Category Archives: Soundtrack

New Bond Theme

The rumors have been flying over the past few months, speculating on the theme song for the new James Bond 007 movie Quantum of Solace. But now it’s settled. On November 7th, we’ll hear the first duet in Bond history. Jack White (of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs) and Alicia Keys will perform Another Way to Die while Daniel Craig flashes across the credits. Very exciting.

Jack wrote the song and will also play drums; see here for his other appearances on soundtracks. The soundtrack will be out October 28th, featuring the duet plus the score by David Arnold.

In the trailer, double-oh-Craig appears to be exploring the darker, more troubled, and more vengeful Bond as featured in the Ian Flemming novels. I hope the complexities of the character in this era of the movie franchise are compelling enough to trump the glossy characature of previous years/actors.

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The Swell Season at Bonnaroo 2008

The Swell Season captured the spirit of Bonnaroo best, of all the great bands I saw (pictures). You can download the show, transformed magically into mp3s, here, or any of 15 other live shows of theirs here.

I expected great things from Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, but I also know it’s hard to put a sweet sound out into the great outdoors and manage to maintain intimacy and vibrancy all at once. Their songs did just that, and their humility and joy refreshed us despite the mid-day heat. The two musicians really did fall in love while filming the movie Once and making the music that became not just a soundtrack but also this group The Swell Season. They interacted on stage just how I’d hoped: adoring looks, encouraging cues, an ever-so-slight touch on the shoulder while they worked out what to play next.

If you haven’t bought any of their stuff yet, I would recommend the collector’s edition of the Once soundtrack that also includes a couple of live cuts and a making-of DVD. Perhaps it talks about how they fell in love while filming and touring. And the actual movie DVD is out now, too, if you missed it in theaters. If you saw the movie, you won’t be surprised to know The Swell Season covered two Van Morrison songs, Astral Weeks and Into the Mystic.

Glen was much more of a showman than I expected. He orchestrated the audience without commanding us (see future post on Metallica at Bonnaroo), encouraging us to cut loose with no inhibitions in the spirit of a festival. We were hungry for this sort of communal happiness, and the packed audience ate it up and gave it back to the performers on stage tenfold.

Glen and Markéta were accompanied by Glen’s usual band (since 1990) The Frames. I’ve not been able to get into their records, but this show made me want to keep trying until it takes. The drummer was an incredible mix of charismatic and seriously absorbed, the guitarist and bass player were great role players, and the violinist played so emotively I actually looked for another woman singer when he laid harmonies over and under Markéta’s soaring vocals.

The song I loved best was originally a Frames song, called God Bless Mom. It’s not anywhere online live to show you. I’ll keep a lookout. The video for the original version of the song does nothing to capture the dynamic range with which The Swell Season infused it.

I love The Pixies. I was amped for a Pixies cover by a downloadable concert of The Swell Season at the 9:30 Club offered by NPR here. So when the band left the stage and Glen and Markéta had a confab and then broke into a cover of Levitate Me, I went ballistic. You can’t see me going apeshit about five rows back in  the crowd, which is only due to the camera angle, but it’s still fun to watch them.

The band worked a jam for a while, which was unremarkable in and of itself. But Glen asked poets to come up on the stage, and two people took the invitation. The man who went first looked at the crowd in awe, genuinely taken aback by the sea of people focused on him. Glen nodded in shared astonishment, and with that bolstering moment the dude plowed into a really good poem. I tapped him on the shoulder later and thanked him for letting us all be part of something special, and he seemed to take the compliment as seriously as I meant it.

Final note: They did an encore, Hey Day (written by Mic Christopher), which was racous. What more could ya want?

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Zombie Strippers

Zombie Strippers, out in some theaters now, is certainly in the running for cult favorite of the year. Watch the trailer.

It features Jenna Jameson. Sure, her plastic surgery got her where she is in the porno biz, and too much of it has resulted in her career jumping the shark, but this film looks tremendous despite/because of these things …

It’s set in Sartre, Nebraska. Pronounced sahr-treeeeee. Excellent

Is it one of the last true grindhouse films?

Okay, why is this in a music blog? Dunno, really. The soundtrack has some appropriate songs from Roxy Saint. But it’s this quote from a NYTimes review that made me think to blog about the movie:

“Though not nearly as clever as it aims to be, the film at least tries. In addition to drawing inspiration from Eugène Ionesco’s ever-relevant absurdist play “Rhinoceros,” it’s full of jabs at the Bush administration and philosophy references — for starters, Jenna Jameson, as the first stripper to succumb to zombification, reads and quotes Nietzsche.”

That bit made me think of a non-soundtrack tune: Nietzsche, by The Dandy Warhols (download mp3). It’s off of Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, my favorite disc of theirs, and was in the soundtrack for the film Antitrust.

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Body of War Soundtrack: Eddie Vedder, et al.

You can watch the video for the Eddie Vedder original song “No More” that is featured in the soundtrack Body of War: Songs That Inspired an Iraq War Veteran. The film itself is in some art house theaters now, and more to come.

Eddie talks about his reasons for becoming involved in the project here. Man, his solo stuff is excellent. But he’s just one of many artists; see the track list below.

Buy (and listen to clips from) the double album. It’s thematic, not musically cohesive. But that’s not an insurmountable hurdle and is to be expected from an anti-war album. In related news, check these 70 free downloadable protest songs.

The cover art for the album is by the once-again-newsworthy (for his sold-out trilogy of Obama posters: Progress, Hope, and Change) Obey/Andre the Giant artist Shepard Fairey.

Disc one:

1 Brendan James – Hero’s Song
2 Lupe Fiasco -American Terrorist
3 Michael Franti & Spearhead – Light Up Ya Lighter
4 Rage Against the Machine – Guerilla Radio
5 Public Enemy – Son of a Bush
6 Serj Tankian – Empty Walls
7 Bad Religion – Let Them Eat War
8 Against Me! – White People for Peace
9 Bouncing Souls – Letter From Iraq
10 Dilated Peoples – War
11 RX Bandits – Overcome (The Recapitulation)
12 No Use for a Name – Fields of Agony
13 Talib Kweli & Cornel West – Bushonomics
14 Immortal Technique – The 4th Branch
15 System of a Down – B.Y.O.B.
16 Eddie Vedder & Ben Harper – No More (live)

Disc two:

1 Bruce Springsteen – Devils & Dust
2 Pearl Jam – Masters of War (live)
3 Bright Eyes – When the President Talks to God
4 John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth
5 Neil Young – The Restless Consumer
6 The Nightwatchman – Battle Hymns
7 Kimya Dawson – Anthrax
8 Blow Up Hollywood – WMD
9 David Ford – State of the Union
10 Tori Amos – Yo George
11 Laura Cantrell – Love Vigilantes
12 Ben Harper – Black Rain
13 Roger Waters – To Kill the Child
14 Tom Waits – Day After Tomorrow

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Wolf Parade

Stereogum magnanamously posted a downloadable track from Wolf Parade‘s long-awaited album (maybe called Kissing the Beehive) due out this June.

The song is Call it a Ritual, and it bodes well for the forthcoming disc. I have to ask, though, does it make anyone else hum Justin Timberlake‘s Cry Me A River (watch, and wait for the chorus to compare) for the rest of the day? The chords trigger me, and I’m not too happy about it because I don’t even know how I know what any JT song sounds like …

Wolf Parade’s 2005 Apologies to the Queen Mary (buy it right now!) blew my mind and was on constant loop all last summer. I’ll Believe in Anything (incongruous music video here, well-edited live video here) hammers on the tuning fork of my soul. Yeah, that intense. So I’m geared up for another Wolf Parade summer.

To fuel the fire, you can download previously unheard live Wolf Parade songs. These good-sound-quality mp3s from their concerts give us a decent picture of the new album’s awesomeness.

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The Breeders

How do we love thee, Kim Deal! Let us count the bass lines. The Breeders‘ (Kim and Kelley’s) new album Mountain Battles comes out tomorrow. It’s the best sort of rocker girl jukebox music, and lord knows jukeboxes the world over could use a bit more of that. There are too many girlies and not enough Deals out there. Stream the whole album!

The new disc was produced by Steve Albini using no digital whatnot whatsoever (except on the title track, “which pains me so hard,” says Kim). Read about this recent manifestation of his “All Wave” push here: “This should not be construed as a call to arms, but could become at least as significant as the Ska revival or perhaps the WNBA,” and his 1993 treatise The Problem with Music here.

It’s been six years since the twin sisters’ last album, and can you believe Last Splash was 1993?! For old times’ sake … Check, check; ahh-oooooooo-ah, ahh-oooooooo-ah … watch them play Cannonball on The Jon Stewart Show back when they were touring with Nirvana on its tour for (Albini-produced) In Utero. That performance, that song, those voices … if I would have seen that I would have made some sweeping statement about these being rockers, not women doing rock music, which would necessarily relegate them to the margins … well, read what Kurt Cobain said about The Breeders (and The Pixies, for whom Kim was the bassist).

Back to the new disc. You can watch them screw around on a YouTube video while you listen to the very agreeable song Overglazed and the crystal-clear We’re Gonna Rise. Or download the mp3s of the infectious Bang On and Night of Joy.

Now buy the thing and go see ’em live.

Apr 25 – Coachella – Indio, CA
Apr 28 – Canes – San Diego, CA
Apr 29 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Apr 30 – Slims – San Francisco, CA
May 2 – House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
May 3 – Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ
May 5 – Emos – Austin, TX
May 6 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX
May 7 – Meridian – Houston, TX
May 9 – Bottleneck – Laurence, KS
May 10 – Pops – St. Louis, MO
May 23 – Richards – Vancouver, BC
May 24 – The Gorge – George, WA
May 25 – Berbattis Pan – Portland, OR
May 27 – The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT
May 28 – Ogden – Denver, CO
May 30 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
May 31 – Metropolitan University – Chicago, IL
Jun 1 – Magic Stick – Detroit, MI
Jun 3 – House of Blues – Cleveland, OH
Jun 4 – Pearl Street – Northampton, MA
Jun 5 – Paradise – Boston, MA
Jun 7 – Toads Place – New Haven, CT
Jun 8 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
Jun 10 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
Jun 11 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
Jun 13 – The Loft – Atlanta, GA

I’m interested to hear what the set list is like, especially since Kelley said, “I’ve never felt excited about bands on tour. I never want to hear more than three new songs, just the old stuff. But this time, I’ve told Kim we should just start off with [1993 hit] ‘Cannonball’ and only play the new album from there.”

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Splice

Welcome to the first Splice. My mixtape-making impulse spawned this blog, and this sort of post gets to the heart of what I love about finding new music. Listen to these songs by clicking on the title and see if I can turn you on to something new. The next two days will be Splice days, as well, and then it’s back to the usual posts.

Prefuse 73Class of 73 Bells (Edit)buy

Hans ZimmerBakarabuy (from the Blackhawk Down soundtrack)

This diptych is inspired by the PBS Frontline episode I’m watching called Bush’s War (which you can watch online).

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