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Ben Folds Mixes Quality, Quantity

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Ben Folds knows a bit of time has passed between his 2005 album "Songs For Silverman" and the just-released "Way to Normal." The piano-playing singer-songwriter did collect his EPs onto the "Supersunnyspeedgraphic, The LP" compilation in 2006, but, in a manner any Detroit Lions fan can appreciate, he takes full responsibility for the lengthy gaps in his ouvre.

"My problem is I write so slowly," says Folds, 42, a North Carolina native who now resides in Nashville. "I've been such a procrastinator about writing, always. The studio recordings become less eventful 'cause I'm writing as I'm recording and it tends to feel a little...static.

"So it takes me awhile, yeah. It's just down to me and my lazy...writer thing."

Folds does, however, embrace technological advancements and the Internet, which allow artists to release songs in a more instant fashion -- even though he remains devoted to the album form.

"I've never been afraid of downloading music, whether it's free or whatever. It makes it freer and more exciting," Folds notes. "The only thing that bums me out a little bit is the (sound) quality. We spend so much time trying to make things sound a certain way in the studio..and it just doesn't sound as good (online).

"To me what really holds up the best on these -- the downloads, the computers, the iPods, all of them -- are the old mono Elvis Presley Recordings or Nat King Cole. Those recordings sound good. The modern recordings..actually don't sound good to me at all, which I find a little alarming. Hopefully we can start to get that right."

Ben Folds and Missy Higgins perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 9) at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $35 and $27.50. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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