Here we go again….and it’s a big ‘un this time around:
To kick things off, here’s the biggest reason why I prefer the originally filmed musical version of the Willy Wonka story: “Veruca Salt” (Julie Dawn Cole) – “I Want it Now/Oompa Loompa” My favorite song from the film, although for the past few years, all I can think of when I hear it is a skit done on “Saturday Night Live” where they did a “Where are they now” sort of thing, and Molly Shannon appeared as a tramped-out Veruca, smoking a cigarette and still wearing the little red mini and Mary Janes, saying: “Now, I get paid lots of money to go to hotel rooms and tell men “I want it NOW, Daddy!”
In keeping with the music-from-models theme that I began last week with the Carla Bruni song, I’d like to show you some music from Milla Jovovich (she of Fifth Element fame). Milla started modeling at 11, but was signed as a musician when she was 12, because she was a bit of a prodigy it seems. (Yeah, she’s one of those. Beautiful, intelligent, creative….as Yosa would say, “Your basic nightmare.”) The record label wanted to turn her into a bubblegum pop princess, but she refused to record the songs, choosing instead to record her own. The label didn’t release them. So, when she turned 18 (1994), and the contract expired, she released them herself, in an album called The Divine Comedy. These are songs written when she was 13-15, recorded when she was 16, and released two years later. The album is GREAT, although it went largely unnoticed. She had a small splash with the single (which I’m sure some of you will recognize when you hear the refrain): Milla Jovovich – “The Gentleman Who Fell.” It got some radio play, she perfomed it on Conan O’Brian, and it was featured on the soundtrack to Rules of Attraction..
Now, that was going to be the only track from Ms. Jovovich that I was going to post, until I hear the last song on the album, which blew me away. It’s a traditional Ukrainian folk song, which she sings in her native language (the rest of the album is English), and I find it absolutely beautiful: Milla Jovovich – “In A Glade.”
As a complete change of gears, here’s Rammstein – “Heirate Mich”, because sometimes, you just need to hear a German techno/industrial song about a guy digging up the body of his dead love.
Confession time: I actually liked the Spice Girls. Yes, they were camp. Yes, the songs were bubblegum fluff. But as I used to say at the time, they were Very Well Constructed Bubblegum Fluff. The debut album had some amazing production behind it. This was my favorite song from the debut, which didn’t get a lot of play, since it wasn’t one of the singles here in the US. For me, this will always be part of my internal “I’m about to kick ass and take names” soundtrack, because it was included on a mix tape that a friend of mine made for a road trip we took to our first publishers’ trade show (GAMA Trade Show in Reno in 97, for those who care), and it was a very successful show for us. The lyrics turned out to be appropriate: “Swing it, shake it, move it, make it, who do you think you are? Trust it, use it, prove it, groove it, show me how good you are.” Spice Girls – “Who Do You Think You Are.”
My first experience with Rufus Wainwright was seeing him on some late-night talk show, (I can’t remember which one it was, now) performing his cover of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe.” I was hooked. This will show you why: Rufus Wainwright – “Across The Universe.”
Anyone who has seen the brilliant zom-rom-com (Zombie Romantic Comedy, as described by the filmmakers) “Shaun of the Dead” will get a chuckle out of this: Queen – “Don’t Stop Me Now.” I liked the song before, but now I get added smiles, due to memories of Shaun & Co. wacking a zombie will pool cues, choreographed to this song on the jukebox. “You–Kill the Queen.” “WHAT??” “The Jukebox! Turn off the bloody jukebox!”
Briefly: Best Instrumental EVAR. Booker T and MGs – “Green Onions.” Play that, and try not to feel cool. I dare ya.
One of my favorite “alternative” songs from the 80s, when the word actually meant something. Alternative was strange, and got no airplay except on college stations. I remember hearing this on KJHK, and pretty much nowhere else. Adrian Belew – “Big Electric Cat.”
….and, sticking with the 80s alternative for the moment, I give you one of the better-known songs from Norman (Fatboy Slim) Cook’s first band: The Housemartins – “Caravan of Love” You’ve gotta love acapella covers of Isley Brothers tunes.
There you are folks, a whopping 10 tracks this week. Enjoy.