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A Dream About Lightning Bugs Review

This is a dreamy musical journey with the lighthearted lyrics of Flying Horse Winner (The Brainiacs, Moonfire) and a soundscape that features the music of Capyac (Agnostic Front, TV on the Radio, The Rapture). This is our first collaboration together as Bands on Acoustic. From the first moment we heard Flying Horse Winner’s song A Dream About Lightning Bugs we fell in love. We wanted to create an atmosphere around them where they could shine to their fullest potential and bring our listeners into a beautiful world of whimsical happiness. A Dream About Lightning Bugs audiobook is a unique collection of 10 stories from an extraordinary mind. Michael Canfield was a gifted essayist, short story writer, poet, blogger, and audio producer. These ten stories are about the amazing world of lightning bugs that only he could have written.

A soon-to-be classic is the timeless story of a young boy’s voyage of discovery—as a traveling lightning bug. The intriguing nature landscapes he discovers are uniquely animated, painted by a disciple of Albrecht Dürer and Cezanne.

A Dream About Lightning Bugs Review

“Lightning Bugs” is partly a meditation on creativity (“At its most basic, making art is about following what’s luminous to you,” Folds writes, “and putting it in a jar, to share with others”), and partly a plain-spoken memoir. It’s about as pure an extension of Folds’s naturalistic musical voice as it’s possible to get, light on drugs (only briefly alluded to), sex (ditto) and scandal (once, during a “Late Show” appearance, Folds threw his piano stool and upset David Letterman, and Folds was mildly upset that he was upset. That’s about it for scandal).

The book traces Folds’s musical pilgrimage, from childhood piano lessons in his native North Carolina to his days as a lederhosen-wearing teenager playing polka samples in a German restaurant. After unsuccessful attempts to land a record deal in Nashville and New York City, he returned to North Carolina. He was soon to turn 30, which is the worst thing that can happen to a musician.

Within weeks, he formed what would become his breakout band, Ben Folds Five, with local musicians Darren Jessee and Robert Sledge, whom he hardly knew. Within a year, they were cutting a debut album so terrible, Folds writes, it made someone who worked with the band cry.

Still, Folds knew they were onto something. The ’80s hair band scare had given way to the post-Nirvana, underground-misfits-go-pop vibe of the mid-’90s. Frontmen no longer needed to be mythic, heroic figures. They were free to be vulnerable and uncool and awkward, few more so than Ben Folds Five, a trio with no guitars, centered on a piano — “middle-class living room furniture” — which Folds insisted on lugging on club tours.

The trio never reached Beyoncé levels of fame, but for Folds, their early success was still rough going. Making music was easy enough, but industry glad-handing proved difficult. “The social part, the immersion in quasi-fame, sent my soul running for the recesses of my skull, where it crouched in hiding for years.” It got worse: The band’s second album had a single that landed. “Brick” was a wrenching piano ballad detailing Folds’s girlfriend’s teenage abortion. One of the unlikeliest songs to ever become a hit, its success was semi-scandalous back in 1997, and unthinkable today.

The author Ben Folds. (Joe Vaughn)

In the whole of human existence, no one has ever enjoyed being a rock star, or at least no one who has written a book about it. For Folds, fame, as expected, was a bummer. He doesn’t remember much of Ben Folds Five’s post-“Brick” ride, he writes, “and what I remember mostly makes me sad.” The trio never followed up “Brick” with another big hit, and their relationship disintegrated along with their chart prospects. They eventually broke up by email, and their reunion a few years later is scarcely mentioned.

Folds’s post-Five life has been a musically omnivorous one. He has released solo albums, collaborated with William Shatner, been an artistic adviser to the Kennedy Center, served as a judge on the NBC a cappella show “The Sing-Off” and even written a song for The Post about former deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to Folds, the constant restless motion of music-making was a way to avoid deeper issues: He was good at music but bad at life. He worked himself into ill health to avoid facing his chaotic inner self and married repeatedly; the book doesn’t even bother mentioning his fourth wife by name. “I didn’t know yet what drove this pattern of marriage and divorce, or my workaholism, the sleeplessness, or the dreaded gnawing anxiety I felt each morning before facing the day,” Folds writes. “But I knew it had real consequences.”

Folds eventually moved to Santa Monica and dealt with his demons the way wealthy Southern Californians do, with a years-long process of self-actualization that included Pilates, meditation and therapy. It’s a predictable, celebrity-memoir-narrative arc — obscurity, unfulfilling celebrity, downward spiral, self-help — that even an iconoclast like Folds ultimately can’t resist. No matter how many times it’s told, he writes, “that story never gets old.”

A Dream About Lightning Bugs Review

I was standing on the edge of a lake. It was midnight, and there were lightning bugs all over the place. They were flying around and lighting up the night sky. I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I just stood there trying to catch one in my hands (but failing miserably).

I wasn’t scared of them or anything—just curious and confused about what they were doing there. They just kept zooming around and lighting up the whole lake.

Then suddenly, one of them flew into me! It felt like it had hit me in the head really hard, and then it fell down onto my hand. It looked at me with its little black eyes, and before I knew it, it was gone—gone back into the lake!

I still don’t know why those lightning bugs were there or what happened to them after that night (and neither does anyone else), but I’m pretty sure that whatever happened probably isn’t good for anyone involved.

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