steal this album
    • FRIDAY, JUNE 05, 2009

    • Posted by:

    So by now everyone's probably at least heard of the stunning compilation Dark Was the Night. But while we here at Baeble have been basking in the warm glow of the folk-indie elite making beautiful music while simultaneously fighting AIDS, all has not been well in the world of collaborations. In fact, a dark battle has been raging just below the surface. On one side: a whimsical producer whose hip-hop projects have generated equal parts delight and controversy, a reclusive singer-songwriter whose overflow of talent compensates for his lack of legs, and a brilliant director infamous for darkly surreal, avant-garde, instantly recognizable films. On the other: a hungry colossus in the form of a record company. Is it a dream? No, it's Dark Night of the Soul.

    It started as an unlikely partnership between Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz), Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) and David Lynch (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive). The album is something of an alternative Supernatural. Vocals are provided by distinctive personalities such as Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips), Suzanne Vega, Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Iggy Pop, Nina Persson (The Cardigans), and Black Francis (The Pixies). The result is a conglomerate of songs that range from the sweetly psychedelic to the quietly haunting, from dark punk rock to lilting folk. It's diverse, it's cohesive, it's soul-searching, it stays with you long after you're done listening to it, and it's illustrated with 100+ original photos by Lynch, inspired by the music. If you think this is too good to be's that too.

    EMI has been at odds with Danger Mouse ever since The Grey Album. Now, citing vague legal disputes, EMI is preventing Dark Night of the Soul from being released. If you want to support the artists, you can still purchase the project. You will receive a booklet of Lynch's photographs and a blank CD-R, with a note saying "For legal reasons, enclosed CD contains no music. Use it as you will." Could Danger Mouse be encouraging us to engage in illegal piracy?! Clearly, this is another case of the music industry underestimating the powers of the internet. But if you don't want to fight dirty, the good folks at NPR are streaming the entire album, for now. We encourage you to grab a listen to this must-have sonic tour de force by any means necessary. But we can only show you the door. You are the one that has to walk through it. -Nina Mashurova

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