Brooklyn Vegan - Interview

Michael Shannon's band Corporal endorses Obama (MP3), playing Fontana's

We recently noted that two castmembers of Superbad play in two different bands, that we know of (Mister Heavenly, The Young Rapscallions).

The HBO series Boardwalk Empire has them beat with three castmembers* in bands and of (mostly) notably, in my opinion, higher quality. Michael Pitt fronts Pagoda and Aleksa Palladino (who play's Pitt's wife on the show) is in Exitmusic, who you might have just seen at Brooklyn Bowl during the Northside Festival and who have other shows coming up including one at Mercury Lounge.

The third is Michael Shannon who leads indie rock trio Corporal. The band formed in Louisville, KY in 2002 but now call Brooklyn home and released Glory last year. (Download an MP3 from the album above.) The band just released a new MP3, "Obama," that serves as a band endorsement of our current president's bid for a second term which you can download above. You can go see Corporal next week when the band play a NYC show at Fontana's on June 25 with Less the Band and the Parlour Suite.

UPDATE: So it turns out openers Less the Band contains the non-Shannon 2/3rds of Corporal as well as Paul Sparks who plays the annoying punchable Mickey Doyle on Boardwalk Empire. That makes four! Is that some sort of record? (Thanks commenters, btw).

Shannon, who has a lock on intense, creepy loner dude roles these days, is a funny guy too (he had a memorable cameo during Season 1 of Delocated) and a pretty good songwriter, especially if you dig '90s style indie rock. He recently submitted his iPod to the AV Club's "Random Rules" feature and the interview is chock-a-block with quotes. Here's a few:

Isaac Brock...I hear he's kind of hard to go on tour with. But rock's not for squares, I guess.

-Will Oldham really keeps to himself. He's not a joiner.

-[Mark E. Smith]... talk about a role model. That guy just drinks beer and eats hamburgers and smokes and barely tries. And he still is cooler than pretty much anyone ever. I think he's even cooler than Lou Reed was.

-My girlfriend loves the Mountain Goats. I don't know. I like the guy; it's not like I don't like him. He has a very interesting voice, that's for sure. But I like his lyrics. I don't know if I'd want to go to a Mountain Goats concert, though. I think I would probably drink too much beer and get tired.

-There's a lot of the new bands that I don't really get. I don't know what it is; maybe I'm getting older or something, but there are bands that people are just falling all over themselves about... I don't know. If someone was like, "If you could spend the rest of your life on an island with one band, which band would it be?" For me, it would be Deerhoof.

The third season of Boardwalk Empire will air this fall on HBO (you can win a visit to the set 

at Anthology Film Archives

). Shannon may have less time for music soon -- he'll play General Zod in the Christopher Nolan-produced/writen (yay!), Zak Snyder directed (boo!) Superman flick 

Man of Steel

 which hits cineplexes next summer.

Magnet Magazine - Stream

MP3 At 3PM: Corporal

Corporal is one of those endearing little bands you might be surprised to find you haven’t heard of. The drummer is the guy from Once, and the singer/guitarist is actor Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire). Best of all, the trio is good! Its music is simple and warm, and single “Glory” is the kind of song you can’t help but enjoy. Download it below. - See more at:


Austin Town Hall - Stream

New Alternative Jam from Corporal

When you get an email referencing music by an actor, I admit I get a little bit skeptical. But, for some reason, I just want to hear more of this band Corporal, featuring actor 

Michael Shannon. They’ve just released their record, Glory, and have plans for a new 7″ coming your way this summer.  There’s an off-kilter alternative feel to these dudes, and it’s got this familiar feeling that’s both nostalgic and refreshing.  But, don’t think of it as run-of-the-mill jams, they’ve got a touch all their own…for evidence just check out the rushed chorus on the track below.  It’s nice to know at least some actors have other skills besides the big screen.

IFC - Download

Exclusive download: Corporal, featuring Michael Shannon, presents “Glory”

Michael Shannon’s brilliant portrayal of an insane Federal prohibition agent in “Boardwalk Empire” has made him famous, if he wasn’t already, but the Brooklyn band he leads is totally underground. Shannon and Corporal bandmate’s, Robert Beitzel and Ray Rizzo (Dawn Landes, The Poison Tree) make music that call to mind the Silver Jews, if they’d had a hideout under the Brooklyn bridge. It’s gloriously strange, a bit grimy, and makes me feel comfortably drunk.

“Michael and I (and Rob) met in 2002 when we worked on a play in Louisville, in which we had to be a band,” multi-instrumentalist Ray Rizzo said. “Michael and I had already written songs on our own so we worked those up and the songs of others and played shows around Louisville and after the play was over, we kept in touch. If I was on tour and he was in the city working we would catch up.”

When Shannon moved to Brooklyn a few years ago, the two got together and started playing music. The film “I’m Not There” sparked conversations about Dylan at the time and “in particular ‘Blonde on Blonde,’ about the scope of the album and especially how quickly it was made,” Rizzo said. “So Mike and I and engineer Kevin Meeker set out to do the same and make a recording from start to finish in 10 days, which we did in 14 days.” With their busy schedules those 14 days were also spread over 18 months, but at least half of the album was recorded in 2 days.

“Glory” is out now, and Corporal plans to release a 7-inch single in July 2012 to accompany dates in New York, LA and Chicago. Here’s the title track, enjoy!