So my Conservatory Class’s grad show was a big success on Sunday, and we owe it all to my expert selection of pre-show music!
Of course I’m kidding, but I do take my house tunes very seriously and thought it might be worthwhile to publish a list of the tracks with their reasons for being there. Each track name links directly to the iTunes Music Store, where available… So if nothing else, you can check out some artists you may not have heard of before!
- Sea World by The Phoenix Foundation. “Enter a magical realm where the rules of banality no longer apply…” As incredibly gay-tarded as that sounds it’s generally the idea here, to have the audience enter the theatre to the sounds of a slightly off-putting instrumental, letting them know that they’re in for something unusual. This track, by the way, is from Eagle vs. Shark, the perfect date movie which I haven’t yet found the perfect date for. I’m working on it.
- Vulture Kisses by So So Modern. Where the first track clears the air, the insane odd-time signature chorus in this synth-punk number sends the not so subtle message to the audience that they won’t be spoon fed easy laughs, but are going to be challenged. So So Modern, like The Phoenix Foundation, is another band from New Zealand. Their CD was playing in a Wellington music store when I was there last summer and I bought it on the spot.
- The Looks by MSTRKRFT. The subliminal message here would be something to the effect of: “How will you possibly be able to resist us when we are clearly so fucking bad-ass?” So now, with all our cards on the table, we set off down the road to build the energy for the Act One curtain call.
- Archaeologists by Wintersleep. A driving groove, sloppy drum fills and Canadian content, all present and accounted for.
- Bodysnatchers by Radiohead. You need at least one Radiohead track to appease all the rock snobs in the crowd, and this one got the nod.
- Away From Here by The Enemy. Nothing wrong with a tasty little anti-establishment anthem, is there?
- Lydia by Dog Day. A good track and my bad attempt at affirmative action. I realized at this point that the playlist was lacking in female vocalists, and this one seemed like the best fit to the mix, despite having only backing female vocals.
- Under the Underground Water by Telefauna. How this quirky band of Montrealers manages to rock out with a drum machine is beyond me, but it works!
- Nighthawks by Two Hours Traffic. A quick tempo and twangy guitars worked the audience into a fever pitch. Didn’t it?
- Julianna by Bend Sister. Some retro glam-rock bravura for the penultimate track before Act One.
- September / The Joker by Fatboy Slim. This was a last-minute choice — for me it was a defining moment of the movie Babel but on its own didn’t seem like enough of a remix to save me from dating myself. I hemmed and hawed but ended up keeping it as a schmaltzy pre-curtain tip of the hat to the time my class and I have spent together since last autumn. Awww…
- The Wishes Pile Up by Jim Bryson. Getting out of Act One into the intermission can be tricky — you don’t want to eclipse the energy of the closing scene but you don’t want some dirgy-ass ballad to bring things down either. I don’t really get what “roots” music is, but this roots track by Jim Bryson worked perfectly.
- My Moon My Man (Boyz Noise Remix) by Feist. Grrl power but not some recycled iPod TV ad music, oh no no no… The music snobs in the crowd will be having none of that!
- Starlight – Young Heart Attack. On it’s own this knock-off of The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again is pure cheese. But as a lead-in a CSI: Miami parody it is the stuff of genius.
- Someone Else’s Problem by JJ Appleton. A parting tongue-in-cheek jab at the cast. It played as the house lights came up at the end of the show. But as they were too busy getting accolades from friends and family, nobody seemed to be paying attention to the lyrics.
It’s specific enough that I couldn’t guarantee it to produce the same results anywhere else, but this very playlist got us a standing ovation at The Second City last Sunday afternoon — although I suppose a talented cast, solid material and a house packed in our favour also had something to do with it…