“He is an asshole. The video is evidence enough.”
“Dude. He’s so sexy playing piano.”
“What’s wrong with you? YOU’RE the asshole. You probably like Miley Cyrus or something. You are just a crap person.”
“I love this. It’s so Gothic but not annoyingly Gothic. It’s real interesting. Iove it and I love their voices.”
“It isn’t horrible but I’d rather see Ryan Gosling act than listen to him sing.”
“Ryan marry me. Please.”
Have I told you about my new favorite way to not work at work? You guessed it, YouTube commentary. If you’re like me you need something to distract you from the fact that you sit at a desk 40+ hours a week burning your corneas out on spreadsheets containing data you really couldn’t give two turds about. I do declare that YouTube commentary may just be your savior. Simply dial up the interweb and start searching. Before you know it, you’ll be totally LOLing coffee right into your keyboard. It’s amazing really, when you consider the whole thought process behind creating the user name coupled with the energy required to initiate and maintain arguments with people you’ll likely never meet. To quote Gwen Stefani, this shit is BANANNAS. B-A-N-A-N-AY – ES!
Dead Man’s Bones is the thus-far astonishing musical project of actors Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, The Believer, Half-Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl) and Zach Shields (The Most Beautiful Thing, Fox 7 at Fifty). Regarded as one of the most dynamic and talented actors of his generation Gosling’s potential as a songwriter is unsurpassed. I know I know -- yes, I remember “My Girl Wants to Party All the Time” -- but I assure you, Gosling (on guitar, piano, organ and vocals) and Shields (percussion, melodica) have put forth something truly special here. Initially conceived as a sort of Halloweeny theater production Dead Man’s Bones grew out of the duo’s shared love of all things spooktacular: Zombies, Frankenstein, Skeletons, Bats, blood, DEATH -- you get the picture. Eventually the duo decided to add children to the mix -- recording the entirety of their forthcoming self-titled album (on Anti-, due Oct. 6) with the Silverlake Children’s Choir. This decision, based around a simple desire to harness untarnished creativity, is at once refreshing and engaging. Neither of them a stranger to the music biz (Gosling a member of Britney and Christina’s Mickey Mouse Club troupe) the pair made a conscious effort to shake off modern production methods in hopes of achieving a spontaneous and honest sound. No song on their album was recorded in more than three takes. Click tracks and auto-tuning were not employed. All instruments were played by the band (and producer Tim Anderson), sometimes for the first time. The results are unpolished, lo-fi and real. The work of self-described “amateurs, ” Dead Man’s Bones have found success in their limitations. Imperfection is a beautiful thing.
“My Body’s a Zombie for You” begins with the The Silverlake Children’s Choir’s “ohOHHHoh’s,” which act as a soothing introduction, and continued juxtaposition to a voice one might be surprised to come out of the recipient of 2005′s MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss. Strikingly dark in tone the sounds escaping Gosling’s skull are simply stunning. Orbison, Elvis and Danzig are smiling from their respective graves (Glenn’s not dead but he sleeps in a little coffin right?). By the time Gosling cracks his way through the second verse your mortal soul will be completely infected. The off-kilter entrance of angelic voices tugs the sinking arrangement upward, floating the impact of the song right through the chest cavity of the listener.
If you still need convincing please see the videos for “Your Name in Stone” and “In the Room Where You Sleep.” The latter recorded live during the album’s wrap party the video features a full choir of ADORABLE and TALENTED kiddos (who wants to make one with me??) in full Halloween garb taking direction from Gosling and Shields as they work their way through a song so catchy it will make your head spin. Shields’ drumming is on full display here. I seriously have to disagree with BlueToothFriend: Gosling is not an asshole. His connection to the children is apparent and palpable. The wrap party had a jumpy castle, taco truck and piñata. Gimmie a break, I have a man crush on him and hope 2009′s best kiss is laid on me.
With just 4 songs floating around the internet, some may remain skeptical of Dead Man’s Bones (hey, it’s your right in this post Dogstar-world we live in) but the way I see it, even if the rest of the album is corpse shit (doubtful) these songs and videos can stand alone in this space and time as something unique, energetic and moving.
On October 23, Dead Man’s Bones will be performing at The Triple Door as they bring their “monster-ghost-love-story to fans nationwide this fall,” and they’re asking for locals in each city to apply for a “good natured showcase for people to display their natural talents” as part of a 5-8 part talent show. Interested participants must submit videos to the band (more info here):