Allen: I figured my first selection for Today in Pop Modern needed to somehow mention Drive, one of my favorite films of the last decade. Cliff Martinez’s score is by far the best part of the movie, and it sets the tone better than any steely glares from Ryan Gosling could. I was also reminded that Martinez did the soundtrack for Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris remake, which I haven’t seen, but whose soundtrack I have listened to plenty of times. Something about quiet synth, hard beats, and unrelenting action scenes make Soderbergh and Martinez a wonderful match. Like John Williams and George Lucas, the two play off of each other’s strengths, and you can’t picture one without the other. Hearing that Martinez also did the soundtrack for Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest film, Only God Forgives had me excited, but I don’t think I can take another hyper-violent Gosling revenge flick. Speaking of Solaris and minimalist soundtracks, I recently saw Gravity, which I’m not going to inundate with more praise than it already has. However, Steven Price’s music sells some of those later scenes in space so damn well, and it makes me pine for more beautiful films that take place in space. Maybe a Steven Soderbergh/Cliff Martinez remake of Apollo 13?
James: I recently rediscovered a song that has been stuck in my head for a few days. The song in question is by Reggie Watts, and is called “Fuck Shit Stack.” I don’t want anyone reading this to be confused by the name of the song. The song is one of the funniest rap songs that I have ever heard. It’s well orchestrated, with artist Reggie Watts providing his own beats and background track. The song itself is a parody of the typical rap song, laden with the most ludicrous offensive language in the most absurd style possible. The topics that the song deals with (women and money) are also taken to ridiculous parodies of rap songs. This produces one of my favorite lines “I like women. I like women. I like the concept of a woman. I like to take that concept and reduce it to an object.” The combination of the crude definition of a woman and the highly developed rationalization of the concept makes the song especially endearing. Even though it’s not a song that you can sing in front of your parents, it is a good song , with plenty of artistic merit.
Magellan: To help kick off this new feature of ours, I thought I’d start simple and let you all in on the best part of my Mondays: the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast. I’ve extolled its television spin-off on this blog before, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned the podcast once or twice. Scott Aukerman and his never-ending cavalcade of eccentric guests and characters serve as my Monday morning caffeine, as the thing that gets me out of bed and on my way. This week in particular presents a fun episode, featuring the first appearance by SNL alum Tim Meadows, whose banter with Scott at the beginning of the episode is phenomenal (the stand-out moment for me being when Tim begins to brag about his member, and Scott innocently asks “Oh, what color do you have?”). The episode also features Horatio Sanz, another former SNL castmember, playing fictional author and chronicler of Los Angeles life Chico Davis. Honestly, the show has had more noteworthy characters, but these three guys play off each other so well that I was walking down the sidewalk this morning with a dopey, mile-wide grin on my face.