Archive for the 'Soundtrack' Category


mixes everyone should hear: blood bros – first blood & heaven 2 hell

If you were at all like myself back in the eighties and early nineties, you probably enjoyed some fantastic shlock action films like the Rocky series, Over the Top and The Last Dragon.  And if you admit to enjoying great cinema like that, you also have to admit to enjoying thehair band power tracks that usually accompanied said films.  Well Dirty South Joe and DJ A enjoyed these things as well…so much so that they took some of their favorite tracks and made a mix that follows the general story line of film like this: training, the fight and eventual victory.  It will make you feel pumped, excited and a little ashamed all at once and that is no rare feat.

And they are kind enough to provide a free download as well!

Now fast forward a few months and our DJ duo are back with part 2 (Also free download! There is also an apparent part three on the way BTW)

This one follows the same formula as the first, but with tracks from Scarface, Top Gun and Gleaming the Cube to name a few.  Personally, I enjoy any mix with Kenny Loggin’s “Danger Zone” in it.  To be honest, I picked these up a few months ago and finally got around to listening to them the other day.  I didn’t want to drop em on you before I gave them a good listen to ensure you got the highest quality available.

They are associated with Hypetrak magazine, which can be found HERE, and on Soundcloud HERE.  Check em out, there is a lot of good stuff up in there!  Keep an eye out for part three coming soon!


songs everyone should own: ken mansfield and ron wright – van nuys blvd (musica hermosa’s edit dub)

I don’t know what it is about Musica Hermosa’s edit of this old Ken Mansfield and Ron Wright tune that does it for me, but it definitely does it.

The fact that it may be one of the only redeeming parts of the movie might be it (it’s a low budget movie about cruising Van Nuys Blvd…like a poor mans American Graffiti,) but Musica definitely turned this into a dance floor heater.

If you feel the same about it, you can download a copy over HERE.


artists everyone should follow: pogo

I think a comment on this video said it best.  “Where other artists rape my childhood, Pogo brings it back to it’s innocence.”

VJ and producer Nick Bertke, AKA Pogo has been quietly making the scene with his remixes of Disney, Harry Potter, LOTR and HR Puffinstuff.  It does sort of capture the kind of childlike wonder that made you love these things in the first place.  His videos on YouTube (HERE) are a must see and he has  downloads of his tracks HERE.

Support this man so he will continue making magic…although Disney and the other represented entities should put this man on their payroll for making them look this cool.



Eastbound and Down – OST

So it appears I am back again, for the time being, as the writing seems to agree with me and fight off malaise.

The reason I skipped out was that was becoming too much of a chore to write these really long in depth posts and do all the research and whatnot.  Then I kind of realized that I didn’t have to write long posts.  In fact, the rest of the ADD population would probably be okay with it too.

So in the future, the posts may be shorter, but the albums will be no less essential.

I don’t know if you  have seen Eastbound and Down, Jody Hill and Danny McBride’s show about a washout MLB pitcher…but you should. If you don’t have HBO, you should buy the DVDs or simply download the episodes off a torrent site like the rest of the world.

But, aside from the fact that is was some of the funniest shit I’ve ever seen on TV, it also had some of the most expertly chosen music I’ve ever seen put on a TV show.  I’ve searched the interwebs high and low for the name of the individual responsible for this picking, but so far I’ve come up with nothing except a vague reference to Wayne Kramer.  If he was the man, then kudos to you Wayne!  If it was someone else,  then someone please post his name in the comment section so I can send him beer in the mail because…damn!

Yes…this song is on the soundtrack.

Aside from some monstrous blues riffs like Freddie King’s – Going Down and R.L. Burnside’s – Let My Baby Ride, the musical selection jumps all over …from The Black Keys to Canadian rockers April Wine.  Where Trentemoller and Spank Rock sit beside Lee Hazlewood  and Kenny Rogers.  If you see them used on the show, every song hits the mood perfectly.  If you just pop in the soundtrack, you’re left with a no less enjoyable trip down eclectic lane.   And if you don’t own any music from these artists, you can pop this in at your next gathering and look like a real music geek.

Unfortunately, HBO and the guys from the show never got around to compiling or releasing this soundtrack.  Why, I’ll never know?

Thank God for the internets, but mostly a shout out to Robot from Drunk on Dreams who was the first to answer my prayers by doing what HBO didn’t.

Note: All the links on his sharebee post are down… 😦

Luckily nothing really dies on the internet, so you can just torrent the fuck out of  this soundtrack HERE.

As and extra bonus, you can DL the season two soundtrack as well (Thanks to Percy Dovetonsils over at the Bastards Blog!!!) It’s even longer and more badass, and with a lot of awesome latin tunes that I recommend just as highly.

It’s too bad this wasn’t given a proper release, but at least you can still get it anyways.


Joe Cocker – Mad Dogs and Englishmen


I really wish more bands would learn a few cover songs to add to their repertoire.

When you go see The Rolling Stones, they obviously don’t need to ’cause they have 50 some odd years of material to play with…but with the newer bands out there it would really help.  It’s really disappointing to go see a hot new band and all they can play is the songs off their only album. I’ve sat through a couple of shows that ended like this:

“Sorry, that’s all the songs we know!  Goodnight!”

And I’m sitting there in the audience thinking “Really?!?! What kind of musicians are you???  You only know ten songs???” It’s at this point that the concept of the cover song becomes necessary.

So, if you are a musician in a band that is touring, learn some extra material.  Not only will it help stretch out your set and show your range, but it also gives you an encore when your album set is over. It’s such a no brainer that I have a hard time figuring out why more bands don’t do it.

And no one understood the concept of covering a song better than Joe Cocker.

Born in Sheffield in 1944, he made his first public performance on stage at age 12 with his brother’s skiffle band.(Is it just me, or was every UK musician required to be in a skiffle band at the time?)  A few years after, Joe formed his own band, The Cavaliers, but broke it up after a year when Cocker left school to pursue music full time.

By 1961, Cocker had taken on a new stage name and was playing local venues under the moniker of Vance Arnold and the Avengers…mostly doing covers of Chuck Berry and such. They reached their apex in 1963 when they opened for The Rolling Stones at a concert at City Hall.  Cocker was soon signed to Decca Records and released his first single, a cover of The Beatles ‘I’ll Cry Instead,’ but despite a huge promotional push by the label,  the single fell flat and he was dropped. This led to Joe’s dropping of the Vance Arnold name and forming a new band, Joe Cocker’s Big Blues…but after a tour of France, that band too was disbanded for lack of funds.  Cocker decided to take some time off from the music scene.

By this point Cockerwas well known for his gravelly vocals and high energy performances, and in 1966 he formed The Grease Band with friend Chris Stainton. After a string of local Sheffield performances, The Grease Band caught the attention of Procol Harem producer Denny Cordell, who brought a solo Cocker into the studio to record another single, ‘Marjorine.’ Soon the Grease Band was disbanded and Cocker and Stainton had moved to London where they would soon have a residency at the Marquee Club.

‘Marjorine’ proved to be a modest success, but Cocker soon hit paydirt with his classic rendition of the Beatles ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ which featured Jimmy Page on guitar and Steve Winwood on drums.  I’ll say this much, when Joe Cockercovers a song, he covers a song. The band went on tour with The Who in 1968, and after a early 69 tour With Gene Pitney, Joe and his band headed to the states for a tour of their own. His album “With a Little Help From My Friends” was released around the same time and soon went gold.

While on the tour, Cocker and his new Grease Band hit some big name shows like the Denver Pop and the Newport Rock Festivals, and so they were likely candidates to play at Woodstock. When the band arrived, they had to be flown in by helicopter due to the crowds, and played a legendary set that culminated in a rainstorm.

Cocker was on a roll.  Almost immediately after Woodstock he released his second album “Joe Cocker!”   His work on “Friends” won him fans like George Harrison and Paul McCartney who were happy to let him use ‘She Came in Through the Bathroom Window’ and ‘Something’ for his latest work. He hit the TV circuit and soon cemented his reputation as a dynamic performer…but by the end of 1969 Joe was burnt out.  Not wanting to do another tour, he dissolved the Grease Band again.

Unfortunately for Joe, a US tour had already been booked and He had only days to get a band together. Luckily, Leon Russell heard of his plight and offered to help put the group together.  By days end they had a band of ten people…including Russell and Stainton.  After four grueling days of twelve hour rehearsals and the addition of eleven back-up singers, someone suggested they film the tour.  The result was “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.”

Filmed on March 27th and 28th at the legendary Fillmore in 1970, the album captures not only Cocker’s energy, but the feel of the merry band of 43 musicians, family, and crew that made up the group as a whole.  This is the way Joe Cocker was meant to be heard.  You get all the hit’s: The Beatles covers, ‘Delta Lady’ and ‘The Letter’… but also quieter pieces like “Bird on a Wire’ and the Russell song ‘Girl From The North Country.’

The group disbanded two months later…as tensions in the band and Joe’s drinking began to get out of hand.  It’s a fitting close to the Woodsstock era…but the album captures that brief moment in time when it seems like it was all going to be alright.

The album is a must…and so is the DVD if you’re into that sort of thing.


Big Night – OST


Over the years, I’ve noticed details in movie trailers that can tell you if a movie is going to suck or not.  They’re little details that most people never notice, but they happen all the time.

1. The Trailers on TV Suddenly Switch Marketing Tactics: I see this one quite a bit these days.  The first trailers for “Hancock” promoted it as a comedy.  When that didn’t go over too well, they started marketing it as an action film… instead of as the big piece of shit it was.  It means the film isn’t being received well.

2. Reviews: Trailers love touting good reviews, but the key is to see who gave the review.  Most great films will put the name of the publication in big bold print like “Rolling Stone Magazine calls it The Best Film of The Year!”  But if the movie sucks, they put the reviews in big letters and the source in illegible tiny letters underneath…like “This Film is a Triumph!” Jeff Craig – Sixty Second Previews.  This is usually because the reviewer sucks and gets paid to give good reviews to crappy films.

(Also avoid any film reviewed by Jeff Craig who apparently thinks the mere act of projecting moving images on a wall is ‘A Triumph!”)

Another variation on this scam is to declare things like “This is the Movie to see this season!” and deliver them as if they were reviews, but no credit is given…mostly because no one made that statement in a review.  A marketing hack did.

3. It Goes Straight to DVD:  Anytime I have to go to the video store with my parents I have to explain this concept.  “I didn’t know they made a fourth sequel to American Pie!” my Dad will say. And I’ll say “That’s because they were too ashamed to tell you.”

4. The Soundtrack Features a New Hit Song By Somebody: I don’t know why this usually is the case, but if they promote a movie with a song, then the movie is probably lacking…and the soundtrack is really lacking.

A good soundtrack is less concerned with hit songs and more concerned with songs that complement the setting and mood of the film, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the soundtrack to the 1996 film “Big Night.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it.  It follows two Italian brothers (played by Stanley Tucci and the always awesome Tony Shalhoub) trying to keep their struggling Italian restaurant afloat without compromising their values.  Their dreams seem close to fulfillment when a competitor promises to send Louis Prima to the restaurant for dinner, and a lavish feast is prepared.  I won’t spoil the rest for you, but if you like Italian food, this movie has got some serious food for visual masturbation.  And if you like Italian music, then you’re in for a real treat.


The problem with most movies that go for a retro vibe in their soundtracks is that they tend to simply devolve into piles of kitsch and uninspired top 40 rehashing (Forrest Gump, I’m looking in your direction.)  But “Big Night” seems to avoid this pitfall and come up with some really nice pieces.

Sure the Louis Prima numbers are no brainers with hits like ‘Oh, Marie’ and ‘Bouna Sera,’ but it’s the authentic old country sound of Claudia Villa’s ‘Stornelli Amorisi’ and Matteo Salvatore’s ‘Il Pescivnedolo’ that really brighten up the set. Toss in some inspired swinging jazz work by composer Gary DeMichele and you have a soundtrack for your next pasta night…or wine drinking stupor.

To be honest, I think that playing this soundtrack while cooking actually makes your food taste better.  I could be wrong, but why take that chance?


Sparkle – OST


Sometimes you have to remove people from your life.  A process that Billy refers to as “making your big black book into a little black book.”  It’s a sad fact of life, but let’s face it…not everyone makes the final cut.

A year ago I started cutting one group out of my life…not because I hated them, nor because they were bad people, but I just came to the realization that I had nothing in common with them and really didn’t enjoy doing anything they enjoyed doing.

That and they were always late.

The kind of late where they tell you to show up at 2pm for a camping trip, and when you get there at 2…people are still sleeping, and three hours later people still won’t be ready to go.  That shit drove me nuts.

My friend T-Bags had it much worse recently when she began to extricate a certain girlfriend from her life…we’ll call her “Amy.”  Now I never liked Amy anyways…she was self centered, obnoxious and horribly over-dramatic. But when I asked -Bags about her reasons…she said it came down to the cock-blocking.

Apparently a few weeks ago they went out with some guy T-Bags was seeing, and at the end of the night the three of them ended up at his house.  T-Bags and her boy were ready to get their groove on, and they were showing Amy to the guest bedroom when she declared “No, I’m sleeping with you!”

T-Bags protested, but Amy insisted.  Then when they got to bed, Amy also insisted that she sleep between T-Bags and her boy because “that’s where it was warmest… and she was cold.”  How do you not get cut after pulling shit like that?

Another group that didn’t make the cut was the original cast of the 1976 film “Sparkle,’ which tells the storey of three female singers on the bumpy road to success.  The film was pretty ridiculous, although out of said ridiculousness came a decent cult following…like “Showgirls,” which is kind of funny since Warner Brothers only just reissued the film on DVD hoping to capitalize on the story’s similarity to the Oscar winning “Dreamgirls.”


But the movie doesn’t matter here.  What matters is the soundtrack! It’s all produced by the legendary Curtis Mayfield, and what’s even better is that be decided to dump the cast recordings and have Aretha Franklin take over vocal duties.  I can almost see some sort of hallway collision happening at the studio:

“Hey!  You got your Curtis Mayfield all over my Aretha Franklin!”

“And you got your Aretha all over my Curtis!!!”

“…wait a minute?!?!  This is delicious!!!”

Thank God this collision happened or you might have been left with the most forgettable Curtis soundtrack ever, instead of the gem that emerged. About the only negative thing I can say about it is that it’s too short….but since the movie was only about an hour and a half, I figure Curtis worked within the time he had.  The album is notable not only for the awesome Mayfield score and Aretha’s dramatically soulful vocals…but for having two songs that were eventually covered by En Vogue:  ‘Something He Can Feel’ and ‘Hooked on Your Love.’

This is a must for any Curtis Mayfield completist and any fan of Aretha.  And, let’s be honest…who isn’t a fan of Aretha?

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