Blogger, musician and web-lord Ben Heller curates this loving Favorites installment. He offers some beautiful thoughts about it here:
"It makes perfect sense that Serious Business would put out a Benji Cossa "Favorites" series. After all, The Beatles put out "1", a collection of their #1 hit singles, so why shouldn't Benji? The problem is, Benji doesn't have any hit singles. In fact, he doesn't have any songs on the radio at all. Even my hip friends who read Pitchfork religiously and pride themselves in knowing when the next XX record is coming out have no clue who he is. Benji Cossa is virtually unknown in every musical and cultural milieu but one, the one that matters--his friends. And so it's appropriate that in celebrating the enormous library of Benji Cossa recordings, we're not tracing his musical evolution chronologically, or picking the "best" or "catchiest" songs from his extensive catalog. Rather, we're selecting favorites, because every Benji Cossa song is somebody's favorite. This is ultimately higher praise for the artist, and infinitely more worthy a destiny for a song, than living out existence as some shitty hit single on pop fucking radio.
"But what is a favorite, really? It's a song that works its way inside of you so deeply, so viscerally, that it becomes the lense through which we live our lives. Our thoughts and emotions are inevitably tempered by its melody and sentiment. We remember our favorite songs in relation to the times they first struck us as something truly special, and they evoke those memories in a more vivid and internally conscious form than other kind of art could ever hope to achieve. Or hell, it could just be a little ditty that struck you the right way and that you now sing in the shower from time to time when the wife's gone to work, the pets are asleep, and the neighbors are out in the Hamptons for the weekend. Regardless, we need these songs in our lives--we need favorites--and songs need to be favored as much as we need to favor them. It's what extends 15 minutes of fame into a timeless classic, and what makes the music of Benji Cossa and countless others (Graham Smith, Greg Ashley, Dean Wells, and pretty much every band on Serious Business Records) a necessity, because a song's made worthy by those who cherish it. In selecting our favorite Benji Cossa songs, we're not only documenting the musical trajectory of a prolific songwriter, but also making as bold a statement as we possibly can that these songs deserve to be heard, and deserve to be loved. They're our favorites, and they should be your favorites too." - BEN HELLER. New Haven, CT. September 2012.
released September 25, 2012
April (Live at Southpaw, Brooklyn, 04.09.10) 03:16
Recorded live at the now defunct Southpaw in Park Slope by Kenny the FOH engineer and mixed later by travis. The band=THE KEY PLAYERS: benji (g, v), josh kaufman (b), eric jackson (g), annie nero (b, v), matt moon (s), travis harrison (d, p), brian kantor (d, p)
Life Mite B In Vain 01:27
Here's the Vault Vol. II version.
Sundae (Live and Un-amplified 05.08.05) 02:59
Check out the original YouTube clip www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdmx8pRB8S4
Marissa Wrong Vs. Melissa Long 01:04
It comes from deep in the Vault. Never before released.
Roslyn (II Album Version) 04:22
That's Mr. Heller on the trumpet.
Annie Delia (II Album Version) 02:02
5&6 are highlights from Benji's new album II made at Serious Business Music in NYC.
Warm Blooded Doll 02:47
This gem originally appeared on Benji's Vault Vol. I CD issued by Magic Marker Records in 2005.
If I Were You 01:13
You can get this song on The Rollercossa 7" with a different title: "If U Know What's Good 4 U."
Time For a Change (4-track Version) 03:33
The original version of this song is on Between the Blue and the Green.
Cleanin' Up (4-track Version) 03:23
Benji's lost 24 Karat Band album with Eric Copeland and Joe Bradley is home to a beautiful version of this song.
New Flowers (Fast 4-track Version) 03:09
Here is Benji's 4 track version of another highlight from II.
In Dew Time (2012 Stripped Mix) 03:57
The original version of this song closes out Benji's Tightens album from 2008. This is a more intimate mix made special for this mixtape.