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Posts Tagged ‘Beck’

spA couple of days ago I got off my arse long enough to go check out Scott Pilgrim VS The World. It totally knocked me out. It’s an absolute thrill-ride; packed with OTT battles, quotable quips and awesome tunes. I’d recommend you see the movie, as not only is it one of the year’s best, but you’ll get the full effect of the blistering soundtrack.

OSTs are a curious thing. It’s rare to find a compiled movie soundtrack that is more hit than miss. Sure, we’ve had a few good ones over the years. Juno had plenty of nerdy, too-hip-for-their-own-good acoustic numbers, whereas Death Proof provided us with the perfect bar room mix. Besides those, it’s a very short list…one that you can add Scott Pilgrim to.

The interesting thing about this soundtrack is that some of the songs – performed by reputable Canadian artists – are based off the comic book series. Bands took Bryan Lee O’Malley’s fiction and made real songs from it, remaining faithful to the feel of his work. Indie kook Beck does a stellar job of interpreting the songs of Scott Pilgrim’s own band, Sex Bob-Omb; Garbage Truck  and We are Sex Bob-Omb prove to be two of the best tracks on here. Metric contribute ass-shaker Black Sheep to the mix (attributed to the mega-famous band of Pilgrim’s ex-girlfriend, The Clash at Demonhead, in the movie), adding an interesting hipster slant to compliment the raucous garage-rock of Beck’s tracks. However, the most impressive thing about this soundtrack is the eclectic work of Broken Social Scene. For over a decade this band have pushed pop boundaries, and they write the songs for Crash and the Boys, a local rival band of Sex Bob-Omb. Their barbed song titles (I am Sad, SoVery, Very Sad etc) provide some comedic heft in the movie, I am Sad… being about a second long. We Hate You Please Die is an aggressive and entertaining effort, showing a side of BSS that hasn’t really been seen before.

Broken Social Scene also contribute the best song here, their very own Anthems For A Seventeen-Year Old Girl, which provides a laid-back relief from the pounding rhythms of the other tracks. The song’s looped vocals and heavily-synthesised vibe are truly fantastic. It’s disappointing, then, that the other “real” songs are not quite up to scratch. Sure, they’re mostly fine, Plumtree’s Scott Pilgrimis a brilliant slice of Grrl Rock, but tracks by T-Rex and The Bluetones signal a dip in quality. The soundtrack’s real strength lies in its quirky catchiness, yet there are a few songs that only serve to kill the party. No matter though, because as far as movie soundtracks go, this is a winner. Check out the comics, check out the movie, then get your hands on this, because all 3 are riotously entertaining.

Conan goes out on top

25 JanuaryComments Off
Author: Sam

Conan O’Brien has always been the epitome of cool to me.

I haven’t missed one of his shows (Late Night and The Tonight Show) in about five years.  The day just doesn’t feel complete without Conan capping it off.

You see, Conan had a way of differentiating himself from some of the other pap that litters late night.  He appealed directly to young people who didn’t want to put up with Leno’s dullness or Letterman’s sneering disdain.  He made intelligent comedy aimed at the outsider in all of us.  His clownish absurdism was never mean-spirited and he was always the first to turn a joke on himself in order to make others feel more comfortable.  He was the smartest guy in the room – one who used silliness as the medium for his sharp wit.  And granted, a lot of people just didn’t get Conan.  His humor definitely wasn’t lowest common denominator stuff like Leno’s.  Instead, he realized that some people just want to see a Masturbating Bear regardless of how little sense it makes because, dammit, that’s hilarious.

And, of course, Conan has always been a worshiper at the shrine of music.  A guitar player himself, you could always tell how excited he was to hear some of the bands that came on his shows to play.  And his shows, particularly Late Night, were usually on the cutting edge as far as new music was concerned.  He once told the New York Times:

“Music and comedy are so linked,” O’Brien said earlier, as he walked up and down the halls of his offices, playing one of his many guitars. “The rhythm of comedy is con­nected to the rhythm of music. They’re both about creating tension and knowing when to let it go. I’m always surprised when somebody funny is not musical.”

He was able to get his friends, The White Stripes, to be his musical guest on his last episode of Late Night.  And he got Pearl Jam to play the world premiere of “Got Some” on his first episode of The Tonight Show.  But that was all topped last Friday, as he said goodbye to The Tonight Show and television (at least until September) with a sincere, poignant collaboration on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” – that classic ode to breaking free from a doomed relationship.

Backed up by the terrific Max Weinberg band and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, Ben Harper, and Beck on guitar, Will Ferrell took the vocal duties and invited Conan to strap on his axe and join the band as they made a sweet sendoff.  Strumming away, it was easy to see a long-shouldered burden just disappear, at least for a moment.

The song asks, “If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me?”  Well, one thing Conan doesn’t have to worry about is his fans forgetting about him.  We’ll be waiting right here until he comes back.

Now if you haven’t already seen this rocking rendition of “Free Bird,” check it out:

-Sam