Ben Folds may conjure images of alt-rock petulance, but the multi-instrumentalist is just the opposite. In the years since his eponymous trio disbanded, Folds has maintained a cult following with a smattering of successful solo releases. Last year’s Nick Hornby collaboration, Lonely Avenue, was a geeky dream mash-up of lyrics by the author of High Fidelity and tunes by the perpetually pissed off pianist. The album was unsurprisingly chock-a-block with character studies, but they often sink their venom into abstractions instead of specific people (“Picture Window”), or are at least willing to look beyond punch line potential in their search for poignancy (“Levi Johnston’s Blues”). His latest project is another weird-but-true collaboration album with OK Go’s Damian Kulash, The Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer, and comic book author Neil Gaiman titled Nighty Night.