”Why finish a song when you can start a new one?”
It might sound silly to you, but to me and a lot of other songwriters it’s a question that comes up every day. It happens to be posed from my favorite living songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/arranger/producer, Jon Brion.
(Here’s where i was going to link to the excellent NYT article about him, but now you have to pay to read it. Which is sad, ’cause this was such a nice link-centric weblog post, but, oh well.
Maybe i’ll shell out the $2.95 and mirror it here. Some excerpts are currently living here. Luckily, Izabelle is a freaking genius and reminded me that all of Drexel has a free subscription to the NYT, so here is a virtual clipping.)
Brion, a genius along the lines of Brian Wilson or Phil Spector, not only plays on and produces recent work from songwriters Macy Gray, Rufus Wainwright, Aimee Mann, and (my personal favorite) Fiona Apple, but also wrote and arranged the score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s latter two films, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love. Oh, and he has his own (previously impossible to order) album, Meaningless, which apparently represents less than a tenth of his entire song catalog — because, if we only hear the recordings of his songs, we’ll never hear them “finished.”
Genius. Freakin’ genius. If i were to put together an all-star cast to record an album with, Brion would definitely be my number one, no exceptions, no substitutions, no replacements choice to be the producer. And, actually, maybe also the guitarist, pianist, drummer, string arranger, and backup singer as well.