September 2020 will see the release of a new star-studded tribute album to Marc Bolan, produced by the late Hal Willner. AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T.Rex is out September 4 via BMG. It features contributions from Father John Misty, Lucinda Williams, U2 with Elton John, Joan Jett, Peaches, Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Todd Rundgren, Nick Cave, Kesha, Elysian Fields, Devendra Banhart and more. JG Thirlwell created arrangements of “Teenage Dream”, which is sung by Marc Almond, and “Ballrooms Of Mars”, which is sung by Emily Haines. Thirlwell’s arrangements were orchestrated by long-time Thirlwell collaborator Simon Hanes (Tredici Bacci). The album was Willner’s final project before his untimely death from Covid 19 in 2020.
On July 30 2016, JG Thirlwell will be performing the Lou Reed song “Men Of Good Fortune” at Lincoln Center Out Of Doors as part of an all-day celebration of Lou Reed curated by Laurie Anderson and Hal Willner entitled The Bells. Thirlwell will perform with a band comprised of Don Fleming (Gumball), Sal Maida (Roxy Music), Kenny Margolis, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and Matt Sweeney (Chavez). Other guest singers performing in the same set include Joanaspolicewoman, David Johansen, Lenny Kaye, Jesse Malin, Kembra Pfahler, Felice Rosser, Harper Simon, Jon Spencer, Bush Tetras, JG Thirlwell, and Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls. The set begins at 11.30am.
The day will also include a Tai chi lesson with Master Ren GuangYi; Lou Reed DRONES: an immersive sound installation created from six of Lou Reed’s guitars and amps in a feedback loop; readings of Lou’s lyrics from Steve Buscemi, Willem Dafoe, Natasha Lyonne and many others; and a set of Lou’s love songs in the evening performed by the likes of Laurie Anderson, Anohni, Emily Haines, Mark Kozelek, Bill Laswell, Maxim Moston, Jenni Muldaur, Jane Scarpantoni, Jim White, John Zorn and many more.
The concert will take place in the Damrosch Park Bandshell on the grounds of Lincoln Center at Amsterdam Ave. and W. 62 St., New York, NY 10023 and admission is free.
Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys, produced by Hal Willner, will be released February 19 on Anti Records. Executive produced by Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski, the compilation two-disc recording of sea shanties features Tom Waits, Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Sean Lennon and many more. Thirlwell mixed the track “Barnacle Bill The Sailor” by Kembra Pfahler (of The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black infamy), on which she was joined by Antony Hegarty, who sings the refrains, and Joseph Arthur.
While working on the two “Pirates Of The Carribean” films, Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski became fascinated with the lore and fable of the pirates and sailors who ran the high seas. Enter legendary producer Hal Wilner, who brings his knack for matching maverick musicians with extraordinary material. The “Rogue’s Gallery” albums offer a look at the hardships, the horrors, the lusts and lurid depths, and the crystal beauty that led men to the sea in ships for hundreds of years.