Anyone not know the Grey Album? Brian Burton’s debut gift to the world? He remixed Jay Z’s Black album with the Beatles White Album? Probably one of the greatest artistic outpourings of the noughties? Well that put him on the map. Then he started a group called Gnarls Barkley? Know that one? And then produced a lot of things – Gorillaz? You must know them? You know with Damon Albarn and lots of cartoons? And Beck? Yes you must have heard of him? And Dangerdoom? You know with the Gladiator mask? And the Shortwave Set? You know from Sarf London? And Martina Topley Bird? And collaborated with Bright Eyes? Know him? And Dark night of the Soul? With Julian Casablancas? And David Lynch? Oh yeah and Broken Bells? You know with James Mercer from the Shins?
A busy man, indeed. And a MIGHTY talented one. Now have a listen.
Oh and though it’s not ours, and you can’t actually buy it, you should youtube ‘the grey album’. This is ‘My First Song’ and is simply outrageous.
We really like this. Nigel ‘Radiohead’s production wizard’ Godrich decides there is a dearth of good quality, live audience-free, band-focused, old grey whistle test style music programming available to the world and has set up a wonderful new music show of his own, accordingly. In his own words ‘the whole emphasis of the show is about being artist friendly and making our bands feel as comfortable as possible so that they can give great performances without the usual agony of TV promo which everyone has to do but no-one seems to enjoy. TV world is a pretty hostile environment for your average musician to walk into and bare his soul on cue…’.
OK, so band friendly environment.. comfortable setting… tv promo bad… soul baring good. Well, the results are quite stunning. These recordings capture an intimacy uncommon elsewhere in the canon of music tv programming (‘Later’ aside, perhaps) that allows real artist soul baring, but also, crucially, that golden ‘put yourself in the studio/practice room with the artist’ effect. It’s as if the bands are performing just for you, and therein lies the magic.
The first series of shows went online a matter of weeks ago and include some really nice performances by our very own GNARLS BARKLEY, THE RACONTEURS and FLEET FOXES, among others (messrs Yorke, Greenwood, Selway and O’Brien included, of course). Check them out. It’ll be worth it.