Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wait, you sing too?

The newest generation of actors-turned-singers has arrived. Long gone are the painful days of Bruce Willis' blues singing attempts or Keanu Reeves' grunge band Dogstar. Yes, Joaquin Pheonix is rapping now but I can't be sure how serious that is or if it is a giant hoax no one is in on.

Surprisingly, these new crossover artists actually do have talent.

First up, we've got Jason Schwartzman. Now I'm sure you've heard of Phantom Planet, his first band in which he played drums. Phantom Planet played the theme song to that terrible TV show "The OC." He's moved on from Phantom Planet
and started his own indie pop solo project called Coconut Records in 2006.

Coconut Records has release two records of catchy indie pop summer anthems, with Nighttiming in 2007 and Davy released this January.

Coconut Records is exactly what you'd expect from Jason Schwartzman. Quirky and fun, these songs are easy to get stuck in your head.

Here is Coconut Records with "West Coast"

Next, we've got darling sweetheart Zooey Deschanel.

After falling in love with her voice in the movie "Elf," I'm glad that she's exploring her musical abilities. Deschanel is the "She" in She & Him, an folky indie project she started with M. Ward.

She & Him's debut album "Volume One" was released in March 2008. The two met on the set of the film "The GoGetter" in which she had a role. After discovering similar tastes in music, the duo began to write songs together. Much of Volume One has an old timey folk take on indie pop music.

She & Him with "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"

Finally, we've got Ryan Gosling.

You remember Gosling as the leading man in "The Notebook," "Lars and the Real Girl" and "Half Nelson" (which had an amazing soundtrack. Really great use of Broken Social Scene songs.) Who would have known that he would have musical talent too?

Gosling sings for a band named Dead Man's Bones. Gosling met bandmate Zach Shields while Gosling was dating his "Notebook" co-star, Rachel McAdams. The two bonded over an obsession with all things scary and creepy: ghosts, zombies and monsters. They began writing music together with the idea of a spooky concept album about the supernatural.

The most interesting aspect of this album, though, is the children's choir they recruited to help with the album. The Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children's Choir, a Los Angeles based facility co-created by Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, serve as a creepy and catchy backbone to the music. They make the songs, in my opinion. Gosling and Shields are talented, but they are no match for the chills I get listening to the children's choir sing.

Watch the video, it was filmed live, and the children are all wearing Halloween costumes, which add an incredible creepy effect.

Dead Man's Bones with "In The Room Where You Sleep."


  1. Lucas,

    REALLY glad to see you working on this blog. I mean, even though I'm responsible for your good music taste and made you watch Half Nelson a million times

  2. I heard some where that Zooey and that guy that plays guitar are getting married, or are married. And that's crazy about Ryan Gosling. I had no clue he could sing like that.

  3. I've never heard of Coconut Records before reading this blog and I really like that song.

    Keep up the good work ^^

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