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Jarvis Cocker
Birth name Jarvis Branson Cocker
Born 19 September 1963 (1963-09-19) (age 46)
Sheffield, England, UK
Genres Alternative rock
Indie rock
Britpop
Occupations Musician, Singer-songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist
Instruments Lead vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar
Years active 1978 - present
Associated acts Pulp
Relaxed Muscle
Website http://www.jarviscocker.net

Jarvis Branson Cocker (born 19 September 1963) is an English musician and former frontman for the band Pulp. Through his work with the band, Cocker became a figurehead of the Britpop movement of the mid-1990s.[1] Following Pulp's hiatus Cocker has led a successful solo career.

Contents

Biography

Cocker founded "Arabacus Pulp" (named after a tradeable commodity seen by Cocker in an economics class) at the age of 15 while he was still at The City School. After numerous line-up changes, and a shortening of the name to "Pulp", they eventually found fame in the 1990s with the success of the albums His 'n' Hers (1994) and Different Class (1995).

Pulp released two more albums (This Is Hardcore and We Love Life) to critical acclaim, though neither achieved the commercial success of Different Class. After releasing a greatest hits album, the band are now on hiatus.

Cocker is also renowned for his wit and observations of the cultural scene. He was a frequent guest on TV shows in the 1990s, as well as hosting an arts series for the Channel 4 - "Journeys into the Outside". Here he took a trip across the globe, meeting so-called "outsider artists", people who create wacky and wonderful works of art, and trying to understand what compels them to do so. Cocker's penchant for TV appearances was reflected in a parody of "Common People" ("Showbiz People") which was featured on the satirical comedy show Spitting Image in 1996.

BRIT Awards incident

Cocker invaded the stage at the 1996 BRIT Awards in a spur of the moment protest against Michael Jackson's performance. Jackson performed surrounded by children and a rabbi, while making 'Christ-like' poses and performing his recent hit, "Earth Song". Cocker and his friend Peter Mansell (a former Pulp member) performed an impromptu stage invasion in protest.

Cocker was detained and interviewed by the police on suspicion of assault. He was accompanied by comedian Bob Mortimer, a former solicitor, who represented him in that capacity. He was subsequently released without charge. Opinions from the press on Cocker's actions were mixed. The 2 March 1996, edition of Melody Maker, for example, suggested Cocker should be knighted, and Noel Gallagher, of Oasis claimed "Jarvis Cocker is a star and he should be given an MBE". However, other journalists and the organisers of the BRIT Awards were outraged by Cocker's behaviour. In response to the ensuing media scrutiny of the action, Cocker responded, "My actions were a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing... I just ran on the stage... I didn't make any contact with anyone as far as I recall."[2]

The resulting press attention saw the band's record sales soar and a waxwork statue of Cocker, which cost £30,000, was placed in Rock Circus, London.[citation needed]

On 2nd July 2009 he appeared as a panellist on BBC TV's Question Time and responded to a question about Jackson's recent death by saying he thought the attention it drew had been hyped by the media. When asked what he objected to about Michael Jackson at the time of the Brit award incident he reiterated his earlier comments about Jackson and Christ (whilst admitting he himself wasn't religious). When asked 'Otherwise as a performer you thought he was a genius?' He replied, 'He invented the moonwalk.'[3]

Solo career

Jarvis: 2006-2009

At the 2006 Reading festival, the video for 'Running the World' was played on the main video screens of the main stage throughout the day, including before the headline act, Muse, performed. This video contained a karaoke-like presentation of the song's lyrics to encourage the crowd to sing along.

Cocker is now following a solo career — his debut album, Jarvis, came out in the UK on 13 November 2006. In March 2007, he appeared on French band Air's new album Pocket Symphony.

On 14 February 2007, he was chosen to give the award for Best British Newcomer (awarded to the Fratellis) at the Brit Awards.

He curated the 2007 Meltdown Festival at the South Bank Centre in London. The acts he chose include Motörhead, Roky Erickson and the Explosives with Clinic, Devo with Drumsize, Iggy & The Stooges, Cornershop and The Jesus and Mary Chain.[4]

In March 2008, Cocker made a small tour of Latin America (México, Argentina and Chile) where he presented a new song called "Girls Like It Too".

Further Complications: 2008-present

Jarvis Cocker planned to release a new studio album, and has revealed the names of two tracks set for the record. Speaking to NME.com, he said that he had written "Girls Like It Too" and "The Usual" and hoped to have enough material to record the follow-up to his solo debut soon.[5] "I've got vague ideas," he said of the forthcoming LP. "I'd like to do another album before the end of the year."

Cocker debuted a new song, "Angela", on BBC2's "The Summer Exhibition: A Culture Show Special", on 13 June 2008. the video is available inside the UK.[6]

On March 6, Pitchfork Media revealed the cover art and album title for Further Complications, due out May 18, 2009.[7] It was recorded by Steve Albini.

Around the record's release, Jarvis participated in a project proposing to tackle the question, "What is Music?" It was designed to enter into the debate over the future (or lack thereof) of the music industry. "Does this mean," asked the singer, "that music can now go back to being an art form again? Also, what happens if you get a band to rehearse in an art gallery instead of a rehearsal space?" [8] Consequently, Cocker and his band installed themselves in an art gallery in Paris for five days. Each day, Jarvis and his musicians performed a variety of different tasks. These included soundtracking a relaxation class, inviting local musicians to join them in a jam, and arranging activities with local school-children. The events were organised around Jarvis's public rehearsals for his forthcoming live dates. Films of the exhibition can still be found online. [9]

Further Complications saw Cocker embrace an altogether more muscular sound, whilst retaining his trademark witticisms (on 'Leftover', he sings "I met her in the Museum of Paleontology / "And I make no bones about it"). Reviews generally praised both the themes and sound of the record, with Drowned in Sound in particular writing that Further Complications was "a huge leap forward" for Cocker. [10]

Side projects

Musical

Cocker sang a duet, "Ciao!", with Miki Berenyi on British shoegazing band Lush's 1996 album Lovelife. In 1997, he collaborated with David Arnold on a cover of All Time High by Rita Coolidge, the theme from Octopussy. Furthermore, he gained co-writing credits for several songs ("Walk Like A Panther", "1st Man in Space", "Drive Safely Darlin'", "Stars On Sunday", and "Happy Birthday Nicola") on The All Seeing I's album Pickled Eggs & Sherbet, released in 1999. He contributed lead vocals to "Drive Safely Darlin'". He also performed live with The All Seeing I on Top Of The Pops, singing "Walk Like A Panther" in place of Tony Christie, who sang on the recorded version.

In 2001 he contributed "Everybody Loves The Underdog" to the soundtrack for Mike Bassett: England Manager. He re-emerged in 2003 to promote a new album, under the pseudonym "Darren Spooner", for his new band Relaxed Muscle. The same year, he appeared on the Richard X album Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1. In 2004, Cocker collaborated with Nancy Sinatra on her new album, as well as with Marianne Faithfull on her album Kissin' Time, with the song "Sliding through Life on Charm."

In 2005 Cocker co-wrote three tracks ("La Degustation", "Basque Country" and "Fred de Fred") on Sheffield-based electronica duo The Lovers' self-titled debut album. That same year he also covered "I Can't Forget" by Leonard Cohen as part of the tribute show for the film Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man.

Cocker also contributed to the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, writing and performing three Electro tracks: "This Is the Night", "Do the Hippogriff" and "Magic Works". He appeared briefly in the film as lead singer of the band The Weird Sisters. The fictitious group also featured Jonny Greenwood and Phil Selway from Radiohead, Steve Mackey from Pulp, Jason Buckle from Relaxed Muscle and Steve Claydon from Add N to (X).

In 2006 Cocker appeared on albums Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited (song "I Just Came to Tell You That I'm Going", co-performed with Kid Loco) and Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys (song "A Drop of Nelson's Blood"). His song "Running the World" appeared over the closing credits of the film Children of Men. Also in 2006, along with Steve Mackey, he 'curated' the two-CD compilation, The Trip, which featured a wide selection of tracks by artists as varied as The Fall, Gene Pitney, The Beach Boys, and The Polecats. He also co-wrote lyrics on the Charlotte Gainsbourg album 5:55, with Neil Hannon and members of Air. Cocker and Beth Ditto (The Gossip) recently collaborated on a cover version of Heaven 17's "Temptation" at the NME Awards in London. In 2007, Cocker contributed to two songs on French electronica group Air's album "Pocket Symphony" - performing on "One Hell of a Party" and (with Charlotte Gainsbourg) "The Duelist". In 2008, Cocker contributed Born to Cry, (originally a Pulp song released on the Notting Hill soundtrack CD - though not featured in the film and co-written by Richard Hawley) to Tony Christie's album of songs by Sheffield based songwriters, Made in Sheffield.

Music videos

Cocker has also directed music videos, most notably "On" by Aphex Twin, "Sudden Rush" by Erlend Øye and "Aftermath" by Nightmares on Wax. (All three co-directed with Martin Wallace). He also made a very brief appearance in the music video for "A Little More For Little You" by Swedish rockers The Hives.

Journeys Into The Outside with Jarvis Cocker

This 3 episode series was broadcast in 1999 on Channel 4 and featured Cocker travelling the world to look at various forms of Outsider Art.

Places visited include:

It was directed by longtime collaborator Martin Wallace.[11]

Broadcasting

On 03 October 1996, Jarvis Cocker co-hosted the Australian Saturday morning program Recovery with regular co host (and radio personality) Jane Gazzo. [12]

Jarvis Cocker won the 2002 celebrity edition of Stars in Their Eyes he appeared on by impersonating Rolf Harris.

On 12 October 2006, a fictional Jarvis Cocker was a lead character in a drama on BBC Radio 2, as part of their 'Imagine' competition. On 31 December 2008, Cocker guest edited the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.[13] He also guested as a panellist on BBC's Question Time in July 2009.[14]

In October 2009, BBC radio station, 6 Music announced Cocker was set to take over the Sunday afternoon slot, 3.30-5.30pm, from 10th January 2010. He was quoted as saying "Sunday doesn't feel that different to the other days of the week anymore. Although there was something weird about when everything seemed to stop on a Sunday, it kind of marked out the week. I am going to put the boringness back into Sunday. That's my mission."[15]

Acting

Director Wes Anderson is a stated admirer of Cocker's work.[16] This led to Anderson giving Cocker a role in the stop-animation movie Fantastic Mr. Fox as the voice of Petey, who also sings an original song.[17]

Personal life

Cocker was born in Sheffield. His father, Mac, a DJ and actor, left the family and moved to Sydney, Australia, when Jarvis was seven and had no contact with him or his sister Saskia thereafter, leaving them to be brought up by their mother, now a Conservative councillor.[18]

In 1988, at age 25, Cocker took a sabbatical from Pulp to study Fine Art and Film at Central St Martins, from which he graduated in 1991.[19]

Jarvis Cocker credits his upbringing almost exclusively in female company for his interest in how women think and what they have to say. He wrote a song ("A Little Soul" on This Is Hardcore) about being abandoned by his father, and in 1998 traveled with his sister to Australia to meet him for the first time in nearly 30 years. Mac Cocker had a successful radio DJ career in Sydney beginning with Double J in the 1970s and then Triple J in the 1980s, and did not counter a common impression there that he was Joe Cocker's brother or cousin (despite both being from Sheffield, they are not related in any way). By the time of his son's visit, Mac Cocker had moved to a hippie commune in Darwin, Northern Territory. Cocker says he has forgiven his father for abandoning them. "I don't feel any bitterness towards him at all. I feel sorry for him."[18][20]

Cocker has lived in Paris since 2003, with his wife, Camille Bidault-Waddington, and his son, Albert (born 24 March 2003).[19] In April 2009 he announced that they were divorcing "on amicable terms", but that he was staying in Paris to remain in his son's life.[21]

Cocker had previously lived in Paris in the early 1990s, writing lyrics for Pulp's breakthrough album His 'n' Hers there.

Discography

See Pulp and Relaxed Muscle for their respective discographies

Albums

Singles

from Jarvis
non-album single
from Further Complications
  • "Angela" (download only) (17 April 2009)
  • ""Further Complications."/Girls Like It Too" (double A-side single) (9 November 2009)

Others

References

  1. ^ COMMON PEOPLE - THE STORY OF PULP, BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/r2music/documentaries/pulp.shtml 
  2. ^ "[SPACE] Jarvis' stage invasion at the 1996 Brits". Mlp.cz. http://www.mlp.cz/space/opatrilp/Pulp/the_Brits_96.html. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  3. ^ "Jarvis Cocker reaction to Michael Jackson death (Question Time)". youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCI6zmVOf14&feature=fvw. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  4. ^ "Cocker promises high and low culture as Meltdown curator | UK news | The Guardian". The Guardian<!. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2024716,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ BBC
  7. ^ "News". Pitchfork. http://pitchfork.com/news/34783-jarvis-cocker-returns-with-steve-albini-produced-lp. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ [4]
  11. ^ "BFI Film & TV Database - Journeys Into The Outside with Jarvis Cocker". BFI. http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/series/30981. 
  12. ^ http://www.acrylicafternoons.com/tv.html
  13. ^ "BBC - Today". BBC News. 2008-12-31. http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7785000/7785764.stm. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  14. ^ BBC.co.uk
  15. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/news/20091022_jarvis_cocker.shtml
  16. ^ "Home - This Recording". http://thisrecording.com/today/tag/wes-anderson. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  17. ^ "IMDB - Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432283/. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  18. ^ a b "Jarvis Cocker: Lone star - Profiles, People". The Independent. 2006-12-23. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/jarvis-cocker-lone-star-429504.html. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  19. ^ a b "Paris match | Pop | guardian.co.uk Music". Observer.guardian.co.uk. 2007-06-10. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2007/jun/10/popandrock.meltdownfestival2007. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  20. ^ "Jarvis Gets Real." Interview with Jarvis Cocker by Giny Dougary. The Times Magazine, London, 16 March 2002.
  21. ^ "Jarvis' marriage Pulped". thesun.co.uk. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article2396892.ece. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  22. ^ "Full cast and crew for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0330373/fullcredits. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  23. ^ O'Brien, Glenn (2008-11-01). "David Byrne". Interview. http://www.davidbyrne.com/music/cds/everything_that_happens/press/2008_11_interview_mag.php. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jarvis Cocker (born 19 September 1963) is an English singer-songwriter and former frontman of the pop group Pulp.

Sourced

  • Everybody's a bit screwed up, you know. You can take it as symptoms of a disoder, or you can take it as personality. Me, I'd rather think it as parts of personality.
    • Talking about his father and family relationships in South Bank Show (2007)[specific citation needed]

External links

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