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“The Dungeon Masters” Blonde Redhead Soundtrack and DVD Release

“The Dungeon Masters” Blonde Redhead Soundtrack and DVD Release (photo)

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With a new Blonde Redhead release on the horizon, I decided to re-visit “The Dungeon Masters” after a conversation with the film’s editor, Christine Khalafian, who kindly reminded me that the NY trio scored it. The doc, which centers on three hardcore D&D players and their troubles during the economic crush of 2008 is getting an expanded edition DVD release August 3 too. You don’t have to own dice with more than six sides, have a thing for chicks with elf ears, or have Blonde Redhead on your iPod to appreciate this film and the exceptionally strange people it follows either.

I asked director Keven McAlester why he approached Blonde Redhead to do the score, hoping to reveal some secret LARP coven they all rolled with but the choice had more to do with a fan seeking a band he loved to create the right mood for a film that treads a fine line with it’s subjects. Not that “The Dungeon Masters” ever seeks to mock, but even when you treat a Sphere of Annihilation, or a girl wearing elf ears seriously, there’s the risk of tipping into total farce. “When it came time to approach people, Blonde Redhead seemed like a perfect fit,” McAlester told me. “We had an initial conversation that made me even more excited to work with them — they had really smart ideas, they were incredibly nice, and Kazu Makino kept referencing Georges Delerue’s music for ‘Contempt,’ which is probably my favorite film score ever.”

There was a lot of great music in the film already — including the songs “Folios” by The New Year, “Dirty Knives” by Bangs, “When Company Comes” by the Feelies, and “Ghosts of a Different Dream” by Guided by Voices — but Blonde Redhead agreed it needed more and went to work on various pieces for about six weeks. They also agreed that some of the existing music was “too obvious, a hat on a hat is the current jargon for that, I think,” McAlester added.

After some ideas back and forth, McAlester convened with the band for a week in their Brooklyn studio space. “I’m sure the last couple of days drove them crazy, as it would any serious musician,” he said of the final recordings. “Because that final push involves stuff like moving a drumbeat three seconds earlier to hit an edit cue, and so on. Regardless, the results were genuinely great. They made the film miles better.”

There will be a limited-edition vinyl release of Blonde Redhead’s compositions for the soundtrack in the near future, perhaps around the time their next record, “Penny Sparkle,” hits in September. If you’re interested in being notified about the exact release date, email tdm@antidotefilms.com to request. And hit up Netflix on August 3rd if you’ve not seen the film yet.

Carol Cate Blanchett

Spirit Guide

Check Out the Spirit Awards Nominees for Best Male and Female Leads

Catch the 2016 Spirit Awards live Feb. 27th at 5P ET/2P PT on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Wilson Webb/©Weinstein Company/Courtesy Everett Collection

From Jason Segel’s somber character study of author David Foster Wallace, to Brie Larson’s devastating portrayal of a mother in captivity, the 2016 Spirit Awards nominees for Best Male and Female Leads represent the finest in the year of film acting. Take a look at the Best Male and Female Leads in action, presented by Jaguar.

Best Male Lead 

Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Watch more Male Lead nominee videos here.

Best Female Lead 

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine

Watch more Female Lead nominee videos here.

New Blonde Redhead album “Penny Sparkle,” and single “Here Sometimes”

New Blonde Redhead album “Penny Sparkle,” and single “Here Sometimes” (photo)

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When I first moved to NY there was this cafe I immediately fell in with on Mott and Prince that made such a tremendous cup of coffee, to this day, I measure every one I have against their brew. Everyone would talk about how the place was Blonde Redhead’s hangout.

They’d say it in that way people say things when they know they’re dropping something cool on you, letting you in on a little inside information. I heard different unsubstantiated things; they wrote their songs there, they lived upstairs, they played there in their jammies at night when the doors were locked.

I’m sure there was some truth to it originally, but by the time I was taking up tables there it was all mistaken identities I think. For all I know, someone saw me there one day, thought I was Kazu Makino, told the next guy over and on it went.

The band and their dream pop remain something of a mystery to me, like this almost Sade-like track, “Here Sometimes” (below) off their forthcoming record “Penny Sparkle,” due out September 14th. And this Wednesday, look for some words I had with the filmmakers of “The Dungeon Masters,” a D&D documentary which Blonde Redhead scored before recording “Penny Sparkle.”

Listen to Blonde Redhead’s “Here Sometimes”:

Download the mp3

A Beck Bonus Track From “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

A Beck Bonus Track From “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (photo)

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I’m not yet sold on the film — maybe it’s the leet tagline that grates at me (“An epic of epic epicness”) — but with tracks from Beck, Frank Black, T.Rex and The Rolling Stones, at least the soundtrack for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” is looking really good. The Beachwood Sparks cover of Sade’s “By Your Side” is a good time.

The soundtrack is officially out August 10th from ABKCO Records, but a new deluxe pre-order was announced on iTunes that includes three Beck bonus tracks, including this one below, called “Summertime,” that has Beck playing a his guitar through an air conditioner — after drinking all the freon out of it. I think I hear a lemon wedge in there too.

Here’s an embed I found from Stereogum:

You Pro Tools types might want to check out this remix contest on Indaba. They give you the source files, and you remix Scott Pilgrim’s “Fight!” theme, as originally arranged composer by Nigel Godrich. Entries are judged by director Edgar Wright and Dan the Automator. Winner takes huge amounts of gear, including a one-of-a-kind custom Scott Pilgrim Fender Strat.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World track list:

1. We Are Sex Bob-Omb – Sex Bob-Omb
2. Scott Pilgrim – Plumtree
3. I Heard Ramona Sing – Frank Black
4. By Your Side – Beachwood Sparks
5. O Katrina! – Black Lips
6. I’m So Sad, So Very, Very Sad – Crash and the Boys
7. We Hate You Please Die – Crash and the Boys
8. Garbage Truck – Sex Bob-Omb
9. Teenage Dream – T. Rex
10. Sleazy Bed Track – The Bluetones
11. It’s Getting Boring By The Sea – Blood Red Shoes
12. Black Sheep – Metric
13. Threshold – Sex Bob-Omb
14. Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl – Broken Social Scene
15. Under My Thumb – The Rolling Stones
16. Ramona (Acoustic) – Beck
17. Ramona – Beck
18. Summertime – Sex Bob-Omb
19. Threshold 8 bit – Brian LeBarton

BONUS TRACKS (Exclusive to iTunes Deluxe Edition)
20. Garbage Truck – Beck
21. Threshold – Beck
22. Summertime – Beck [Hear it at iTunes]*
23. Black Sheep – The Clash at Demonhead (Bonus Video Pre-Order Only)

*Warning, if you are using Firefox, careful of that iTunes link. The latest Mozilla update this week seems to have bugged it out.

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