Here we are again. Is it just me, or did this week just fly by?
First up, we have a track from the soundtrack of a David Lynch film. Now, I was a big fan of Lynch. Notice that I said “was.” Now, I’m not so sure. I’ll still give his films a shot, but I have to admit that I prefer his “weird and quirky but cool” material (Twin Peaks, Wild At Heart, Blue Velvet) to his “Dude, seriously: what the fuck is wrong with you” material (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive). That said, this is a track from the soundtrack to Mulholland Drive…from the ending sequence that I’m still trying to figure out. The song is absolutely gorgeous though: an echoey, acapella version of Roy Orbison’s “Crying”, in Spanish. Rebekah Del Rio – “Llorando”.
Continuing our soundtrack (and Latino) theme for a bit, we have my favorite track from the soundtrack to the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino film From Dusk Til Dawn, featuring regular Rodriguez soundtrack and acting contributor Tito Larriva: Tito & Tarantula – “After Dark”. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll remember this as the smoking-hot music that plays during Santanico Pandemonium(Salma Hayek)’s dance number.
I hadn’t been consciously thinking of a theme for this week’s entry, but as I was assembling the links for posting, I realized that I have quite a few tracks this week that are soundtrack material. None, perhaps, more wonderfully cheese-tastic than this one. Jazz composer Lalo Schifrin, best known today for his theme from Mission: Impossible, did a lot of theme work in the late 60s/early 70s. One of my favorite Schifrin compositions is the compelling, yet brilliantly tacky, score to the 1973 big-budget kung-fu epic, Enter the Dragon. Here it is, in all it’s glory, complete with wakka-chicka guitar, Faux-oriental musical phrases, and howling kung-fu interjections: Lalo Schifrin – “Enter the Dragon (Main Theme)”.
One last link to the quasi-theme of soundtrack material: In 1997, new Bond movie composer David Arnold released an album of electronica re-interpretations of classic Bond music, called “Shaken & Stirred”. One of the best tracks from that album was by the Propellerheads (whose “Velvet Pants” I provided a link to a few Fridays back). The Propellerheads, with Arnold, did a version of my favorite Bond theme of all time, and one of only two instrumental Bond themes (the other being Doctor No, which used the “James Bond Theme” as its title music). The Propellerheads (with David Arnold) – “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. It begins as a fairly standard performance of the John Barry-composed theme, but at about a minute in, the high-hat starts, and before long, the dance bass kicks in, then the beat, and the song explodes into a full-on blazing club track, while still maintaining the Bond feel. I can think of several of you who are just going to eat this up.
We’ll segue out of the soundtrack stuff by sticking for the moment with electronica, and my favorite piece by the The Prodigy (known in the US, for some reason I have yet to fathom, simply as “Prodigy”), from their 1997 album “Fat of the Land”: The Prodigy – “Breathe”. Any composition that uses sword swings and clashes as part of the rhythm section is OK by me….and I just love the sub-sonic thrum of the bassline on this one as well. Edit: It’s an angelfire page, so just copy-and-paste, rather than clicking the link.
Now, for a complete change of pace (literally): When I first heard this song (earlier this week), I thought I was hearing a new track from Fiona Apple. It turns out that what I was hearing was a song from the forthcoming album from 22-year-old Kate Earl. She definitely has a bit of Fiona about her, and perhaps a bit of Nora Jones as well. The song is quite nice: Kate Earl – “Silence”.
This one is not at all obscure…it’s a classic, but I’m putting it up here because it’s just so freakin’ good: Ray Charles – “What’d I Say.” If you’ve never actually given this one a close listen before, I urge you to do so. This is one tight song. The drummer’s work alone, keeping up with Charles’ intricate organ-playing, is brilliant – the high-hat and rim-shots giving you the feeling that you’re literally being carried through the piece at a breakneck pace. What’s even more amazing about this song is that it began as an improvised bit of stage filler (see the film Ray for a nice re-enactment of this moment in music history).
Another mash-up for you this week, this time mixing the guitar riff from Veruca Salt’s “Seether” with the vocals of Alison Moyet from Yaz’ “Don’t Go”. Naturally, the mash-up is called Veruca Salt vs Yaz – “Don’t Seether”. Another combination that works much better than I expected it to.
Lastly, because I’m a geek, I leave you with this track from UK electronic group Orbital, who took the theme from Doctor Who and turned it into a dance track….did a damn fine job of it, too. They start on a straightforward interpretation of the theme (which is cool enough, in itself), but then at 1:48 or so, they veer off into big beats and effects. Orbital – “Doctor?”
Another big week. You’re all gonna get spoiled.