Monday, March 10, 2008

The Weekend in Music: Lost in Translation, Galaxie 500, Portishead

I haven't done one of these posts in a while. As much as I love doing them, they remind me of this awful morning show on MSNBC called "Morning Joe" where all of the anchors come out at the end and discuss what they learned that day. On that note...

Lost in Translation Soundtrack
Regardless of your feelings for this film, one cannot deny the strength of its soundtrack. If I'm ever in Japan, I hope my escapades are set to My Bloody Valentine's "Sometimes" (This ranks as one of my favorite movie music moments, a Top Five I will get around to doing someday.) If you've seen the film you probably also know it closes with Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey" (damn you, TBS, for cutting it off so you could play your stupid promos). What I didn't realize was that Air makes its second appearance on a Sofia Coppolla soundtrack here, after their phenomenal work on The Virgin Suicides. Even more interestingly, Kevin Shields of MBV fame lends not only what is arguably his best song, but four other tracks written for the film. Unfortunately, Peaches' "Fuck the Pain Away" was unduly excluded from the official soundtrack.

On a side note, I'd like to say that while I have seen LIT twice before, this was my first viewing that really left an impression. And I only saw the final half! And with commercial interruptions! I even started to tear up at the end when Bill Murray whispers those unintelligible last words. Could it be that the film has finally hit a chord with me? Or is it just that I was so overcome by something of this caliber being shown on national television? You be the judge.

Galaxie 500
If you've spent time around me recently, you know I'm absolutely foaming at the mouth over this band -- and in particular its 1989 album On Fire. The band's final album This Is Our Music (1990) is accomplished in its own right, with far more polished production that nevertheless maintains the band's charm. And after just one listen to Today, the band's debut, I'm elated. How incredible is it to discover a band you love that's been there all along, just waiting for you to find them?

If anyone is interested, I came across this column about a month ago. After reading I immediately had to get this album. It's remarkable when someone's passion intoxicates you.

If you'd like to hear a taste of the Galaxie 500 experience, I'm posting one of their songs on my mixtape later this afternoon. Stay tuned.

Portishead's Third
After all that whining I finally got my grubby hands on Portishead's return to the music world. After two cursory listens, I have to say this wasn't what I expected. While ITunes categorizes the album as "Trip-Hop," it's decidedly not. Sure, you'll hear your effects here and there, but this a (relatively) stripped down Portishead with a far more organic rock sound. (Are those real drums?)

I'm not blown away at this point, though there's a lot to take in here (and a lot of expectations to answer to). I will say the second track "Hunter" is incredible. And that guitar in "We Carry On" pretty much kicks ass.

Then you have odd-men-out like "Deep Water" and WTF-inducing "Machine Gun" that complicate matters.

I'm going to need more time to simmer with this one.


Hackworth Artifex said...

I was a fan of Lost in Translation from the first viewing. But then, I'm one of the few people I know that loves Groundhog Day. Air has been following me around lately, popping up on KJHK and whatnot, and I think they want me to listen to their albums if I ever tear myself way from Neutral Milk Hotel.

Third is WEIRD. I think I like it. I think I like certain songs a lot. I was wandering around Alvamar yesterday, freaking out the fine citizens who pay good money to golf there, and listening to it. The last half of The Rip is pretty great, but it was just too much of a sunny, happy day to let Beth drag me into her sexy-neurotic spiral.

SonicRyan said...

I'm pretty sure the dudes from Air curated the soundtrack. Sophia's obviously a big fan.

Joshwa said...

I can't stop listening to Third.

It wins all of my contests.

panopticon said...

I agree.

I think that the 13 minutes of Deep Water, Machine Gun, and Small are some of the best that I have heard on a while. I thought Machine Gun was really weird when I first heard it, but every time I listen to it I like it more...