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Will Oldham, a.k.a. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (born 24 December 1970 in Louisville, Kentuckymarker), is an Americanmarker singer, songwriter, and actor. From 1993 to 1997 he performed and recorded under variations of the Palace name, including the Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, and Palace Music.

Music

Will Oldham is known for his "do-it-yourself punk aesthetic and blunt honesty," and his music has been likened to Americana, folk, roots, country, punk, and indie rock. He has been called an "Appalachian post-punk solipsist", with a voice that has been described as "a fragile sort-of warble frittering around haunted melodies in the American folk or country tradition."

Will Oldham first performed and recorded under various permutations of the Palace name, including Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Palace Music, and simply Palace. Regarding the name changes during this period (1993-1997), Oldham said:

Beginning in 1998, Oldham has primarily used the moniker Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, which draws inspiration from several sources:

Oldham has explained that "the primary purpose of the pseudonym is to allow both the audience and the performer to have a relationship with the performer that is valid and unbreakable."

Discography



Response

Much of Will Oldham's music has received considerable critical praise. Some of his albums, such as There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You (1993), Viva Last Blues (1995), and I See a Darkness (1999), have appeared on greatest albums lists.

He is mentioned in the lyrics of the Biffy Clyro song Saturday Superhouse and is the main character in the song 'Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror' by New York Anti-Folk artist Jeffrey Lewis.

Johnny Cash recorded a version of "I See a Darkness" on his American Recordings disc, American III: Solitary Man (2000). Oldham provided backing vocals.

Steve Adey also covered "I See a Darkness" on his 2006 LP All Things Real.

Mark Kozelek recorded a version of Oldham's "New Partner" on his 2008 disc, The Finally LP.

In 2009 Mark Lanegan and Soulsavers recorded a cover version of "You Will Miss Me When I Burn". The release is a split single, backed with the Lanegan penned "Sunrise" featuring vocals by Oldham.

Film

Will Oldham began his acting career at the age of 17, when he portrayed a teen preacher in John Sayles's film about an Appalachian mining community, Matewan (1987). Oldham moved to Hollywood to pursue acting, and was well received, landing roles in a couple of films. However, he quickly became disillusioned with the film industry and quit in 1989. He has since had several minor roles in independent films, such as Julien Donkey-Boy (1999), Junebug (2005), and The Guatemalan Handshake (2006). Oldham took a lead role in Old Joy, which was featured at SXSW XX and opened at New York's Film Forum on September 20, 2006. Will Oldham also played the role of a preacher in the Horse Apples special of Wondershowzen in series 2 of the show.

Filmography



Photography

Will Oldham shot the black-and-white cover photograph for Slint's critically acclaimed 1991 album Spiderland. The photo depicts members of the band treading water in the lake of an abandoned quarry.

Oldham also featured as guest aesthetic designer for the North American literary magazine Zoetrope All Story (vol 11, no 1) in 2007. In a note contained in the issue, he jokes that it would be "really magnificent to imagine this issue as a cocktail party at which all of the contributors, word and image, are present. add a bowl of keys and some mushroom cookies and i am there. [sic]"

References

  1. McCarthy, Shannon. " Slint Lyrics and Biography" Musicianguide.com. Retrieved on 25 November 2007.


External links




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