Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Scarlett Johansson's record label, Rhino Records, held a private listening party at Joe's Pub yesterday to premiere her new album--a song cycle of Tom Waits covers--for a select audience of about 25 folks. The album, produced by Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio, is due in May. Both Johansson and Sitek dropped by to answer some questions after the album played. No photographers were allowed, but no one told me I couldn't draw . . .

At one point during the playing of the album, John wandered in, sat across from me and said, "everyone's really listening at this Listening Party." I looked up, tried to speak but the moment, the music and the mood wouldn't let me, so I went back to my drawing. I guess the other folks in the room were reporters and critics, taste-makers and the like and I expect you'll have to wait until closer to the release date to see what they all think. (Update--no waiting necessary--here's a description from Stereogum who was there.)

As for me, I'm really glad I got to listen to it without any preconceptions because it's a singular work, as close to a cinematic experience--scripted, performed, produced and directed--as I've ever come aurally.

You'll see.


Anonymous Jonny said...

Did you find out what Bill Murray whispers to her at the end of Lost in Translation?

7:23 PM  
Blogger Michael Arthur said...

Sure did.

Apparently, he said: "Tom Waits. Seriously. Do a Tom Waits covers album. He writes terrific songs and your sort of baritone voice would work great in a swampy, multi-tracked, reverb-soaked production. Also, did your agent get you points on this film or are you straight salary with box-office incentives? Oh, don't eat the Uni on the catering table--it smells weird."

I actually liked it better when I didn't know.

1:13 AM  

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