The Velocity of Stuff Stuff and Nonsense

26Feb/12Off

The Sounds of Axe Murder

So, I was watching So I Married an Axe Murderer the other night. This, in and of itself, is not uncommon. It’s a favourite film for me, and definitely my favourite Mike Myers movie. As I was watching it, I was thinking about how great the soundtrack is. I checked the credits, and, sure enough, I had the reason why. Danny Bramson was the music supervisor.

Danny Bramson, in case you’re not aware, is responsible for some truly unforgettable soundtracks. He’s perhaps best known for his work with Cameron Crowe. He worked on every Cameron Crowe movie from Say Anything up to Vanilla Sky. I often think that at least a part of my ambivalence toward Elizabethtown (aside from the fact that it’s just such a relentlessly dark film) is the fact that Danny wasn’t part of the soundtrack. His work on Jerry Maguire was incredible. He didn’t just use album cuts. He had to find the perfect version of a song like The Who’s Magic Bus, and it was the Live At Leeds version he put in. He makes that opening scene work so much more poignantly just by choosing the right song.

The So I Married an Axe Murderer soundtrack is as good as it gets. Both the original version of There She Goes, by The La’s, as well as a great cover by The Boo Radleys. Add to that Ned’s Atomic Dustbin singing the Bay City Rollers’ Saturday Night, and I’m in some sort of Music Nerd Heaven.

As for the movie itself, like I said, it’s my favourite Mike Myers movie. It’s one that I would love hearing more about. I’d love to learn more about the development process, what went on behind the scenes, etc. I always hold out hope for a Special Edition DVD (they released a Special Edition a few years back, but it’s a bare bones release. Just the movie. Not even a trailer so that they could say that there was A special feature), but it’s just not going to happen.

The making of that movie was a very difficult time for Myers. He and a friend did extensive rewriting of the original script, but the WGA arbitration process denied them any credit for doing so. Worse, Myers was making a movie in which he also played his character’s father, in a performance very much based on his real-life dad, not long after his father had passed away, an event from which he had not fully recovered. Between fighting for credit, trying to make the movie a better one, and then, to add insult to injury, having the movie flop, Myers looks at this as being a particularly dark time of his life, and has no interest in revisiting it.

The soundtrack though... it’s a beautiful thing! You can hear it here!

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10Jan/12Off

No One Knows Anything

No one knows anything.  It\'s a phrase familiar to many who read this blog, as William Goldman\'s description of Hollywood.  The thing is, and it\'s a sad thing, at that, is that it\'s true of most of the world.  People tend to be headline skimmers.  They see the headline, they hear the quick soundbite on CNN, and then act as though they know the whole story.
 
Talk to anyone about politics, and they\'ll regurgitate a few talking points, and something they heard in an attack ad, and they think it\'s the whole story. You can immediately figure out which party they vote for, because they always vote for the same party.  Rather than pay attention to stances on issues that are important to them, they look at soundbites on the news, or what they saw on the headline of the paper the guy across from them on the subway was reading. They pick sides based on this and this alone, because the other guy can\'t possibly have any good ideas, because he\'s on the wrong side.  It\'s like the tax thing, and I heard somebody talking about this recently.  Nobody wants to pay taxes.  Hey, you look at your paycheque and you see how much comes off.  Nobody likes that.  Then, if you\'re a homeowner, you get your quarterly tax bill, and you start looking at what they\'re doing at City Hall a lot closer.
 
We had a friend staying with us over the summer, one who works for the federal government.  I mentioned to him that I imagine he\'d had a really busy time at work, as they\'d been extending the infrastructure spending to the beginning of the fourth quarter.  He was surprised.  What surprised him is the fact that I was aware that the deadline had been extended.  What surprised me is when he said that most people were completely unaware of this.  Not just that the deadline had been extended, or the mammoth amount of work that goes along with that, but the fact that the money was even being used.  He asked how I knew.  I told him, we work hard for that money, and we like to keep an eye on how it\'s used.  Not just federally, but also municipally (and, to be fair, I\'m probably more scrutinizing of what\'s going on at the municipal level, because that\'s what feels like the over and above money to me, and perhaps the money on which I can have a more immediate impact).  His answer was that most people don\'t.  He\'s right, and that\'s probably what concerns me most.  Not the fact that he\'s right.  He\'s a really smart guy, and he\'s right about a lot of things.  No, it\'s more that about which he was right.  People don\'t know.  Moreover, they don\'t care.
 
People say that they hate paying taxes.  I can\'t say that I\'m crazy about it, but the thing is that the same people who say they hate paying taxes sure like driving on those roads.  They like it when they don\'t have to take the trash down to the dump themselves.  I mean, who doesn\'t hate garbage day, right?  You\'ve got to get all the bags and bins together and drag them down to the curb.  imagine if your weekly routine was loading everything into the trunk and lining up at the dump to get rid of it?  Think you hate it when that bag splits down at the bottom of the driveway?  Imagine if it was in your trunk at the time.  Is there a lot of waste at all levels of government?  Absolutely.  This is the reason why we need to be more aware.  We need to be more involved.  We need to pay attention to the things that are important to us.  It\'s a responsibility that we have to ourselves.  Everyone says that it\'s all about making a better world for your kids and all that, but at the end of the day, you\'re always trying to make that world better based on the things that are important to you.
 
And that\'s as good a place as any to start.

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