Reblogging: Recent Pieces on NPR

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a round-up of recent works I’ve played a part in at NPR Music. So here we go with a hail of bullets:

Exclusive First Listen: Gorillaz, Plastic Beach

Abaji: Tiny Desk Concert: This is the first video I’ve actually shot for NPR. I also edited the video and produced the page taboot.

— Song of the Day: Yeasayer: Tightly Wound And Dance Friendly

The Gun Show: A Winter Workout Mix. Here I just sort of helped direct the photographer a little for this photo shoot. Then found myself playing the part of surly trainer. Yes I get paid for this.

David Rawlings and Gillian Welch: Tiny Desk Concert

First Listen: Massive Attack, Heligoland

Low Anthem: Tiny Desk Concert

First Listen: Beach House, Teen Dream

First Listen: Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM

Elvis Presley At 75: Songs We Love

In Memoriam: Musicians We Lost, 2000-2009. I did a majority of the building, researching and producing of this multimedia interactive page which was part of our End of Decade coverage. Looks pretty great I think.

Def Jam’s 25th Anniversary: Songs We Love. In which I discuss LL Cool J.

In Memoriam: Musicians We Lost In 2009. I was one of the main producers and researchers for this amazing interactive feature we did as part of our End of Year coverage.

Charlotte Gainsbourg & Beck Collaborate On ‘IRM’

Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM from Charlotte Gainsbourg on Vimeo.

Jeez, as if Beck needed another project on his plate. Some details have started to surface regarding a new Charlotte Gainsbourg album titled IRM (French for MRI), a project she collaborated with Beck. Beck wrote all the music, co-wrote the lyrics, produced and mixed the record which is due for release in January 2010 it looks like (via Because/Elektra).

The first song to leak out — for free, officially through Gainsbourg’s own site — is the title track. According to the above video, “IRM” is about Gainsbourg’s own frequent MRI trips following a water skiing accident in which she suffered a brain hemorrhage.

The first official single “Heaven Can Wait” — reportedly a classic pop duet between Gainsbourg and Beck — is to be released soon.

According to Rolling Stone’s blog, the record has a rather high pedigree of musicians involved:

IRM will also feature contributions from Beck’s band of drummers Joey Waronker (who’s been playing with Thom Yorke in Los Angeles) and James Gadson on drums, Brian LeBarton on keyboards, David Ralicke on trumpet and Beck’s father, David Campbell, on string arrangements.

I quite like the new song they’ve released already… a bit more energy than Gainsbourg’s previous effort 5:15, a collab with French pop duo Air. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

UPDATE 10/23: Jessica Suarez of Stereogum provides this update regarding the record and in one portion hints at a potential upcoming tour:

Currently she’s back in Los Angeles, working with Beck and his band to figure out how to play their new songs in front of an audience, or if that’s even something she can do. “I really want to be able to do it, but it has to be a pleasure, it can’t be a terrifying experience,” she says. “I love the songs, and I love singing them, so I just have to find that pleasure again.”

UPDATE 11/10: The first official single “Heaven Can Wait” is now out. It definitely has that staple bar-room bluesy Beck sound reminiscent of his 1998 record Mutations, with the slack-stringed acoustic guitars and upright parlor pianos and junkyard drumming. In otherwords, sounds awesome.

NPR Song Of The Day: Charlotte Gainsbourg, ‘The Operation’

Charlotte Gainsbourg's 5:55 is out now.
Charlotte Gainsbourg’s 5:55 is out now.

Here’s a piece on Charlotte Gainsbourg’s song “The Operation” from her album 5:55 for NPR’s Song of the Day. Go here to listen to the song.

Continue reading NPR Song Of The Day: Charlotte Gainsbourg, ‘The Operation’