13 on the 13th

13 favourite songs from movie soundtracks.

Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen Things about Patrick Johanneson

  1. Primus, “Tommy the Cat”, from the soundtrack to Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey.
    This song introduced me to Primus, the bass-centred wacko-lyrics band from El Sobrante, and I’ve never had cause to look back since. It’s the story of a female cat out lookin’ for some action. When she finds Tommy the Cat, her search is over:

    The air was filled with catcalls (no pun intended) but not even a muscle in her neck did twitch as she sauntered straight into the heart of the alleyway. She knew what she wanted. She was lookin’ for the stud-bull; the he-cat. Well that was me.

    Tommy the Cat is my name and I say unto thee:

    Say baby do you wanna lay down with me
    Say baby do you wanna lay down by my side
    Say baby do you wanna lay down with me
    Say baby, say baby

    The video for the song features Les Claypool, the manic madman on bass and vocals, as a Roarin’ 20s-style bartender in a milk bar. It must be seen to be believed.

  2. The Lügen Brothers, “Son of a Bitch to the Core”, from the soundtrack to Hard Core Logo.
    HCL was a mockumentary, a film about the reunion tour of a fictional punk band. The lead singer, Joe Dick (IIRC), was played by Headstones frontman Hugh Dillon. Great show, and the soundtrack plays right into the whole mythos by virtue of being set up as a tribute album to the fictional band (also named Hard Core Logo).

    There are two version on the soundtrack of “Son of a Bitch to the Core”, both of them great–hey, it’s a great tune. The Headstones do a straight-up rocker, and the Lügen Brothers do it as a country-styled barn-burner. I love both versions, I do, but oddly enough, I have to give the country version the nod here. There’s a subtle difference in the two songs:

    Headstones: …If you take me on, I’m gonna lose / it’s a son of a bitch to the core…
    Lügen Bros: …If you take me on, you’re gonna lose / ’cause I’m a son of a bitch to the core…

  3. Bad Religion, “Leaders and Followers”, on the Clerks soundtrack. Punk the way punk should be; not watered-down “poor whiney me” but fast and loud and short and relevant. Plus they use big words to good effect.

    There’s the image of a man who commands a high opinion
    While he hides his hatred with a sheepish grin
    And beside him, flanking closely, are the voiceless hollow masses
    Who lap up whatever trickles in

    This intercourse of nature, this vulgar social pasttime
    Reflects the lowest mark of our progress
    And the few who ride peripheral maintain subtle advantage
    Fighting hard to abstain and redress

  4. Barry Adamson’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” on the Lost Highway soundtrack. It’s an instrumental, and it’s moody and spooky, and it’s just the right pick for the scene in the movie where the creepy little old guy accosts Fred, telling him “I’m at your house right now. Phone me.”
  5. John Williams’ “Imperial March”, from The Empire Strikes Back. (Is it running through your head now? Because it’s sure running through mine…)
  6. And its antithesis, the cheerful, chirpy “Cantina Band song” from Star Wars.
  7. “Belleville Rendez-vous” from Les Triplette de Bellevile. It’s not quite “found sound”, since the sisters brought all the items with them to the show, but I never would’ve guessed you could find music in the fanning of newspaper pages, the wheeze of an old vacuum cleaner, and the tickety-tick-ticking of a bicycle tire.
  8. “Green Onions”, from the Get Shorty soundtrack. Just ‘cuz.
  9. Rufus Wainwright’s version of “Hallelujah” on the Shrek soundtrack. Haunting and dark in a way that most of the other tunes weren’t.
  10. Gord Downie’s solo, a capella version of “Hallelujah” on the Saint Ralph soundtrack. (Is it cheating to include the same song twice? Do I even care?)
  11. Despite my general dislike of country music, I have to include “Man of Constant Sorrow” by the Soggy Bottom Boys on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.
  12. And the sirens, singing “Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby”, on the O Brother soundtrack, too.
  13. And finally, from Trainspotting, I have to go with “Perfect Day”, with its creepy, somewhat random spouting of James Bond movie titles.

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  1. Doug’s 13 guilty pleasure
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3 thoughts on “13 on the 13th

  1. Hah! I would have chosen a much different selection, but that’s what makes the world go ’round. I loved Trevor Jones soundtrack for Angel Heart, for example, and Chris Young’s soundtrack for Hellraiser (hope I’m remembering that right), and Tangerine Dream’s soundtrack for The Keep (not available on CD — so you’ll have to rent the movie to see what I mean), and Danny Elfman’s soundtrack for Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

  2. Actually, the one item that I wish I’d put on this list is the entire soundtrack for the videogame “The Neverhood”. It’s all bluesy-folky music, laid-back and a lot of fun to listen to.

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