Depending on your perspective Mark Ronson is a DJ, a producer, a socialite, a musical svengali, or perhaps just Samantha Ronson's older brother. No matter the context, Ronson is surrounded by incredible talent, and that is perceived as both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. But with Record Collection, Ronson takes another step out from behind the mixing board, this time writing his own songs and (surprise!) singing for once.
Ronson's retro soul production on releases from Nikka Costa, Lily Allen, Christina Aguilera and Amy Winehouse (for which he won multiple Grammys) made him a sought after producer*, so it's easy to forgive Ronson for withholding his voice and songwriting talents up until now. Record Collection may be the debut of Ronson's voice, but he's still rolling with a serious posse, with contributions from Duran Duran's Simon LeBon ("Record Collection"), Boy George ("Somebody to Love Me"), Ghostface Killah ("Lose It"), the once missing D'Angelo ("Glass Mountain Trust" in what has to be the guest appearance of the year), and the potent combo of Q-Tip and MNDR ("Bang Bang Bang"), who will guest with Ronson when he performs on The Late Show with David Letterman on Monday night. Ronson also taped a performance for Jimmy Kimmel Live that will air on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the tireless touring juggernauts My Morning Jacket appear to be getting in on the nostalgia show kick. On successive nights in New York (October 19-23), MMJ will perform their first five albums in their entirety, one for each night's concert. In support of this, they'll appear on Letterman Tuesday and take over the famed Ed Sullivan Theater for a full webcast performance, debuting online at 8PM EST.
Elsewhere, the Danger Mouse and James Mercer (The Shins) collaboration Broken Bells is still out touring for their sublime self-titled debut, and are both getting up early (The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday) and staying up late (Last Call with Carson Daly on Tuesday) to promote it. Another odd couple collaboration making the rounds this week is the combination of Ben Folds and British author Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity). Their recording, Lonely Avenue, involved the emailing of lots of lyrics and mp3 files back and forth to bridge the Atlantic ocean, but they'll be face-to-face for their appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday night.
Picks for the week
Monday, October 11
Tuesday, October 12
Wednesday, October 13
Thursday, October 14
Friday, October 15
SUNDANCE: The Killing of John Lennon
Saturday, October 16
curator of the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake