What's inside of me
May 10, 2012 6:42 AM   Subscribe

"To coincide with his new book, “Will Oldham on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy,” Will Oldham is again releasing a new batch of his own oldies — a six-song EP called “Now Here’s My Plan,” made up of fresh versions of songs from the Prince Billy catalog. Among the recordings is an impossibly upbeat rendition of “I See a Darkness,” the beautifully bleak song off his 1999 album of the same name that was later covered by Johnny Cash." The video for the new version, shot in Glasgow Scotland, is now posted on the New York Times website.

Coincidentally, his brother Ned Oldham (a great musicianin his own right) is starring in a new film that premiered at Sundance this year called I Used to Be Darker.

I See A Darkness -- by Steve Adey
Many many BPB/Will Oldham posts previously.
posted by Potomac Avenue (12 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

I like it when artists revisit their own material - it's a reminder that the "album version" is not the only version; I can't stand it when the live version sounds someone pressed play on the record.

from the new book link: Readers may also be amused to learn that he once passed up a possible part on “Doogie Howser, M.D.”

I think i'm just going to sit down for a minute and marvel at the world that might have been.
posted by dubold at 7:19 AM on May 10, 2012

My favorite Oldham trivia: dude shot the cover photo for Slint's Spiderland.

But yeah, this new version of "I See a Darkness" is on repeat this morning, so good!
posted by jason_steakums at 7:34 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

In other Oldham news, Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure has recently popped up on Netflix streaming

Never seen it, but somehow I doubt it tops his role in John Sayles' Matewan as the teenaged preacher.
posted by Rangeboy at 7:53 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I like that version of I See a Darkness a lot but the video is needlessly disturbing, with the deathy dirt face-and-beard makeup and the eyes rolling back in the head/twitching theme.
posted by msalt at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2012

Disturbing music videos seem rather common with BPP. I think the creepiness of the eyes rolling about actually fits the subject matter. The song has been remade in an upbeat fashion, and crossed eyes can be associated with lighthearted goofiness, except that there is an underlying "wrongness" that comes through as well.
posted by polywomp at 9:36 AM on May 10, 2012

Holy crap I just realized that Will Oldham looks like a civil war ghost possessed an airedale
posted by jason_steakums at 9:39 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]

I like his funky little strut. A lot.
posted by ZipRibbons at 11:43 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

He's so hit or miss for me but when he's on, he is amazing. Great version of I see a Darkness.
posted by saul wright at 3:00 PM on May 10, 2012

He totally lost me with Ease Down the Road and I never went back. Is any of his newer work even half as good as the early Palace stuff?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:33 PM on May 10, 2012

rabbitrabbit, Oldham's output is considerably better than his Palace stuff, which I love. Along with Bill Callahan, his songwriting has progressed to staggering degrees:

Wolf Among Wolves (which could easily be on Days In the Wake)
I Called You Back
After I Made Love to You
So Everyone
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:35 AM on May 11, 2012

Never thought I would laugh to that song. Love it.
posted by broken wheelchair at 8:25 PM on May 12, 2012

rabbitrabbit: Oldham is constantly, almost obsessively experimenting so I would be careful about writing off years of his output unless you're only there for his yelpy vocal ticks. Master and Everyone, the album after Ease on Down the Road, was a crtiical and popular success, ultra-spare solo guitar songs. I liked "The Letting Go" (2007) a lot, continuing his duets with female singers.

Example: one album you might like or hate is called "Greatest Palace Music." He assembled an allstar cast of Nashville session musicians, didn't rehearse at all, and covered much of the early Palace catalog. A bit hit or miss to my taste, but the covers of "Viva Ultra" and "Pushkin" (with a gospel-like choir) are revelations.
posted by msalt at 8:54 AM on May 13, 2012

« Older One guy lives in Main Street, U.S.A.. One guy...   |   An Illustrated Life: David Macaulay Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments