Thursday, June 7, 2018

'Meaningless' Music From Renaissance Man

I was watching Greta Gerwig's excellent coming-of-age movie 'Lady Bird' last night, and it got me thinking about how much I appreciate the film scores of Jon Brion, particularly on this movie and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'. These days, Brion is probably known more for his film work and producing others, but I have taken a few albums off the shelf that feature Brion as power-pop star, and we'll listen to more of him next time, but let's start with his only solo album.

In the late '90s, Brion was signed to Lava Records, then an Atlantic entity, and 'Meaningless' was meant to be put out by them, but he was released from his contract after completion. Brion put out the album on his own in 2001, calling his label the tongue-in-cheek Straight to Cut-Out. This one-and-only catalog number from Straight to Cut-Out was .00001. Save for one song, Brion plays all of the instruments. That song is "Trouble", and check out this backing band for that one: Jim Keltner on drums, Benmont Tench on piano and Greg Leisz on pedal steel. His girlfriend at the time, the brilliant actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, provides backing vocals. If you feel like you've heard this one before, perhaps you have. Brion's late friend Elliott Smith used to like to cover it.

If you're a fan of Aimee Mann, Jason Falkner or Brendan Benson, you'll want to track down this album.



The Swede said...

To paraphrase our blogging chum John Medd, you're pushing at an open door with this one Brian. I don't own 'Meaningless', but I surely should.

Brian said...

You'll want this one, Swede. I'm thinking you might have the next Brion album I'll be posting, or you'll at least remember it from your days behind the counter.