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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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Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…