Edit: Changed to reflect track listing (5/21/09)
It's been quite a few days for unintentional streaming music news. First Wilco's Wilco (The Album) became (The Leak) when the band decided to stream it well before official release to thwart an illegal posting of the band's work.
But that's getting to be an old story. Leave it to Danger Mouse to put a new spin on things.
You know DJ/producer/artist Danger Mouse, right? Aside from being the guy who put together the brilliant "Grey Album," a mashup of Jay-Z's "Black Album" and the Beatles' "White Album," he's also half of the equally brilliant Gnarls Barkley and works with Gorillaz and The Black Keys.
Well, he's at it again. And this time he's taken the forbidden fruit approach to his music one step further with "Dark Night of the Soul." The "Grey Album" was a massive underground download hit that never saw the light of legal day because of the unsanctioned use of copyrighted Beatles material. The Jay-Z vocal content was distributed specifically for remixing, so don't call him the killjoy here.
This time Danger Mouse worked with psych-rockers Sparklehorse and the album features guests like the Strokes' Julian Casablancas, the Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop and the Pixies' Frank Black. Also on board are The Shins' James Mercer, Super Furry Animals' lead singer Gruff Rhys, ex-Granddaddy lead Jason Lytle, The Cardigans' Nina Persson, and singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt. Filmmaker David Lynch even throws in with some visual work in the form of still photos to be used in a 100-page book that was to have made up packaging imagery.
Here's a look at the track list:
01. Revenge (feat. The Flaming Lips)
02. Just War (feat. Gruff Rhys)
03. Jaykub (feat. Jason Lytle)
04. Little Girl (feat. Julian Casablancas)
05. Angel's Harp (feat. Black Francis)
06. Pain (feat. Iggy Pop)
07. Star Eyes (I Can't Catch It) (feat. Lynch)
08. Everytime I'm With You (feat. Lytle)
09. Insane Lullaby (feat. James Mercer)
11. The Man Who Played God (feat. Suzanne Vega)
12. Grim Augury (feat. Vic Chesnutt)
13. Dark Night Of The Soul (feat. Lynch and Scott Spillane on horns)
Too bad you may never be able to buy it. The label, EMI, apparently in a contract dustup, is refusing to release the album.
But don't worry, Danger Mouse has you covered.
Flinging an innovative middle finger at EMI, the 100-page booklet - illustrated by Lynch - is being put out with a blank CD-R inserted in it. Oh, by the way, the album material has found its way into various illicit file-sharing sites.
Hmm. What could that blank CD be for?
A statement put out by Danger Mouse's people makes it clear that they want the album heard, but gosh, don't do anything illegal!:
"Danger Mouse remains hugely proud of Dark Night of the Soul and hopes that people lucky enough to hear the music, by whatever means, are as excited by it as he is."
He added that the album, which comes with a limited edition, "100+ page book" of David Lynch photographs inspired by the music "will now come with a blank, recordable CD-R".
"All copies will be clearly labelled: 'For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will.'"
Fortunately, you can listen legally. NPR's "Exclusive First Listen" series will stream "Dark Knight of the Soul" in its entirety here as the only official outlet for those seeking to hear the album fully.
And here's a taste of the Grey Album work, a video put together with Beatles and Jay-Z footage. Really quite a brilliant effort in itself showing off the song "Encore";