There’s an old adage that claims every actor wants to be a rock star, and every rock star wants to be an actor. When you take a look at the tale of the tape, that being how many famous people have attempted to do both, it appears to be largely true. Granted, the vast majority of actors and musicians stick to just one thing, maybe because they know they’re not good at the other. But the motivation to try both is understandable. They’re both creative, pop culture mediums beloved by the general public. Of course nothing quite beats a live audience reaction when you’re on stage performing. If you’ve got songs and can tour, then that’s a high you can get most nights on the road. If you’re in a play on Broadway, there’s also a similar sort of crowd reaction. Where I’m going with all of this is that while the double threat of being an actor-musician or a musician-actor may be attempted by many, very few actually manage to succeed at it. Jared Leto. Justin Timberlake. Steve Martin. Zooey Deschanel. Jamie Foxx. Jeff Bridges. These are a few of the people who have done reasonably good work in both mediums. But for every one of those, there’s also a Scarlett Johansson, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Bacon or Russell Crowe. None have made excruciatingly bad albums (for the most part), but none have ever been good enough either to be regarded as much more than a footnote in their careers. Which finally brings me to Michael Cera. Earlier today, he released a “surprise album” called true that onto the world. Outside of his duet with Ellen Page when they covered The Moldy Peaches’ “Anyone Else But You” in the film Juno, Cera hasn’t really recorded any music before. Sure, he’s done things like played bass for some shows with indie supergroup Mister Heavenly, and he’s also portrayed musicians in films like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, but overall there’s been very little evidence that music is something he might like to pursue as something other than a fun hobby. And that may still be the case, though typically when you want to do that you keep your recorded songs to yourself instead of posting/selling them on the internet. If you’re curious enough to stream or even download the 18-track album, it can be considered an interesting artifact. A majority of it is instrumental, with some of the tracks lasting under a minute, functioning as either interludes or aborted experiments. The quality is pretty lo-fi, as these songs were recorded at his house without a whole lot of professional equipment. Yet it’s never boring or pathetic. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call it good, but it’s definitely better than I expected it to be. He hasn’t secured a record deal (though that may change), nor has he really commented on it to the press or anyone, so there’s a certain nobility in letting the music speak for itself, at least for the time being. So check it out if you’re curious, and maybe let me know in the comments whether or not he’s got a real shot at making a second career out of music. Speaking of that, let’s get to today’s Pick Your Poison, shall we? There’s some great tracks in this set from The Belle Sounds, Blonde Redhead, Body Language, *Chi, iLoveMakonnen, Kirby Kaiser and Sunbears!. In the Soundcloud section after the jump, stream new songs from Allo Darlin’, alt-J, BRONCHO, Field Report, Jessie Ware, Single Mothers and Stars.
Allo Darlin’ – Romance and Adventure
alt-J – Every Other Freckle
BRONCHO – What
Field Report – Home (Leave the Lights On)
Jessie Ware – Say You Love Me
Single Mothers – Marbles
Stars – From the Night