Posted March 29, 2018
JBFC Mixtapes is a new initiative from the Burns to highlight the music—from soundtracks to scores—that makes the cinematic experience so special. We’ll be updating the blog with mixtapes from staff members, special guests, and more, to drop the needle on our favorite songs from, about, or inspired by films—with a few curveballs every now and then. Our third installment comes from JBFC Equipment Manager and resident mix-master Mike Towndrow, who writes:
Last month, I was relieved to see Tara’s mixtape break some of the rules. I absolutely did the same. I initially wanted to stay away from scores and musicals, but as someone who works in music and audio for film, I’ve always been utterly fascinated with the sensations, thoughts, and feelings that can be provoked by sound alone. I do have some songs on here that you’d find outside of film as well, but in recent years there have been too many brilliant scores and musical numbers that I couldn’t leave out. This mix is weird and all over the place, but it kind of perfectly represents who I am as a human being: a silly, nerdy pop punk kid who loves heart-warming, inspiring musical numbers and dark, dreary synths/strings.
- “The Pure And The Damned” by Oneohtrix Point Never (feat. Iggy Pop), from Good Time: The end credits song from one of my top films of 2017. I started creating this playlist the morning after my second viewing. Oneohtrix Point Never delivers a beautiful synth heavy score throughout the film, and it gets completely thrown out the window during the credits. Accompanied with vocals from Iggy Pop, it serves as a somber close to a hectic, non-stop adventure.
- “Sugarhigh” by Coyote Shivers, from Empire Records: A childhood dream of mine has always been to own a record store, plus seeing Renée Zellweger help sing the chorus at the end always makes my heart do a thing.
- “Opps” by Vince Staples and Yugen Blakrok, from Black Panther: Sure, it only came out a couple weeks ago, but hearing this crank in the theater during the Korea chase scene made me want to stand on top of a moving car and race down the street.
- “Bellbottoms” by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, from Baby Driver: If “Opps” made me want to stand on top of the car, this made me want to remain inside, make an obscene gesture to a cops, and tear up the streets. What an incredible tone-setter for the rest of the film.
- “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, from Shaun of The Dead: My favorite “horror” film. Who doesn’t love bashing a zombie on beat with Queen?
- “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways, from Guardians of The Galaxy: Suit up, Guardians!!
- “Montage” by Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, from Swiss Army Man: Andy Hull is one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our generation. This was his first film score and he knocked it out of the park. If you enjoy any part of this song or the rest of the score and you don’t know much about Andy, please go listen to Manchester Orchestra’s latest album.
- “Milestone 2 (Skux Life)” by Moniker, from Hunt For The Wilderpeople: I’m a sucker for a modern take on 80s synth pop. This has been stuck in my head since first seeing the trailer and it had me singing along quietly to myself in theaters when watching the film.
- “Let’s Duet” by John C. Reilly and Angela Correa, from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story: This is one of the most hilariously brilliant songs ever written for a musical. And yes, I’m a child. Thanks for asking.
- “Dentist!” from Little Shop of Horrors: This is my go to answer for the classic “favorite film of all time” question. My father first showed me this before I could even form a full sentence, and since then it has been watched over and over again multiple times annually. This has to be my favorite song/scene. Steve Martin is just such a beautiful, badass, egotistical psychopath and I adore every millisecond of it.
- “Title” by Disasterpeace, from It Follows: Hot take: Disasterpeace does this style of scoring better than SURVIVE does with Stranger Things. Between video games and film, Disasterpeace always delivers a unique score that strikes you to the core, and for It Follows, it straight up haunts you.
- “Raw Main Title Theme” by Jim Williams, from (you guessed it) Raw: Don’t you love when score pieces are just named “Title”? Anyways, Raw was my favorite film of 2017. It’s uncomfortable, brutal, sexy, and dreamy. You can listen to Jim’s score alone and know what you’re getting yourself into.
- “Caravan” by John Wasson, from Whiplash: As a musician, this film spoke to me on such an emotionally taxing level. Getting beaten down so much, whether it may be from a teacher, a show promoter, or a label, pushes you to excel in your art so you can not only feel a sense of achievement, but also shove it in the faces of those who expected you to fail.
- “Sikiliza Kwa Wahenga” by Michael Abels, from Get Out: Okay. Confession time. Until actually looking up the name of this piece, I assumed the vocals were singing something completely different. Obviously this is one of the best films of 2017, and hopefully by the time this is posted, Jordan Peele has an Oscar. The title sequence is not only beautifully shot, but this song is entrancing. It’s so entrancing that it’s been completely stuck in my head for over a year now, and when I’m alone I sometimes sing/whisper “sneaky lizard” to myself. Thanks to this project, I now know that they’re actually saying “Sikiliza.” I’ll probably continue to sing the former, though.
- “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, from Logan: Cash, and this song in particular, has been featured in a ton of films, but Logan is where it affected me the most. I’ve never choked up so much during a trailer thanks to the accompaniment of this song. Plus, this song always fascinated me from a popularity standpoint. One of the few instances where a cover is more popular than the original.
- “We Are Sex Bob-Omb” from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Can you tell I really enjoy Edgar Wright’s films and use of music yet?
- “Brown Shoes” from Sing Street: This film is what I wish my early band days in high school experience was like. There are some old teacher I would’ve loved to have stuck up to in musical form.
- “Cochise” by Audioslave, from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby: Audioslave is a special band to me. It was the first band my much older brother introduced me to, and ever since I’ve admired the ever living hell out of Chris Cornell. For such a silly movie, hearing this track during the final race never fails to pump me up.
- “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin, from School of Rock & Thor: Ragnarok: I know, I’m cheating a bit. I initially chose this song for School of Rock since I can’t help but to picture Jack Black singing in his van when hearing it. But the accompaniment of this during not one, but TWO fight scenes in Ragnarok completely took those scenes to the next level. Also, Taika Waititi deserves a second shout out.
- “Susanne” by Weezer, from Mallrats: The perfect way to end this mix is with one of my favorite credit sequences ever. Weezer and Mallrats are the epitome of what it was like being a dumb kid in the 90s.