Music in Media

Film + TV / Your Music In Media Guide to the 54th Annual Grammy Awards

By Amanda DK

It seems as though the 54th Annual Grammy Awards have received more flak from the indie community this year than any other year (in my memory at least).  Weren’t we all over “Grenade” by last February? Didn’t Mumford and Sons Sigh No More come out in 2009?  Bon Iver for Best New Artist?  For Emma, Forever Ago was released in 2008.  And if the music community scoffed (mostly) anonymously into the social media ether, Justin Vernon made his reaction public.

To be honest, the music in media categories feel similar.  Burlesque, Tangled and The King’s Speech all received nods during awards season last winter.  The public has moved on.  After this though, the only major awards show left is the Oscars, which has already caused discomfort in the music supervision world for only nominating two songs and then not inviting either to perform.
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TA Mixtape / A Mixtape For “The League”…Now Where Are My DVDs?

By Amanda DK

I’ve never been a football fan. Not a real one at least. I mean, I grew up watching the Giants and Notre Dame with my family. I made it to the occasional football game at Northwestern to support my alma mater. Now I guess I’m an Eagles fan, because I generally like it when my boyfriend is in a good mood Sunday evenings. However, I’m also innately attracted to anything that brings people together. So you know how some people are “social smokers”? They will only have a cigarette when out with friends, or after a few drinks at a party. I’ll call myself a social football fan. I usually won’t elect to watch a game on my own, but I do enjoy it with a group. Especially if I can provide the appetizers and craft beer.

All of that said, I do love fantasy football. I don’t play it – as you might guess from reading the above, I would likely fail miserably, or scramble my brain trying to learn everything I possibly could all at once – but still I find it way more exciting to watch the points climb for my boyfriend’s fantasy team than any real one. A battle between him and his old roommate feels far more important than two collectives of people I have no personal connection with.

It also increases the social aspect of football. You can connect with coworkers, friends and even strangers on a new level; now there are double, triple or quadruple the teams to commiserate with them about (depending on how many leagues you are in). It’s another common thread to bond over, like a favorite band or obsession with Greek cuisine. Fantasy leagues also have the power to create and maintain friend groups that otherwise may not exist – it’s amazing the bond some aggressive trash-talking can forge.

Which brings me to The League. I am woman, I am not a football fan, and I believe this is one of the funniest shows on television. Possibly the funniest. Yes, it features a group of friends who are all in a fantasy football league, but it’s more about their friendship and hilarious fumbles (pun intended) trying to pass off as adults. It never gets old to observe lawyers, married couples, doctors or divorcees, act like complete assholes win a trophy that was named after a high school nerd, in fact, it’s compelling television. Whether laughing or cringing, good luck trying to keep a straight face while watching.
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Music in Media / Teenage Fanclub in “Young Adult”

By Amanda DK

It’s not a secret that Jason Reitman loves music. His first major breakout film success also yielded a hit soundtrack that reached number #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. He is a big supporter of Los Angeles public radio station, KRCW. Not to take away from any of the amazing music supervisors who have worked on his films – Margaret Yen and Peter Afterman for Juno and Thank You For Smoking, Randall Poster for Up in the Air, and now Linda Cohen for Young Adult – but the fact that all of his films have the same musical personality is a testament to his influence on each soundtrack. Conversely however, composer Rolfe Kent has been with him for all of the above referenced films except for Juno. In all of them, the musical choices feel deliberate, even at first viewing. Songs are not jammed in where they shouldn’t be; the score enhances certain moments, but allows others to bask in the (calculated) awkward or tender silence. As a result, each song or score cue feels that much more important to the story being told.

That said, I knew to have a pen and paper on the ready as I watched Young Adult. I was both surprised and unphased by the fact that there was no musical support for the first five minutes or more of the film. It was only after Mavis decides to go back to her small, Minnesota, hometown and begins packing her bags, when a few mischeivously quirky score cues snuck in.
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Film / Your Music in Media Guide to the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards

By Amanda DK

I’m not sure why, but awards season snuck up on me this year. I can’t believe the 69th Annual Golden Globes are this Sunday! Did a whole twelve months really pass by since last year?

To be perfectly honest though, I’m I suppose I’m not that surprised. There is a reason that does come to mind.

Of all the nominees for Best Original Score, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo probably had the largest amount of buzz, but caters to a very specific audience. The Artist was likely the most critically loved of the bunch, but is still widely considered more of an “art house” film.  War Horse and Hugo were both praised as quality family fare, but nothing transcendent.  And all of the films in consideration for best original song were received by audiences as pretty good at best.

There were plenty of solid films this year, just none that wowed audiences on a large scale.

I mean, the only movie that received a nod for both original score and song is W.E., which was written and directed by Madonna. Nothing against Madge, but really?

Below take a look and listen to some of the scores and songs in consideration this year.  Who do you think should win?

Check out the full list of nominees here.

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Got It Covered / Artist Spotlight: Birdy

By Bekah Touma

With a mouthful of a name like Jasmine Van Den Bogaerde it’s no surprise that she quickly adopted a stage name, Birdy. Although don’t let the girl with the cute name and equally cute, fifteen-year-old, brace-filled smile (if smiling at all) fool you. There is an incredible maturity to her voice that belies her years, giving the impression of a lifetime of brooding not yet earned.  Playing the piano since the early age of four and winning a UK talent contest at the age of 12 contributed to her signing a record deal by 14.  Her self-titled debut album was released in the UK only via Atlantic Records in early November.

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