Compiled: Jack Foley
THE Handsome Boy Modeling School take you through their latest
The first of seven vignettes with Father Guido Sarducci and/or
‘The Ladies Man’ Tim Meadows, both Saturday Night
If It Wasn't For You
Featuring old pals De La Soul. "It’s the type of record
we wanted De La Soul to make," says Paul.
Are You Down With It
Smooth seduction and a touch of hip-hop/punk abrasiveness from
Faith No More vocalist, Mike Patton. "Another Handsome Boy
graduate," says Dan, referring to the Music to Make Love
To Your Old Lady By album by Patton, Nathaniel Merriweather
and Jennifer Charles.
The World's Gone Mad
The album's first single came together on three different occasions
– Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos dropped by San Francisco
while on tour, Del The Funky Homosapien got Handsome at his house,
while reggae great Barrington Levy came in, from, where else,
"Franz Ferdinand formed their band partially because they
wanted to see if they could make a live band sound like what Doctor
Octagon did," says Dan.
"With Barrington, reggae's always been a big influence for
our stuff, so it made a lot of sense to go there. And if you look
at the history of MCs, Del's had a longer viable run than almost
any other MC out there. He stays true to his own thing. That we
get to work with him is great for us."
Dating Game (skit)
Handsome bassist, Merlo Podlewski also plays with Jack Johnson.
"Merlo's very instrumental to our stuff," says Dan.
"He was in the band Spain, with Josh Haden, who also sings
on our records. I've seen Jack go from the 100-people venues to
the big concerts. My tracks have appeared in his movies and he's
sung on some of them."
"The whole album is based on people doing something they
normally wouldn't have done," adds Paul. "That's what
makes it our style, that it's not another one of whoever's tracks.
We don't take people totally out of their element, but we apply
It's Like That
A showcase for Hieroglyphics' Casual. "He's an under-appreciated
MC in a lot of circles, considering how good he actually is,"
says Dan. "So it seemed like a good place to give him some
light, kind of like we did with Del and Gorillaz."
I Am Complete (skit)
I've Been Thinking
Dan and Cat Power's Chan Marshall are karaoke buddies.
"I think as a vocalist she's amazing," he says. "She's
kind of like the ideal prototype of what we do with a Handsome
Boy makeover - a song based around the idea of something that
you're not necessarily accustomed to hearing from someone."
Rock and Roll (Could Never
Hip Hop Like This) Part 2
A sequel to the hit from So…How's Your Girl?, this
history lesson on musical cross-pollination features Linkin Park's
Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington, Lord Finesse, Qbert, Jazzy
Jay and Grand Wizard Theodore.
"We've been fortunate enough to work with both the people
who originated a lot of stuff in hip-hop and some of the guys
who have perfected it," says Dan.
"So we put them with the people who have done the best job
of co-opting hip-hop to make the biggest impact in electronica
and rock. Hip-hop is the biggest influence in pop culture. We
put that all together in one song and it tells a big story.
Handsome Boy graduate El P is joined by Cage, Hatebreed's F. Sean
Martin and The Deftones' Chino Moreno.
"Chino's a Bay Area guy," says Dan. "I got to experience
the Deftones lifestyle. We'd go into the studio and they'd bring
their own tattoo artist."
The producers produce the producer: N*E*R*D and Neptunes boy wonder
"Ultimately, with everyone on the record, we are all fans
of each other and peers of each other at the same time, which
makes it interesting," says Dan.
"Since we're both producers he respects our space. He just
let us do our thing. Though if he wants to loan me some money,
that’d be cool."
Also on the track is Julee Cruise, best known as director David
Lynch's ethereal-voiced siren.
First... And Then
"I've known Dres since ‘De La Soul Is Dead,’"
says Paul. "Quite some time ago, before they put out the
first Black Sheep record."
Adds Dan: "We've been lucky with this record. We've had longstanding
relationships with De La or Dres or Del or Rob Swift (who appears
on several tracks). We get to work with people that we know and
like. It's a big Handsome Boy community."
A Day In the Life
It's fun to imagine The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez
chilling at the Wu Mansion with RZA and AG, 'but I don't think
anyone ever gets to meet RZA', says Dan. The magic of recording
Good Hygiene (skit)
Pharell Williams hipped Handsome Boy to modern UK jazzbo, Jamie
Cullum, before he really broke, while John Oates contributed a
lot more than the world's most Handsome mustache.
"The guy's a legend," says Dan. "All the other
people on the record, it makes a certain kind of sense, but with
him we were hitting a whole other world, so it was pretty exciting.
He was very professional and very into doing it – all that
we could ask for."
Longtime collaborator Paula Frazer (Tarnation) is also on the
track. "She's one of the really incredible voices out there,"
says Dan. "For me personally it's an incredible resource
because she lives in my neighborhood. We shop at the same supermarket."
Dating Game Part 2 (skit)