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focus on the positive

ok, so now that we've all had our say on pieces of music that we never want to hear used again in film, let's look at the other side of the proverbial coin. after all, there wouldn't be all these bad examples if there weren't also examples of music and movies being blended to a shimmering perfection.

i maintain that there is an artistry to finding the perfect song to bring a film moment to life for the audience. personally, i'd like to see some of these big awards ceremonies add a category for that. after all, while most elements of a film are crafted particularly for it, using other people's music is taking something independent and recontextualising it within the film. properly done, it's magic.

here, to get things started, are a few of my favourites:

eliot smith :: needle in the hay/ the royal tenenbaums

i personally think that i could make up a list of great uses of music in film just from wes anderson movies. he seems to have an uncanny sense of how to mesh the two (see david bowie's "life on mars" in "the life aquatic", the who's "a quick one" in "rushmore" or for that matter nico's "these days", also in "tenenbaums").

when the film first came out, no one was aware of the sad foreshadowing in having the song appear in a scene where one of the characters attempts suicide.

the rolling stones :: you can't always get what you want"/ the big chill

this is an example of taking a song i don't particularly like and putting it in absolutely perfect context. no, alex about to be lowered into your final resting place, indeed you can't always get what you want. one of those moments where you're not sure whether to laugh or cry.


stealers wheel :: stuck in the middle with you/ reservoir dogs


quentin tarantino is another one of those directors who seems to put as much effort into selecting his music as he does into setting up shots. virtually every one of his films has at least one iconic musical moment that gets embedded in the public consciousness. personally, it was a toss up for me between choosing this one and "across 110th street" from the criminally neglected "jackie brown", but i defer to this one since, going on twenty years later, i still know people who call this "the ear song".

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dj kali & mr. dna @ casa del popolo post-punk night

last night was a blast! a big thank you to dj tyg for letting us guest star on her monthly night, because we had a great time. my set was a little more reminiscent of the sets that i used to do at katacombes [i.e., less prone to strange meanderings than what you normally hear at the caustic lounge]. i actually invited someone to the night with the promise "don't worry, it'll be normal". which also gives you an idea of what to expect at the caustic lounge. behold my marketing genius.

mr. dna started off putting the "punk" into the night [which i think technically means i was responsible for the post, which doesn't sound quite so exciting]. i'd say that he definitely had the edge in the bouncy energy department.

many thanks to those who stopped in throughout the night to share in the tunes, the booze and the remarkably tasty nachos and a special thank you to the ska boss who stuck it out until the end of the night and gave our weary bones a ride home…

it continues... [part one]

so we're back at it with the democratic debates. last night saw cnn take their first crack at presenting ten candidates on one stage after msnbc led the charge last month. a lot of people were critical of the first debate because it seemed there were moments when moderators got such tunnel vision about keeping things moving that they stopped thinking about what was happening on stage. [the prime example being kamala harris having to insist that she be allowed to speak on the issue of racism, being the only person of colour on stage.] the other problem that many identified was that the time given to candidates wasn't even close to equal. i feel like cnn wasn't a lot better with the former, although they avoided any serious gaffes, and that they did an excellent job of fixing the latter. [that said, some of the outlying candidates might be wishing they hadn't had as much time as they did.] as with last time, i'll start off with a few general observations.

how importa…

imperfect ten

whatever you've heard about the democratic contenders' debate that happened thursday, i would hereby like to tell you to ignore it and, if you have the time, go and watch as much of it as you can [stand]. the biggest story coming out of the debate should really be the appalling talking points that the mainstream media have latched onto, especially the ten-second battle between julian castro and joe biden over healthcare. that literally might have been the least consequential thing that happened all night and i'm including the ad breaks.

ten candidates is still too many a lot but this is the first time that we've had the heaviest hitters all hitting each other. at the same time, they also took somewhat stronger shots at donald trump than they had before [some more than others]. the debate was a full three hours but, unlike the cnn debates where i spent the last half hour or so throwing money at my television in a desperate bid to bribe the moderators to wrap it up quic…