Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Big Ol' Blog o' Bonnie Prince Billy

Usual habit of downloading as much as possible, know a few of us suffer from this syndrome, it's hard to find music that I like with more than just a passing interest. Once i reach the ability to give an informed opinion, most music slips away until someone else presses about it....

Occasionally, something does stick, but it sneaks up over years until all the albums are memorized and played frequently without even really thinking about it.

Will Oldham is one of the few I've always kept up with, and I'm pretty sure most of you haven't really had much exposure so here's the chance to give it a go.

On a professional level, he's got everything covered worthy of my jealousy.

Outside of the music, he's acted in several serious movies and fucks with Zack Galifiniakis on the fun zone. He was in that Kanye West video, been on wondershowzen, was in Junebug which is a must see, and a million other tidbits.

Old Joy stands out in the film arena. A super quiet movie about reunited friendships, it manages to capture the unsaid conversations without lagging in the least. Beautiful scenery, solid acting, feels like your right there in it. Rent it if you haven't seen it.

The real reason is the music. Often a little country lilt without actually being 'country'. Unusual additions and flourishes that always fit. Constantly changing band set ups, and tweaking sounds every album, every one is an experience, and all of them a different trip. maintaining a bleak outlook while still looking for answers with hope, the lyrics are often brutal straight shots said in a way i haven't come across before. Witty, occasionally lighthearted, it'll hit you in the soft spot without ever being cheesy. Definitely the kind to listen to by yourself. This ain't party music.

Bjork recorded Harm of Will, about Oldham, written by Harmony Korine of Gummo fame no less, for vespertine. He's recorded with country legend Charlie Louvin, sang on albums for sage francis, Bjork's drawing restraint 9, sun kil moon, soulsavers, on and on...

I got hooked on Master and Everyone when it came out, a devastating understatement of an album based on desperation, isolation, unrequainted love. everything is horrible, and he makes it sound comforting instead of upsetting. He's not always miserable, but he's good at it when he is, and brings a poignancy to every word without it being difficult to get into.

I backtracked from there. Earlier stuff under various "Palace" monikers, sometimes with his brothers, sometimes not. Then jumped the gap and been awaiting every upcoming album. The newer releases often find cleaner production that benefits to a certain degree. I've heard often the live shows end up a little too jam bandy due to never having the same lineup, but this is solitary music anyway so a show doesn't seem very fitting. Nothing on the albums is Phishy at all. Don't fret.

I've compiled a super short sampler that covers everything he's good at in various forms. Lone tracks, band setups, incredible harmony and melody, still standing out through experimentations with electronic music. Dude's got a little something for everyone.

Tracks include stuff from recent releases, highlights form earlier various name incarnations, one of single collaborations, basically a grab bag of goodness.

Hit me up if interested, we'll do the AIM transfer deal. You'll find a place for it somewhere down the line. Might as well get it now.

here's a one off cover of Mariah Carey's "Can't Take That Away". Seriously. Just proof the man can work with anything and make it at the least interesting.


Rickles said...

im down. was he the drag queen? was that a serious cover?

Herbert Frundle IV said...

no, he wasn't the drag queen. the video was a result of some group effort/contest to come up with the best video.

as for the cover choice of song, i think it was a tongue in cheek choice, with a fully serious effort to back it.

all in.

that's how he rolls.