Friday, October 2, 2009

In Which Twilight Is Destroying Everything #1: Music

It's been a little while now since the soundtrack listing for New Moon was released with an inappropriate amount of fanfare and its very own moody broody website. Since then, i've been on an emotional roller coaster. At first I was hurt, then i was angry, for a little while i was ever so slightly curious, then i just became flat out resentful and a tad bit confused. Who are these powerful people and how much are they paying Robert Pattinson to glamour and do the sexual favors required for these perfectly respectable musicians to hand over their musics?

Let's review the list, alright? Actually, just so we can effectively gauge how big of a leap this sequel soundtrack is, let's post the tracks for Twilight first.

TWILIGHT:
"Supermassive Black Hole" (Muse) – 3:31
"Decode" (Paramore) – 4:21
"Full Moon" (The Black Ghosts) – 3:50
"Leave Out All the Rest" (Linkin Park) – 3:19
"Spotlight" (Twilight Mix) (Mute Math) – 3:20
"Go All the Way (Into the Twilight)" (Perry Farrell) – 3:27
"Tremble for My Beloved" (Collective Soul) – 3:53
"I Caught Myself" (Paramore) – 3:55
"Eyes on Fire" (Blue Foundation) – 5:01
"Never Think" (Robert Pattinson) – 4:30
"Flightless Bird, American Mouth" (Iron & Wine) – 4:02
"Bella's Lullaby" (Carter Burwell) – 2:20

Ok, a reasonable amount of Hot Topic friendly tracks on there. Clearly, for the most part we're shooting towards mall punks. Angsty guitars, a little bit of a throw back to a grungier era, a double dose of Paramore, and a quiet penultimate closer with a band familiar to anyone who has watched Garden State. Logical, right?

Moving on then, we have New Moon:
1. DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – MEET ME ON THE EQUINOX
2. BAND OF SKULLS – FRIENDS
3. THOM YORKE – HEARING DAMAGE
4. LYKKE LI – POSSIBILITY
5. THE KILLERS – A WHITE DEMON LOVE SONG
6. ANYA MARINA – SATELLITE HEART
7. MUSE – I BELONG TO YOU (NEW MOON REMIX)
8. BON IVER & ST. VINCENT – ROSYLN
9. BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB – DONE ALL WRONG
10. HURRICANE BELLS – MONSTERS
11. SEA WOLF – THE VIOLET HOUR
12. OK GO – SHOOTING THE MOON
13. GRIZZLY BEAR WITH VICTORIA LEGRAND – SLOW LIFE
14. EDITORS – NO SOUND BUT THE WIND
15. ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – NEW MOON (THE MEADOW)
BONUS TRACKS:
16. Lupe Fiasco – Solar Midnite
17. The Magic Numbers And Amadou & Mariam – All I Believe In
18. APM Orchestra. – Die Fledermaus – Duettino: Ach, ich darf nicht hin zu dir
19. Death Cab For Cutie – Meet Me On The Equinox (Music Video)
20. Ulf Bastlein – Wandrers Nachtlied II, Op. 96, No. 3, D.768 (preorder only)

....And can i get a big giant what the bloody hell? A few of these sit firmly within the realm of music which can be believably matched to your average teen Twi-hard. I buy The Killers, Death Cab, and OK Go, and am aware that Muse has been fully ingratiated into their music libraries and lexicon. But, original tracks by Thom Yorke, Grizzly Bear, Lykke Li, and Bon Iver? Lupe? Amadou & Mariam? Yes. Read: ORIGINAL tracks. Original. As in, someone asked Thom Yorke if he wanted to write a song for the sequel to an abysmal, drecky teen vampire romance flick and he was like "this is the moment i've been waiting for, sign me up".

What to do? Good music is being pushed upon the kiddies. But, is that a good thing? It can't hurt for Bon Iver to sell a few more albums, but what's the price? Does this constitute "selling out" and undermine the values of the indie-minded who had hitherto been the bulk and core of some of these audiences? Is it wrong that I've lost a little respect for Thom Yorke? Is it pretentious of me to dread the day an 11 year old who speaks with the cadence of a valley girl and texts in lolz tells me Radiohead is her favorite band because she loves the song they play over the closing credits? I mean, i know they survived Romeo + Juliet, and select members of the band put in their contribution to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but i feel like agreeing to work with Baz Luhrmann or actually appearing in a scene from the adaptation of a work that will (oh yes, it will) stand the test of time is quite different than jumping on the bandwagon of what essentially amounts to the 2000's version of The Lost Boys. That said, i feel justified in my disgruntledness. This is clearly the mood Yorke was in when he was enlisted:



Obviously.
But, perhaps the better question is: does this leap between soundtracks even make logical sense? Pitchfork might think it's a noteworthy achievement, but will Twilight's audience agree? Do the teenage girls who dream of Edward Cullen and rejoiced over Paramore have the same enthusiasm about downloading Grizzly Bear to their iPods? I don't know. It's like they closed down Hot Topic and stuck an Urban Outfitters, or an Anthropologie, in its place. Or, they leaped from reading AP to CMJ. Can the droves flow into the premature arrival of slightly more mature tastes, or is there just not enough angst in there to withstand being blasted in poster-plastered bedrooms?

All i know is that if the Eclipse soundtrack pops up with the first new material from David Bowie in 7 years, i will probably have to leave society.

Bah fucking humbug.

Tune in next time when i rant about one of the following: New Moon's heinous poster art, the superiority of many a teenybopper fad over Twilight, Stephanie Meyer's subconscious vendetta against feminism.

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