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Ministerial Cred

“Our music is very lyric driven,” says Eben Brooks. “If I had to choose a genre, I would call it progressive acoustic rock, but by progressive I mean politically and personally progressive. It’s possible for lyrics to reflect a wide range of complex social topics, even if writing anti-war songs nowadays is an open invitation for people to impugn your patriotism.”

Brooks counts various sci-fi authors as among his influences. “I’m a very big fan of Roger Zelazny’s work, and I’ve read all the Amber Chronicles,” says Brooks, whose video for his song “Champs Élysées” was inspired by Zelazny’s Courts of Chaos. “We chose Lestat’s to shoot at because the writer and director wrote a script that fits perfectly with their setup and decor. Lestat’s has great stone gargoyles.”

He points out that fantasy fiction and rock have long been simpatico. “I’ve always been a big fan of Jethro Tull, who tends to weave fantasy and sci-fi elements into their songs. Hawkwind writes music heavily influenced by Michael Moorcock, and there’s always Led Zeppelin’s work based on Tolkien.”

The Eben Brooks Band performs at Claire de Lune on June 7.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO SAN DIEGO?

“I followed a girl down here from L.A. and discovered that, for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel afraid all the time.... San Diego has a way of encouraging you to take chances, while L.A. tends to punish anyone who dares to step out of the line and draw attention to yourself.”

WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?

1. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, So Far. “The album has some of their iconic work, music that’s shaped the acoustic-rock genre ever since. Some of my all-time favorite songs are here: ‘Guinevere,’ ‘Ohio,’ and ‘Find the Cost of Freedom.’”

2. Paul Abbott, Enough Talk. “One of the best guitar players and instrumental composers I’ve ever heard. Locally, he’s probably better known as the man behind Zen Mastering, but I discovered him first as a performer.”

3. Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better. “These guys are absolutely hilarious.”

4. The Flash Girls, The Return of Pansy Smith and Violet Jones. “A fantastic duo that is now, sadly, defunct — or at least on hiatus. I discovered them because one member, Emma Bull, is one of my favorite science fiction authors.”

5. Michael Hedges, Live on the Double Planet. “Hedges was a phenomenal guitar player and composer. The tune that keeps me playing this disc over and over is his cover of ‘All Along the Watchtower.’”

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH THE POWER TO READ MINDS?

“I’d do my best to not read them. I’m a big privacy advocate, and if there’s a worse breach of privacy than reading someone’s mind, I can’t think of one.”

BRUSH WITH FAME?

“As a kid, I once flew on the same airplane as Esther Rolle, who played the mom on Good Times. She was flying coach which, even at age 13, I found sad.”

IMPOSSIBLE TO DO WITHOUT?

“Flush toilets. I mean, I can imagine living in pretty primitive conditions, but if I don’t have good sanitation facilities, I get grumpy in a real big hurry.”

WHAT VIDEO GAME ARE YOU PLAYING?

“City of Heroes, originally on the PC, but they just made a client for the Mac, so I play it on my MacBook Pro now. I love the superhero genre, and this game is unique in that you can actually do some meaningful play in only a half hour or so.”

MOST VISITED WEBSITES?

1. “LiveJournal.com, where most of my friends have their personal blogs.”

2. “DeviantArt.com, a large and well-populated online art gallery where I follow a number of talented artists, including comic book artist Jim Lee.”

3. “YouTube.com, mostly to follow the I Can Has Cheezburger channel of funny pet videos.”

HOW WOULD YOU RATE OBAMA’S FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE?

“I wish he would stop giving money to irresponsible bastards who couldn’t figure out how to spend the money they had to begin with. I hope he can do the things he promised to do — and so far it looks like he’s really trying — so I’m still on his side. For the time being.”

SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?

“I have a ministerial credential through the Celtic Witan Church of California, and I have performed three weddings, all for friends.”

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“Our music is very lyric driven,” says Eben Brooks. “If I had to choose a genre, I would call it progressive acoustic rock, but by progressive I mean politically and personally progressive. It’s possible for lyrics to reflect a wide range of complex social topics, even if writing anti-war songs nowadays is an open invitation for people to impugn your patriotism.”

Brooks counts various sci-fi authors as among his influences. “I’m a very big fan of Roger Zelazny’s work, and I’ve read all the Amber Chronicles,” says Brooks, whose video for his song “Champs Élysées” was inspired by Zelazny’s Courts of Chaos. “We chose Lestat’s to shoot at because the writer and director wrote a script that fits perfectly with their setup and decor. Lestat’s has great stone gargoyles.”

He points out that fantasy fiction and rock have long been simpatico. “I’ve always been a big fan of Jethro Tull, who tends to weave fantasy and sci-fi elements into their songs. Hawkwind writes music heavily influenced by Michael Moorcock, and there’s always Led Zeppelin’s work based on Tolkien.”

The Eben Brooks Band performs at Claire de Lune on June 7.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO SAN DIEGO?

“I followed a girl down here from L.A. and discovered that, for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel afraid all the time.... San Diego has a way of encouraging you to take chances, while L.A. tends to punish anyone who dares to step out of the line and draw attention to yourself.”

WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?

1. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, So Far. “The album has some of their iconic work, music that’s shaped the acoustic-rock genre ever since. Some of my all-time favorite songs are here: ‘Guinevere,’ ‘Ohio,’ and ‘Find the Cost of Freedom.’”

2. Paul Abbott, Enough Talk. “One of the best guitar players and instrumental composers I’ve ever heard. Locally, he’s probably better known as the man behind Zen Mastering, but I discovered him first as a performer.”

3. Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better. “These guys are absolutely hilarious.”

4. The Flash Girls, The Return of Pansy Smith and Violet Jones. “A fantastic duo that is now, sadly, defunct — or at least on hiatus. I discovered them because one member, Emma Bull, is one of my favorite science fiction authors.”

5. Michael Hedges, Live on the Double Planet. “Hedges was a phenomenal guitar player and composer. The tune that keeps me playing this disc over and over is his cover of ‘All Along the Watchtower.’”

WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH THE POWER TO READ MINDS?

“I’d do my best to not read them. I’m a big privacy advocate, and if there’s a worse breach of privacy than reading someone’s mind, I can’t think of one.”

BRUSH WITH FAME?

“As a kid, I once flew on the same airplane as Esther Rolle, who played the mom on Good Times. She was flying coach which, even at age 13, I found sad.”

IMPOSSIBLE TO DO WITHOUT?

“Flush toilets. I mean, I can imagine living in pretty primitive conditions, but if I don’t have good sanitation facilities, I get grumpy in a real big hurry.”

WHAT VIDEO GAME ARE YOU PLAYING?

“City of Heroes, originally on the PC, but they just made a client for the Mac, so I play it on my MacBook Pro now. I love the superhero genre, and this game is unique in that you can actually do some meaningful play in only a half hour or so.”

MOST VISITED WEBSITES?

1. “LiveJournal.com, where most of my friends have their personal blogs.”

2. “DeviantArt.com, a large and well-populated online art gallery where I follow a number of talented artists, including comic book artist Jim Lee.”

3. “YouTube.com, mostly to follow the I Can Has Cheezburger channel of funny pet videos.”

HOW WOULD YOU RATE OBAMA’S FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE?

“I wish he would stop giving money to irresponsible bastards who couldn’t figure out how to spend the money they had to begin with. I hope he can do the things he promised to do — and so far it looks like he’s really trying — so I’m still on his side. For the time being.”

SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?

“I have a ministerial credential through the Celtic Witan Church of California, and I have performed three weddings, all for friends.”

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Outtakes:

“Our music is about growing, challenging oneself, becoming a better person, and making the world a better place,” says Brooks, formerly with the Celtic folk band the Wild Oats (1991 – 2002). “We’re trying to create music that makes people think. Obviously, we want to entertain people, and we want them to be able to enjoy a song or a show without feeling they’re being beaten over the head with a ‘message,’ but the messages are there. Our music is very lyric-driven.”

FAVORITE SPINAL TAP QUOTE? “This one goes up to 11!”

BEST ADVICE YOU EVER GOT? “Dr. Arne Liss continually tells me to ask myself ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ That usually helps me find the courage to go on.”

May 20, 2009

Great article Eben, congratulations! This is much needed notoriety for a good guy who plays good music and does a lot of charity work for the community.

May 20, 2009

Eben Brooks is one of my local favorites! His shows are consistently entertaining, and he goes the extra mile for those in need. Congratulations on an awesome article. I hope the Reader and others start to pay more attention to you in our local scene. It's long overdue!

May 20, 2009

Eben Brooks is a talented artist with an interest in utilizing his words and skills to motivate people to look around themselves and help others in need.

... And the music is fun. Life should be full of fun moments to help with the other ones that aren't as much so.

The June 7 concert at Claire de Lune is one of an ongoing series of charity events to benefit the San Diego Food Bank, and his 'Heroes Against Hunger' campaign.

Worthy causes need people to stand up for them.

Congratulations, Eben, on getting the word out. ;-)

May 21, 2009

Congrats Eben I am so glad you were interviewed by the reader. I can't wait for the next Heroes Against Hunger Show at Clair de Lune!!! It is going to be a great one! I love your music and can't wait to see your follow up interview!!!

May 21, 2009

You guys are totally fun, okay, so, like at your next Claire De Lune show, could you, pretty please play your Cthulhu song!

The June 7 concert at Claire de Lune is one of an ongoing series of charity events to benefit the San Diego Food Bank, and his 'Heroes Against Hunger' campaign. Every purchase of buttons/ cd's and such has a bit going to the fund too, so hear thier music, drink some coffee from Claire De Lune and purchase a CD!

See ya there.

May 21, 2009

The Claire de Lune show is a "Heroes Against Hunger" show. This show will help feed the hungry in San Diego County, and it's a monthly show that happens every first Sunday. See http://music.ebenbrooks.com/heroes.html for more details on these concerts.

May 21, 2009

I really enjoy Eben Brooks from afar, through his videos on YouTube and Gather.com. If I ever make it to San Diego, I really hope to be able to catch him at one of his ongoing Heroes Against Hunger shows, which are the first Sunday of each month. Eben is a true hero who really works to make the world a better place, and we should hear more about him!

May 21, 2009

Hey, you didn't mention your lovely and talented bandmates!

But seriously, what's with the "if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be" questions? This interview could have covered much more substantial ground.

May 21, 2009

As the above mentioned writer/director of the Champs Élysées video, I'm thrilled to see Eben get this coverage.

I know the questions asked are typical of this column, but really, Eben has so much more going on. The Claire De Lune shows of the Heroes for Hunger tour are just the beginning.

May 22, 2009

Eben and his band are awesome!!! They play once a month {the first Sunday of every month}, at Claire De Lune's in a fight against hunger in San Diego oounty. They are known as the Heroes for Hunge3r tour. So far so good!!

May 25, 2009

Eben also has a video blog he puts out on his LJ. It spotlights ways to get involved in the community/volunteerism and social issues. Really cool guy and really involved in charity.

May 26, 2009

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