Making The Soundtrack Cool Again

This April, Variety published their annual Music for Screens Issue, containing several interesting articles about ever-changing landscape of using music in film and television.  One in particular is an interview with president of Fox Music, Robert Kraft, discussing the state of the film soundtrack and what it takes to get noticed these days.  You can take a look for yourself here – I highly recommend.

I bring it up, because 2 soundtracks were publicly announced yesterday that I think both did it really right in different ways…

1. ) Twlight: Eclipse – So big it was a trending topic on Twitter for much of the day yesterday, the only thing that gives these films any indie cred is the stellar music used.  Again and again Alex Patsavas proves she knows how to get the best unreleased stuff from a slew of buzztacular artists AND throw in an amazing-yet-unexpected pairing we never knew we were dying to hear (Bon Iver & St. Vincent!  Beck & Bat For Lashes!).  To be perfectly honest, I sometimes question how well all these tracks actually fit into the fabric of the movie, but as a soundtrack I would definitely shell out the dough.

The tracklist…

1.  Metric – “Eclipse (All Yours)”
2.  MUSE – “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)”
3.  The Bravery – “Ours”
4.  Florence + The Machine – “Heavy In Your Arms”
5.  Sia – “My Love”
6.  Fanfarlo – “Atlas”
7.  The Black Keys – “Chop And Change”
8.  The Dead Weather – “Rolling In On A Burning Tire”
9.  Beck & Bat For Lashes – “Let’s Get Lost”
10.  Vampire Weekend – “Jonathan Low”
11.  UNKLE – “With You In My Head (ft. The Black Angels)”
12.  Eastern Conference Champions – “A Million Miles An Hour”
13.  Band Of Horses – “Life On Earth”
14.  Cee Lo Green – “What Part Of Forever”
15.  Howard Shore – “Jacob’s Theme”

2.  Killers – Seriously, people.  While less flashy and lacking any current hipster idols, this soundtrack still boasts exciting up and comers and tracks from artists with unreleased albums like Nikki & Rich and Rox.   More importantly, however, all the tracks jive together to create a very specific and fun tone described as “1960s french riviera rave up” doesn’t over do it and – gasp – FITS WITH THE FILM.  Not to mention some excellent selections from Rolfe Kent‘s score to finish it off.  Curated by Tracy McKnight, the skilled hand behind Adventureland, The Messenger, and Cold Souls among many others – you know it’s gotta be good.   Preview some of the tunes on the myspace page.

The tracklist…

1. Macy Gray – “Beauty In The World”
2. Salvador Santana – “Under The Sun”
3. Nikki & Rich – “Cat & Mouse”
4. Faces – “Ooh La La”
5. Bitter:Sweet – “A Moment”
6. Rox – “I Don’t Believe”
7. Vanessa Contenay Quinones – “Bon Bon Bon”
8. Menahan Street Band – “Montego Sunset”
9. “Scuba Sneak” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
10. “Gonna Kill Him” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
11. “Even The UPS Guy” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
12. “Nice, France” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
13. “Falling In Bed” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
14. “Elevator Attraction” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
15. “New Home Office” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)
16. “Killers Suite” (Original Score by Rolfe Kent)

Party On: Lounge It Up

As I said in the last post, what people prefer to shake their booty to can be wildly different – Cher!  Rihanna!  Tiesto! – depending on a plethora of fickle and random variables.  Putting together the perfect soundtrack for a cocktail party presents similar challenges in different ways.  The music sets the tone for the evening.  It needs to be relaxing but not depressing, a hint of attitude, a dash of energy, but most of all it can’t distract from conversation.  In my experience, the biggest determining factor here is age, both of planner and guests.   Aunt Mary may never appreciate Radiohead’s “Let Down” despite your detailed explanation of the beautiful intricacies of Thom’s voice, but chances are Mozart might be a bit stuffy for her (though ideal in grandma’s mind).  The difference between 25 and 35 might be Nneka and Brian Setzer . Not that I’m saying Brian Setzer isn’t cool or that classical music isn’t timeless or fun to listen to.  It just never ceases to entertain me that even with the same fairly restrictive parameters the selection can still be so different.

Wow.  Music is subjective.  Huh.

Party On: Lounge It Up by tadpoleFTW

Upcoming shows…

The xx are coming to the Fonda on June 5 and the Wiltern on June 6.  Hurry up and get your tickets!

Even though the new School of Seven Bells album, Disconnect from Desire doesn’t drop until July 13, you can catch the band at The Echo on June 2.  Tickets here.

And because these days no one can think of “cocktail” without immediately thinking of Mad Men (thanks to the dynamic combo brilliant composer David Carbonara with superstar supervisor Alexandra Patsavas), here’s one of the most touching and amazingly well written scenes from the show:

Mad Men: The Carousel from Andrew Jackson on Vimeo.

Love the music?  Then you’d better get your hands on these…

Mad Men Vol. 1 (Music from the Television Series) featuring tracks from Bobby Vinton, Ella Fitzgerald, The Andrews Sisters, and Rosemary Clooney

Mad Men (Music from the Series Vol. 2) featuring Cubby Checker, Peter, Paul and Mary, Edd Henry, Perry Como and Brenda Lee

Mad Men: Original Score, Vol. 1 featuring selections from composer David Carbonara, including his own version of the main title song, “A Beautiful Mine”

Party On: Dance Magic Dance

If you get that reference you win a prize.

To tell you the truth it’s hard to make a dance playlist. I know plenty of people who hear dance and immediately think of deadmau5, MSTRKRFT, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk and so forth. I also know people who will prefer Guns ‘N Roses, Journey, Prince or ‘N SYNC every time. I fall somewhere in the middle (though admittedly closer to Britney Spears than Bassnectar). And I didn’t even talk about the people who are all about Kudi Cudi, Rihanna or Drake. Different backgrounds, places and decades – everyone grooves to something different. Because of this I thought I would do a comparison between the top 10 best dance songs of all time (according to a Slant Magazine article published in 2006)…

1. Donna Summer, “I Feel Love” (1977)
2. Deee-Lite, “Groove Is in the Heart” (1990)
3. Madonna, “Vogue” (1990)
4. Diana Ross, “Love Hangover” (1976)
5. Clivillés & Cole, “A Deeper Love” (1991)
6. Machine, “There But for the Grace of God Go I” (1979)
7. Lil’ Louis, “French Kiss” (1987)
8. Thelma Houston, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (1976)
9. Zhané, “Hey Mr. DJ” (1993)
10. Donna Summer, “Love to Love You Baby” (1975)

Followed by the top 10 of the most current Billboard Dance / Club Play Songs
1. Rihanna “Rude Boy”
2. Charice feat. Jay-Z “Pyramid”
3. Delerium feat. Kreesha Turner “Dust In Gravity”
4. The Black Eyes Peas “Imma Be”
5. Debi Nova “Drummer Boy”
6. Mary J. Blige “I Am”
7. Goldfrapp “Rocket”
8. Beyonce Feat. Lady Gaga “Video Phone”
9. Bimbo Jones “Freeze”
10. Taio Cruz Feat. Ludacris “Break Your Heart”

Later on the list are The Temper Trap, Blake Lewis and Macy Gray. An American Idol contestant and Ludacris only 5 spots away from each other on the same list. That’s the power of dance!

Upcoming Shows…

The fabulous VV Brown is rocking the Troubadour TONIGHT with Darrelle London.  Get your tickets and go!

1. Donna Summer, “I Feel Love” (1977)

2. Deee-Lite, “Groove Is in the Heart” (1990)

3. Madonna, “Vogue” (1990)

4. Diana Ross, “Love Hangover” (1976)

5. Clivillés & Cole, “A Deeper Love” (1991)

6. Machine, “There But for the Grace of God Go I” (1979)

7. Lil’ Louis, “French Kiss” (1987)

8. Thelma Houston, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” (1976)

9. Zhané, “Hey Mr. DJ” (1993)

10. Donna Summer, “Love to Love You Baby” (1975)

Get your tickets for Dragonette at the Echo just before Memorial Day on May 26 with White Arrows – who also have a fantastic video interview up on Serious Stache.

And Pitchfork darlings Delorean with Wait. Think. Fast at the Echo on June 11.  Tickets here.

Video this week from cute-as-a-button French DJ, Yelle.  Love her music, but mostly love her affinity for crazy colors.  An excellent performer as well (thanks again, Wonderworks!).


Roshambo: Knife Would Have Been Scarier Than Scissors

Big surprise: there are not very many songs about scissors.  I was amazed to be able to find two and if you know of others please send them to me to prove me wrong.  However I was inspired by this crazy/haunting/compelling video:

Liars “Scissor” from A Bruntel on Vimeo.

AHHHH I KNOW RIGHT?  I am creeped out.  Thankfully, I have a (mostly) lively playlist to make the impending doom go away.

Roshambo: Knife Would Have Been Scarier by tadpoleFTW

Samantha Crain will be performing with Swedish band First Aid Kit and Kenneth Pattengale at the Bootleg on June 1st.  Tickets here.

And Born Ruffians can be caught at the Echo on June 3 with Young Rival.  Details here.

Lastly, yes I am aware I technically used the same song twice.

Roshambo: Rock Should Beat Everyone

One of the biggest gaming conundrums ever: why does paper beat rock?  Sure, you can wrap a rock in paper – but if you really wanted to get serious try throwing that rock.  I promise you paper will not win that fight.

It looks like 10,500 people have already beaten me in taking a stand against this nonsense, and I think we can really make a difference.  Rock, Dynamite, Scissors forever guys!

Roshambo: Rock Should Beat Everything by tadpolopoly

Nada Surf has TWO shows at the Troubadour this month, on May 25 and 26th.  The 25th is already sold out so get your tickets now!

Olin and The Moon will be at Spaceland with The Parson Red Heads, Or The Whale and Whispering Pines on Friday May 28, so get your fix before fleeing town for the long Memorial Day weekend.  Tickets here.

And you better already have your tickets for this band’s next stop in LA on June 3 and 4.  Tickets are still available for the June 3rd show at the Fonda, but probably won’t be for long…

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