It’s that time of the week again Sunset riders. Another marvelous Thursday (at least in the pacific ocean) where I ramble about a music-themed topic and pretend that it’s somehow “Throwback”-related. But on we go!
In a fit of writers’ block, I decided to take a shot in the dark and find out what the oldest song in my music library was. That would surely lead me to a Throwback idea. There was a little voice in my head murmuring something like “Well Beethoven’s pretty old…,” but that guy’s just a troll, so we’ll ignore him. As it turns out, the oldest song in my library is a 1928 song by Harry McClintock called “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” It’s a song about a Hobo’s paradise, a place complete with “cigarette trees…a lake of stew and of whiskey too.”
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
All the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth
And the hens lay soft-boiled eggs
The farmers’ trees are full of fruit
And the barns are full of hay
Oh I’m bound to go
Where there ain’t no snow
Where the rain don’t fall
The winds don’t blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains
How’s that for a Throwback? Yeah, take that haters. But anyways. At least on my computer, that song comes from the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. A great great movie accompanied by the perfect music if you’re ever in an old-timey mood. But of course, it’s not the only soundtrack I have scattered throughout my iTunes.
As I thought about it, I realized I have some pretty amazing soundtracks tucked away. Songs already have a powerful way of awakening memories, moods, emotions, ambiances, etc..but when those songs couple themselves with the moods and ambiances of a movie/scene you love, the song’s power becomes twofold. It’s like it can zap you right into that moment and feeling you love and know so well.
I’m bringing out the big guns early; Without the slightest inkling of doubt, I can say that my favorite soundtrack is the soundtrack to Lost In Translation, with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. The word “favorite” doesn’t even do it justice. It’s one of those warm guns in the arm, where each song can knock me flat on my ass. I remember the very first time I saw the movie (on DVD) when I was 14 years old or so. The song (below) “Kaze Wo Atsumete” was playing in the credits, and I was just sitting there totally incapacitated. I can’t exactly say how, but that movie changed my life. Some people totally hate the movie, and some people love it, but I’d highly highly recommend seeing it. It doesn’t have a whole lot of dialogue, so the music really drives the mood and emotions of everything. The last scene is one of my favorite scenes ever, and the song that plays in the background brings me right back to it every time I hear it: “Just like Honey.”
Back at home, I have this dirty, rusty old shower CD player that works miracles every time I visit home and take a shower. The battery life has shown “empty” for the last 3 years, but, alas, every time I hit the CD play button it still manages to keep out water and rev up the same CD: the Forrest Gump soundtrack. I actually heard the soundtrack before I ever saw the movie, and when I finally saw the movie it took me about halfway through to realize why it was that I knew all the songs. But anyways, it’s full of some super great oldies, some of my favorites.
MP3: “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”- Scott McKenzie)
I admit it: whenever I’m flying back to California, I always play that song “California” from the OC on m iPod. When I’m going to San Francisco, I play this song in my head.
The movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly takes its name from the memoir of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine who suffered a major stroke and was subsequently diagnosed with condition known as locked-in syndrome – where your mind is completely lucid and conscious, but your body utterly paralyzed. For Jean-Dominique Bauby, he was entirely paralyzed except for his left eye, which he could blink on command. Now for the incredible part: Jean-Dominique composed a beautiful and humble memoir, blink by blink, letter by letter, with help from a nurse who read out the entire French alphabet over and over and over again. The memoir and the movie are both really amazing and moving, and the soundtrack that goes along with the movie is great. I had to catch a shuttle to the airport at 4 in the morning last week, and this is exactly what I was listening to in my dazed, twilighted state.
Almost always, soundtracks go along with movies. But sometimes, movies go along with soundtracks…I’m about to give y’all a much needed Disney injection. After all, we’re just really really big kids that like to pretend we’re adults. At least that’s what I do…
Annnd fine….here’s some Lil Wayne and Lion King mashed up if you insist:
MP3: “Stuntin Like Mufasa” – djDOYOU