CROSS-POLLINATION CXXII - TUES DEC 5TH - 7:30-10 PM
BENJAMIN WAGNER
CHRIS ABAD

Benjamin Wagner has been working the New York club scene for over ten years, self-releasing ten LPs along the way. Famed "Idiot's Delight" host Vince Skelsa described him as "extraordinary." R.E.M. front man Michael Stipe dubbed him a "future superstar." VH1 News called his songs, "Timeless." The New York Press, says "He's Ryan Adams without the 'tude, Pete Yorn without the hair, John Denver without the glasses, Dave Matthews without the dance moves."

"My father worked for the EPA, so I moved around like the stereotypical army 'brat'," Wagner says. Born in Iowa City, Iowa, Wagner lived in Washington D.C., Indianapolis, and Chicago, before his tenth birthday. After his parents divorce, Wagner, his brother and mother moved to Philadelphia. Growing up in the 80s, he vividly recalls getting his first transistor radio and listening, transfixed, to top forty radio stations in Chicago and Philly, loving everything from Hall and Oates to Phil Collins. But like James Joyce's Stephen Daedalus, Wagner finally had his defining, life-changing musical epiphany.

"My big brother brought R.E.M.'s Reckoning home from college which immediately woke me up and snapped me out of my Phil Collins stupor," Wagner laughs. "Hearing 'So. Central Rain' for the first time changed everything."

Reveling in bands like the Replacements and the Pixies (Wagner even does a "twisted" cover of the Pixies' "Here Comes Your Man"), the young songwriter strapped on a Martin acoustic and began playing in bands in high school and later, at Syracuse University. There, Wagner fronted the funky -- and popular -- local alt.pop band Smoky Junglefrog, opening for majors like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Samples and Dada. Following the bands' demise, Wagner moved to New York City and began playing a wide array of clubs like the Mercury Lounge, Arlene Grocery and Brownie's.

NYC native Chris Abad has been cutting his teeth on the Northeastern music scene for the last several years, as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. After spending several years fronting the alterna-pop band, Dough, Chris has recently branched out into the realm of solo and acoustic performance, taking with him his mixed bag of pop, new-wave and punk-inspired songs. In June 2006, Chris released his acoustic solo debut CD entitled ‘The Starting Point.’ Drawing on influences such as Elvis Costello, Squeeze, and Elliott Smith, Chris aims to pen music that is honest, clever, self-effacing and melodic.

LISTEN TO BENJAMIN WAGNER LISTEN TO CHRIS ABAD
CROSS-POLLINATION CXXII ::: Tuesday, DEC 5TH
7:30 - Doors Open
8:00 - BENJAMIN WAGNER | myspace.com/benjaminwagner
8:45 - CHRIS ABAD | www.cjabad.com | myspace.com/chrisabadmusic
9:30 - Cross-Pollination set ft BENJAMIN WAGNER & CHRIS ABAD!!
10:00 - Guitar Hero