The LB Collective

The LB Collective

BandPopAmericana

Remember your favorite mix tape from college? That's the LB Collective: an eclectic mix of song styles ranging from funk-blues to pop-americana, with an underlying unity found in lush, soulful vocals and witty, insightful songwriting.

Biography

The LB Collective, fronted by New York native and songwriter Laura Benjamin, is a pop-rock band known for innovative and multi-dimensional music. The Atlanta-based band released its debut CD, let it go, in the fall of 2007. Produced by Grammy® award-winner Don McCollister of Nickel and Dime Studios, the album’s “soulful, introspective sounds” are “sure to charm listeners” (James Hester, Southeast Performer). LB’s soulful vocals, innovative lyrics and bluesy style have been compared to musicians ranging from k.d. lang to Fiona Apple.

The LB Collective received top honors from fans at OurStage.com three times in the past year and a half. In November 2008, LB’s song "Oblivion" was given the top prize in the "RedGorilla" category, earning the band a spot in the 2009 RedGorilla Music Fest in Austin, Texas. Two other songs have also earned top awards from the Ourstage fan community in categories as diverse as Alternative Country and Soft Rock.

Says premier vocal producer Jan Smith of Atlanta-based Jan Smith Studios: "Love Laura Benjamin’s debut CD - mostly because she has the nerve to be unique and write material with content and melody that’s memorable. Fitting somewhere between a tamed version of Tori Amos and Laura Nyro revisited, Laura Benjamin’s music is lyrically sound, vocally unique, and above the cut of mainstream nonsense. Be sure to check out my fave-rave - ‘What Would He Think’. It’ll make you think - LOVE that!!”

LB places emotional honesty at the heart of her songwriting; several of her songs are reflections of love and loss. Still other songs capture more whimsical concerns - standing on one’s own, putting down roots in unexpected places, even musing over the fate of no-longer-planet Pluto. Her lyrical style is both quirky and accessible, while her knack for catchy melodic hooks gives the songs a universal appeal. Certain lyrics have been known to make listeners tear up, but fundamentally, the music is about perseverance and optimism, with a healthy dose of self-deprecation.

LB began her full-time music career shortly after graduating from Yale University in 1999. From 2001 - 2004, she and several of her current bandmates performed widely around the southeast as members of the swing band The Zoots, with LB as a lead vocalist and keyboard player. Since then, she has also performed extensively as a solo artist, been a featured member of a musical satire troupe, and been involved in several other bands. The LB Collective is currently in pre-production for its sophomore album, to be released in 2010.

Lyrics

Goodbye Pluto

Written By: Laura Benjamin

We hold certain truths to be self-evident
Even if everything around us may change
Day follows night, and spring follows winter
An eleven day week would seem rather strange.
But there comes a moment in our growing older
When childhood certainties no longer apply
We may feel betrayed, or even abandoned
As we turn our sights to the sky….

We thought we had the solar system straight
Where once were nine, there now are only eight….

CHORUS:
So GOODBYE, PLUTO
The scientists all concur
GOODBYE, PLUTO
You’re not what we thought you were….

It’s not the first time I’ve been led to consider
Facts that I formerly thought to be true…
Like…”we all will find love”, “we’ll all raise a family”
“Our leaders know best what to do…”

Through time’s march, illusions fall away
So it’s with a heavy heart that I now say…

CHORUS:
GOODBYE, PLUTO
The scientists all concur
GOODBYE, PLUTO
You’re not what we thought you were….
No you’re not what we thought you were….

BRIDGE:
Yet it doesn’t seem fair…
To give you a new designation….when you didn’t go anywhere
It all feels so surreal…
I’m left without explanation, for why you got such a raw deal…

So they tell me that now I can’t call you a planet
You’re too small, with not enough gravity
I choose to refuse to accept your new status
You’ll always be a planet to me…
Yes you’ll always be a planet to me…

So it won’t be GOODBYE, PLUTO
You’ll live on in our hearts
No it won’t be GOODBYE
So it won’t be GOODBYE, PLUTO
You’ll live on in our hearts
No it won’t be GOODBYE…

Let it Go

Written By: Laura Benjamin

VERSE: A burning inside of you is trying to break out;
It might not be good or pure; don’t know what it’s about.
Is it just restlessness, has your life become no fun?
Or is there a darker cause, are you coming undone?
You have dreams of adventure, but they’re more than you can take…
They all seem faintly sordid, make you blush when you wake
You’re obsessed with appearances, and you fear your wilder side
You suppress all your impulses; keep them bottled up inside
CHORUS
Why care what other people say? Live the life you want, in your own way
You’ll never please ‘em all, all the time...oh no no
So just LET IT GO,

VERSE: You can’t handle the part of you that is not status quo
You’ve got hidden desires that you want no one to know
Just why are you so desperate to fit into some mold?
You don’t question convention. No, you just do what you’re told.
CHORUS

BRIDGE: You’re far more complex than you reveal...
It’s not a crime to allow yourself to feel
You’re all wrapped up in pride and control…
Why don’t you let your hair down? Show your soul....

CHORUS
CHORUS
OUTRO: Why care what they say, just LET IT GO.
LET IT GO.

Oblivion

Written By: Laura Benjamin

VERSE:
Everyone is disappearing
At least it seems that way to me…
Or else I’ve just lost my reason
I can’t trust the things I see

It’s a matter for discussion;
Living by what we perceive
That crazy guy out on the corner, on the soapbox,
Thinks he’s sane as you or me
PRECHORUS
And it sometimes makes me wonder
What this world is all about
And it sometimes feels like too much, too much, too much
And I need a good way out...
CHORUS
I think I need to fall into OBLIVION

VERSE:
We’re obsessed with entertainment
Guess the real world is too tough to face…
And pop culture is our playground
Introspection has no place
We can’t trust our politicians
Well I guess that’s how it’s always been
But it’s hard to differentiate..
Information from the spin
PRECHORUS:
And it sometimes makes me wonder
Why I bother keeping score…
Maybe daily life’s just too much, too much, too much
And it’s time to find a door?
CHORUS:
I think it’s time fall into OBLIVION
It’d be so nice to simply fall into OBLIVION

BRIDGE:
Yet to let our minds just drift away,
Aren’t we just putting off our problems to another day?
Suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a great plan
I should keep my wits about me, while I still can..

CHORUS:
So perhaps I shouldn’t fall into
OBLIVION...
I’ll have to fight the urge to fall into OBLIVION

VERSE
Everyone is disappearing; or perhaps it’s just a dream gone by.
So I’ll keep trusting my perceptions.. But I won’t stop asking why....

No I won’t stop asking why…. It’s not time for me to fall…. We can’t afford to all just fall…

What Would He Think

Written By: Laura Benjamin

She knew a man; when she was small
He guided her as she grew tall
He taught her how to laugh and sing
Through all the trouble life should bring
But since he left this world
when she was seventeen
He doesn’t know who she’s become
or all she’s done and seen
So sometimes late at night
while lying in her bed
There is a burning question
that echoes in her head

CHORUS
WHAT WOULD HE THINK of me now?
How would he feel about the choices I’ve made?
Have I become the woman he wanted me to be?
If he could still be here now,
would he be proud of me?
I yearn for his approval,
something fate did not allow...
WHAT WOULD HE THINK of me now?

And so she spent a happy youth
She was quite lucky, to tell the truth
When she was scared, he’d calm her fears
And if she failed, he’d dry her tears
They’d talk and laugh together
on a Sunday afternoon.
She never thought he’d ever leave,
especially not so soon
So now she’s left with memories
imprinted on her heart
But the questions never answered
are tearing her apart

CHORUS

INSTRUMENTAL

(alt. CHORUS)
WHAT WOULD HE THINK of me now?
Please say he thinks of me now.
Have I become the person he wanted me to be?
If he could still be here now,
would he be proud of me?
Just one more chance to see him, don’t care where or when or how....
WHAT WOULD HE THINK of me now?
WHAT WOULD HE THINK of me now?

Yankee Girl

Written By: Laura Benjamin

Grew up in the north, in the city
A thrilling place, but I never quite fit in
My family gave me all that I could wish for
But I was always peeking ‘round the bend....

Then I journeyed southward, in a search for something new
And before too long, I found the place that fate had led me to...

CHORUS
It’s been a long long time but I think I’ve found my voice
And it’s rooted in the Southland, and it’s free and proud and strong
I’m a YANKEE GIRL who’s spread her wings and flown away
And I finally found a place where I belong

So I packed my bags to head on down the highway
Reached the Mason-Dixon by the night
Drove straight through dawn, high on anticipation
Saw the sunrise on the Blue Ridge, clear and bright

When I reached that brand new land, of peaches and red clay
I pulled myself together, started on to make my way..

CHORUS

It’s hard to be so far away
From the friends and family I knew before
Now with every passing day,
This place suits me more and more...

CHORUS

Finally found a place where I belong…
I’m just a YANKEE GIRL/ a long, long way from home
And I’ve finally found/ a place where I belong.

Fear of Dyin' Alone

Written By: Laura Benjamin

Erica was single at 35; She feared she was way past her prime
She had a great job writin' for a magazine; loved it though it took all her time
In a few years, she found herself a lover; a banker, with Hollywood looks
He told her she was pretty and made her feel safe; it seemed out of a storybook

Then he made her quit workin’ and took control of her life
Sayin’ he didn’t want a famous journalist, he wanted a wife…

CHORUS
So she left behind what she loved the most…
For a life in shadow, like a ghost
Dreams left unfulfilled, adventures left unknown
All for the FEAR OF DYIN’ ALONE

Michael was a real estate salesman; it paid the bills, but it didn’t inspire
And to play the guitar in a rock-n-roll band was his innermost secret desire
When the band started hittin’ the bar scene, they were the rock stars of Dalton, G-A
And Michael caught the eye of a pretty fine girl, and that nearly blew him away

Well he knew he’d have to quit the life of the travelin’ man
But he never thought he’d have to choose between her and the band….

CHORUS 2
So he left behind what he loved the most…
For a life in the shadow, like a ghost
Dreams left unfulfilled, adventures left unknown
All for the FEAR OF DYIN’ ALONE

INSTRUMENTAL

Left it all behind, for a life not their own
All for the FEAR OF DYIN’ ALONE
Left it all behind, too scared to be on their own
All for the FEAR OF DYIN’ ALONE

Dreams left unfulfilled, adventures left unknown
All for the FEAR OF DYIN' ALONE

Discography

let it go, July 2007

Set List

Set list varies from gig to gig. In addition to the originals, we play lots of interesting cover tunes, with genres including rock, pop, country, and jazz, depending on what the situation calls for.

Artists we cover include Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Brian Setzer, U2, Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks, and the Eagles, to name just a few.

Sets are usually 45 minutes - 1 hour in length, and we can do up to 4 sets in a given evening.