Willis Earl Beal first found fame when one of his flyers advertising his availability as a potential boyfriend appeared on the cover of Found Magazine in 2007. Over the next couple of years, unemployed and living in his Grandmother's spare room, he recorded an album with cheap and sometimes homemade equipment on a broken karaoke tape machine, which (after a convoluted tale recounted in this article from last year) came to be released, first by Found Magazine themselves in a limited release of 200, and eventually by XL Recordings. Willis Earl Beal performing Evening's Kiss (which is very different from the extremely lo-fi album version) and Swing On Low (album version) on Later With Jools Holland in April 2012.
The Gregory Brothers do it with YouTube videos (as seen previously on the blue). Gabriel Kahane and Sam Krahn did it with Craigslist. Phil Kline and Bryant Kong did it with Donald Rumsfeld. Making music from found lyrics is booming. [more inside]
The Books is a collaboration between musicians and found sound archivers Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong. If you're not familiar with their music, allow me to recommend giving their newest album, The Way Out a listen over at NPR (where you can no longer stream the album in its entirety, but individual tracks are still available for your listening pleasure). Two videos are already available—the summer camp hit A Cold Freezin' Night and We Bought The Flood, which was 'directed' by archival image researcher Rich Remsberg. Since The Way Out's release Nick has been proceeding track by track through the album, explaining and annotating the techniques, instruments, and ideas used on each song—and resulting in a collage of thoughts as powerful and varied as The Books' collage of sound. [more inside]