Devo was one of the first bands I remember seeing on MTV. A vital part of my life’s soundtrack. I mean come on, Freedom Of Choice was a pivotal record for me, and if making out to Meat Loaf was the evening’s late night feature, this record and say The B-52s was the party before that, and thus my ‘80s foreplay.
CUT TO 2013.
FADE IN ON A PARK, and a wonderful warm, summer day.
WE MOVE THROUGH A CROWD AND AN EVENT that has us both wearing name tags…
I walk up and introduce myself to Mark Mothersbaugh.
Yes, I would have recognized him without the nametag… Actually… it was one of those slow motion moments, where I did at the same time I was reading his name.
Not one to beat around the bush, I came right out and told him I was a fan, not just of the Devo stuff, but also of the amazing and extensive soundtrack work he has done.
So you see, random meetings are often the best inspirations for what I listen to and blog about next.
But which album to choose??? I could go the ‘80s route… and the aforementioned Freedom of Choice, but I guess I was in a soundtrack mood today.
It’s okay… we’ll hit the ‘80s later in the week.
Rushmore – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Truly… and not just because I met Mark, this is a major and essential soundtrack for me.
Rushmore was the first Wes Anderson film I saw… and that was it. It made him one of my favorite filmmakers, an honor I would still bestow on him today… especially after the oh so good, beyond words Moonrise Kingdom.
And yes, I know Mark did not score that film… the bastard Alexandre Desplat did. I kid… I have no idea if he is a bastard… The fact is, I love his stuff, too. Great composer.
It was after falling in love with Rushmore, that I went back and saw Bottle Rocket, the film that started it all for Wes, Owen and Luke Wilson. Mark also did that score, by the way.
Wes Anderson understands the power of music. His song choices are always so deep and well thought out. They are perfect, as if no other song would work at that precise moment in time. In that regard, I would put him right up there with Cameron Crowe.
I remember the genius of him sending us off with The Faces’ “Ooh La La”… the dance… the slow motion… the capturing of a life-defining moment… and the literal curtain.
Such a great song to have playing in your head, as you walk out of a movie.
I remember falling deeply in love with The Kinks’ “Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin’ Bout That Girl,” oddly a song I had somehow never heard and missed until this movie. I was a big Kinks fan, too… so DUH! But it prompted me to immediately run out and buy Kinda Kinks, I can tell you that.
What I especially remember is someone telling me that Mark Mothersbaugh had done the music for the film and how fascinated and intrigued I was. What was that gonna be like? I wanted to see it just as much for that as anything else.
We were anticipating the arrival of a great new filmmaker… a new perspective and a quirky, fresh style that had not been seen in a while. And Bill Murray, of course. This film and his working relationship with Wes would set him on a new and most wonderful path. I could say the same for Mark.
How brilliant to pick a composer who so fits in with his quirkiness and goes hand-in-hand with his stories and style. This is one of those rare partnerships, the kind of wonderful Kismet in collaboration, where each artist elevates the other, creating a finished whole that is stronger and even more creative.
So I went to the Soundtracks section of my CDs… Yes, I have Soundtracks and Original Cast Recordings in a separate CD cabinet… Pulled out Rushmore and with it The Royal Tenenbaums, conveniently alphabetized and side-by-side, and realized just how many of my favorite films Mark is attached to… Nick And Nora’s Infinite Playlist being another MAJOR one.
In between The Kinks, Cat Stevens, The Who, John Lennon and The Faces are some of the most wonderful and delightful sound cues and movie compositions you will hear. They flow together in perfect harmony and make a great movie even better.
So go watch Rushmore again… or maybe you can just loop “Kite Flying Society” for a while. Or the opening “Hardest Geometry Problem In The World.” They are guaranteed to put a smile on your face, and would make a great backdrop to the movie of your life!