Thursday, February 5, 2009

Drowned In Sound Feature: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: An Annotated Discography (1998 - 2008)

It was sometime around the release of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's last album, the wonderful Lie Down in the Light, that I came to the realization that Will Oldham isn't actually that well known. Granted, it didn't get much of a promotional push from Drag City, but the record sold a small amount of copies even for him (they intend to remedy this problem on his forthcoming full-length however). Part of the problem could be that he spreads his riches over such a wide swath of monikers: besides Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Oldham has operated under the Palace Music banner as well as his given name, producing great albums in all arenas. I'm not here to dive into his extensive discography (or filmography for that matter), but I did want to point out this nice primer on Oldham and his Bonnie"Prince" Billy guise, written by Alexander Tudor of Drowned in Sound. I'm a little late on this, but I think it's worth it. It's a lengthy feature breaking down nearly every Bonnie "Prince" Billy release to date, and it's an essential read for anyone looking to parse his massive catalogue. However, I think it's safe to say everyone should start with I See a Darkness and move onward. Anyway, have a read.
"Will Oldham needs no introduction as the best-connected mainstay of US indie/alt. country since the early 1990s, and one of the most sought-after collaborators, having worked with Bjork, PJ Harvey, and recently Mark Kozelek/Sun Kil Moon. Beneath all the joking, perving, and camp videos for Kanye West, his appropriation of Shakespeare, his engagement with Christianity and Eastern religion, and his knowledge of American folk music makes him, literally, Eliotic in his poetic sensibilities. No doubt, though, you could do with a guide through his formidable back-catalogue? [Continue Reading]

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