By ALICE REESE
Special to the Herald-Banner
Singer, songwriter, producer and Greenville’s most famous independent rocker Ben Kweller has earned a Grammy nomination in a category with some of the biggest names in show business.
At the 55th Annual Grammy Awards he will be competing in a category which includes a motion picture score and three legendary musical acts.
The Austin-based musician’s 2012 album “Go Fly a Kite” is nominated for “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package” along with the soundtrack from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Ram”(Paul McCartney Archive Collection-Deluxe Edition), “Some Girls” (The Rolling Stones-Super Deluxe Edition) and “Woody at 100” (The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection).
Kweller will attend the 2013 Grammys at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 10. Hosted for the second year by LL Cool J, the event will broadcast live on CBS at 7 p.m.
After recording four studio albums, Kweller formed his own production company called “The Noise Company” with “Go Fly a Kite” as the debut CD on his own label.
Now 31 years old, the performer was involved in all aspects of the album, including design (along with his wife, Liz), and publicity.
The intricate CD and vinyl packaging design for “Go Fly a Kite” folds into a diorama. Along with actor Jason Schwartzman and Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Shaun White, Kweller launched a comic video promoting the album.
Mike Angelo Torres directed and Arienne Williams and Gray Adkins starred in a steamy music video for “Jealous Girl” from “Go Fly a Kite.”
On its release, Warren Miller of Slate Magazine gave a positive review to “Go Fly a Kite.”
“Kweller demonstrates everything he’s learned in his 15-plus-year career as a singer/songwriter, exhibiting his penchant for infectious melodies, rich harmonies and expertly honed musical arrangements.”
Music critic David Okamoto saluted “Go Fly a Kite” as the number one Texas album of 2012. On the KERA Arts and Seek website the critic, whose reviews appear in Rolling Stone and The Dallas Morning News, praised Kweller’s latest work as follows:
“My top Texas album of 2012 is Ben Kweller’s ‘Fly a Kite,’ which celebrates every style he has mastered since emerging as the teenage frontman of Greenville band Radish in the early ‘90s.
In another era, the heartwarming twang of ‘Full Circle’ and the power-pop punch of ‘Jealous Girl’ could have landed Kweller at the top of the charts — but this year, he’ll have to settle for being at the top of his game.”
Reese is entertainment writer for the Herald-Banner.