Tuesday, September 05, 2006


So, in addition to acting in the occasional film ("Old Joy," "Junebug," "The Guatemalan Handshake," "Maetwan"), Will Oldham also records music. Tons of music. Under different names, like Palace, Superwolf, and most famously, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.

He also happens to be my favorite musician. I can't think of many young artists who seem to merit--as far as quality and amount of output--a comparison to Bob Dylan, but Will Oldham is absolutely worthy. In his own way, Oldham transcends the comparison. I'd argue that his music is more, well, spectral that Dylan's. While many people remarked that the young Bob Dylan sounded both new and old at the same time, I think Will Oldham exists more out of time...perhaps not even in our reality. If I had to compare Oldham to a film director, it would have to be Werner Herzog, because both seem obsessed with haunted men, and their demons are ancient, having very little to do with cell phones or cable TV or glossy magazines. That's not to say they are old-fashioned--far from it. They're thoroughly immediate in the way that a photograph of a bleeding wound or burning martyr will never cease to give you the shivers. Will Oldham, like Herzog, is fascinated with (credit goes to Faulkner for this phrase) "the human heart in conflict with itself."

And...that all being said, the wonderful DAYTROTTER magazine scored a major coup: they got Will to record some songs especially for them, then talk about their origins.

They're right here:

BONNIE 'PRINCE' BILLY (Daytrotter sessions)

Also, Will has just completed his second weird "commercial" for his new album ("The Letting Go") with ridiculous potty-mouth faux-lounge comedian, Neil Hamburger.

Check it out: