The names “Mudhoney” and “Norah Jones” represent pretty distant points on the musical spectrum. One is a classic Seattle grunge band whose corrosive sound and squalid look helped define an era. The other is a beautiful, classy chanteuse with 12 Grammy Awards.
But the two have an unexpected nexus in Russ Meyer, the B-movie director whose infatuation with very-full-figured women made him a pioneer of “sexploitation” film.
Mudhoney, the band, is named after a 1965 Meyer film, and on Tuesday Ms. Jones announced that her next album, “Little Broken Hearts,” to be released by Blue Note/EMI on May 1, will have a cover inspired by the (semi-) famous poster for the same film, in high-contrast black and white with orange highlights. In place of the film’s tagline, “Passion debased by lust … leaves a taste of evil!,” the album cover gives its title. And in place of the other copy on the original poster, like “A story never told so frankly … so imtimately!” and “… a film of ribaldry and violence made from the juice of life!,” Ms. Jones’s cover has, well, nothing.
Jones drew the inspiration for the album cover from the vintage movie posters that adorn Burton’s Los Angeles studio. “Brian has this great collection of Russ Meyer posters in his studio,” explains Jones, “and this particular one, called Mudhoney, was right over the couch where I sat every day. I always was looking at it and thinking ‘that’s so cool I want to look like her!’ I remember staring at the poster the whole time we made the record. It’s a great visual.”
No news on whether any of Ms. Jones’s subsequent albums will be called “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”