I re-watched for the twentieth time “The Big Lebowski” on a rainy evening the other day: the hilarious story of a charismatic pot-head, bowling and white-russian-loving low-achiever, somehow mistaken for a millionnaire, and the resulting tragic loss of his rug which “really tied the room together”. This Cohen Brothers cult-classic is one of the only “laugh-out-loud” movies that I have had the pleasure of seeing (we never really laugh out-loud in front of the TV, do we? But this is a nice exception).
The movie soundtrack, comprising many songs from the 60’s and the 70’s, is very enjoyable and complements the movie in a wonderful way. BUT, the major omissions on the short soundtrack available on CD may lead to dissapointment. For example, no CCR??? I just, I mean… why?!!?? Even if the two songs from this band are included in memorable scenes… like this one for example:
Therefore, this post constitutes a tribute to the complete movie soundtrack rather than the CD version, unfortunately. If you want to recreate the whole thing at home (30-something songs I believe), you have a bit of work in front of you so why not just watch the whole movie again and light up your mood!
A few other great songs are coming up from Captain Beefheart, The Rolling Stones, Santana… and CCR again!
The Innu nation is the most populous Aboriginal nation in Québec. If you lived in Québec at the end of the 80’s, you at least knew two or three songs in Innu, thanks to awesome country-folk band Kashtin, composed of Florent Vollant and Claude McKenzie, two artists from Maliotenam, located in the Northern Coast region (Côte-Nord). But their songs were also popular in Canada, France, and several other countries. This great folk music about the Innu people of Maliotenam, traditional values, life’s struggles, and much more (I unfortunately don’t speak Innu so I can’t give much more detail…), it sounds good even twenty five years later. Hurray for those intriguing lyrics, catchy melodies and good guitar riffs, and the talented musicians who can make it all sound great. Now I can’t get these songs out of my head (but it’s a much more pleasant feeling than having, lets say, “who let the dogs out” stuck in there…)
Now these videos are not quite the high resolution type… But you guys can still appreciate the nice retro feel of old beta/vhs tape, right? You see, I really wanted to post the original 80’s videos for the songs “Tshinanu” (Our People), “Tipatshimun” (The Devil’s Song), and “E uassiuan” (My Childhood). I also added two songs from Florent Vollant’s 2003 album “Katak”, which are really cool. BTW, Miam Maikan (White Wolf) was featured in the excellent movie “Looking for Alexander(original title: Mémoires affectives) by François Leclerc. Check it out if you can!
I might have a few Tarantino movie soundtracks lined-up in this series, but I’ll start with the Pulp Fiction soundtrack which was an important record for the “teenage me” from 1994. This crazy movie became a cult-classic of the 90’s and its soundtrack is a strange but successful eclectic mix of rock, funk, soul, country, pop, and… instrumental surf music? Not to mention the snippets of conversation from the movie – why did they choose to insert the parts about the hash bars in Amsterdam, the quarter pounder with cheese, the “Dutch” habit of putting mayo on fries, and the fact that you can eat a pig with a guilt-free conscience because unlike dogs, they ain’t got a personality…? Who knows, but those definitely add to the atmosphere.
Pulp Fiction is a great movie with fun characters and a good plot. It is however, like other Tarantino movies, extremely violent. But the irony of having those bloody scenes coupled with random stupid conversations about fastfood or whatnot between those great characters somehow resulted in a very enjoyable 90’s style movie. If you think about it, movies from the late 80’s/early 90’s were often insanely violent, although we seem to have gotten used to it for some reason – some have even almost become “family classics” which play on TV all the time (like Die Hard, Robocop, or Total Recall – the “good” guy uses some poor random bystander as a shield for God’s sake!!). What is the world coming to?…
Back to the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, every kid had that record in the mid-1990’s, including me (it was a nice change from the time when everyone was listening to the previous popular soundtrack, “Dirty Dancing”! I’m guilty as well, but I’ll forgive my 9 year-old self). The Pulp Fiction soundtrack was such an entertaining assortment of songs that I never would have listened to otherwise, like that hilarious country song “Flowers on the wall” or the wonderful surf music, which is as cool as it gets (I beg you, please listen to the 1963’s version of “Misirlou” available below if you only know “Pump it” by Black Eyed Peas!!).
Alright, let’s (jungle) boogie!
I was certainly among the target audience for this refreshing little indie soundtrack, which includes songs from some classic indie bands like Velvet Inderground, Belle and Sebastian, and Sonic Youth, as well as music acts I didn’t know about like Kimya Dawson, The Moldy Peaches, Antsy Pants, Mateo Messina, Barry Louis Polisar, … The songs flow very well, from one to another, which create this 45-minute-long smooth indie atmosphere that’s perfect for all kinds of moments. Daily life is nicely complemented, and embellished, by a nice little soundtrack.
I enjoyed this album as much as I enjoyed the refreshing movie itself, which won best original screenplay at the 2008 Oscars. Yes, it’s hilarious.
My favorite song on this album is definitely “Expectations” by Belle and Sebastian, but I have already posted a link to it (https://songsuneedtohear.wordpress.com/2013/10/07/i-want-to-go-to-a-belle-and-sebastian-show/). I have also already posted a link to Sonic Youth’s “Superstar” (https://songsuneedtohear.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/superstar-carpenters-vs-sonic-youth/). So, here are a few good songs on that record that are perhaps not as well-known : “Piazza, New York Catcher” by Belle and Sebastian, “Vampire” by Antsy Pants, “Up the Spout” by Mateo Messina, and “Anybody Else but You” by The Moldy Peaches.
Yann Tiersen is a French composer and multi-instrumentalist. You may remember him as the composer of the “Amelie” movie soundtrack (original title: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain). In addition to his own CDs, this artist also composed music for the “Goodbye Lenin!” soundtrack. Two good movies, two beautiful instrumental soundtracks. I always thought that this soothing yet melancholic music is perfect for an autumn/winter mood.