Did you know that Danger Mouse is only 28 years old? Me neither. Chuck Klosterman profiled him in this article in the Sunday Times Magazine, which is producing more consistently interesting music articles lately. Media articles in general, really. I know that they got on the shit list after that Mark Warner profile but everyone needs a little redemption every now and then. Chuck Klosterman rocks.
The whole Gnarls Barkley thing isn't that interesting; in my opinion, the songs aren't nearly as good as the Grey Album or Demon Days, but I definitely see what DM is going for with the Woody Allen stars in his eyes. It's super-egotistical to be such a control freak, but it's admirable, if a bit maniacal, to go around saying it so bluntly. Klosterman depicts DM as a talented, inexperienced dude who keeps his eyes open because he knows that he hardly knows anything – as evidenced by the little tale about how DM "discovered" Pink Floyd in a bar in 1995. Whoa.
I think that Klosterman was using DM's auteur aesthetic fro film directors as a conceit, because it makes for a nice jolt of thought and it was DM's own comparison, but I'm not so sure that it holds up. To say that Woody Allen is more like Brian Eno than Phil Spector – well, it's all pretty abstruse to me. A movie director, an album producer, an influential A&R rep, or the artist themselves – anyone could be responsible for the vision, depending on context. It's certainly possible in music, and no way would DM be the first. I think Spector could win, but you see, it all depends on your perspective because so could Alan Lomax, who defined a still-existing perception of "field recordings" and rural music.
Anyways, I guess DM is trying to distinguish himself, and that he will – but it won't be because of an ambiguously false title. Naturally, the music itself has to stand out, and so far, I think he's doing an OK job of that. What was it that Christgau said? "Everything else is just posturing." No, wait, that was me. He said "it's about positioning." Right.