Disclaimer: This column is pretty overwhelmingly positive. I surprised myself a little bit. So seekers of snark should probably seek a different column this week. Wouldn’t wanna frighten anyone with such a sudden tonal shift…
Memo to self: “Seekers of Snark”: possible video game idea?
Chapter 4 ½: The Jon Brion Show
“I love that shit.”
–Jon Brion, after “Random Felix”
Yes, I’m backtracking a bit.
As promised a couple weeks ago, I went to one of Jon Brion’s shows at Largo. It was one of the best live performances I have ever seen. Let me see if I can explain it in a way that does it justice—or, failing that, meet my goal of 800 words per column (I like to set the bar low but aim high).
The stage of the Coronet Theater was packed with instruments. There was a drum kit, an upright piano, three or four supplementary keyboards of varying types, two electric guitars and an array of pedals, a rack of at least ten more guitars (mostly acoustic, I think), and a frigging vibraphone. After a brief introduction, Jon Brion came out, sat down at the upright piano, and played a couple short pieces (one was the opening theme from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). The rest is sort of a blur. (more…)
The War for Independence
Chapter 4: Jon Brion
Over the last, oh, I don’t know, twenty years or so, a trend has emerged whereby rock and roll songwriters get to do film and TV scores. The first big example that comes to mind is Oingo Boingo’s Danny Elfman, who first became hugely successful scoring Tim Burton’s movies. Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo became similarly attached to Wes Anderson, Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead recently scored There Will Be Blood, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers of The Police have both done some scoring, and hell, even Toto and Queen had some success with Dune and Flash Gordon, respectively. But the one who made the transition with probably the least amount of mainstream success is Jon Brion (one might be able to make a case for Mike Viola, or somebody else, but I’m making a case for Jon Brion, so there).