Bon Iver Rarities

Cause I’m sick and in my bed, your gonna get two posts today. I know, it’s crazy, right? Get over it, guy.

Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver, has came from nowhere to become one of my favourite artists of all time. Most people are familiar with the story behind the making of his incredible debut For Emma, Forever Ago, wherein he locked himself away in a cabin in the woods after a particularly difficult break up and recorded a stark and beautiful album on his own. The album connected with me so much that he now resides in that special area I reserve for only my most important artists: one where I spend hours raking the internet for scratchy demo’s, alternate versions and Japan-only bonus tracks. And I have had some luck.

Before he took the moniker Bon Iver, he recorded an album under his given name and distributed a couple hundred copies around Wisconsin by himself. It is a quite different animal to For Emma, in that he hasn’t properly grasped the use of that devastating falsetto that has become his trademark. On Ring Out, he sounds similar to Jeff Buckley in that the song features just a strummed electric guitar and his voice, pushed up front in the mix. It has the same immediate confessional style that has permeated all Justin’s work, one of the many things he shares with my favourite artist ever, Elliott Smith.

Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) – Ring Out

Once finding success, Justin proved what a lovely dude he is by going back to the school he attended in Wisconsin and performing with theEau Claire Memorial High School Jazz band, of which he used to be part. He helped the school sell out a huge venue and played a number of covers as well as a couple of his own tunes for good measure. He also wore a pimp-ass white suit, which I don’t need to tell you is quite awesome. I dig his voice propped up by brass and a big beat. Check it:

Justin Vernon w/ Eau Claire Memorial High School Jazz Band – For Emma (Live)

Take a listen to these tunes and see what you think. If your feelin’ it, holla back in the comments!

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3 responses

  1. Sam Newell

    I know this post is over a year old but hell, I need to share this.

    You mentioned the self record album (my favourite JV album) but I don’t know if your aware of the the album he recorded under the name of JD Vernon called “Feels Like Home”, then there’s “Hazeltons” that he recorded under the name of Justin Vernon like “Self Record”

    Then there’s the bands that he’s in. Most Recently there’s Gayngs (think that’s how its spelt) they’re worth checking out. But there’s his bands before Bon Iver. De Yarmond Eddison have two albums and an EP released with Justin Vernon and they are just as good as all of his solo stuff and I highly recommend them. Then there’s Mount Vernon which from I gathered was Justin Vernon’s first ever band that he recorded with. There’s a few songs on Youtube but I can’t find any links for the full albums :/

    If you want any help finding any of the album’s I mentioned hit us up…stuff like this needs to be shared.



    November 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    • italianplumber

      Yeah I have heard of his pre-Bon Iver band but haven’t had the time to search around for them, but would love to give them a listen. And I had never heard of him releasing anything by under the guise of JD Vernon/Mount Vernon, so if you have any links etc I would greatly appreciate it.

      Cheers mate!

      November 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm

  2. Walid Mazzah

    Thanks for sharing that! These are such rarities!

    March 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm

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