I don’t know Jason Schwartzman.
I only really “know” him as a string of quirky character roles in his various movies. So maybe it’s logical as I spin his throughly likeable new musical effort under the name Coconut Records that my always-visual mind pictures a parade of those guys performing these songs. Whether it’s a fleeting image of King Louis XVI (Marie Antoinette) sensitively strumming the guitar and pining away on “Summer Day,” or Max Fischer (Rushmore) jerkily dancing along to the irresistible title track, this is an album that’s just as off-kilter yet pleasingly authentic as the variety of movie roles he chooses.
Nighttiming (Young Baby Records, 2007) is eclectic and enjoyable, with a sound that reminds me of Pavement, The Format, Modest Mouse, and a dash of new-wave goodtimes.
Schwartzman blends some of the jangly California indie-pop of his previous work with Phantom Planet with his experience in composing film scores — I found surprising aural creativity throughout.
It was just released digitally, and will be out in proper CD form this summer. Highly recommended.