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Semisonic’s Dan Wilson discusses his Grammy win with Adele for “Someone Like You”

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Eight-time Grammy winner Adele was nothing if not modest last night, thanking her collaborators during each walk to the glittery stage. But those listening closely may have caught one name that stood out: Dan Wilson, the co-writer of the ubiquitous “Someone Like You.”

While no stranger to the award show (he picked up a Best Song statue for the Dixie Chick’s 2007 hit “Not Ready to Make Nice”), those of us who came of age during the ’90s know him primarily as the lead singer of seminal band Semisonic, and the songsmith behind the timeless “Closing Time.” So how did one of rock’s most underrated songwriters come to be associated with the up-and-coming British soul singer?

“[Producer] Rick Rubin introduced us,” Wilson tells IFC. “He really thought we could write something great together. I’ve done a bunch of writing on albums he’s produced and he thinks I’m good at bringing out the individuality of the artist. So my rock background is less of an issue than you might think.”

Having co-written songs with everyone from Weezer to Keith Urban, Wilson is used to the collaborative process. And, of course, what Adele brought to the relationship was instrumental in the creation of “Someone Like You.”

“Adele brought the first four or five lines of ‘Someone Like You”s first verse to the session,” says Wilson. “She actually showed me her idea for ‘Rumour Has It’ but I liked the super-sad start better. Adele is really clear in her vision. My impression is that she thought that with me she could write a really direct and emotional song, plainspoken almost, about the collapse of her relationship. Once we were into the song, it was a partnership. I probably worked more on the music and Adele focused on lyrics, but we each pushed really hard for both the music and the lyrics to be great. I think it took us the entire second day to get the second verse and the bridge just perfect. Almost word-by-word sometimes.”

The results were a global hit, reaching triple platinum in the United States and becoming the first single in a decade to sell a million copies in the UK. The song quickly became a radio mainstay, and a coming-out performance during the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards helped lead “Someone Like You” to nearly 4 million downloads in the U.S. alone.

Wilson is quick to credit his partner’s chops for the single’s success.

“Adele has the whole package,” he says. “Great voice. Superbly musical sense of melody. Gift of gab when it comes to lyrics. Total commitment to her art. Vision. Stubbornness. Everything you want in an artist.”

If Adele comes calling, Wilson stands ready to work again with the singer. And for those wondering about his own project, he says a new Semisonic single could be in the future. “I’d love to do another Semisonic album. Every time we play together I feel that great groove that only comes from the three of us and I think, ‘I want more of this in the world!’ So hopefully yes.”

Dan Wilson can be found online at DanWilsonMusic.com.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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