News Archive... AKA The Old Blog

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's hard out here for a OST pimp

It's summer. The air is gettin' hot (even here in Canada - believe that), the ladies are wearing less and above the A/C din you've got... Zimmer's The Da Vinci Code booming!? My friend, what are you thinking? Deep, liturgical basses, cellos and mournful female vocals do not cut it when the grass needs to be cut. Retreating from the heat and cruising the food court at the mall listening to Morricone's Lolita is not recommended.

While there's some interesting soundtrack material out there -- the orchestral thrills of Caine Davidson's An American Haunting (horror score for jiggling furniture, not mammaries!), Naxos' re-recording of Benjamin Frankel's Hammer Horror Curse of The Werewolf (time to get those hairy backs waxed, guys) and the insistent throb of Cinematic Underground's Brick (to go along with those, ahem, other throbs you feel at the beach?) - none of it manages to match the moods and colours of our sweltering surroundings.

The problem is that summer just isn't good for film music, despite being the season when most of the year's favorites are released. There's just too much going on to underline it all with percolating synths, bombast or soaring choirs (unless there was an Elfman Spider-Man score being released, of course).

This will be the hardest summer yet, since 1989, for this soundtrack fan. True confession: I'm listening to less and less film music when not listening to film music, these days. I think for a lot of people who approach this genre through emotional connections -- and I'm not talking about nerds and dweebs who love Star Wars, Star Trek or Joss Whedon's [insert cancelled title here]. And I'm certainly not talking about people who squirrel away duplicate copies of Varese Club discs because they expect to sell it for Starlog subscription money. I'm talking about the people who love movies implicitly, who have always felt that there was the right soundtrack for any moment. An exciting score can perk you up, or, if you're wallowing in misery, a good emotionally gutting score can let you simmer in sadness. But I've found other, non-OST music satisfying these emotional needs, and doing it better. And, since it's summer, I don't have to listen to it with the windows rolled up. Yes, you know what I'm talking about. Next time you see a sweaty nerd suffering inside his Corolla, windows rolled up with the sun broiling him in his Family Guy t-shirt, he may just be soaked in sweat and soaking in "Kyrie For The Magdalene". Dude, take the summer off. Those soundtracks will be there in September! - Ryan Keaveney