Sunday, November 30, 2008

Great Soundtracks

Fans of 80's indie pop should rush out to pick up Devotchka's latest album, "A Mad and Faithful Telling". Blending soulful lyrics, horns, Philip Glass-like bass lines and pretty much everything else from mariachi horns to polka, it's a magical sound. Devotchka are poised to break into the mainstream, if that really already hasn't happened. Their music was the backdrop for the 2006 indie smash comedy "Little Miss Sunshine". While I thought the film was ok enough, its soundtrack, from the opening song "How It Goes" to its foot tapping rendition of "Till the End of Time", they created a sound that was altogether unique. If nothing else, see the film for that- even though the "indie that could" has unfairly become a snide retort on the feel good type of film that irks the more hard-hearted film lover. Remember "it's this year's Little Miss Sunshine!" when referring to last year's "Juno", and a phrase which seems to be opening up as the rallying cry for this year's chosen sacrificial lamb, "Slumdog Millionaire". While my sentiments were kinder towards "Little miss Sunshine" than "Juno", I never understood the need for someone to use snide slander towards someone else for liking a film (unless that film happens to be "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"!). It's all subjective. People take away different things from a film based on their pre-conceived notions, past experience and demeanor when they walk into a movie theater. Part of the reason why I stay away from the talk forums of say, Ain't It Cool News, is the ugly and vindictive way in which film lovers decide to discuss film. But, in the kingdom of ADD-affected readers, the blurb is king. Anyway, I've gotten off tangent here. Enjoy the music of Devotchka.

Updated- Just read that "Slumdog Millionaire" won Best Picture and Director at the British Academy Awards tonight. Expect mucho backlash against this wonderful film immediately.

Bonus clip: Devotchka's "Till the End of Time" with clips from "Little Miss Sunshine".


Fletch said...

Over the course of the last 3 (4? 5?) years, DeVotchka has become my favorite band, so I love to see them get some more love.

Mad and Faithful more than lives up the expectations their last few albums have generated. I first fell in love with How it Ends (the album and the song), so it will likely remain my true love, but it and Una Volta aren't too far behind.

And I tell just about anyone about them. They should be mega-stars, but I can understand why they aren't. Though I wish they'd come to Phoenix sometime!!

Joe Baker said...


I've yet to listen to "Una Volta". I picked up on DeVotchKa after "How It Ends". I might have to jump on over to Itunes and download that one.

Daniel said...

Love this feature, Joseph - I also profile great soundtrack songs, and I make a "missing soundtrack" each year with the best music of the year. Devotchka will be on this year's soundtrack when I post it in January.

This definitely was a good album this year. Fletch they seem to come here like every two months but I've yet to actually see them.

And yeah, the Slumdog backlash is going to be sad to sit through.

Fletch said...

Daniel, you son of a bitch. You're making it really hard to be (internet) friends with. First, you get every damn movie ever released before me (that is, if they come here), and I'm in Phoenix, for chrissakes! Now you rub it in that DeVotchka just can't stay out of Minnesota while I'm lamenting them never coming here?



Daniel said...

It's currently 8 degrees outside of my window.

Fletch said...

Haha - touche. 58 here. :)

Joe Baker said...

Daniel, thanks. I'm a huge fan of soundtracks. I look forward to your list!

Fletch, unless I missed them, Devotchka haven't been through Dallas in years. You're not alone.

Fletch said...

Woot! I juuuuust got an email this morning from Pollstar...they're coming to Phoenix in February. I don't see Dallas, but I do see Lubbock. Not sure how close that is.

Their website is here