Monday, June 25, 2007

When The Soundtrack is Better Than The Movie

I have a ton of soundtracks. I'm a bit of a soundtrack junky. Music and film go hand in hand to the point that most of us can remember a film simply by hearing a song on the radio (Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" anyone?). For a time in college I actually made films solely around pieces of music. I made a short film on fear just to use Nine Inch Nails version of the Joy Division "Dead Souls" because it fit so well with what I saw and heard in my head. (This last statement should not be taken as a refernedum on my relative sanity during college...come on we all had a dark period!!!) Anyway, I even have soundtracks to movies I never saw simply because they had a nice collection of songs that I thought would be worth having. So here are two examples of this phenomenon.

The film TWIN TOWN was released in 1997 and from what I gather (having never actually seen the film) it might be the Welsh verison of Trainspotting (which came out around the same time and also had a brilliant soundtrack). All I do know is that any collection with PETULA CLARK'S "Downtown", MUNGO JERRY'S "In the Summertime", and STEREOLAB is something I had to experience. Then I found the DODGY track "Good Enough". I had been familiar with them but never found anything of theirs that I enjoyed. But this song was brilliant. It is so bouncy and catchy. It had summer written all over it. I have no idea how it fits within the context of the film but I always go back to this song every so often when the weather turns warm.

On the other end of the emotive scale is the soundtrack to PERMANENT MIDNIGHT. The film is probably best known as the one time Ben Stiller tried to be serious. Again, I never saw the film but my understanding is that it's about a writer with a drug problem who went on to write the series ALF (and who says the drugs don't work!!) The soundtrack is an odd mix of mopy alternative rock and high energy trance music that makes for a weird duality to it. It's very uneven but has good stuff from THE CRYSTAL METHOD, MOBY, and GOMEZ. The most intiguing track here is a song by GIRLS AGAINST BOYS called "EPR". I found the whole two bass players thing very cool at the time and I actually bought a record of theirs based solely on this song.

So soundtracks can be great places to find music, even if the movie is a piece of crap.
(m4a) Dodgy -- Good Enough (from the Twin Town Soundtrack
(m4a) Girls vs. Boys -- EPR (from the Permanent Midnight Soundtrack)

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