Scarlett Fever

Well, here it comes, the golden celebrity goose egg. No, not Zooey Deschanel’s She & Him — although that project’s another promising sign that famous people can actually be true renaissance persons and not mere beneficiaries of welfare by conspiracy. I’m referring of course to ScoJo’s collection of Tom Waits songs. NME has a few choice insights:

After deciding to record an album of Tom Waits tracks (“I always loved Tom Waits and I thought my voice could lend a fresh take,” she said) she demoed them on her own, but by her own admission they were “horrible”.

Enter TV on the Radio guy Dave Sitek. His calling card:

Foals’ complaint was that Sitek’s original mix of ‘Antidotes’ sounded like it was “recorded in the Grand Canyon”


“There’s a hummingbird trapped in a closed-down shoe store” she sings on ‘Town With No Cheer’, which makes for an apt description of the world that Sitek has created.

Add one tablespoon of Scarlett, and…

The original intention was to make a record that sounded “like Tinkerbell on cough syrup”, apparently; that actually happens on ‘I Wish I Was In New Orleans’, where a music box sounds as if it’s been recorded on an old tape player, and Johansson intones in her most faux-naïve voice.

Well. I guess I’m excited to hear this record, even though I don’t own any TV on the Radio music and couldn’t whistle you a single one of their tunes. Generally, we should all be very happy when the already-very-famous deign to do more excellent work than necessary to remain that way, especially if it’s not in their niche field. As much as I loathe celebrities whose every artistic whim is indulged with gallery openings, vanity record labels, and personal brands of vodka, a real multiplicity of talent is a beautiful thing.