Sep 232014

Hey, did you see this?

I know that you all enjoy movies and film almost as much as you do your music, so here’s a perfect marriage of the two, thanks to our bearded, cycling, kale-eating friends at Pitchfork. Knock yourself out; I know I did.

I would agree with a number of these entries, and think the group of films/songs representing numbers 15-1 are pretty accurate (with the exception of The Lovers on the Bridge. What? If you’re going for a colossal failure, let’s revisit Ishtar. At least that’s about a couple of song writers.) I appreciate the inclusion of two of my favorite song/scenes from film, the use of “The Madison” in Band of Outsiders and “California Dreamin'” in Chungking Express (and snappy little films, to boot).

However, I’m guessing that you, like me, will also take umbrage at a few of the entries. What?!: These Days is rated higher than Saturday Night Fever? And if you’re going to include the great “Heart of the Sunrise” from Buffalo 66, why not include the trailer (which, IMHO, is one of the best film trailers ever spliced together)?!

There are some glaring omissions. How could you leave out these cheekbones? That attitude? Or those bees?

Members of Rock Town Hall! Put aside your remote controls! Take your fingers off that turn table arm! Rip off those headphones! We can do better than this! What are your quintessential movie pop music moments?

Jan 212014

I still remember the night when Van Halen‘s “Dance the Night Away” blared out of the movie theater sound system while I watched Argo. Although I never liked Van Halen and still don’t, I have come to believe that the original edition of the band was brilliant in their execution of bad music. Nevertheless, that night in the darkened theater as Ben Affleck strutted to the sounds of Van Halen’s signature song, I first got goosebumps listening to the band’s music.

Last month, while watching the surprisingly funny Anchorman 2, I was once more treated to a movie theater sound system spin of that song. Once more, it sounded fantastic and perfectly set up the characters’ swaggering moment of getting their shit together before an inevitable critical turning point. This got me thinking…

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Jan 152014

So the other week, in a fit of nostalgia, I bought a copy of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. This movie and it’s accompanying 2-record set made a big impact on me, my brother, and my sister. My younger sister was the coolest one: she convinced my parents to take her to see it (underage, she had to convince my parents to go; years later, she admitted to me that she didn’t understand the movie). But my younger brother and I made do by listening to the soundtrack. I loved that record, and even my parents put up with our playing it (Dad, son of a musicologist, even liked Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven”).

Listening to it again, years later and with a more jaded ear, I was pleased how well the Bee-Gees tunes have stood the test of time. I was never a huge Brothers Gibb fan, but the production and arrangements on their songs are pretty nice. Contrast that to the obvious filler in the album: several David Shire tracks that seem to be a white guy’s approximation of ethnic dance music. And then there’s the stuff in between: second rate but fun KC and the Sunshine Band, Tavares, The Trammps, and Kool and the Gang’s “Open Sesame,” which regardless of it’s B-level status gets a thumbs up in my book due to the repetition of the lyrics “Get down with the Genie!”

Which got me thinking about soundtracks.,,

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