Monday, June 8, 2009

Cuckoo for Coconut Records

It's easy to dismiss actors turned musicians (and vice versa, for that matter). Often, deep down, we just don't want them to succeed at everything. Then again, most of the time these "thespians" are just no good. In fact, Zooey Deschanel is the only free pass I have given to anyone in this group, and it might not be just because of her music. Jason Schwartzman has made me re-examine this way of thinking.

You recognize him as Max Fischer from Wes Anderson's 'Rushmore' and other films, and some know his drumming on the earliest Phantom Planet records. I love his film work, but I never considered him a serious musician because I just didn't think Phantom Planet was significant. That's a pretty easy camp to fall into since their biggest claim to fame was 'California', the theme to 'The O.C.' I didn't even pay attention when Schwartzman released 'Nighttiming' under the moniker Coconut Records in 2007. Big mistake.

Earlier this year Schwartzman returned as Coconut Records with 'Davy', and I believe it is one of my five most listened to records in 2009. The songs are catchy acoustic- and piano-driven pop in the vein of, some say, Elliot Smith. I put him more in line with one of my favorites, Epic Soundtracks. I recently gave 'Nighttiming' a try, and I liked it just as much as 'Davy'. These records haven't an ounce of rock 'n' roll 'tude. Like Fischer, Schwartzman can do it all, and I don't hate him for it. As Fischer said, you may think he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he's no elitist. Here you go, bro.

From Davy:
Coconut Records - Microphone (mp3)
Coconut Records - Drummer (mp3)
Coconut Records - Any Fun (mp3)

From Nighttiming:
Coconut Records - Nighttiming (mp3)
Coconut Records - West Coast (mp3)

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