Jim O'Rourke

Jim O'Rourke

American musician, songwriter, and producer based in Tokyo

Armando Bellmas

Today on Ecléctico you're listening to Jim O'Rourke, a musician, singer, songwriter, and producer from Chicago, now based in Tokyo. O'Rourke came up in Chicago's experimental and improv scene and has produced albums by Wilco, Superchunk, Beth Orton, and Stereolab, among many others. He was also a member of Sonic Youth for several years. On today's song, he shows off his songwriting chops with a biting chamber-pop song featuring Glen Kotche and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and cornetist Rob Mazurek.

"Memory Lame" by Jim O'Rourke (2001)


Go deeper with this excerpt from and a link to an article about the album today's song is from, Insignificance, by Chris DeVille on Stereogum:

Such breathtakingly pretty music exists as a delivery system for lyrics so hilariously mean-spirited they’d make Randy Newman blush. You can get a sense of [Jim] O’Rourke’s emotional disposition from the album’s packaging. Like Bad Timing and Eureka before it, Insignificance is named after a movie by the disorienting British filmmaker Nicolas Roeg. Like Eureka, it has unettling cover art by Japanese comic artist Mimiyo Tomozawa. But even without those factors you couldn’t miss the contempt coursing through these songs. O’Rourke goes above and beyond to convey it song after song, one biting couplet after another. The bitterness is essential to the Insignificance experience — words that make you laugh but also flinch from time to time, as if to keep your delusions of grandeur in check.


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