Thank you Ben for this song. I have a hard time listening without strong emotions hitting me. The first time I heard you sing this you announced the name was 15-8 I smiled and said in my head “O-H”…15-8.

This is my shout out to nice guy that hit a chord in me that i did not expect!

Readers, may i introduce Ben Carson… much more than lead singer of Hot Bodies in Motion

The Story Behind 15-8

If there is any song that I mess up live, it’s this one.

Much like the song Title and Registration by fellow Northwesterners, Death Cab for Cutie, this song takes me to a very specific place; a very specific conversation. I mess this song up a lot because as I sing every word, I relive that very conversation. Prior to this conversation, I had read a short story called EPICAC by Kurt Vonnegut. You can find the short story here.

I read this story at a time in my life when I felt strangely connected to the computer character in Vonnegut’s story. In the story, the computer falls in love with a woman and struggles to comprehend the concept of fate – that there are forces outside of his control that make it impossible for him to feel love from her. Although it seems strange to identify with a computer, I feel the character represents the unpleasant sting of unrequited love and the feeling that fate has made you the punch line of a cruel joke.

<here is the link to the story and unreleased version of the song as well as the lyrics>

In this unreleased version of “15-8,” you’ll notice that I tried to blend elements from Vonnegut’s story and from my own story. This track was recorded at a house show in my living room only 24 hours after the song had been written. In fact, the third verse hadn’t even been written until it was performed—it was more of a statement to the only other person who will fully understand the song. She didn’t seem to notice.