How to Discover Cool New Stuff – Part 1
This is going to be one of the strangest posts ever. Guaranteed.
I was doing some research on an upcoming snowboarding trip to Argentina. I found this video from a tour company called SASS / SGT. This video is rad. It’s full of great footage, tricks, and lots and lots of snow. The first song in it is really rad too.
Shazam: The song ends up being a band called Dead Man’s Bones. The name sounded familiar but it didn’t ring any bells. If you’ve heard of them before, please forgive me. I half live under a rock so I often miss things.
Google/Wiki: Dead Man’s Bones ends up being a band founded by actor Ryan Gosling and his friend Zach Shields.
Deets: The first Dead Man’s Bones album was released in 2009 through ANTI- Records (Islands, Yann Tiersen, Calexico, Glen Hansard, Devotchka, etc).
Yes, I know. There are lots of bands by famous actors and most of them aren’t worth our attention. This one is super unique though. First of all, because the music actually has a unique and really artistic lean to it. Secondly, the inspiration for the music are Ghosts. Yes, ghosts, like “BOO!”.
The Legend: Word on the street is that Gosling and Shields met in 2005 and discovered a mutual obsession with ghosts. They decided to write love stories about ghosts (and monsters) and then record an album. But not only were they going to record an album, they decided to take a really cool approach to it too …. They chose to play all the instruments, even those they had never touched before. Then they set rules for themselves for the recording process like: 1.) Don’t use a click track. 2.) Tracks must be recorded in under three takes (because they wanted the songs to sound organic and imperfect).
Pretty odd post so far, right? Well it gets stranger.
The band Gosling and Shields envisioned had a choir. Not just a choir, but a children’s choir. So they decided to enlist Silverlake Conservatory of Music for the record. “What’s that?” you ask. It’s a non-profit educational organization formed in California in 2001 by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. The band later goes on tour for Halloween and plays with local children’s choirs near the locations of their shows.
So far this post has been about a snowboarding video from Argentina, one of Hollywood’s latest “heart throb” actors, some unique music production techniques, ghosts, the philanthropist Flea, children’s choirs … hmmmm? is there anything else that i can throw in?
Oh yeah, then there’s this bizarre but fucking brilliant little film of Gosling and Shields performing live with the L.A. Inner City Choir at a senior citizens home of some kind that breaks into a dance party at the end.
Kidding. There’s more. Lastly, there’s this cool little artsy-fartsy and slight creepy ghost inspired website. Check it out here.
Thank you SGT (@sassglobal) for turning me onto this track. Thank you Ryan Gosling for being cooler than I ever gave you credit for. I might actually develop a man crush on you after this.
But there you have it. That was my post on “How to Discover Cool New Stuff”. I hope you enjoyed it. Perhaps I’ll write a Part 2 if I’m ever so inspired.