Good musicians borrow. Great musicians steal.
First, Sufjan Stevens appropriates Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” on his new EP, All Delighted People, which we reviewed on Monday. Now Stevens has announced his forthcoming album The Age of Adz, which appropriates the art and ideas of the late Royal Robertson, a Louisiana artist whose work “depicts his vivid dreams and visions of space aliens, futuristic automobiles, eccentric monsters and signs of the Last Judgment,” according to Asthmatic Kitty. Also, Robertson was schizophrenic. Somebody call the Frontier Psychiatrist.
Sufjan Stevens, All Delighted People (Original Version)
*Speaking of appropriation, unwitting Vampire Weekend cover girl Ann Kirsten Kennis spoke to Vanity Fair about her $2 million lawsuit against the band, as previously reported on FP. A former Ford model, Playboy club bunny, and teddy bear company executive, Kennis was first flattered, then offended, then litigious, that VW had used her image without permission on the cover of their #1 Album Contra. Undeterred, Vampire Weekend has decided to title their next album: Fairfield, Connecticut.
*Still speaking of appropriation, Kanye West released a remix of “Power” featuring Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz.
*Still speaking of appropriation, Frightened Rabbit is covering The National’s “Fake Empire”
*Still speaking of appropriation, Frontier Psychiatrist has retained counsel to advise us on an identity theft lawsuit against the HBO miniseries Bored to Death. Dear Jonathan Ames: We saw you spying on us in the coffee shop, on Smith Street, and even outside the wrought iron bars of our windows. (Also: We are taller than Jason Schwartzmann. Way taller.) In any case, for all you Bearded Brooklyn Bourgeois Bohemians with Existential Ennui, an album of music featured in Bored to Death comes out on September 21. The soundtrack features tunes from M Ward & Zooey Deschanel, Lykke Li, Andrew Bird, and Freelance Whales.
*Finally, still speaking of appropriation, we mourn the passing of Stevie Ray Vaughan, who died 20 years ago today in a helicopter crash at the age of 35. In his furious take on the 12-bar blues SRV appropriated the licks of Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, and countless guitarists who preceded him. He may have been derivative, but SRV was better at guitar than any of us are at anything. In the spirit of appropriation, here are his covers of Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” plus an acoustic version of SRV’s electric classic “Pride and Joy.” Steal away!