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Jon Brion

Jon Brion

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Also Known As: Jon Wright Brion Died:
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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After a stretch making his name in the power pop underground, Jon Brion graduated to success as a producer and film composer, working with artists ranging from Kanye West to Paul Thomas Anderson. That variety was also exhibited by his legendarily eclectic one-man shows at the Los Angeles club Largo, which became a popular enough draw to have been affectionately satirized by Fred Armisen in a "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ) sketch. Jon Brion got his professional start in music in New Haven, CT in his late teens when he formed a power pop trio called The Bats (no relation to the New Zealand band of the same name). The Bats' sole album, How Pop Can You Get? (1982), garnered some buzz on the nascent indie underground, but the group split shortly after its release. Relocating to Boston, Brion began working as a producer and session musician. During this period, he joined the final lineup of local new wave heroes 'Til Tuesday; after the band split up, Brion continued a professional and personal relationship with singer Aimee Mann, producing and playing multiple instruments on her first two solo albums, Whatever (1993) and I'm With Stupid (1995). Brion also co-wrote several songs on each album, including...

After a stretch making his name in the power pop underground, Jon Brion graduated to success as a producer and film composer, working with artists ranging from Kanye West to Paul Thomas Anderson. That variety was also exhibited by his legendarily eclectic one-man shows at the Los Angeles club Largo, which became a popular enough draw to have been affectionately satirized by Fred Armisen in a "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ) sketch.

Jon Brion got his professional start in music in New Haven, CT in his late teens when he formed a power pop trio called The Bats (no relation to the New Zealand band of the same name). The Bats' sole album, How Pop Can You Get? (1982), garnered some buzz on the nascent indie underground, but the group split shortly after its release. Relocating to Boston, Brion began working as a producer and session musician. During this period, he joined the final lineup of local new wave heroes 'Til Tuesday; after the band split up, Brion continued a professional and personal relationship with singer Aimee Mann, producing and playing multiple instruments on her first two solo albums, Whatever (1993) and I'm With Stupid (1995). Brion also co-wrote several songs on each album, including the singles "That's Just What You Are" and "Choice in the Matter." During this period, Brion formed a band called The Grays with guitarist Buddy Judge and drummer Dan McCarroll (fellow members of Mann's backing band) and singer-songwriter Jason Falkner, formerly of The Three O'Clock and Jellyfish. With Brion, Falkner and Judge sharing frontman duties, The Grays released one album, RoShamBo (1994), which became a cult favorite in power pop circles but didn't trouble the charts.

Having relocated to Los Angeles, Brion began working on film scores in the mid-1990s, collaborating with Michael Penn on the score to the low-budget first feature by writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, "Hard Eight" (1996). It was during this period that Brion began his tradition of playing one Friday night a month at the Los Angeles nightclub Largo, performing solo, without a set list, and switching instruments between (and sometimes during) songs. Brion's Largo residency became such an L.A. institution that in a filmed sketch directed by Noah Baumbach on the October 18, 2008 episode of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC 1975- ), his friend Fred Armisen played a barely-veiled pastiche of Brion performing solo in a Largo-like space, down to his trademark thatch of unruly dark hair. In 1997, Brion signed to Lava Records and recorded his debut solo album, Meaningless, which the label ended up not releasing. Brion self-released the completed album in 2001.

Brion contributed music to Anderson's breakthrough, "Boogie Nights" (1997), and wrote the scores to the filmmaker's next two films, "Magnolia" (1999) and "Punch Drunk Love" (2002). His production on Fiona Apple's critically-acclaimed second album When The Pawn... (1999) raised his profile even further. Through the first decade of the 2000s, he worked steadily as a producer, working with acts including hip-hop superstar Kanye West, jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, and mainstream alt-rockers Keane. During this same period, Brion's film scores included critically-acclaimed art-house hits "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004), "I Heart Huckabees" (2004) and "Synecdoche, New York" (2008), as well as box office comedy favorites like "The Break-Up" (2006), "Step Brothers" (2008) and "The Other Guys" (2010). In 2012, Brion wrote the scores for two films, stop-motion animated comedy "ParaNorman," and Judd Apatow's comedy-drama "This Is 40." That same year, he produced the second album by rising young indie duo Best Coast, The Only Place, and an acoustic remake of Katy Perry's ballad "The One That Got Away."

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Funny People (2009)
2.
 Largo (2008)
3.
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