Dead Man’s Bones


Okay, let’s see: You dress up as Frankenstein and the Wolfman in your publicity photos. Your first song features a children’s chorus–dressed up in Halloween costumes. Some of your first concerts are taking place at a children’s marionette theatre. Sounds like a TWBITW candidate to us!

But wait, it gets better: Dead Man’s Bones is a collaboration between L.A. actor/musician Zach Shields and…wait for it…actor/musician Ryan Gosling. Yes, the Ryan Gosling. The dude who was so awesome in Lars and the Real Girl and Half Nelson…and The Notebook, or so my girlfriend tells me. Who says all actor-fronted bands suck?

According to the band’s official bio, Dead Man’s Bones sprang into existence from a shared love of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland, plus old horror movies, ghosts, graveyards and anything generally creepy and macabre. It evolved according to a strict set of rules that forced Gosling and Shields not to conceal their occasional amateurishness, or that of their collaborators, which mainly include local choruses and choirs. The resulting music sounds kinda like what Tom Waits might create if he gave up making records and went off to run a children’s theatre. It’s spare and spooky and surprisingly elegant–and very, very weird. Their debut album is due out October 6th on Anti Records–also home to Tom Waits, as it turns out. We can’t wait to hear the rest of it.




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