*Written and published for AUX
Lost in Translation – Watching Bill Murray walk away from Scarlett Johansson in the final scene of the movie whilst hearing “Just Like Honey” by The Jesus and Mary Chain might garner a second listen to the music from this movie. What you’ll find is a soothing mix of music to accompany your travels or simply get lost to. “Girls” by Death in Vegas is a good starting point.
The Virgin Suicides – Both the songs from the movie and the original score have been released and are equally brilliant. The former contains several tunes that go well when you are a grinning space case such as “Run to Me” by the Bee Gees and “So Far Away” by Carole King. The score was performed by Air and at times sounds both light and dark in typical Air fashion. The striped down version of “Playground Love” called “Highschool Lover” is especially nice.
Almost Famous – Director Cameron Crowe is known for music in his movies a la Singles/Jerry Maguire. For this one, which is about music, the question wasn’t what songs to put in rather which songs to leave out as over 50 songs were included in the movie. The soundtrack boasts 17 songs that act as a sample of some of the best music to emerge from the 1970s.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – In some ways like the movie, this soundtrack is all over the map. A collection of instrumentals by producer and multi-instrumentalist John Brion and several tracks by Beck and the Polyphonic Spree make this an ‘anytime of day’ listen. Beck’s “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” is something you need to hear before taking your last breath.
Garden State – Call it wanna be hipster or fake indie songs or whatever you like, but Zach Braff’s Garden State is a good playlist with good songs. The music compliments the movie, but something with this quality doesn’t necessarily need scenes or images to accompany it. Sure everyone is tired of hearing Portman say “this song will change your life I swear,” but in the end good tunes is good tunes and this soundtrack has a lot of them. It’s too easy to fall asleep to Iron & Wine’s cover of “Such Great Heights.”
Motorcycle Diaries – From Gustavo Santaolalla’s opening track “Apertura” the listener is transported to the back of Che and Alberto’s motorcycle and whisked away across the western part of South America eventually ending up on foot and witnessing poverty and oppression. Even for someone who doesn’t dig Latin influenced music, the soundtrack is deeply moving and an experience in itself whether you have read the book or seen the movie.
(500) Days of Summer – Regina Spektor, Black Lips, Simon & Garfunkel, Feist and Wolfmother are all featured on this disc. Not sure if there is much else anyone can say but listen to it and enjoy.
Juno – In the opening credits of the movie we hear Belle and Sebastian’s “Piazza, New York Catcher” and it immediately lets us know that this film’s music will definitely have a sort of indie-ness to it. And it does. It also carries some other great tunes by The Kinks, Buddy Holly, The Moldy Peaches and Cat Power, especially Cat Power.
The Assassination of Jesse James – This is the second collaboration between Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, the first being for the film The Proposition, and we can only wonder why hasn’t there been more? The score is haunting, atmospheric and beautiful all at once. If you haven’t listened, try sampling “Song for Bob” and see where that leads.
Into The Wild – This was Eddie Vedder’s first solo studio album and what a way to start. Each track puts you right next to Alexander Supertramp and all the other leather tramps or just acts as a toast to new beginnings. Closing track “Guaranteed” is a dark folk song that shows some light at the end in any pinch.
*Written and published for AUX