Jim O'Rourke (musician)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
January 18, 1969 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Instruments||Guitar, synthesizer, piano, bass|
|Associated acts||Sonic Youth
Gastr del Sol
Illusion of Safety
The Red Krayola
Jim O'Rourke (born January 18, 1969) is an American musician and record producer. He was long associated with the Chicago experimental and improv scene. Around 2000, he relocated to New York before moving on to Tokyo, Japan, where he currently resides.
He has released albums of jazz, noise, electronica and rock music. O'Rourke has collaborated with Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Derek Bailey, Mats Gustafsson, Mayo Thompson, Brigitte Fontaine, Loren Mazzacane Connors, Merzbow, Nurse with Wound, Phill Niblock, Fennesz, Organum, Phew, Henry Kaiser, Flying Saucer Attack, and in 2006 mixed Joanna Newsom's album Ys. In 2009, he also mixed several tracks on Newsom's follow up Have One On Me.
He has produced albums by artists such as Sonic Youth, Wilco, Stereolab, Superchunk, Kahimi Karie, Quruli, John Fahey, Smog, Faust, Tony Conrad, The Red Krayola, Bobby Conn, Beth Orton, Joanna Newsom and U.S. Maple. He mixed Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album and produced their 2004 album, A Ghost Is Born, for which he won a Grammy Award for "Best Alternative Album". During the recording of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, O'Rourke collaborated with Wilco member Jeff Tweedy and pre-Wilco Glenn Kotche under the name Loose Fur. Their self-titled debut was released in 2003 with a follow-up in 2006 entitled Born Again in the USA. He also mixed the unfinished recordings that made up a planned third album by the late American singer-songwriter Judee Sill, recorded in 1974 and mixed by O'Rourke for a 2005 release.
O'Rourke was once a member of Illusion of Safety, Gastr Del Sol (with David Grubbs) and Sonic Youth. Beginning in 1999 he played bass guitar, guitar and synthesizer with Sonic Youth, in addition to recording and mixing duties with the group. He withdrew as a full member in late 2005, but continued to play with them in some of their side projects.
In the early 1993, O'Rourke formed an avant-rock group with Darin Gray and Dylan Posa called Brise-Glace. The band released one studio album, When in Vanitas..., in 1994. They also released a 7" in the same year titled In Sisters All and Felony/Angels on Installment Plan.
O'Rourke has also released many albums under his own name on a variety of labels exploring a range of electronic and avant-garde styles. His most well-known works may be his series of releases on Drag City, which focus on more traditional songcraft: Bad Timing (1997), Eureka (1999), Insignificance (2001), The Visitor (2009) and Simple Songs (2015). The titles of the first four albums all refer to films by the British director Nicolas Roeg; the first three by direct reference to film titles, the fourth being titled after a fictional album within Roeg's film The Man Who Fell To Earth.
O'Rourke received a 2001 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
Work in films
- He worked as a music consultant for the 2003 film School of Rock.
- The song "Happy Days" was featured in the Harmony Korine film Julien Donkey-Boy.
- He scored the 2002 film Love Liza, directed by Todd Louiso.
- He scored the 2004 video installation "Fireball" and did the sound design on the documentary "Red Orchestra" by Stefan Roloff.
- He has also scored films by Werner Herzog, Olivier Assayas, Shinji Aoyama, Kōji Wakamatsu, Harmony Korine and others.
- His own short films have been part of the 2004 and 2006 Whitney Biennial and the 2005 Rotterdam Film Festival.
- His first three full-length albums for Drag City are named after three successive films by director Nicolas Roeg: Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession, Eureka, and Insignificance. His fourth Drag City album, The Visitor, is named for an album that appears within Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth, recorded by the film's protagonist Thomas Jerome Newton.
- He scored Kōji Wakamatsu's 3-hour long film United Red Army in 2007.
- He scored Kyle Armstrong's 2012 documentary film "Magnetic Reconnection" (narrated by Will Oldham).
- He scored the 2014 British film The Creeping Garden.
Drag City Discography
- Bad Timing (1997)
- Eureka (1999)
- Halfway to a Threeway EP (1999)
- Insignificance (2001)
- The Visitor (2009)
- Simple Songs (2015)
Partial solo discography
- Simple Songs (Drag City 2015)
- The Visitor (Drag City 2009) Dedicated to Derek Bailey.
- Corona / Tokyo Realization (Columbia Music Entertainment 2006) Japan only release. Dedicated to Tōru Takemitsu
- Mizu No Nai Umi (vector7/HEADZ54 2005)
- Old News Volume 2 (2002)
- Old News Volume 1 (2002)
- I'm Happy and I'm Singing and a 1, 2, 3, 4 (Mego 2001)
- Insignificance (Drag City 2001)
- Halfway to a Threeway EP (Drag City 1999)
- Eureka (Drag City 1999)
- Bad Timing (Drag City 1997)
- Happy Days (Revenant Records 1997)
- Terminal Pharmacy (Tzadik Records 1995)
- When in Vanitas... (Skin Graft 1994)
- Rules of Reduction (Metamkine 1993)
- Remove the Need (Extreme Records 1993)
- Scend (Divided Records 1992)
- Disengage (Staalplaat 1992)
- Tamper (Extreme Records 1991)
- The Ground Below Above Our Heads (Entenpfuhl 1991)
- Secure on the Loose Rim (Sound of Pig 1991)
- Some Kind of Pagan (Sound of Pig 1989)
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 721. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
- Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 522-3
- Lim, Dennis (2008-06-22). "Soft-Core Auteur Turns Attention to Radicals". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
- Jim O'Rourke's Bandcamp page for "Steam Room" Music
- Discogs overview
- Complete discography and filmography up to 2008
- Jim O'Rourke discography at MusicBrainz
- Jim O'Rourke at AllMusic
- Jim O'Rourke by Jay Sanders Bomb