wish you could have been there. Same for us.
“Our Lady of the Evening” – a lovely and sensitive song about a man and his favorite whore, and the dissolution of his marriage. Wonder why things didn’t work out for him?
“We Are Flying” – heaven as seen from the perspective of a bunch of moths. Go toward the light…