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Interview (Part Two): Multi-Instrumentalist/Producer Jon Brion Talks About Dylan, Davies, Largo and Los Angeles

Jon Brion
Jon Brions / Photo by Mike Witcher
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It's always fun to spot the first-timers at one of Jon Brion's Friday night shows. They're usually the ones with their jaws hanging open as they try to figure out how he's looping instruments into a 10-layered live performance, or how he's using the piano as percussion. Perhaps the greatest moments of awe occur as they realize he's improvising something that's never been heard before, and will probably never be heard again. It's no wonder some people have seen his show hundreds of times and keep coming back for more!

LAist's two-part interview with Brion followed the same pattern as his live show—which often starts with a solo set, then incorporates other musicians during the second half. In part one of the interview, Brion discussed his early experiences with music and improvisation. In this second part, he talks about some of his favorite musicians—from the 60s to the modern day. In addition, LAist asked him about his sock collection, how he discovers new music and why he loves Los Angeles.

I've seen you loaded down with CDs in Amoeba. When you shop there, is it a spur-of-the-moment thing or do you know what you want before you go into the store?

I don't go in with a list. A friend of mine once said, "The only way to go to Amoeba is to have a preconceived notion or you're doomed!" (laughs) There's so much stuff I don't know and every time I'm in there, I just let the eyes wander. I'll pick up something I've always been curious about, or an album I heard a friend mention. By the time I'm done, it's usually two armloads.