Guest Blogger (And Multiple Golden Globe Nominee) Jason Reitman on 14 Perfect Musical Moments
Editor's note. This week director Jason Reitman is guest blogging at West Coast Sound. Reitman, whose new film, Up in the Air, was nominated for
five six Golden Globes this morning (including Best Director and Best Screenplay nominations for Reitman ... congrats!), is also a pretty big music head, as you'll see below. Yesterday he wrote on some of his early soundtrack influences.
A Seconds Thought
by Jason Reitman
As much as I loved my second car, from day one it was missing a very important feature. One that I doubt matters to many other people. In fact, it's probably only evidence that I should be on daily medication. While my car had a decent sound system that I tested to extreme a few times, it lacked a read out of the minutes and seconds of the CD track on the digital display. Now, perhaps I'm a little too numerical. I believe the medical condition is called O.C.D. I mean, I can't be the only one who checks how many seconds an intro is or at one minute does the band go into their second chorus...? Right?
Every once in a while, there's a song that I love not start to finish but rather as a matter of anticipation leading to a single great moment. Think of the handclapping 35 seconds into Steve Miller's "Take The Money And Run" or "Beastie Boys don't let the beat droooooooop..." 2 minutes and 33 seconds into "Intergalactic".
For the sake of a subject that probably doesn't get a lot of ink, here are a few of my favorite anticipatory song moments.
0:59 "You Showed Me" by The Turtles
It's an otherwise traditional pop song, but right before the first minute clocks in, the song becomes almost musical theater. It's self-conscious and dramatic. It happens more than once in this song, but this if the first time and it always moves me. Reminds me of a similar move in the song "Blue on Blue" by Bobby Vinton.
2:37 "Burning of the Midnight Lamp" by Jimi Hendrix
Okay this one is a little strange, but the way Jimi squeaks his guitar into the following verse sounds exactly like a DJ scratch. Listen to it a couple times. It has the unmistakable wicky wicky of a turntable. Perhaps Hendrix invented tuntablism.
4:57 "Surface To Air (Live)" by Chemical Brothers
This one requires good sound. Bump this in your car or on Stay-Away-big-can headphones. If you play it at the right volume you can actually use it as a defibrillator.
2:23 "How I Could Just Kill A Man" by Cypress Hill
I love when Hip Hop songs contain unusual and unnecessary instrumental sections. "Bust A Move" has a classic one of these 2:44 in. They carry an odd sense of arrogance as if the producer was saying 'I've got so many great beats, I'll just toss in a second one for free'... Pete Rock is the king of these, as he often starts a song with a killer beat, only to dispose of it a few measures in. The unusual left turn of the Cypress Hill track is punctuated by the almost bouncy nature of this pause in a song otherwise dedicated to the justification of homicide.
2:17 "Slam" by Onyx
"I'm a B-Boy standing in my B-Boy stance." I listen to this song just so I can hear these words... Although in my mind, he is saying B-Boy Pants.