Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “Tommy Boy”


I don’t usually buy albums based on one track. I’ve been burned this way a few times in the past and thanks to Spotify, I can now listen to an album multiple times before deciding whether to spend my hard earned money on it. But when I saw this album for $1 and it contained the track “Fat Guy in a Little Coat,” I knew I have to have it.

Aside from the classic “Fat Guy,” you also get “Jerk Motel,” “My Pretty Little Pet” and “Housekeeping.” It’s a little disappointing to not have “Every time I drive down the road I want to jerk the wheel into a bridge abutment!” or the pitch where he was lighting model cars on fire, but there are still a few great additions to my library.

The music is all middle-of-the-road rock from the nineties. Paul Westerberg, Primal Scream and the Smoking Popes all make appearances with tunes I still can’t pick out of a lineup. The Goo Goo Dolls are on here with a song from their early days before they were truly horrible. Soul Coughing does a song they wouldn’t have release post-9/11. It also has R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” which I remember from the movie and “Come on Eileen” which I don’t.

Yet again, I feel like the tracklist could have benefitted from the inclusion of Chris Farley and Brian Dennehy doing “What I Say,” but they didn’t consult me when preparing this.

The best song on the album is a cover of Kiss’s “I Love it Loud” by a band I’ve never heard of called Phunk Junkeez. It’s pretty hard to screw up a Kiss song and they really knocked it out of the park by adding some Public Enemy samples.

 

This isn’t the kind of an album you’d want to immerse yourself in with great headphones. I usually listen to it as background music on road trips. But if you do that make sure you remove the oil can before you cue up the Carpenters’ “Superstar.”

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “Sucker Punch”


sucker punch(22 March 2011, WaterTower Music )

I won’t hold it against you if you’ve never heard of this movie. It did fly under the radar, but if you took the time to check it out you were in for a treat

Sucker Punch was directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and starred Emily Browning (Pompeii, Legend) and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, X-Men: Apocalypse). Essentially the movie is a live-action anime. There is a plot, but it’s not important. What really brought the film together were the glorious, special-effects driven battle scenes with giant samurai, steampunk Nazis and dragons. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing better than scantily clad women battling dragons.

Of course, none of those fight scenes would be worth a damn without the proper musical accompaniment. The Sucker Punch soundtrack is not John Williams or Hans Zimmer, but it ranks among the greatest film soundtracks of all time in my book.

It’s brilliance is in how it takes familiar songs and gives them a new spin. Instead of making a mix tape of b-sides from popular artists , producers Tyler Bates and Marius de Vries take old songs and have trip-hop acts cover them. This gives continuity to a seemingly random collection of tracks and makes them flow seamlessly from one to another.

Star Emily Browning sings three tracks. Opener “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” is my least favorite version of that song, but considering the other two versions are so damn awesome that’s not really an insult. It’s still worth checking out. She also does a cover of the Smiths’ “Asleep” which isn’t bad, but I can live without it.

There’s only one Bjork song I recognize. “Army of Me” is a brilliant track and the Sucker Punch remix takes all the crazy screeches and Yoko Ono-isms and makes it truly stellar. The song works great on its own, but listening to this version it’s apparent it was used in a film. I’ve never heard of Emiliana Torrini, but I love her version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” It runs a little long, but when something sounds that good you make exceptions. The best part is the opening guitar riff played note for note on an organ.

Skunk Anansie turns in the best version of “Search and Destroy” I’ve ever heard. I expect it may be the best version of that song I ever will hear. This should be the definitive version that’s required listening for all aspiring punks. I’m sure it’s sacrilegious, but I’ve never cared much for the Stooges. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden have turned in lukewarm versions of the song but Skunk Anansie are the ones to tap into the primal nature and transform it to the monster I knew it could be.

(Make sure your socks are on tight as this has the potential to knock them off. You’ve been warned.)

Oscar Isaac and Carla Gugino close the album with a cover of Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug.” I wasn’t familiar with this song at all before seeing the movie. I was surprised to discover that it’s a cover and wasn’t composed for the film because it fits so well.

Now that I look back at the track list I’m surprised that there are so many songs I don’t like. Alison Mosshart and Carla Azar turn in a performance of “Tomorrow Never Knows” that isn’t bad, but doesn’t do anything different than the original. There’s something called “I Want It All / We Will Rock You Mash-Up (Queen cover)” right in the middle that is truly terrible. I’m sure fans of hip-hop and Queen will enjoy it, but my love of Queen isn’t strong enough to override my distaste for hip-hop.

The last song Emily Browning sings on is a cover of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” with Yoav. This is the most disappointing track on the album. Somehow they manage to take an awesome song with great musicians performing and it still manages to fall flat. I guess they can’t all be zingers.

ws_sucker_punch_1920x1440Now that I really examine this album I’m surprised to discover that I really only enjoy about half of the songs. But it’s a testament to how fucking awesome those tracks are that I didn’t even realize I didn’t like the rest of the album until I sat down to write a review.

Even if you fast forward through the boring parts like you used to do with VHS porno tapes, Sucker Punch is a film worth watching. It’s a classic in the same vein as Queen of the Damned or Escape from LA. 

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “Escape From LA”


Escape from LA Soundtrack CoverI’m really terrified of becoming a hoarder. So every now and again I do inventory and clear things out of my life that I don’t use. My physical CD collection has gone from several boxes to one shelf and my digital collection is not immune to the occasional trimming.

So a few weeks ago I loaded the Escape from LA soundtrack onto my MP3 player. I was thinking I would give it one last spin before I sent it to the recycle bin. It turns out I was in for quite an unexpected surprise.

There are a lot of big names on this album, but nearly all of them turn in bland and/or sub-par performances. Three of the bands give us tracks straight from other albums. Tool with “Sweat” from Undertow, Clutch with “Escape from the Prison Planet”  and Gravity Kills with “Blame” (both from their self titled albums). Gravity Kills get a few points for doing an ‘LA Remix,’ but I can’t really tell the difference from the original. I like soundtracks because they give me a chance to hear hidden gems that didn’t fit onto albums and other oddities from bands I love, not to hear the same songs in a different context.

As far as original content goes it’s pretty hit or miss. Stabbing Westward does an awful job opening the album with “Dawn.” The track is just way too slow and dreary. It would be great in the middle as a chance to get up and get popcorn, but it definitely doesn’t serve to help make me interested in what’s to come. And “Paisley” from Ministry is probably the worst song I’ve ever heard from them. That’s a real feat considering their early new wave crap. Deftones close the album with some song. I could look up the title, but who cares? Pretty much every Deftones song sounds exactly the same.

Escape from LA Soundtrack back coverOK, that’s enough bitching. Because I swear there is some really great stuff on here. It’s just not where you expect to find it.

White Zombie’s “The One” is a cool tune. It’s your typical Zombie song and it gets bonus points for referencing the movie in the lyrics. Toadies turn in a rocking punk tune with “Cut Me Out.” That one made me do a double take. I was extremely surprised that I was enjoying a song enough to check who was playing it only to find it was the Toadies. That’s never happened before. Butthole Surfers add a track, but they can really do no wrong in my eyes. “Professional Widow” is a rocking tune from Tori Amos. I’ve never gotten into her music, but something about the harpsichord really draws me in.

“10 Seconds Down” is one of the most interesting tracks on the album. It’s pretty much a standard nu-metal song with chug-chug guitar work, which is interesting coming from Sugar Ray. But Sugar Ray’s meal-ticket front man Mark McGrath is nowhere to be found on this song. It’s a collaboration with a group called the Bluetones. What I like best is the simple clean guitar melody that plays over the main riff. It’s a brilliant juxtaposition. (And also makes me really happy because it gives me a chance to use the word ‘juxtaposition.’)

My favorite is a track from a group called Sexpod. It’s a typical female fronted rock song, but boy this chick has a great set of pipes. When she belts out the line “Foot on the gas on the west side highway” I can nearly feel the wind in my hair as I cruise along the pacific coast in a convertible. I can’t find anything wrong with a song that makes me feel like that.

 

And the most amazing thing about this album is that even with all of the crap, it’s still much better than the movie it went with. If you’re ever curious to check out this film I would suggest listening to the soundtrack instead. It takes a lot less time and you’ll feel less guilty afterward.

 

*Some of these other songs also appear on albums, but not by artists whom I’ve listened to their albums. Did that make sense?

#bottom12onthe17th


When I was preparing my list for the Top 15 on the 15th I came across a few albums that were close, but didn’t quite make the cut. I’m sure this happened to everyone and I noticed at least on person included them on their post. I didn’t do this because the original post ran long enough as it was and I didn’t want to clutter it up.

After Boppin’s Blog made the suggestion of posting the close calls I found it too hard to resist doing a second post for the almost made its. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a nice list post.

Plus I’ll milk a good idea until it’s completely drained.

 

The_Crow_soundtrack_album_coverOriginal Motion Picture Soundtrack The Crow (1995) – Definitely would have made the list if it had a better second half.

Fear Factory Demanucacture (1995) – I’m not really into heavy metal as much as I used to be, but this is still one of the defining records of the genre for me.

GWAR We Kill Everything (1999) – GWAR aren’t really a band known for their records. This one is the first I ever bought from them and features some of my favorite songs from like “Fucking an Animal” and “Fishfuck.” Classic.

Ministry Psalm 69 (1992) – Yet again, the metal thing. But this one is right up there with Pantera and Megadeth in terms of thrash brilliance.

Mudvayne The End of All Things To Come (2002) – This is what happened when good musicians played nu-metal.

Red Hot Chili Peppers BloodSugarSexMagic (1991) – I was surprised to not see more RHCP on the top 15 lists. This one is a classic, but for me it’s a Top 25 classic.

Meat Loaf Bat Out Of Hell (1977) – A classic hard rock album that has never been duplicated.

Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (1980) – Where would punk be without the Dead Kennedys? They’re definitely my favorite socially-conscious rockers.

Ozzy Osbourne No More Tears (1991) – I was also surprised by the lack of Ozzy on most lists; but yet again, Top 20.

Tool AEnima gifTool AEnima (1996) – This was right before Tool lost me in their strange heavy prog. But I love this album. Not just for the tunes, but also for the weird interludes.

Nirvana Unplugged in New York (1994) – It’s hard to pick a favorite Nirvana album because they’re all so different. I chose this one because even though it’s missing the loud, distorted guitars and scream-till-you’re-hoarse vocals it displays the beauty of Cobain’s simple songwriting skills.

Fiona Apple When the Pawn… (1999) – This album was right there with Madman Across The Water and Temple of the Dog on my list of “OK, I’m done drinking now and I want to go to sleep” list. As I always had trouble sleeping after too many beers I listened to it a lot. And I’m still pretty in love with it.

New Music


Heavy Metal 2000 CD coverI’ve seen a few posts where people list the music they’ve bought and give a little commentary on it. I find these posts pretty interesting so I thought I’d try my hand at one. Plus I was curious as to how much money I spend on music. I was hoping to make it a year before I posted this, but after six months the list it already pretty long. So here we go!

21 Nov 2014 (Amazon.com)
The Beatles – The White Album       $11.31
Soundtrack – Heavy Metal 2000       $4.61
Soundtrack – The Cable Guy            $4

Somewhere along the way I lost my copies of the White Album and the Heavy Metal 2000 soundtrack and it was time I replaced them. I thought I’d pick up the Cable Guy while I was at it.

hot-rocks22 Nov 2014 (FYE New Town Mall New Philadelphia, OH)
The Rolling Stones – Hot Rocks 1964-1971   $19.99
Nine Inch Nails- Pretty Hate Machine            $7.99
Ray Charles – Anthology                                Free

It seems weird that I went 31 years without owning any Rolling Stones music. And it seems even worse that it took a BUY 2 GET 1 FREE ON USED CDs sale to get me to buy it. I still might not have any Rolling Stones music if it weren’t for the fact that FYE doesn’t have much of a selection (unless you really love Linkin Park). The copy of Pretty Hate Machine is a remastered version with the cover of Queen’s “Get Down Make Love” added. This is the second or third time I’ve bought that Ray Charles disc. My mom keeps stealing it.

2 Jan 2015 (The Exchange Canton, OH)Independent Worm Saloon
Wednesday 13 – Spook & Destroy                     $6
Butthole Surfers- Independent Worm Saloon     $5
Elton John – Honky Chateau                               $7
Blind Melon                                                         $1

I know I’ve said of Wednesday 13 that one of the things I love about his music is that I can sing along without ever having heard it before, but I’ve been wanting a disc for a while. “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” is one of my favorite Elton John songs but wasn’t in my collection until I got it here. And how could I pass up the Butthole Surfers and Blind Melon discs for those prices?

17 Jan 2015 (FYE)
Filter – Title of Record                                       $1.50
Ray Charles – Live at Montreux (DVD)             $3

They were having some kind of deal. I gave the DVD to my mom so hopefully she wont steal the CD again.

Eyes Set To Kill - Masks23 Jan 2015 (The Agora Cleveland, OH)
Eyes Set to Kill – Masks                                     $10

Picked this one up the last time I saw Wednesday 13.

 

 

 

21 Feb 2015 (Amazon.com MP3)
Killler Be Killed                                                $7.99
Kittie- I’ve Failed You                                      $6.99
The Very Best of Kiss                                     $5.99
The Last Internationale – We Will Reign         $7.99

Kiss is another band I didn’t have anything by. I usually try to buy 3 or so albums at a time from Amazon.

alice-in-chains-dirt-album-cover25 April 2015 (FYE)
Wednesday 13 – Transylvania 90210                               $7.99
Alice in Chains – Dirt                                                         $2.99
Murderdolls – Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls        $4.99
Screaming Trees – Sweet Oblivion                                  $1.99

This was a BUY 1 GET 1 HALF OFF Sale. I actually sold the Spook & Destroy disc after buying Transylvania 90210. I needed a replacement Dirt because mine was scratched to hell. I gave it to the Goodwill for someone else to enjoy, but they’ll only be able to enjoy about half of it. I had Sweet Oblivion on my Amazon wishlist, but I really made out here because I managed to get it much cheaper.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall2 May 2015
Bad Religion – Stranger Than Fiction                                 $6
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (BluRay)                                   $5

I love the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but that may just be because I find frontal male nudity hilarious.

13 May 2015 (FYE)
Faith No More 3 Disc Set (Epic & Other Hits, The Real Thing and Angel Dust)     $7.49
Alice in Chains – Unplugged (CD+DVD)                                                                  $23.99

I actually passed up this FNM collection a week earlier, but then I heard Sol Invictus online and decided it was definitely worth the money. I’ve had my eye on this Unplugged CD + DVD and I finally gave up on the price going down.

Faith_No_More_-_Sol_Invictus_Album_Cover20 May 2015 (Amazon.com MP3)
Faith No More – Sol Invictus                                       $7.99
Elton John – Madman Across the Water                    $5.99

I ripped my copy of Madman from my mom’s old scratched to hell CD and the disc was so messed up that I could still hear skips listening to it in MP3 form. I’ve never had this happen before. So I got a replacement because I hate buying just one album from Amazon and I had to get Sol Invictus. 

So those are my new additions. How do you think I made out?

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack “The Cable Guy”


The Cable Guy soundtrack(The Work Group, 26 May 1996)

After 2 years on my Amazon wish list I caved and bought the Cable Guy soundtrack. I have to say I’m blown away. Not by how great it is but by how… mediocre it is. It’s like they found all the bands that weren’t good enough to be featured on the soundtracks to Singles, Reality Bites, Trainspotting or Empire Records and then even weeded out the bands that were good enough to appear on Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, Clueless and Party of Five to find the blandest bands of the moment.

I wanted to listen to the album again before I did this review… but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

The best thing is that is only cost me a penny. Sure, I had to pay $3.99 for the shipping and handling, but 4 bucks is a good deal on getting the first Jerry Cantrell solo song.

I’m surprised I don’t remember hearing “Leave Me Alone” when it came out. I suppose that was a few years before I really got into Alice in Chains and two years before Cantrell’s first solo album. I love hearing it in hindsight. It’s a nice bridge between Alice in Chains and Boggy Depot. The main guitar riff is a simple chugger that reminds me of “Check My Brain” and Cantrell tries singing harmonies with himself, but it just doesn’t work well without Layne Staley. It’s not a bad song, but I don’t think it’s a highlight of Cantrell’s career. It doesn’t really fit with the Alice stuff and it wasn’t until ’98 that he was really sounding confident as a solo artist.

 

Aside from “Leave Me Alone” there are very few highlights. Filter is here with “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” but I already have that song on the Demon Knight soundtrack and Short Bus. It doesn’t really fit on this album as it’s the far and away the heaviest tune.

Jim Carrey’s karaoke jam version of “Somebody to Love” is included. It’s a nice, funny track – but only for about 90 seconds. After that it’s somewhat annoying.

I remember Primitive Radio Gods’ “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand” because it was a pretty big hit. And I think I like it more when I don’t have to watch the video with the guy standing outside a broken phone booth with money in his hand. It was an awful video. Watching that video was even worse than reading this paragraph.

Both Toadies and Cracker are present, but neither of them play “Possum Kingdom” or “Low.” And even though I’ve heard more songs from both bands, those are the only ones know by them. Porno For Pyro’s (Jane’s Addiction Lite) do a cover of Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love” and somehow manage to be more boring than Lou Reed.

Larry the Cable Guy was not involved in the film or the soundtrack.

Larry the Cable Guy was not involved in the film or the soundtrack.

There’s a song by a band called $10,000 Gold Chain, which is apparently a Mike McCready side project, but it’s a Velvet Underground cover song. This was a wise choice as Mike McCready’s name appears nowhere on the packaging.

Silverchair, Cypress Hill and a few other bands that I’ve never heard of round out the hour. I think I like John Ottman’s score “This Concludes Our Broadcast Day” better than most of the rock on here.

I’ll listen to this album again someday… just not today.