Yes, my inner teenage girl has been very active lately. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I saw Twilight twice, I recently bought the soundtrack. Now, I have stated before I love soundtracks, especially a well put together one. The Twilight Soundtrack is very decent. It has great tracks from Muse and Iron & Wine. But what was most surprising is that the movie’s star, Robert Pattinson has a couple key tracks on the album.
His music is pretty damn good! A far cry from the pop vomit of the Jonas Brothers, Pattinson is actually a blues musician. I had to scour the internet for a video of him performing live to see it for myself. He sounds like an old Southern black man, not a young white guy from London. No joke. This guy has soul. And I am a sucker for sad blues music. The more tortured it sounds, the better. His vocal performance is far more moving than anything he did in the movie. So if you liked him as Edward Cullen, I would seriously check his music out.
He has performed in LA in the past both under his name and under Spunk Ransom (terrible stage name though, unless you’re in porn). He said in an interview that music is what he wanted to do, but the end of the year came and he needed money so he went back to acting. Apparently, he knew nothing of the Twilight phenomenon, since it was not nearly as popular in the UK as it is here. It almost bums me out that Twilight is such a success because I’d like hear more of his music, or even catch a show.
Oh and if you buy it on iTunes, you get the bonus song “Let Me Sign” which was used in the movie and, though its much shorter than “Never Think” is the more powerful of the two.
Read this short little article this morning. It was like a ray of hope shining down on me. Maybe there is hope for me and the music industry! Maybe I didn’t waste all that money on a music business degree after all!
I know it is a long way off before downloading becomes profitable enough for record companies to function off of it, but hey, its a start!
Thank you for knocking up Ashlee Simpson. Now that your baby is born, her free time will hopefully be so scarce that she will have no time to produce anymore horrible, off key music ever again.
That Reena Girl
So Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson/Wentzâ€™s baby was born last Thursday. As you can see from my letter above, I believe this to be a good thing. Continuing with the trend of celebrities needing to name their children ridiculous things, they named the little guy Bronx Mowgli. Ok, so Bronx I kind of get. Lots of people are named after geographical locations. There are people named Austin, Dallas, Dakota, Brooklyn, etc. But Mowgli? The kid from the Jungle Book? Great choice, name your kid after the kid that was abandoned in the jungles of India and raised by wild animals. What, were Nemo, Buzz Lightyear, Gaston, King Triton, and Thumper all taken?
OK, I will stop ripping on them. I actually appreciate and support Fall Out Boy for their work with Invisible Children.
Now, back to the matter at handâ€¦
Deryck Whibely, Spencer Pratt and Travis McCoy, can you please impregnate your girlfriends/wives, Avril Lavigne, Heidi Montag and Katy Perry? I would really appreciate it. If you could shoot for twins, that would be great. Anyway you can lessen the chance of them producing music ever again would be wondrous. I would be eternally in your debt as would the rest of humanity. Think of it as your service to the world. This is your chance to do something good, to improve the music industry by removing your significant others from it and thus reducing the damage that has been done by either their lame ass attitudes, their poorly written and even more poorly executed â€œperformancesâ€ of said songs, and the overall annoyance its has caused me and so many others. Make it right boys, make it right. This is your call to arms!
And speaking of arms, in honor of Pete Wentz, I give you this:
So I bought into the hype and went and saw Twilight this weekend (well now its twice since I wrote this Monday morning and then went to see it again Monday night), along with pretty much every other female in the country. The movie was good, a little cheesy in my opinion, but perfect for the target audience. I liked that it wasnâ€™t too heavy, even though stories about vampires contain topics like sex, death, and blood etc. Personally, Iâ€™m more of a â€œBuffy the Vampire Slayerâ€ and more recently, a â€œTrue Bloodâ€ fan because I like my vampire stories a little less PG, but I was entertained overall.
But what I really was impressed with was the choice of Paramore to be on the soundtrack and have their song â€œDecodeâ€ be the single. Not only are they popular with Twilightâ€™s audience, they ARE Twilightâ€™s audience. And â€œDecodeâ€ is a well written, well performed song that shows they are growing as a band. Singer Hayley Williamsâ€™ vocals on â€œDecodeâ€ are perfectly haunting and her incredible range is more apparent than ever. The lyrics really illustrate the story. Even if you havenâ€™t read the books or seen the movie, you get the gist of what the main story arch is.
Paramore represents what is right with pop music these days. In a world of auto tune and unnecessary hype, they are one of the few really talented bands. One of their biggest assets is that Williamsâ€™ can really sing. I have seen them live enough times to know that her vocal ability hasnâ€™t been created in a studio by a clever producer. She is the answer the Ashlee Simpsons of the world.
And, if you can believe it, Paramore write their own material. Seems like a rarity these days. Given, its not earth shattering, but very relevant and appropriate. They donâ€™t try to be too artsy, too complicated. They donâ€™t try to seem more mature than they are, which I like. Their music is authentic in that way. And they seem to be getting progressively better.
Aside from their musical talent, their image is not too overdone. Williamsâ€™ looks like a regular girl, aside from the obviously professionally done hair. She is not all sexed out, which I appreciate since I canâ€™t tell you how over the whole barely- legal- pop- tart look I am. As for the guys in the band, they all look like normal dudes. It lets the music take center stage, not their t-shirts or what brand of jeans they are wearing. Not to mention, finally some young stars that arenâ€™t tabloid regulars! Overall, it shows the â€œless is moreâ€ concept still works, even with fickle teenagers.
However, I apparently do not believe in the â€œLess is Moreâ€ concept, which is evident but the length of this entry.
If there is one thing I love about San Diego, its 94.9. What a killer station. They satisfy both my need for new music as well as my love for hits from decades gone by (i.e. the 80s and 90s). They play one of the most diverse selections of music Iâ€™ve ever heard on regular radio. Everything from Ska (even though nobody listens to Ska anymore ha), New Wave and Punk, to Grunge to Metal, to Blues on Friday mornings and Reggae on Sundays, they play it. I particularly love their indie rock collection, their full Smashing Pumpkins catalog and 90s buzz ballads the most.
When I left Boston, I was afraid there would be a station out here comparable to 101.7 FNX. And no, Iâ€™m not so technologically impaired that I do not own an iPod or have a CD player in my car. Sometimes I just prefer the radio. I like to hear about shows, new musicâ€¦and of course, what the traffic situation is.
Right now, these are my top 5 radio jams
- â€œThe Ratâ€ by Dead Confederate
- â€œSex on Fireâ€ by Kings of Leon
- â€œSomething is not Right with Meâ€ by Cold War Kids
- â€œSalute Your Solutionâ€ by the Raconteurs
- â€œKidsâ€ by MGMTâ€¦my favorite song from their album actually.
Itâ€™s amazing how a forgotten song can be rediscovered and set the tone for a movie.
I was in a particularly nerdy mood today and rewatched the Watchman trailer. The choice of using â€œThe Beginning is the End is the Beginningâ€ by Smashing Pumpkins was just brilliant.
First of all, itâ€™s an amazing song, and as a long time Pumpkins fan, one of their best. Iâ€™ve always liked their slower stuff like â€œDisarmâ€ and â€œSomaâ€ off of Siamese Dream and â€œEyeâ€ from the Lost Highway Soundtrack. However, it was included on the Batman and Robin soundtrack. Now the soundtrack wasnâ€™t bad, a good picture of what music was popular in 1997, but the movie was pretty awful. Most people wonâ€™t go buy the soundtrack to a terrible movie. Not to mention, this song was the counterpart to the single â€œThe End is the Beginning is the Endâ€. Same lyrics, but the single was faster and heavier, more rock. This song was the forgotten final track.
However, do to my love of Smashing Pumpkins at the time, I did purchase the soundtrack (and due to my love of Batman, I unfortunately saw the movie theaters).
As a sound designer, I would love to find songs that were overlooked to use for Theater productions. I feel like this is what happened here. Itâ€™s a song Iâ€™m sure most people would not even have thought of. I certainly had forgotten all about it. The remixed matches the lyrics to the trailer perfectly. The slow, heavy, electronic beat casts an eerie tone. The strings add the right amount of dramatic effect. And Billy Corganâ€™s voice is slow and haunting.
The movie already looks incredible (it better come out or Iâ€™m launching a boycott on Fox!) but this really sent it over the edge for me. Iâ€™m stoked for it now! Thank you trailer-music-chooser, whoever you may be.
I get a lot of questions surrounding this topic, so here is my guide to DIY shows.
So, you want to put on your own show. Sounds like a good time, but only as long as you know what youâ€™re getting yourself into and youâ€™re doing it for the right reasons. If you are trying to put on a show just to expand your wallet, then youâ€™re probably not going to succeed since shows cost money to put on. You need a place, equipment, someone to run said equipment, security (sometimes not by choice) and of course, the bands. The bigger the bands/if they are touring, the more youâ€™re going to shell out.
However, if you do it right, you can most likely break even or even make a buck or two while having a great time. The trick is to plan it out in the beginning, get ahead of the game. So here are some tips on how to accomplish putting on your own show.
1) Figure out a budget and date! How much do you want to put in? What venues are you looking at? What equipment do you need to rent? How much are the bands going to cost? How much are supplies going to cost? Are there any other major shows in the area that night? You donâ€™t want to go head to head with show that has a similar draw at a larger scale (many bands ran into this problem when they were doing their own summer tour and were competing with something like Warped Tour). Do your research and price things out! The more you have to compare the better.
2) Lock down a venue. As soon as you know where you are going to have it, then you can figure out how many bands to have, if you need equipment or if they have a sound system, etc. Check the acoustics, is it a hall or a room or is it a gymnasium? Go with the best sound for the best price if possible. Also, make sure you check their capacity!
3) Check the city ordinances. Do you need a police detail? Its possible, I had that happen to me before. And it costs money unfortunately. Do you have to notify the neighbors? I have also had to put flyers in peopleâ€™s mailboxes to alert them to the event. And make sure that there isnâ€™t a noise curfew!
4) Start staffing and renting! Make sure you have secured help! Someone to run the PA and someone to work the door at least. Make sure you have everything you need to put the show on- a PA system is the most important thing! Other things you might need:
Â· Folding tables and chairs for merch and admission areas
Â· Stamp for admission
Â· Cash box
Â· Case of water
Â· Paper and a sharpie for notices and set lists,
Â· Rug for drum kits (if the venue isnâ€™t carpeted)
Â· First aid kit
5) If you book them, they will come!- Book your bands! If you booking a touring band, make sure to take into account they might be touring with other bands and you should put them on the bill as well. Try to stick to bands somewhat within similar genres. Make sure the band with the biggest draw headlines. Do not book more than 5 bands in one night! You donâ€™t want someone to get stuck playing at 1am. Make sure to check how much they will need to get paid and check it against your budget.
6) Promote promote promote!!! Make flyers, post bulletins, get the word out. The more you do, the better! Make sure they show doesnâ€™t start too early or too late and make sure you keep it under $10.
In high school, weâ€™re all searching for what we want to do with our lives. College is the next logical step for most, so we have 4 years of prep time to decide what we are going to spend thousands of dollars to learn about for another 4+ years before taking all that knowledge and skill and applying it to our chosen career.
As a sophomore, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Being in a band wasnâ€™t really an option. Long story short, I was in Theater (yeah, Iâ€™m an ex-Theater kid, get over it) and my class was preparing to put on a production of Bang Bang Youâ€™re Dead. For those of you who do not know what that play is about, in summary it is a play about a kid that goes and shoots up is school, a very current topic in 2000 after Columbine.
Anyway, I did not want to act so I decided I would do the soundtrack. The end result was a play riddled with angst ridden music. I donâ€™t remember the entire track listing, but I know that I used Gravity Killsâ€™ â€œGuiltyâ€ for the courtroom scene and â€œHurtâ€ by Nine Inch Nails for the final scene.
I continued doing Sound Design through the end of school, winning an award for my work with Hamlet from the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild (the peak of my sound design career haha). I think what interested me the most was how the perfect song can set the stage for a scene, without a single word or movement from the actor. The wrong musical selection can take the audience out of the scene entirely, so it is extremely important to read the script and work with the director to make sure you are invoking the right mood and setting the correct tone. Or, the choice to omit sound entirely can be the most effective way to convey a point or emotion.
I got so into it, I almost went to college for Theater Design, but decided to go for Music Business instead (obviously, the better choice).
In thinking about this, I have compiled my Top 5 Soundtracks list. In no particular order-
1) Empire Records- Great 90â€™s music compilation with the Gin Blossom and the Cranberries among others.
2) Romeo + Juliet- Probably my favorite, I love both discs. The cover of â€œWhen Doves Cryâ€ is amazing. The only disappointment is that â€œExit Musicâ€ by Radiohead isnâ€™t included.
3) Clueless- Weâ€™re the kids in America!But seriously, this soundtrack has everything from Counting Crows and Radiohead to Beastie Boys and Supergrass.
4) Garden State- This record did not leave my stereo for about 3 months solid. One I can definitely listen to in its entirety.
5) Once- A newer one, but the music that was the basis for the whole movie was simply beautiful. Iâ€™m glad the Swell Season decided to tour.