Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Danger Mouse

Two great bands that played at ACL have recorded cds which the super-talented Danger Mouse produced – the Broken Bells and the Black Keys. He is also part of the Broken Bells duo and has recorded with Gnarls Barkley. Since 2005, Danger Mouse, as a producer and as an artist, has been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards.

Does Danger Mouse ever sleep? In 2008 he produced Beck’s Modern Guilt. Following this year’s Broken Bells project with Shins' singer James Mercer, he had another collaborative effort, Dark Night of the Soul, where he teamed up with Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous. Guest stars included Frank Black (Pixies), James Mercer, the Flaming Lips, Julian Casablancas (Strokes), Iggy Pop, Suzanne Vega and more. The third project this year was the Black Key’s Brothers.

A few years ago Jay-Z got Danger Mouse to mash up his own Black Album with the Beatle’s White Album to create the Grey Album, which was Danger Mouse’s first hit. Then Danger Mouse was asked to produce the Gorillaz' second studio album, Demon Days.

I used to watch the very witty British cartoon series Danger Mouse back in the 1980s on Nickelodeon which was about an English mouse who works as a super hero/secret agent. Early in his career, Danger Mouse performed in a mouse outfit because he was too shy to show his face, and then took his name from the British cartoon character.

I have learned two lessons from his career – you can be shy and still reach your goals, and it helps to collaborate with other great talent.

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