Name: The Van Allen Belt
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Genre: electro-orchestral psych-pop, apocalyptic nostalgia
Members: Tamar Kamin (vocals), Benjamin K. Ferris (keys, guitar), Scott Taylor (drums, turntables, processing, sound design)
RIYL: Fiery Furnaces, Animal Collective, Jens Lekman, Nina Simone, Flying Lotus, Shirley Bassey, Phil Spector


PRESS PHOTO (credit: Andy Johanson)


Lovely In Akron
The Van Allen Belt and Above the Shop Studios present “Lovely In Akron”
Directed and Edited by Scott Taylor
D.P.’s -Phil Stark & Joel Washing
Key Grip, Best Boy, Gaffer, Box Wrangler-Jacob David
Starring: Tamar Kamin, Ben Ferris, Scott Taylor, Phil Stark, Tom Altes, Samantha McDonough, Michael Kamin, Jacob David, Erin McAuley, Ryan McAuley, Keygan Bodman, and Jess Johns.

Out To Lunch
written by Ben Ferris
Performed by The Van Allen Belt
Superpowerfragilis: Or How I Learned to Stop Caring and Love the Drug
Nonstop Everything Records
Directed by Scott Taylor, Ben Ferris, and Tamar Kamin
Cinematography: Scott Taylor, Ben Ferris
Editor: Scott Taylor
Starring: Tamar Kamin, Ben Ferris, Scott Taylor
Shot on Canon 5d
Edited on Adobe Premiere

The Van Allen Belt is the pop concept of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Benjamin Ferris. The 20 song debut “Meal Ticket to Purgatory” was home-recorded with vocalists Tamar Kamin & Martine Mancini, and self-released in 2007. Steeped in a twisted lyrical nostalgia for 1960’s girl group pop a la Burt Bacharach and Phil Spector, the album received strong critical and underground approval. An invitation to play with Stereolab and Atlas sound catalysed the members to create a live band capable of pulling off the heady concept; resulting in Ben Ferris on Keys, Tamar Kamin as the sole vocalist, Scott Taylor on Drums and Tom Altes on bass. In 2009, the sophomore album “Superpowerfragilis” was an evolution further into the sphere of pop social commentary, showing focus and maturity and grabbing the complementary attention of Julian Cope at Head Heritage. Supporting the record and flexing their cinematic talents, two self-produced music videos were released for the songs “Lovely In Akron” and “Out To Lunch”. Taylor and artist Pete Burkeet became permanent visual accompaniments to the live show that developed into an interconnected electronic hybrid of the live musicians, engineered by Taylor who would play on stage as the live sound designer instead of as a drummer. Continuing with a full tour schedule of around 50 shows per year, the “Songs” EP was next self-released as a 45 rpm vinyl in 2013 and a video for the title track premiered by Decoder soon after the release. The junior release “Heaven On A Branch” is a follow up to the “Meal Ticket” debut, part 2 of a 3 part series. This new album shows maturity to the songwriter’s signature style of patchwork storytelling, brimming with nuance and branching into a more personal territory. The group continue to tour nationally with 3 of the core members: Ferris, Kamin, and Taylor. Past festival showcases have included CBGB, CMJ, MPMF, NXNE, SXSW & VIA.

4/2: Chicago, IL – Hideout
4/3: Kansas City, MO – miniBar (sponsored by KC Psychfest)
4/4: Dallas, TX – Deep Ellum Arts Festival (Texas Lonestar Stage)
4/5: Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
4/7: Austin, TX – Cheer Up Charlie’s
4/8: San Antonio, TX – K23 Gallery
4/9: TBA
4/10: Montevallo, AL – Eclipse Coffee & Books
4/11: Atlanta, GA – The Drunken Unicorn
4/12: Nashville, TN – Betty’s

3/18 Chicago, IL – The Burlington Bar
3/19 Milwaukee, IL – The Tonic Tavern
3/20 Iowa City, IL – Gabe’s Oasis
3/21 St. Louis, MO – Plush
3/22 Denver, CO – The Walnut Room
3/23 Boulder, CO – The Laughing Goat
3/24 Salt Lake City – TBA
3/25 Boise, ID – Neurolux
3/26 Seattle, WA – The Unicorn/Narwhal
3/27 Portland, OR – The Knock Back
3/29 San Francisco, CA – The Vortex Room
3/30 Oakland, CA – The Nightlight
4/1 Los Angeles, CA – Los Globos
4/2 San Diego, CA – TBA
4/3 Phoenix, AZ – The Lost Leaf Gallery
4/4 San Antonio, TX – 502 Bar
4/5 Austin, TX – TBA
4/6 Houston, TX – TBA
4/8 Atlanta, GA – Mammal Gallery
4/9 Asheville, NC – TBA
4/10 Chapel Hill, NC – Nightlight

May 4th: Toledo, OH – Ottawa Tavern
May 5th: Ann Arbor, MI – Elks Pratt Lodge
May 6th: Oberlin, OH – Cat In The Cream Coffeehouse (Oberlin College)
May 12th: Columbus, OH – Kafe Kerouac
May 25th: Frederick, MD – Cafe Nola
May 26th: Morgantown, WV – 123 Pleasant Street
June 1st: Cincinnati, OH – Comet Bar
June 2nd: Hamilton, OH – Galaxy CDs
June 8th: Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Roboto Project
June 9th: Youngstown, OH – Lemon Grove Cafe
June 16th: Richmond, VA – The Cellar Door
June 20th: Scranton, PA – Vintage Theatre
June 21st: Brooklyn, NY – Goodbye Blue Monday
June 22nd: New York, NY – Lit Lounge
June 23rd: Philadelphia, PA – The Fire
June 30th: Pittsburgh, PA – Bloomfield Bridge Tavern
July 8th: New York, NY – Pianos
July 9th: Brooklyn, NY – Cameo Gallery
July 11th: Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox
July 19th: Charlottesville, VA – The Box
July 22nd: Youngstown, OH – Lemon Grove Cafe
July 26th: Erie, PA – Crooked I
Aug. 3rd: Columbus, OH – Till
Aug. 4th: Dayton, OH – Blind Bob’s
Aug. 9th: Pittsburgh, PA – 31st St. Pub
Aug. 11th: Youngstown, PA – Lemon Grove Cafe
Aug. 17th: New York, NY – Drom
Aug. 18th: Brooklyn, NY – The Loom
Aug. 24th: Akron, OH – Musica
Sep. 3rd: Pittsburgh, PA – Smiling Moose
Sep. 6th: Detroit, MI – Garden Bowl
Sep. 8th: Oberlin, OH – Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse


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