Bentham is the musical alter ego of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ben Paulos. Bentham exists mostly in the studio, but may once again emerge to play gigs. Paulos started in music in the 5th grade, playing trumpet, picking up guitar in high school. He dabbled in jazz, Balkan and West African music, but mostly stuck to rock. His first major band was Laughing Academy, in Boston, circa 1988-1993. That was an art rock trio plus singer that recorded three albums (and released one and a half), played clubs in New England and New York, and garnered national airplay before folding. Band members went on to play in Sugar, the Willard Grant Conspiracy, and Transmissionary Six. Bentham was launched in Boston, then continued in Madison, Wisconsin in the late 1990s. Since Paulos' move to San Francisco, Bentham has been hibernating, though the songwriting has continued. Now in 2011, two elpees of songs written from 1995 to 2005 are finally coming out, easing some of the backlog. 'Miss Wisconsin' and 'Pacific' are collections of songs from Madison and San Francisco, recorded mostly in Chicago and mixed in Oakland. Miss Wisconsin mixes songs of love and joy with death, infidelity and isolation. With music to match, the styles range from the pure pop of 'Parachute' and 'Ruin It All' to wistful ballads like 'Sleeping Through Our Own Dreams' to the sonic squall of 'My Letter,' and even the mock (ing) C&W of 'Bad Country Song.' The album features performances by the journeyman Chicago rhythm section of Gerald Dowd on drums (Robbie Fulks, Justin Roberts) and Matt Thompson on bass. They are supplemented by Wil Hendricks on accordion (Lofty Pillars, Calamity & Main), Han Wang on guitar (Invisible Cities), and other friends on piano and harmonica. To keep tabs on Bentham, please sign up at facebook.com/benthamtheband.