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Creator and Artist Stories

Music Tuesday: Jeff Bridges and other actors-turned-musicians

By Sarah Bardeen

Music Community Manager

We’ve been a little obsessed with the intersection between film and music on this week -- we kicked off Monday with a playlist of music videos by the acclaimed director Spike Jonze, who just directed Kanye West and Jay-Z’s easy, playful video for “Otis” and is also known for his work on the big screen, most recently for Where The Wild Things Are. And then there’s Jeff Bridges...

The Big Lebowski...Sings
Actors can convince us of a lot of things, but historically speaking, it’s pretty hard to make us believe they’re actually musicians. (Remember William Shatner’s “music” career?) But after his portrayal of a washed-up country singer in Crazy Heart, Jeff Bridges got inspired to go back to a recording studio -- which he built on his own land -- and start writing songs again. With the expert support of producer T Bone Burnett, Bridges is proving himself to be more than an actor playing a part. His first single from his new album is catchy, smart and -- best of all -- convincing. Today we feature the man better known as “the dude” sharing a little bit about the music that has influenced and inspired him.

Actors: Wannabe Musicians?
In the spirit of Jeff Bridges getting his songwriting on, we thought we’d look at the track record of other actors who tried their hand at the music biz. You might be surprised by how many there are: from Keanu Reeves and Ryan Gosling to Minnie Driver and Zooey Deschanel, a lot of thespians have tried to cross the divide -- with mixed results. Wondering who soars and who falls flat? Only one way to find out: watch!

Fool’s Gold: Wild Window
Back in 2009, the L.A. band Fool’s Gold convinced reluctant indie rockers that they actually could enjoy music that wasn’t in English -- in part because the unholy mongrelism of the band's debut album was just too compelling to ignore. (Perhaps that was due to the incongruousness of a singer crooning in Hebrew over guitar licks that came straight of the Sahara.) The focus has changed on their follow-up Leave No Trace -- vocalist Luke Top sings primarily in English and the once-sprawling collective has become a tight five-piece. But if this charming video is any indication, change is a good thing.