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Music + Movies = Fun!

August 12, 2009

You know what I think is cool?

Monkeys?

Well, yeah–but that’s not what I’m referring to.  What I think is cool is a particular combination of music and moving pictures.  I tell you, that Russell Mulcahy, he sure was on to something.  They’re two great tastes that taste great together.  Today, we’re going to discover some pretty cool music that when combined with moving pictures should bring a smile to your face and a skip to your step.  Just step over the monkeys if you don’t mind, they’re sleeping.

Where the Wild Things Are

I gotta admit, I’ve stayed away from media regarding this movie because I had a hard time taking the concept seriously.  I mean the book has a grand total of ten sentences, so any movie longer than about 30 seconds would have to stray pretty far from the source material.  Then earlier in the year I started hearing rumblings of Arcade Fire and Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) involvement in the soundtrack and I became officially curious.  In March, the first trailer dropped and suddenly this idea didn’t seem lame at all.  Scored to Arcade Fire’s anthemic “Wake Up”, this trailer played to all the strengths of director Spike Jonez’ skill set:  short, cinematic music videos with interesting visuals.  But in the end, the trailer scored no higher than “mild curiosity” on my coolometer, mainly because I had serious doubts about Jonez’ ability to make a movie based on this material that could hold my interest for over an hour.

Then the second trailer for the movie dropped last week and in all honesty it left me feeling pretty stupid.  Once again, “Wake Up” was used, but this time Jonez crafted the rare trailer that can stand on its own.  Go ahead, watch it and see if you’re not stunned by the visuals and moved by the story of little Max.  Even if you never plan on seeing the film, just watch this trailer.  Now I’m excited to see this thing and to hear what Karen O has put together for its soundtrack.  The Yeah Yeah Yeahs It’s Blitz! is one of my favorite albums of 2009, and I’m willing to overlook the fact that Karen is Marylin Manson’s doppleganger.  (Note to Karen:  “Rumpusing With Satan” is not the most kid-friendly of song titles)

Daft Punk, Tron: Legacy Soundtrack

Well, I’m not a huge Daft Punk fan.  Not really a big Tron fan either.  But that trailer for the in-production Tron 2: Electric Boogalo0 that got shown at last month’s San Diego Comic-Con could surely bring out the computer scientist in all of us.   In fact, this trailer is so hype it’s got its own blog.  The trailer aside, much of the hype for this movie has been related to electronic duo Daft Punk’s development of the entire film soundtrack.

Who are Daft Punk, you ask?  Well they’re only one of France’s most popular electronic acts (don’t you feel stupid now?).  Best known for their innovative live shows and their unique use of helmets, Le Punk (as they’re known in France) have a ton of underground celebrity cred.  They’ve appeared with Juliette Lewis in a Gap commercial, guest spotted in a Kanye video, been sampled by Janet Jackson, and been name-dropped in an episode of Flight of the Conchords.  Now they are tackling the cultural zeitgeist that is the Tron phenomenon.  They have released a snippet of the theme from the movie and I have to admit, it’s pretty awesome.  If you’re a computer programmer living in 1982.  And program cool games like Pitfall.

Justin Vernon Scores Silent Film

I have expressed my love for Justin Vernon before on this blog (no homo), and his recent decision to write a score for Charlie Chaplin’s 1925 film The Gold Rush further solidifies him as a true artist with vision. He and his Volcano Choir collaborator Chris Rosenau plan on playing the score along with the film January 2010 as part of the New York Guitar Festival.  Vernon is proving himself an epic artist in the making who is not afraid to push the boundaries of his music.  His next project?  Aspiring blogger.  Vernon now has his own blog and reading it is a surreal, existential experience.  How can you go wrong with post titles like:  Noyce on Kombucha: “Oh, I just ate a bunch of the brains!” and posts that read:  “Rock n Roll is a pale, soft, yellow light at the end of the day you barely remember.  C’mon.  Let’s be done with it.”  Shine on, you crazy diamond.

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