Return of the Exile

Brendan Benson travels from major-label obscurity to cult-status comfort

Plum, a high school buddy, roommate and now Benson's touring keyboardist, finds that notion a bit strange. "The scene in Detroit is just not that big," he says. "When I hear people talking about the Detroit scene, I'm like, it's really like two clubs and a handful of bands. Everybody knows each other from their bands."

Benson, though, says he's noticing subtle changes. The days of borrowing a homeboy's drummer for a night and picking up shows at random may well be numbered. "People have a lot more faith in what they're doing," he says. "They're more focused, too. Before, it was easy to be discouraged . . . now, people are like, maybe we'll have a go at it."

And maybe, just maybe, Benson will find another wide outlet for his brand of pop. "If I can tell one truth in a song, if I can tell something important to me and say something meaningful, in my mind, I'm happy," Benson says. "The rest is embroidery. It's fluff. But there has to be one true thing."

Hey, look, there's mine: Benson, a former record store clerk, finds his way back to the shelves.
Hey, look, there's mine: Benson, a former record store clerk, finds his way back to the shelves.

Details

Scheduled to perform with Ben Kweller on Monday, February 24. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call 480-966-8200 for more information.
Bash on Ash, 230 West Fifth Street in Tempe

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