Results for Danger Mouse

interviews

James Mercer

You're in a beloved band at the height of success. Natalie Portman tells the world that your band will change lives. So what do you do? Blow everything up, of course. At least you do if you're James Mercer. The Shins frontman and founder followed up his Grammy nominated, Billboard charting album Wincing the Night Away with a decision to completely change the group's lineup and sound. He sought out producer Greg Kurstin, best known for working with Lily Allen and Kesha, and the result is Port of Morrow. As he discusses with Jim and Greg, this transition wasn‘t easy, but was necessary. And it’s not the first time Mercer made an unexpected collaboration. He and Danger Mouse (of Grey Album fame) joined together for Broken Bells. Check out video of Mercer performing songs from the album, as well as an oldie, but goodie.

Go to episode 338

Broken Bells

James Mercer of The Shins and Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) formed a band called Broken Bells that combines Mercer's songwriting abilities with Burton's incredible production techniques. The duo has released two albums under that moniker and the project has two fans in Jim and Greg. The band met at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark have continued to work together on-and-off since. Brian talks about their songwriting process which essentially boils down to late night chats about everything under the sun, and then putting those ideas to music in the studio. James describes how Brian pushed him as a singer—making him do take after take until he got it right. Broken Bells' newest album As Greg notes, After the Disco is evocative of that 3 a.m. feeling when things“wear off.”The band joined Jim and Greg for a special performance at the historic Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, OR. The crowd was courtesy of our friends at opbmusic

Go to episode 467
reviews
RomeRome available on iTunes

Daniele Luppi & Danger Mouse Rome

Rome is the newest release from Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi.

JimGreg
Go to episode 286
El CaminoEl Camino available on iTunes

The Black Keys El Camino

Hard rockin' Ohioans The Black Keys are back with their seventh studio album, El Camino, a collaboration with hip hop producer Danger Mouse. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney signed to Mississippi's bluesy Fat Possum label a decade ago, but Greg notes the duo's since expanded their sound. Jim never thought he‘d say it, but this record is“a masterpiece.”He’d never been a fan of the band's live performances and called them“White Stripes wannabes”on record. But suddenly here they are with an exquisite wall of sound with the songs to match. He says Buy It. Greg always enjoyed the band's jammy live performances but never thought they quite captured it on record. He credits the band's collaboration with Danger Mouse for tightening up their songwriting on El Camino. The emphasis is on the break beat, the choruses come faster, and hooks abound. Greg seconds the Buy it.

JimGreg
Go to episode 319
Dark Night of the SoulDark Night of the Soul available on iTunes

Sparklehorse & Danger Mouse Dark Night of the Soul

A year after it was supposed to be released, Dark Night of the Soul is finally here. The record is a collaboration between producer Danger Mouse, singer/songwriter Mark Linkous, aka Sparklehorse, and director David Lynch. Sadly, Linkous committed suicide last year, as did one of the album's contributors Vic Chestnutt. The finished product is disjointed, according to Greg. There are a couple of standout tracks (no thanks to Lynch), but he can only give it a Burn It rating. Jim agrees, noting that it's sad that Linkous himself wasn't able to sing more of the material. He also gives Dark Night of the Soul a Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 245
...Little Broken Hearts...Little Broken Hearts available on iTunes

Norah Jones ...Little Broken Hearts

Norah Jones also teamed up with Danger Mouse for her 5th album called …Little Broken Hearts. She's sold 40 million albums, won a ton of Grammys, and gained fans with her jazzy, laid back vocals. But it's too laid back for Jim's taste. He accuses Jones of bringing Danger Mouse down, and is irritated by her utter lack of passion. Unless you are looking to doze, Trash it. Greg understands Jim wants Jones to shout, but that's never been her thing. And subtlety is undervalued these days. Not everything works well, but Greg finds Little Broken Hearts a nice left turn and says Burn It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 338
Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle AlbumResistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album available on iTunes

Danger Mouse Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album

Danger Mouse (Bryan Burton) and Sam Cohen have produced a new concept album called Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album, which serves as a sort of companion to the Amazon Prime TV series Man in the High Castle. The TV show imagines a dystopian, alternate, early 1960s America where Japan and Germany won WWII, rather than the Allied Forces. The album features retro covers of mid-century pop standards like "Taste of Honey" and "Who's Sorry Now". Gregsays he "didn't get anything new… from these interpretations". He calls Resistance Radio a Trash It record, and thinks listeners are better off seeking out the original recordings of the songs. The recordings on this album were mastered from vinyl to get that vintage sound. Jim says that the sound was well executed. And, he notes that the songs take on additional resonance because they are "American anthems from a very different America in the setting of this show". For Jim, it's a Buy It record.

JimGreg
Go to episode 595
Love & HateLove & Hate available on iTunes

Michael Kiwanuka Love & Hate

British soul artist Michael Kiwanuka first came to public attention after opening for Adele in 2011. Five years later, he's released his second album called Love and Hate. While his first record had a vibe that resembled classic soul folk artists like Bill Withers, he went in a different direction the second time around. Greg loves Kiwanuka's sophomore effort because of his departure from his initial style. He thinks that Kiwanuka has found his voice as an artist, speaking out about his experiences as a "black man in a white world" as he sings in a track with the same name. Greg thought his collaboration with Danger Mouse really elevated his music to another level, he gives this album a Buy It. Jim also thought very highly of Love & Hate. He admires his willingness to speak openly about issues he is passionate about, and appreciates Kiwanuka's melding of different genres. Jim also gives the album an enthusiastic Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 557
After the DiscoAfter the Disco available on iTunes

Broken Bells After the Disco

The term supergroup is often overused, but the duo Broken Bells might fit the bill. The Shins' James Mercer and producer Brian Burton, a.k.a. Danger Mouse came together for a 2010 self-titled debut. Now they're back for round two with After the Disco. Greg enjoys its chilled moodiness, noting Mercer and Burton's skill at layering complex and beautiful melodies. But, the effect eventually begins to wear thin, so Greg can only say Try It. Jim thinks Greg is being too harsh and argues the record is more soulful than chilled. Mercer's strong vocals paired with Burton's crisp yet dark sound creates a sustained mood throughout that's introspective and worth repeat listenings. Jim says Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 427
St. ElsewhereSt. Elsewhere available on iTunes

Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere

St. Elsewhere is the debut album from Gnarls Barkley, the imaginary front-person for a project helmed by vocalist and rapper Cee-Lo Green and producer Danger Mouse. Gnarls describes himself as the pen pal of long-deceased rock critic Lester Bangs, soul singer Isaac Hayes, and Violent Femmes singer Gordon Gano. He also claims to be the lover of both Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey and the man who taught Kraftwerk English. Most importantly, though, he has become a British phenomenon. The first single, "Crazy," went to number one on the UK singles chart after simply being released as a download, and Jim and Greg hope that the hype can be sustained stateside. Both critics love the combination of Cee-Lo's half-preacher, half-freak vocal style and DJ Danger Mouse's eclectic production choices. St. Elsewhere gets a double Buy It rating.

JimGreg
Go to episode 23
Broken BellsBroken Bells available on iTunes

Broken Bells Broken Bells

Jim and Greg review the self-titled debut from Broken Bells, the new collaboration between James Mercer of The Shins and Danger Mouse. This is an unexpected pairing, but Jim and Greg are both impressed to hear each artist stretching. Greg notes that both are minimalists in their own right. And the first half of the record has one fine track after another. But he finds the second half slightly disappointing. Overall, though Greg gives Broken Bells a Buy It rating. Jim doesn‘t understand Greg’s complaints. He doesn‘t think the album falls off at any point. It’s a perfect collection of pop songs and deserves a Buy It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 225
lists

Top Albums of 2017… So Far

We're halfway through 2017, which means it's time to get a jump on the Best-Of Lists. Here are Jim and Greg's mid-year best Top 10 lists.

Go to episode 604
news

Music News

After a number of postponements, Lil Wayne has finally had his day in court. And the results weren't pretty. The multi-million selling rapper has been sentenced to one year in prison, and not the kinda digs most wealthy criminals face, but Riker's Island. This is the result of Wayne pleading guilty to gun possession last year. In an absurd chain of events, both of his previous sentencing dates had to be postponed–first because of“emergency dental surgery,”and then because the courthouse went up in flames. Greg likens Lil Wayne's situation to if Elvis or The Beatles had been jailed at the height of their chart success, and Jim wonders how fair this sentence really is.

Also in the news, Mark Linkous, aka Sparklehorse, committed suicide last week at age 47. Linkous had been battling severe depression for years, and his use of prescription drugs even left him paralyzed for several months. As Jim explains, Linkous used his life challenges in his music, and a new collaboration between the singer and Danger Mouse was set to be released this summer. To honor Linkous, Jim and Greg play "Grim Augury," a track from that album that also features another recently departed musician, Vic Chesnutt.

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Go to episode 224