Pop Critic Ben Wener Finally Leaves The OC Register: Our One-Sentence Goodbye Note!

Categories: Wener Watch

OC Register
[Editor's Note: These are some last words to Ben Wener, the pop critic and music editor for the Orange County Register, who announced he is leaving his post this week. In honor of his lengthy compound sentence structure (lovingly dubbed "sentegraphs" by former music editor Albert Ching, we've done him one better and offered this loving tribute]

It appears that pop critic/music editor Ben Wener's 20-year reign at the OC Register is over by the end of the week, after the veteran scribe has, like so many of his colleagues, announced his departure from the paper and seized the opportunity to flutter down from OC's crumbling mainstream media machine on a golden parachute (a.k.a. contract buyout), marking the end of an era (or maybe two if we're really counting the rings on this longtime journo ,who began writing for the Reg back in '94) and is depriving us all of his...

More »

Orange Bits: All the OC Music News You Should Have Read this Week

Flickr user robotography.
There are publications other than Heard Mentality writing about music in Orange County. Please don't read them. Just kidding! Please do. But please also check in every Friday for our round-up of the most interesting links from the local blogosphere in the past week. We're calling it Orange Bits.

More »

Wener Watch Wednesday: Wener Strikes Again!

Categories: Wener Watch
First, major props to OC Register music writer Ben Wener for having such a great sense of humor about the original Wener Watch. He's a good sport!

That being said, last week Wener returned to his old habits of writing really, really, really long opening paragraphs that are all one giant sentence (I've lovingly dubbed them "sentegraphs"). It appeared in his otherwise lovely review of J.J. Cale at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano:

"It's a shame Leonard Cohen is so, well, Leonard Cohen that next week's first local appearances in 15 years don't require an opening act -- for having now attempted to hear J.J. Cale's subdued show Monday night at the Coach House, his first O.C. performance in at least five years, I can think of no better tourmate for the Bard of Montreal than the King of the Tulsa Sound."

While that's not quite as wordy as some of his others, it's definitely the most confusing. Especially if you're not overly familiar with septuagenarian singer-songwriters, and can't keep "the Bard of Montreal" and "the King of the Tulsa Sound" straight. (Also, the Nokia Theatre in LA is "local"? Hmm.) And since Leonard Cohen is the focus of the "lede" (as we say in the "biz"), it makes it seem like he's reviewing Leonard Cohen, since Cale's kind of an afterthought in that sentegraph. Hmm.

Other than that, good work from Wener lately. I'm even willing to overlook his semi-problematic description of Lily Allen ("physique increasingly slender and done up in sexpot gear"). Though if Alright, Still-era Lily Allen is his idea of a "frumpy-cute girl-next-door," I think I need to move to his neighborhood.

Wener Watch: Compound Sentences Galore!

Categories: Wener Watch
We've all heard that there's an elegance in simplicity. Well, all of us except for the Orange County Register's music critic/blogger Ben Wener, apparently.

Here's the opening paragraph to his nearly 900-word (!) review of U2's latest, No Line on the Horizon. Bring a bookmark:

"It's been streaming free for a week on MySpace and just arrived at your nearby Target and Best Buy and such, yet rabid fans who await new U2 missives with evangelical fervor, as well as overheated critics who egg them on, seem to have made their determination: This, their 12th full-length studio set in nearly 30 years of work, is where the Irish superstars daringly revive their experimental side after spending the rest of this decade retreating (often rather gloriously) to the relative safe haven of their classic sound."

Yes. That's all one sentence. 89 words. 525 characters. By comparison, the preamble to the Constitution, perhaps the most famous really long sentence in history, is 52 words. Just a fluke, right? Well, let's look at the second paragraph.

More »