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DID YOU READ

2007: The Year’s Best Soundtracks

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By Lily Oei

IFC News

[Photo: “Once,” Fox Searchlight, 2007]

From biopics (real and imagined) to film adaptations of Broadway musicals, 2007 was a good year for breaking out into song and dance. For the less expressive among us, there was a bumper crop of quality soundtracks available to enjoy. With thanks to the hard-working folks responsible for clearance and licensing, here are some titles that inspired us to replenish and revisit our collections:

“Southland Tales” [Amazon link]

Richard Kelly raised the bar for himself by including Gary Jules’ version of “Mad World” on the “Donnie Darko” soundtrack. Not all the songs featured in “Southland Tales” made it on to the album, but The Pixies, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Moby (who also provided the film’s score) avoided the cutting room floor. And for “Buffy” fans wondering when Sarah Michelle Gellar would sing once more with feeling, the former slayer does Britney proud with the parody tune “Teen Horniness Is Not a Crime.”

“Once” [Amazon link]

You’d have to be stone cold not to have been bewitched by this boy musician-meets-girl musician tale that’s charming in every way that “August Rush” — this year’s other boy musician-meets-girl musician love story — is maudlin and misguided. Songs from “Once”‘s key scenes are on this album, including the twangy and aptly titled “Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy” and Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s plaintive music store duet “Falling Slowly.” Aficionados of Hansard’s band The Frames will recognize tracks already in their collections; new fans will swoon all over again.

“The Darjeeling Limited” [Amazon link]

Beyond resurrecting Peter Sarstedt’s “Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)?” in both the feature and the complementary short “Hotel Chevalier,” Wes Anderson and music supervisor Randall Poster have curated a collection of music from around the world and across time. Juxtaposing Debussy’s oh-so-poignant “Clair de Lune” (which you’ll also find on the soundtrack for “Atonement”) with the energetic “Typewriter Tip, Tip, Tip” from Merchant-Ivory’s 1970 film “Bombay Talkie” is whimsy bordering on brilliance. Perhaps it should be no surprise that Poster also supervised…

“I’m Not There” [Amazon link]

As in the film, everyone gets a chance to play Bob Dylan on this two-disc compilation, including Cat Power, Iron & Wine, the movie’s Marcus Carl Franklin and, hey, even Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. With a collection this large, and such big shoes to fill, there’s sure to be dissent over which covers work and which don’t. So to play it safe, we’ll recommend the final track — Dylan himself performing “I’m Not There,” officially released at long last.

“Control” [Amazon link]

Much of what’s available on this album will already be familiar to Joy Division devotees, as well as anyone who’s seen Michael Winterbottom’s “24 Hour Party People.” Still, for diehard fans, there’s the cast version of “Transmission” and an original score by New Order to get behind. Everyone else should just cue up “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and “Atmosphere” and appreciate how the genius that was Ian Curtis still resonates today.

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” [Not yet available for purchase]

Although there’s no official word on a soundtrack as yet, few movie moments this year stand out as much as this film’s flashback to a ride in Jean-Dominique Bauby’s convertible to Lourdes. By setting the stunning visual effect of hair whipping in the wind to U2’s “Ultra Violet,” Schnabel, who also served as the film’s music supervisor, makes us feel as carefree and immortal as his characters. Other standout cuts include the mournful “Ramshackle Day Parade” by Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros and the twinkly French classic “La Mer.”

“Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten” [Amazon link]

This documentary gets bogged down with its celebrity eulogies of Strummer, but the soundtrack picks up the slack. There’s still chatter, yet rather than limit itself to cherry picking songs from the former Clash frontman’s illustrious past, the album includes songs Strummer aired on his BBC radio show — from Elvis Presley to Nina Simone. For purists, there’s also a strong selection of Strummer’s own output such as “Trash City,” which debuted nearly 20 years ago on the soundtrack to the Keanu Reeves flick “Permanent Record.”

“Hot Fuzz” [Amazon link]

Be sure to seek out the U.K. edition of this album, which includes more songs than the domestic version. From the glammy opening track, “Blockbuster,” to the multiple renditions of “Solid Gold Easy Action” by T. Rex and the Fratellis, this soundtrack is as goofy and big-hearted as its source. The inclusion of snippets of movie dialogue often takes you right out of music, but happily with “Hot Fuzz,” it brings you right back into the film.

“Juno” [Amazon link]

“Juno” stands to inherit the “Garden State” mantle for indie soundtrack sensitivity this year. The album includes Sonic Youth’s cover of The Carpenters’ “Superstar” and the Kinks’ “A Well Respected Man,” which now will forever conjure up images of Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera) in running shorts. There aren’t any life-altering by way of The Shins moments in the film, but it’s hard not to fall for Juno and Paulie’s winsome duet of the Moldy Peaches’ “Anyone Else But You.”

“Walk Hard” [Amazon link]

Parodies can be hit or miss, but you have to admit the earnest flashbacky storytelling of “Ray” and “Walk the Line” screamed for a roast. The “Walk Hard” soundtrack, which was released earlier this December, includes “Let’s Duet,” a suggestive send-up of Johnny Cash and June Carter singing “Time’s A Wastin’.” A concert tour featuring Dewey Cox and the Walk Harders (à la “Spinal Tap”) is already on the boards and sold out. Take that, Hannah Montana.

Too good to go unmentioned: The unfortunately import-only soundtrack for Shane Meadow’s “This is England” is a period-perfect collection of ska and punk classics, while the soundtrack to AJ Schnack’s Kurt Cobain documentary “Kurt Cobain About a Son” is a mixtape portrait of the artist that contains no Nirvana tracks.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.