Their creative anti-twitter song

12 DT vlogs and 2 years later, it’s official.

Ben Naecker (C’09, Water Polo) and Blake West (W’09, Jazz Combos), the Penn alumni friends who moved to Austin to pursue music and swore that “real jobs were not my forte” have split up because of “real jobs”.

After the jump watch their final episode where:

  • Ben and Blake talk about the wisdom they’ve gained
  • Listen to and download the 3 of their new songs
  • and find out what their individual future plans are

On behalf of all Penn alumni musicians and Penn alumni daring to live out a dream, thank you Blake and Ben for letting us follow you on your journey over these past 2 years and best of luck in the future!

Per Blake,

“This final episode brings practical knowledge of the costs and process behind making a physical album. But we also bring some wisdom gained after 2 years of trying to just make music. We found that until you stumble upon a huge pile of money, it’s always going to be pretty much impossible to spend all your time creating music. Your either going to be spending hours and hours marketing your band, getting gigs, planning tours, updating websites, etc. or your going to have to get a job of some kind to support yourself (and likely you’ll have to do both). Even those at the very top will have to do interviews, photo shoots, and publicity. But it’s not all gloom… because we’ve also found that as long as you’re willing to work at it, even the tough challenges of life can’t stop you from being creatively productive. Ben and I recorded and wrote for 3 original EP’s in 2 years, plus writing for a movie and a commercial. We leave you with our future plans, a link to our band’s EP “Speak Up”, a video of one of our live shows, and 3 free song download (listen below!). 

What’s going on with Ben and Blake now?

  • Blake’s plans now are to focus on building his lessons company and already has 9 active students. Despite the split up, Ben is still writing and producing via email with Blake and his bandmate Marshall. They plan to release new material sometime next year.
  • Ben is now at Stanford studying Neuroscience while Blake continues his music pursuit.

For 10 Feet Wide
“Lyrically, this song is about moving on, in different ways. Dealing with making our physical move to Austin, leaving behind our friends/family, and also moving on from other people, and getting left behind. The singer and I always co-wrote lyrics, so we generally took scenes from both of our lives that fit the theme of the song.”
  10 Feet Wide by bwest87

For the Seed:
“Musically, it came out of one of the last jams Ben and I had at Penn with our old drummer. But it wasn’t until our lead singer came along that we finally pieced it all together to make a full song.”
  The Seed by bwest87

“This one sprang out of conversations we all had as a band about our distaste for Twitter. And specifically, we try to talk about the limitations of having so few words to try and say something interesting and/or accurate. Obviously brevity is the soul of wit, and this is not to say twitter has no purpose (it has a lot of good ones), but we wanted to talk about where Twitter comes up short, and the challenges of electronic communication in general.” (check out the lyrics below)
  #140charactergospel by bwest87

140 Character Gospel
Words create clarity for the ideas in your mind
With only a few sentences, your heart remains blind.

The grid, feels like a fence, holds back what I think
So package it up for these wires and chains, so I can fit between the links

I didn’t want to hear their lines
‘cause it creeps up in your life
Till you’re on the line
On the line tangled and tied
We’re fighting through this net
Only the surface gets by

If you reduce enough, every shape is a line
140 symbols can’t show the contours
Of how this pattern is defined

I need to see your face,
To understand what you meant,
Cause I’m just a dog, and I can’t get through
Always plugged into this fence.

I didn’t want to hear their lines
‘cause it creeps up in your life
Till you’re on the line
On the line tangled and tied
We’re fighting through this net
Only the surface gets through

We can’t hear you, could you speak up?

Links mentioned in vlog:; ; 

Ben and Blake’s website HERE

DT Catch Up: 

More Penn musicians HERE

More Original DT Series:


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