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List Addicts Fridays: Two shows and a movie

by Cris


This week’s list will be a short one, though, with how much I ramble on, this post will probably be as long as my previous ones (or might even be longer).

I’m actually making this list to get these songs out of my system, since I have a bad habit of listening to songs that I fancy 10 to 20 times a day until I get sick of them. Maybe sharing them will take the load off of my craving, and the songs and I can part amicably, such that I can listen to them randomly one day and not feel sick to my stomach. Of course a list will have to have a theme. Luckily, my songs have one in thing in common – they’ve been significantly used in a TV show or a movie. I could probably round up a couple more songs if I’d chosen indie songs used in adverts (the most common habitat of indie music – apart from college radio shows), but then there’s a need to purge so I’ll probably leave that for another week.

There’s probably a hundred and one reasons for me to like a song, but for the most part, when I can imagine a scenario with it – sort of like creating an visual trailer for a movie or maybe see a particular scene in my made-up film when the song plays, that’s when it becomes a favorite. This is why it’s easy for me to like a song when it’s used in a film or a show – the visuals are already there, I don’t need to make one up for it. Though, not all songs used in films or shows are immediately likable, the film also has to be likable itself – or else a really nice song becomes wasted. Like Architecture In Helsinki’s ‘Maybe You Can Owe Me for example’, did you know it was used in that Lindsay Lohan film ‘I Know Who Killed Me’? Suffice to say, it was totally wasted – I could have imagined a lot more deserving films it should have been associated with.

Now, we come to my three songs. It’s only three, a list that’s short but sweet.

1. We Are Scientists – After Hours |



I recently got hold of a copy of the movie Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. I rarely ever get around to watching films, and on the occasion that I did, it was an absolute treat. I could say, Nick and Norah is this generation's Singles. The movie has a great character driven story, backed by wonderful actors, topped off with absolutely cool songs. I could go on and on about the movie, but this being a music blog, I'll keep it to a minimum. Here's a few things that I love about it though:
- the queer-core band 'The Jerkoffs': the band's concern about their only straight member's lovelife is endearing
- the blink and you'll miss it cameos:  Devendra Banhart (the guy in the deli) and Eddie Kay Thomas (as Jesus)
drunk Caroline: especially when she wakes up to the disturbing metal song 'Balls Deep'
- Nick's yellow Yugo
- beefy guy: he's gay and his name is Lothario
and of course, the song that plays in the background when the gang drives all over the city to look for Fluffy: After Hours

This post-punk song, without the usual accompaniment of a British sounding singer, is now one of my favorites from the New York band, We Are Scientists. I've listened to their songs before, enjoyed them, but never really got hooked until watching Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. It's easy to fall in love with the song after seeing the movie, since After Hours captures most of what it's all about -  a fun night out with friends. The movie takes place in just one night. Seeing the movie and afterwards, listening to the song, kind of reminds me of all the fun times that I've had going out with friends and not wanting to go home just yet. You usually hop from one place to another, just looking for a place that's open, and eventually crashing at a friend's place since it's the only one that's left. Like the movie, there will always be one drunk mess (or two - depending on how big your party is), music (rock or dance), a quick stop at a 24-hour convenience store (for the munchies) and a nice joyride across the city. If you've never had a similar experience, you're either - a) too young or b) a person that needs to get a life (on this note, go out and have fun). For the majority out there, you can most likely relate to the song and enjoy it. Though you don't need to watch the movie to appreciate After Hours, I highly recommend viewing Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist as well.

2. One Night Only - Just For Tonight |



I'm addicted to British shows - not just because they're really good, but because they're really good and they usually have a terrific selection of songs playing in the background. It might just be that my music tastes lean a bit on the Brit-Rock side, but when they put it on shows like Nearly Famous - they just sound more appealing.

Just For Tonight was used as the opening theme for Nearly Famous - kind of a British version of Fame, only less singing and dancing and more about telling the story of four young individuals at the fictional Salinger School for Performing Arts. We never get to see how the story ends, since the show only lasted one season before it was axed. Nonetheless, if you can catch as few episodes somewhere (hint: your favorite online video site might have it) - the soundtrack is absolutely good. There's a few originals there that are noteworthy - the song Owen plays in the first episode, his song with Lila as well a nice reinvention of the Fame theme and their own rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. You can actually check out some of these songs at Joe Bosswell's MySpace site - as he composed and arranged a few of them. Unfortunately no official soundtrack album was released for the show, so you may just need to hunt for the individual songs out there that you happened to like while watching.

Besides from being the opening song for Nearly Famous - Just For Tonight in itself is a great song to listen to. Someone from a songs forum mentioned it sounded like OMD's Enola Gay, which after listening to it again, I realized it kind of does. So I guess, I was craving for an updated version of a song I grew up with - somehow modernized to the times. But then again, a lot of songs sound like some other song in the past. (I have a theory that easy to like songs either sound like a song by the Beatles or the Cure). In any case, Just For Tonight (which according to the band, is a song about a power station) holds on its own, it may give you a hint of something familiar but in a none too familiar setting, and that's where it's beauty lies.

3. The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love |



Last but not the least is a song that was used in the now tremendously famous British teen drama Skins. I didn't choose Gossip's 'Standing In The Way of Control' (Soulwax Nite Mix mind you, there's a difference). I confess, I've never listened to The Concretes before I heard them on Skins, so I thank Skins for that since they're now one of my favorite bands.

If you haven't heard of this teen show, I'd recommend grabbing a copy of the first season, which is the only season I can vouch for. The second season blew in my opinion, except for the Sketch episode - which was quite amazing. The third season is currently being aired, so I don't have any opinion on it yet. If I could summarize what it is in three words, it would be: sex, drugs and nudity (after all, it is called Skins). It's also the show where Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) got started. If you watched his interview on The Late Show with David Letterman - he humorously describes his role on the show.

Aside from being this edgy teen drama, Skins is also known for being a launchpad for indie acts. The tremendous success of Gossip's 'Standing In The Way of Control' can solely be attributed for it being on the Skins soundtrack and the Foals playing live on the Secret Party episode, also helped boost their popularity. Each show is a bagful of ear candy and also an interesting assortment of sights and sounds (with a bit of shock factor), so it's no wonder why the show's hit.

Going back to my song -  'You Can't Hurry Love' was featured on the first season's finale, where Sid goes off to find Cassie after he realizes that he's in love with her.  The song is only sampled briefly - while Sid distractedly dresses up in mismatched clothing to go to Cassie - but it becomes quite memorable as a background to one of the sweetest moments in the show. Since it's better seen, so here's a link to the clip.

Ok, it's actually taken me longer to write this - I started somewhere around Friday, but ended up posting on Saturday instead. I might need to rethink the whole List Addicts Friday thing, List Addicts Saturday doesn't have much of a ring to it though.