For you, me and everyone we know
Welcome to Inferiority Complex City: Population – me. So indulge me, you painfully skinny punks, you tattooed, bearded, pierced indie-everything hipsters, indulge me from my little film corner, waving my pseudo-hipster white flag
because let’s face it – it’s cooler to be a rocker than an actor. I know, stop rubbing it in. And jeez, VITAL, an entire Music issue! I see how it is. GFY Music, GFY. OK, I’m over it.
But in the end I’m a team player. And with that in mind I humbly lay before you my own contribution – amazing music from amazing scenes of amazing films. Be Amazed. And no, Pulp Fiction, Garden State, High Fidelity, Velvet Goldmine and 24 Hour Party People will not appear on this list because those soundtracks are on par and at times better than the films they represent and we are looking for moments, people, moments. Now be amazed.
SONG: “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” by Sons of the Pioneers
Let’s jump right in with two feet. Now you’d think it would be the opening credits track of “The Man in Me” by Bob Dylan (we’ll talk Dylan later) or “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition because whenever you are dealing with Dylan or Kenny Rogers in any conversation they automatically are #1, regardless of the topic: everyone knows this. Except when dealing with The Big Lebowski. The opening scene is simple enough. Narrated by Sam Shepard, the camera pans up from a country hillside to reveal the vast valley of Los Angeles. This is when the vintage, crackling country song “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” plays. It has a kid-with-his-blankee effect: you settle in, feel good and realize everything is gonna be alright because The Big Lebowski is on. Again.
MOVIE: Napoleon Dynamite
SONG: “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai
This scene might be the greatest school talent show scene since Lindsay Lohan took the bull by the horns and busted out “Jingle Bell Rock” in Mean Girls. Right people?! Who’s with me?! This is scene is also the reason why I kinda want to see the Pedro actor deejay at Cans. We’ve all seen the ads but no one admits to going. Sinners.
SONG: “Born Slippy” by Underworld
This song legitimized the whole early-90s, skinny, heroined-out/ecstasy-infused art world in one scene. This dance floor classic plays at the culmination of a drug deal between friends and enemies in a seedy London hotel. The song soundtracks the only silent part of an otherwise dialogue-heavy, narrated film, punctuating the drama and conclusion of the story. Makes we wanna organize a Take Back the Night walk with glowsticks.
MOVIE: Dazed and Confused
SONG: “Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
I challenge you to name a better 70s song to play during your teenage convertible drive into the sunrise after the greatest night ever. “Loving Cup” by The Rolling Stones, you say? OK, I challenge you to name a third.
MOVIE: The Breakfast Club
SONG: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” By Simple Minds
Simple Minds’ legacy lives as the 80s band whose song defined the up-cry feeling at the end of all Coming of Age movies. When I was 14, my friend Rob and I hatched a summertime Breakfast Club plan that we were convinced would result in getting farther with our girlfriends than ever before! His parents were away for a weekend so we dragged a TV and VCR on his back porch and invited over our ladies for a midnight screening, thinking it was the exact kind of cool bonding thing that would result in late-night make-out sessions. By the time the movie ended, both girls were passed out so Rob and I decided to walk around the neighborhood for no reason till sunrise. That pretty much sums up my entire high school hook-up experience. As a tribute to those awkward years, when this gem pops on the radio, I let the LA LA LA LAs rip.
SONG: “Bring Him Up/The Eyes” by National Symphony Orchestra & Jerry Goldsmith
Rambo is in a faux mud wall, reveals he is fully encased in said wall by opening his eyes, leaps out of the mud wall and kills enemy soldiers with neck snaps, knives and machine guns. All to a full string orchestra. I am drained just thinking about this. So …
I’ll end with this: Best Music Movie Double Feature Ever:
Pink Floyd Live in Pompeii – it’s the Floyd playing classic freak-out songs, tripping their little British heads off in the middle of an old Italian coliseum, filmed by French dudes in scarfs and leather pants even though it’s summer. The live scenes are intercut with the band in the studio, tripping their little British heads off, eating beans and toast and working out the sessions that would become Dark Side of the Moon.
Don’t Look Back: Bob Dylan – Dylan in 1965 in Europe at the height of his acoustic/beat poet powers, picking apart journalists, fans and backstage hangers-on with dry sarcasm and Midwest ironic charm. Shot by DA Pennebaker (Woodstock, Ziggy Stardust, The War Room) on Super 16 black and white – this ain’t from the digital age of “shoot 50 miles of film knowing you can cut later” – Pennebaker created a fly-on-the-wall perspective that became the blueprint for rock-docs and reality TV, all as a one-man film crew on Dylan’s heels.
I am still reeling from Rambo. Till next time …. VS