Daniel Lanois

Posted by Kurt Daradics on October 12, 2009
So one of my all time musical heros is the producer from Montreal named Dan Lanois. Come to find out, Dan and I share same birthday (Sept 19th), which will be even more of a trip by the time you finish reading this post I presume.

Dan has produced some of my favorite records, for example:

The U2 and Peter Gabriel records are the obvious pop classics, and I know those tunes by heart. But it's albums like Ron Sexsmith, Emmy Lou's Wrecking Ball, and the Million Dollar Hotel Soundtrack that have really been soundtracks to my life. In fact in 2000 I drove my beat up Volvo wagon from California to Nova Scotia (with a few month sojourn in Nashville in the middle), and the Million Dollar Hotel Soundtrack was my road trip soundtrack. To this day by the way, I still have a crush on Milla Jovovich (she sings on the album and was in the film). There was something about it that was so enchanting, haunting, and fresh for me

So back to reality, being in the LA music scene Dan has a super revered reputation, obviously. He's someone who's name just seems to always come up in my circles. Coincidentally, two years ago I had the fortune to meet Aaron Embry, who's become a good friend of mine. Aaron played keys on a record that I made with my band (yet to be released). Aaron (Elliot Smith, Janes Addiction, Scott Wieland) now plays keys with Dan. I see a pattern starting to emerge.

This where the story starts to seem a bit stranger than fiction. So recently my pal Rocco DeLuca did a record with Dan. I remember encouraging Rocco when he was just getting his sea legs on. It was apparent to me then that he had the passion and curiosity to make a go of it. Rocco and I used to pal around back in the day at "The Space" in Long Beach, which is chapter in time that seriously warrants an entire documentary featuring folks like Brett Bixby, The Pawn Shop Kings, Jay Buchanan, The 88, Wonderlove to name but a few. To be sure, I'm super stoked for Rocco. He's earned it, plus he's transmitting some serious angelic energy and inspiration.

So what's the point of this diatribe? Dan seems to have had some good success working with established artists to find some new layers in their art, that perhaps they didn't even know esisted. So last year, sensing a pattern, and being the go getter that i am, I outreached to my pal Jack Johnson (we went to UCSB together) with the idea that it might cool to get him and Dan together for a jam. Jack it turns out is a big fan of Dan's. My sense is that the haunting and ambient slide guitar that Dan does so well would be amazing with Jack's vibe, and I can only imagine what sort of parallel universe would open up with all that action. So, I asked Aaron Embry if he'd run the idea past Dan, and the response was positive and Dan even apparently almost made it out to Jack's last US show Sept 2008. but the timing wasn't quite yet I suppose.

A sign of the times in this brave new world. Today I had this wacky idea to revive the possibility to connect Dan and Jack while I was hanging out with my friends Julie Belle, Jamie Drake, Daley Hake, & Dwayne Larring, while they were smoking cigarettes, and I was drinking coffee at Birds in Los Feliz.

So, here's the deal, I've registered twitter handles for @danlanois and @daniellanois (I can't believe his management hadn't locked it down yet, hello?) and am going to have a little fun pretending I'm Dan Lanois. Now you have to realize that the founders of twitter were orignally going to call it "Friend Stalker" so I really don't feel that creepy embarking on this Babe Ruth 'point at the bleachers and slam a home run approach'. Plus it plays well considering that I'm a notorious prankster. I think that this is going to be good fun, and if nothing else will make for a good story. We'll at least until I get a nasty note from someone representing Dan telling me to knock it off. Perhaps at least by that point maybe I can offer Dan his Twitter handles as olive branches, buy him a nice bottle of scotch, and finally get Dan and Jack together in the studio, finally! Then they can go on to cut a record that goes down as another all time classic, or at least have a good time jamming and talking story. Either outcome would make me just as happy.

So for whatever it's worth, I encourage everyone to find these sorts of patterns in our lives, they exist all around us. It's up to us to follow the strings and cut through the layers, at least that's how see it. Plus, the one sin for which there is no absolution is being boring.

Oh, and congratulations for getting this far, and since you did might I suggest taking a few minutes to watch Dan lay it down, it's worth the few minutes.