Has anyone noticed that Johnny Depp is a musician now?
Wait, has everyone but me noticed that Johnny Depp has been a musician...always? I mean, aside from his singing in movies that I slept through because I thought it'd be funny to get drunk beforehand. Maybe this is just news to me.
Admittedly, I'm a little out of touch. I spent the last week listening to Type O Negative and Strawberry Alarm Clock. But in my recent course of this whole, "Shit, I'm writing about music now so I better find out who Will.I.Am is," business, I stumbled across something.
Johnny Depp, along with Pirates of the Carribean director Gore Verbinski and noted music producer Hal Willner, is releasing a collection of pirate-inspired sea shanties featuring work by Nick Cave, Keith Richards, Tom Waits, Michael Gira and Iggy Pop. Oh, and Michael Stipe is doing a duet with Courtney Love. Uh, and sissy-bounce heavyweight Big Freedia is a player.
And fucking Ricky Jay, a magician who has guest-starred on an episode of the X-Files and who also once authored a book called "Cards as Weapons" (I actually bought this book when I was 10, and am now kicking myself for no longer having it).
While typically I sit down to write articles with the idea that I'm going to do something constructive by being a shithead and making fun of everything, I can't help but be impressed by the ludicrous nature of this record. And by the fact that it's the second sea shanty album that Depp has had a hand in releasing.
I mean honestly, it's a fairly interesting concept featuring a nice mix of hammy famous dinks, up-their-own-ass alternative rockers and overall weirdos (industrial music mainstay Foetus also appears on the collection). Intrigued, I hunkered down and decided to delve in a little further to see what else Johnny Depp has ventured into, musically. Here are some of the headlines that turned up:
"Depp joins Alice Cooper on stage" "Johnny Depp rocks out with Aerosmith" "Johnny Depp performs with The Black Keys" "Marilyn Manson explains collaboration with Depp" Johnny Depp Performs with Shane Macgowan And The Popes
I'd venture, based on a quick glance, that he wasn't the one steering the ship on this latest project. Looks like at his very core, Johnny Depp has the same musical taste as your average out-of-touch uncle (not THAT kind of "touch") or cornball step-dad. You know, the type of guy who probably had a Pearl Jam cover band in high school. Luckily there's a saving grace to this whole boring-but-bizarre ordeal. Johnny Depp is friends with the Pogues' Shane McGowan, so there's hope that freakish events like those in the video above might somehow be replicated again in the future. In the meantime, gather your friends on a boat and get down with some goddamn sea shanty music, I guess.