Tuesday, July 24, 2007

we start with wes

Wes Anderson; brilliant, talented, thirty-eight and (get your throwing-panties ready, ladies) single. Anderson directed such satires as Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, and Rushmore. His new movie, The Darjeeling Ltd., is scheduled to be released this December (or October...depending on your source). A quirky mix of sixties block-colors and the exaggerated reality of a character's journey, Wes embeddes layers of dark comedy in his movies and weaves into them upbeat, almost chastisingly poppy music to contrast the heavy burden of life some of them feel compelled to sleep under.

Within all of Wes's movies, he brilliantly meshes the soundtracks with the script (not an easy task). Of course, it sometimes calls for a shift in styles of music and, for those fans of the outcast-genius, we will follow a musical thread of suggestions with a couple common "wes-esque" themes.

This entry would be amiss if I didn't mention The Decemberists's brilliant tribute to Anderson's "Rushmore" with their music video "16 Military Wives". The Decemberists are from Oregon and headed by Colin Meloy who possesses a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana (there's hope for those CW Majors yet!). The band is known for their incredible live shows, performing such tunes as "The Mariner's Revenge Song" as a musical with the ghost of a sailor's mother flying in on strings. I'd catagorize them as indie-folk with a unique twist. Their newest album, The Crane Wife, hit the stores last Oct./Nov. and is worth looking into for more of their folkie goodness.

Anderson recruited Seu Jorge to act on the set of The Life Aquatic and sing renditions of David Bowie songs in portuguese. If he looks familiar outside of The Life Aquatic, you may have also seen him in the movie City of God where he played the character Mané Galinha. Jorge's website seems to be under construction but he released an album called The Life Aquatic Studio sessions with enough rehashed David Bowie to make any eighties child cream their panties.

Another incredible indie movie, Garden State, features a scene in which the character played by Natalie Portman offers Zach Braff's character her earphones, saying that the song will change his life. The song, "New Slang", was written by The Shins and features lyrics traditional of surrealist poetry that'd make you outcast-geniuses go ga-ga for in scrambling with the meaning. While "New Slang" didn't change my life (personally), its certain je ne sais qua element has landed here in our indie soup. The band is also from Oregon and they are classified as indie-rock. Their new album, Wincing the Night Away, was released January of this year.

Or maybe you're looking for the tradition Wes Anderson quirkiness without all the extra words. After all, there's only so many ways to say "genius" before you have to stop talking and just know. Wes Anderson likes to use Mark Mothersbaugh to soundtrack his movies. Mothersbaugh participated in The Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Bottle Rocket soundtracks and has a large repertoir of soundtracks, gaming music, and commercial tunes.

Architecture in Helsinki is a band catagorized as avante-garde indie pop (french for "post-modernism". ha!) They're planning on touring this fall and their new album, Places Like This, will be released in August. Woo! Put aside your chump-change and buy it.

A band who has toured with Architecture in Helsinki and hails from Scotland is Belle and Sebastian (named after a french children's book)and they've established quite the reputation for any underground rehashed sixties-pop fan. Their album Tigermilk was recorded in three days and the original vinyls sell for 400gbp! Their newest album is The Life Pursuit, released in 2006.

I encourage all to leave thoughts, requests, suggestions, etc. I hope this helps some of the fans of Anderson's work. If you need more, ask and you shall receive.

"Sic Transit Gloria"


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