Jon Brion

Jon Brion & Opinions on Emeli Sandé

Studio wizard Jon Brion has composed scores for films by P.T. Anderson and Michel Gondry and produced for artists from Fiona Apple to Kanye West. The multi-instrumentalist also has grown a following for his virtuosic live performances. Jon Brion speaks with Jim and Greg about the art of songcraft. Plus, a review of the latest from Scottish R&B singer Emeli Sandé.

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Jon Brion

Jon Brion Jim and Greg revisit one of their favorite interviews in the history of the show: a 2006 conversation with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and film composer Jon Brion. Brion has produced for artists like Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Spoon, and Kanye West and worked as a session player for Macy Gray and others. He's collaborated with filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson, Michel Gondry, and Charlie Kaufman, providing the score for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch-Drunk Love, Synechdoche, New York, I ♥ Huckabees, and more.

But Jon Brion is also an accomplished solo artist with one solo album, Meaningless, to his name. Brion has grown a devoted following for his decades-long residency at the Los Angeles club Largo. At his shows, Brion improvises spectacular sets of originals and covers as he shows off his virtuosity on every instrument. He demonstrates his skills through performances of some of his compositions in front of a small audience. He also demonstrates to Jim and Greg the difference between the art of songwriting (as exemplified by Gershwin and Kurt Cobain) and what he calls "performance pieces."

reviewLong Live the AngelsLong Live the Angels available on iTunes

Emeli Sandé Long Live the Angels

Scottish singer and songwriter Emeli Sandé just released her sophomore album, Long Live the Angels. Sandé first gained worldwide recognition when she performed in the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics. This release is her first record in four years and features collaborations with producers Mac & Phil and Naughty Boy, as well as with rapper Jay Electronica. Jim and Greg have been fans from the beginning, and Sandé was a guest on the show back in 2013. Greg really enjoys this album, and appreciates that she's taken away some of the overproduction that crowded her debut. He also likes that she takes personal heartbreak (she recently went through a divorce) to generate genuine music ranging from blue ballads to celebratory songs. Greg gives it a Buy It. Jim agrees, and thinks the production on Long Live the Angels sounds great. He points out that Emeli Sandé is giving us the best of both Knowles sisters: the underground sensibility of Solange and the mainstream mood of Beyoncé (but not in a derivative way.) Jim gives this record a Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. Jon Brion, Monday, I ♥ Huckabees, Milan, 2004
  2. Jon Brion, I Was Happy With You, Live at Tonic, n/a, 2005
  3. Jon Brion, Life On Mars, Live at Tonic, n/a, 2005
  4. Macy Gray, I've Committed Murder, On How Life Is, Epic, 1999
  5. Fiona Apple, Fast As You Can, When the Pawn…, Epic, 1999
  6. Aimee Mann, Nothing Is Good Enough, Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo, V2, 2000
  7. John Cale, Paris 1919, Paris 1919, Reprise, 1973
  8. Roxy Music, Editions of You, For Your Pleasure, Island, 1973
  9. Jon Brion, Knock Yourself Out (Live on Sound Opinions), I ♥ Huckabees, Milan, 2004
  10. Deanna Storey, Little Person, Synecdoche, New York, Lakeshore, 2008
  11. Jon Brion, Phone Call, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hollywood, 2004
  12. Led Zeppelin, Heartbreaker, Led Zeppelin II, Atlantic, 1969
  13. Jon Brion, Stairway to Heaven, Live at Tonic, n/a, 2005
  14. Radiohead, Karma Police, OK Computer, Parlophone, 1997
  15. Nirvana, Lithium, Nevermind, DGC, 1991
  16. Kanye West, Gone, Late Registration, Roc-A-Fella, 2005
  17. Jon Brion, The Way It Went (Live on Sound Opinions), Unreleased, n/a, 2006
  18. Jon Brion, Punch-Drunk Melody, Punch-Drunk Love, Nonesuch, 2002
  19. Jon Brion, Magnolia, Magnolia, Warner Music, 1999
  20. Jon Brion, I Believe She's Lying, Meaningless, Straight to Cut-Out, 2001
  21. Jon Brion, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Live on Sound Opinions), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hollywood, 2004
  22. Jon Brion, Here We Go, Punch-Drunk Love, Nonesuch, 2002
  23. Emeli Sandé, Hurts, Long Live the Angels, Virgin, 2016
  24. Emeli Sandé, Give Me Something, Long Live the Angels, Virgin, 2016
  25. Emeli Sandé feat. Joel Sande & The Serenje Choir, Tenderly, Long Live the Angels, Virgin, 2016
  26. Emeli Sandé feat. Jay Electronica & Aine Zion, Garden, Long Live the Angels, Virgin, 2016
  27. Run the Jewels feat. BOOTS, 2100, 2100 (Single), Mass Appeal, 2016
  28. Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz, The Telephone Song, The Telephone Song, Verve, 1964
  29. The Tragically Hip, Wheat Kings, Fully Completely, MCA, 1992
  30. Blink-182, What's My Age Again?, Enema Of The State, MCA, 1999
  31. Warrant, Cherry Pie, Cherry Pie, Columbia, 1990
  32. Warrant, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Cherry Pie, Columbia, 1990
  33. Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah, Live In London, Columbia, 2009
  34. Leonard Cohen, If It Be Your Will, Various Positions, Columbia, 1984