Les Fleurs du mal
William Benton (aka Cat Casual) is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist originally from the panhandle of Oklahoma. He has played and toured with bands for nearly half of his life, playing both guitar and bass in various bands and projects. In recent years he has collaborated with the likes of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), Ivan Julian (The Foundations, Richard Hell and the Voidoids), and many others as well as sharing the stage with many legendary performers of the past and present.
William first served Louisville, Kentucky, where he carved a unique legacy as an uncompromising songwriter and highly creative, energetic live performer. Bands as diverse as Bodyhammer, Tyrone, and Lucky Pineapple tapped into nearly every musical style, funneling them into an indie-punk-art rock format to the delight of Louisville showgoers and music fans.
William curated the never released Burn to Shine 4, the Louisville installment of the Brendan Canty (Fugazi) released DVD series which featured local bands of a given city performing live in a doomed structure. (Performers included Shipping News, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Parlour, Majik Markers, Lucky Pineapple, Liberation Prophecy, and many others.)
William would go on to enlist in The Phantom Family Halo (Knitting Factory Records) while in Louisville- which would relocate him to Brooklyn, New York- to tour and record bass and lead guitar on two full-lengths and an EP collaboration with Bonnie “Prince” Billy. William left the band in the fall of 2012.
Currently, he is handling bass and guitar duties with Shilpa Ray, recently releasing the EP It’s All Self Fellatio on Nick Cave’s Bad Seed Ltd. imprint. He is also grooming his solo band for live shows in the near future. Most recently, he contributed original music for a production of Marius Von Mayenberg play The Ugly One which was performed at The Bridge Theatre.
When asked about his experimental, solo guitar sets, he explained that he usually approaches the task “cinematically”, citing influences such as Bernard Herrmann, Angelo Badalamenti, Ennio Morricone, and Don Cherry’s soundtracks to the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky- but voiced concern about confining himself to just that concept:
"Contemporary guitarists’ influences always creep in. Nels Cline and Thurston Moore’s Pillow Wand had a profound effect on me and the way I hear improvised guitars; the subtleties juxtaposed with the chaos altered my brain chemistry forever. But I am a huge fan of Fripp/Eno’s No Pussyfooting, Marc Ribot’s incredible bodies of work, James “Blood” Ulmer, John McLaughlin’s work with Tony Williams and Miles Davis as well as his solo album Devotion, Glenn Branca, Michael Karoli, John Frusciante, Rowland S. Howard, Otomo Yoshihide, Link Wray, Zoot Horn Rollo, Grant Green, and on and on. So I can’t accurately forecast where it’ll go. Tis the spirit of improvising, right? I will say that, being that I have been working on the new band, that I might throw in some ‘real’ songs if so inspired- and if it looks like I am hurting people. Again.”
William currently resides in Ridgewood, Queens.
He is also a regular contributor to Insider Louisville, often detailing his life and times as an Okie in New York.

(Photo by Greg Buyalos ‪#‎studio225bk‬)

William Benton (aka Cat Casual) is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist originally from the panhandle of Oklahoma. He has played and toured with bands for nearly half of his life, playing both guitar and bass in various bands and projects. In recent years he has collaborated with the likes of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), Ivan Julian (The Foundations, Richard Hell and the Voidoids), and many others as well as sharing the stage with many legendary performers of the past and present.

William first served Louisville, Kentucky, where he carved a unique legacy as an uncompromising songwriter and highly creative, energetic live performer. Bands as diverse as Bodyhammer, Tyrone, and Lucky Pineapple tapped into nearly every musical style, funneling them into an indie-punk-art rock format to the delight of Louisville showgoers and music fans.

William curated the never released Burn to Shine 4, the Louisville installment of the Brendan Canty (Fugazi) released DVD series which featured local bands of a given city performing live in a doomed structure. (Performers included Shipping News, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Parlour, Majik Markers, Lucky Pineapple, Liberation Prophecy, and many others.)

William would go on to enlist in The Phantom Family Halo (Knitting Factory Records) while in Louisville- which would relocate him to Brooklyn, New York- to tour and record bass and lead guitar on two full-lengths and an EP collaboration with Bonnie “Prince” Billy. William left the band in the fall of 2012.

Currently, he is handling bass and guitar duties with Shilpa Ray, recently releasing the EP It’s All Self Fellatio on Nick Cave’s Bad Seed Ltd. imprint. He is also grooming his solo band for live shows in the near future. Most recently, he contributed original music for a production of Marius Von Mayenberg play The Ugly One which was performed at The Bridge Theatre.

When asked about his experimental, solo guitar sets, he explained that he usually approaches the task “cinematically”, citing influences such as Bernard Herrmann, Angelo Badalamenti, Ennio Morricone, and Don Cherry’s soundtracks to the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky- but voiced concern about confining himself to just that concept:

"Contemporary guitarists’ influences always creep in. Nels Cline and Thurston Moore’s Pillow Wand had a profound effect on me and the way I hear improvised guitars; the subtleties juxtaposed with the chaos altered my brain chemistry forever. But I am a huge fan of Fripp/Eno’s No Pussyfooting, Marc Ribot’s incredible bodies of work, James “Blood” Ulmer, John McLaughlin’s work with Tony Williams and Miles Davis as well as his solo album Devotion, Glenn Branca, Michael Karoli, John Frusciante, Rowland S. Howard, Otomo Yoshihide, Link Wray, Zoot Horn Rollo, Grant Green, and on and on. So I can’t accurately forecast where it’ll go. Tis the spirit of improvising, right? I will say that, being that I have been working on the new band, that I might throw in some ‘real’ songs if so inspired- and if it looks like I am hurting people. Again.”

William currently resides in Ridgewood, Queens.

He is also a regular contributor to Insider Louisville, often detailing his life and times as an Okie in New York.

(Photo by Greg Buyalos ‪#‎studio225bk‬)

I miss playing music with this guy.
Extremely talented, extremely positive.

I miss playing music with this guy.
Extremely talented, extremely positive.

Me onstage with Lucky Pineapple from a couple of years back. This was some weird festival we played. The headliner was KC and the Sunshine Band. Seriously.

Fun night. I got heroically drunk.

Me onstage with Lucky Pineapple from a couple of years back. This was some weird festival we played. The headliner was KC and the Sunshine Band. Seriously.

Fun night. I got heroically drunk.

Lucky Pineapple - Undertown

I wrote this song the evening after my younger brother (and Lucky Pineapple bassist) was hit by a truck while biking. I went to the emergency room and he was on a bed with his head covered in a heaping, bloody turban. Being the low-key guy he is, he simply said “Oh, hi guys.”

I was driving that night, very emotional about the whole thing. It was night and I was going up and down the streets in downtown Louisville and the main riff came to mind. I wanted it to sound like the “Taxi Driver” soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann but not too jazzy. I think it accomplished what I wanted it to, a combination of something pleasant and beautiful yet recognizing and respecting an omnipresent sadness. It’s one of the few times a song ended up pretty much exactly the way I wanted it to. I am very happy with this one.

The rainy day traffic noise was recorded in front of my workplace at 21c Museum Hotel when I was still a valet driver. I ran a microphone down the street one way, then another one in the opposite direction, capturing the stereo-effect of the vehicles driving down Main Street.

This track was recorded by our keyboard player, Brian Sweeney at his place in rural Indiana, The Red and Brown Audio Lounge.

Lucky Pineapple - Sexxx
20 plays

I have been asked up New York way about Lucky Pineapple a few times of late- so i’ll post a few songs from our second full-length over the next few days.

This is one that was recorded at Electrical Audio. During the “second act”, the super distorted guitar solo I did was on Steve Albini’s guitar that was used in Big Black….which was no small thing to a simple Okie like myself. I was totally uncomfortable with the guitar, physically, but I think it helped with an “appropriate” solo for this weirdo song…..

Most of these songs are super fast on the record- that’s funny to me.

I get asked about this album more than I would care to acknowledge- but here is the link to how/where you may buy it digitally (for only $5).

I am rather proud of at least 75% of this music. It was a strange band with some of my favorite people ever. It never quire accomplished what any of us had hoped it would musically………..but that’s OK.

Many thanks to Noise Pollution Records for always supporting every single band that I was a part of and for keeping such oddities such as this band available for public consumption.

(Cover art by my ex-wife, Jessica Faulkner.)

Hired Ham: Bassist, Guitarist

If you know of anybody in the Brooklyn/New York City area that needs a guitarist or bassist, I have returned from tour homeless and I am not making enough money at my “real” job to pay rent on anything at the moment. So I’d rather play music.

I am available to tour, practice, yadda yadda. The Phantom Family Halo have a CMJ gig coming up and another show on November 25th. Nothing else until our album comes out on/around Valentines Day 2012.

I grew up playing bass but have played guitar primarily over the past 12-15 years…? Influences are jazz, noise, country, surf/garage, but I came about via punk rock.

Feel free to pass my name along if you hear of anybody or anything. I don’t have a price or anything- just wanna stay fed and stay moving.

catcasual at gmail dot com

Me, as an Amy Winehouse-ish drag queen for a show I played.
Heels suck.

Me, as an Amy Winehouse-ish drag queen for a show I played.

Heels suck.

Tonight.

Tonight.

Come see me if you are anywhere near any of this:

Lucky Pineapple @ SXSW in Austin, Texas: We’ll be there Friday, 3/19, spreading the word and hanging out and then we’ll be playing twice on Saturday, 3/20- one being a show that I am short on the details for and the other, later show is our showcase at The Amsterdam Cafe at 9pm.

Then, I am flying off to resume touring w/ Phantom Family Halo:

My Disco, Phantom Family Halo
3/21 Brooklyn, NY @ Charleston
3/22 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Neck Tie
3/23 Washington, DC @ DC 9

Young Widows, My Disco, Phantom Family Halo
3/24 Charlotte, NC @ Milestone
3/25 Athens, GA @ 40watt
3/26 Atlanta, GA @ 529 
3/27 Birmingham, AL @ The Firehouse

Hope to see some cool folks out there.

I’m super happy to hear that Man or Astroman will be down at SXSW this year doing a few different shows. I surely hope to catch one while we’re down that way. They were/are the nicest, hardest working guys and a huge influence on me.

Put out the word, if possible: know of anything going on Friday, March 19th, that Lucky Pineapple can be added to while we’re in Austin, Texas for SXSW? We’ll do about anything: in-stores (pffft), house party, a Brit milah, play in a park…whatever. Thanks!

"Jersey Shore" sure likes the Lucky Pineapple. They used two more songs:

http://www.mtv.com/shows/jersey_shore/episode.jhtml?episodeID=162688

Slowly but surely, the details trickle in: Lucky Pineapple will be performing at SXSW 2010 in Austin, Texas, on March 20th at Cafe Amsterdam.