Posted on July 15, 2012 at 5:10 am
Welcome one and all to the entirely re-designed and re-configured JasonRobertBrown.com! I started this website in 2005 (an eon ago in Internet terms) so that I could create a full database of all my work, including the original reviews and photos, as well as a place where I could showcase all the new things I was coming up with and share my thoughts with whoever was out there paying attention. The geniuses at Ciplex have spent the last six months working with me to bring this site totally up-to-date, making your whole online JRB experience more fun, easier to navigate, and full of great content that you can’t find anywhere else. Special thanks to Justin Kellner and David Claiborne for going above and beyond to make this site everything I want it to be.
That original site was designed by Ivan Askwith, and so much of what he created is still in the DNA of this new revamped version. Thanks, Ivan, for doing such an amazing job building and taking care of this site for the past seven years!
Please take a look around, enjoy the new design, push all the fun buttons, and dig through the archives. Bear in mind: there are a lot of old posts and strange mistakes that have accumulated over the years – I’m working hard to update all of the information, including any outdated links and mistaken lyrics, but it’ll take a while. If you see anything that looks off, please let me know by popping over to the Contact page and dropping me an email. I’ll be very grateful for any crowdsourcing help y’all can give me!
And to thank you all for coming by and checking out my new crib, here’s the latest track from my cover of Billy Joel’s entire The Stranger album.
The original version of “Only The Good Die Young” was actually considered somewhat controversial in its time, but to an eight-year-old, it just sounded like a great party. In coming up with my own take on the song, I wanted to keep that festive atmosphere going. Beatboxing entails a certain willingness to look ridiculous in public, and I have that willingness. While I admit that I can’t compare with my old French Woods buddy Andrew Chaikin aka Kid Beyond, I think you’ll agree that compared to my guitar playing, I’m a beatboxing virtuoso.
I think this is the most theatrical of all the lyrics on the album – he’s clearly singing to someone, he has a thing that he wants, and there’s no ambiguous poetry or wacky tangents. It’s a fantastic example of character writing, and for that reason, it was the easiest song to act so far. I actually kept the song in Billy Joel’s key and I didn’t monkey with the original structure at all, but given how drastically I changed the tempo and groove, I was surprised to find out that my version is exactly the same length as the original!
Only The Good Die Young
Music and lyric by Billy Joel (1977)
Jason Robert Brown: piano, beatbox, handclaps, tambourine & vocals
Recorded at Casa JRB, Los Angeles CA, 7/12/12
Three more songs to go, though I probably won’t get to do another one until September – first I have to direct “13” in London! Meanwhile, enjoy poking around the new website, and I’ll be back with more music and news soon!
Have an amazing summer!
Jason Robert Brown