Danger Mouse, who first rose to national prominence with the Grey Album, and is now better known as a member of the duo Gnarls Barkley, recently completed a joint project with director David Lynch and Sparklehorse titled Dark Night of the Soul. Apparently Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse worked on the album for a couple of years and pulled some collaborations with a lot of big names, including the Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop, Frank Black, James Mercer (The Shins), Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), and Black Francis (Pixies). At some point Danger Mouse approached Lynch about working together on a multimedia project that would combine Lynch’s photographs with a record, with the photos being inspired by the music and vice versa. NPR has posted the entire album online here, if you want to check it out.
The project also resulted in an installation being shown from May 30-July 11 at the Michael Kohn Gallery, in Los Angeles, which consists of about 50 of Lynch’s photographs mounted in two rooms, with the “moody rhythms” of Dark Night of the Soul playing throughout the gallery.
Well this all sounds great, what with NPR streaming the album online and the installation being available for viewing, but the New York Times posted an article today about the actual for-purchase book/cd combo that has fans “puzzled:”
“The project, it turned out, is a large-format book-and-CD package that Danger Mouse was releasing by himself, with 50 photographs by Mr. Lynch intended as accompaniment to the album’s 13 songs. But the CD is blank and recordable, and a sticker on the shrink wrap explains cryptically: “For legal reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.” Danger Mouse lays the blame on “an ongoing dispute with EMI,” and EMI basically confirmed as much, saying that they are trying to “resolve this situation.”
As the article is quick to mention, though, this is clearly a nod to the concept of illegal downloading (in a sense Danger Mouse is saying to fans, “here’s a blank CD onto which you can burn my music that you already downloaded for free”), which was how his Grey Album grew to be such a phenomenon in the first place. And also let’s not forget that “controversy” sells records.
But at the end of the day, let’s be real: Danger Mouse, you are trying to sell a $50 blank CD-R. I like these prices better.
So, while Danger Mouse and EMI work out the details, enjoy this dope jam from the Grey Album.
Danger Mouse – What More Can I Say?: