Thursday, October 11, 2012
When Jason Arnold, aka ShyBoy, is performing his music, his alias doesn’t really seem fitting. On his brand new tune “Bird in Flight” – a cross-pollination of RJD2, DJ Shadow and 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arnold’s understated vocals quickly erupt into full-blown soulful crooning that’s irresistible for eardrums.
“I can actually be very shy in certain situations,” Arnold says of his stage name. “I might come off awkward or strange, and it’s just because I’m taking in the experience.”
“Bird in Flight’s” accompanying video resembles what the film Solaris would’ve looked like if surrealist filmmaker David Lynch directed it.
“The central character has a longing to fly out into the atmosphere and beyond,” Arnold says. “Much to my delight, I got to wear that ’60s spacesuit for a whole day of shooting.”
On Friday, ShyBoy will premiere new music from his full-length debut Water On Mars – due out early next year – at the Golden Bough Theater with Griffin House opening (see also story, p. 32).
His live performances feature a combination of instrumentation – Angela Momiyama (bass), Elizabeth Goodfellow (drums) and producer Mark Nubar (keys) – and electronic sounds.
“The focus is on the songs but it’s definitely a multi-media experience,” Arnold says. “There’s a theme of humans and machines and space travel.”
In addition to original, cinematically driven creations, Arnold concocts something he calls “mashups.” In the spirit of acts like Girltalk, he blends the songs of a couple different musicians/bands – Lady Gaga meets Journey, Donna Summer meets Rihanna and The B-52s meet N.E.R.D. are a few examples – together to create a single musical entity. Arnold says the process is an exact science.
“A mashup that sounds cool in theory might not always work because the keys of the songs are just too far apart to pitch-shift and sound good,” he says.
In the meantime, ShyBoy’s focus will remain on his forthcoming debut LP and making more film-centric videos to accompany the songs. He says the lead role in his new video for “Marion Crane” is inspired by Janet Leigh’s character in Hitchcock’s Psycho.
SHYBOY performs at 7pm Friday, Oct. 12, at the Golden Bough Theater, Monte Verde St. between Eighth and Ninth. $20. 625-3700. http://carmelartandfilm.com/music