All things considered I think it was a success! Nobody fell asleep out of boredom and I couldn’t have been happier to listen to the war stories of my fellow panelists. Here’s a little shot of all of us together. Thanks to Jojo Villanueva, Amanda Krieg-Thomas and John Houlihan for joining me, Michael Faye for moderating and the Musicians Institute of Hollywood for hosting us!
Hi folks! Just thought I’d share this incase you’re in the LA area and feel like seeing me and some other MUCH fancier music supervisors talk about music in film.
I’m pretty happy to share a stage with this lot, and I might even say something interesting!
Finally! After much anticipation Netflix has just released the very first teaser trailer for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday and it’s as goofy as you would expect.
I had the great pleasure of music supervising this film for Director John Lee (co-creator of my favorite short lived show Wonder Showzen) and producers Judd Apatow and Josh Church over the last several months. Although I’m admittedly biased I think it’s hilarious and a great return to form for the Pee-wee character.
The film co-stars Joe Manganiello who hilariously plays himself as well as some other fun cameos that I won’t spoil for you.
There is a fantastic score done by the always incredible Mark Mothersbaugh who, as a matter of fact was the original composer on the Pee-wee’s Playhouse series and I managed to squeeze in a handful of fun songs in a few scenes as well.
In one part I even got to make a mashup of “I Love Rock n Roll” and “The Oogum Boogum Song” so that was interesting.
The Rollo & Grady website was nice enough to include me in their survey of music supervisors year end top albums of 2015 list.
Nice to be nestled among such a talented group!
NOTE: There’s a type-o in that first album listed there… not sure if that was my fault or theirs but obviously that FJM record should read “I Love You Honeybear”
On Thursday Yahoo.com premiered the first trailer for the film I spent the better part of last year music supervising. “Brand: A Second Coming” is an intense and hilarious documentary about firebrand comedian and activist Russell Brand, directed by 2 time Sundance winning director Ondi Timoner.
This film has been in the making for over 8 years, initially conceived of and set in motion by Russell himself along with Oliver Stone, it ended up changing hands a few times before landing with Ondi to complete.
Russell is plenty entertaining on his own but there are also some incredible appearances by the likes of Mike Tyson, David Lynch, Noel Gallagher, Stephen Merchant, Katy Perry, Oliver Stone and more.
This is my second time music supervising for Ondi and the projects are always as inspiring as they are grueling. I’m really excited for this film to be in wide release in October. Apparently after that it will have it’s TV premier on Showtime.
Also, the soundtrack is great… duh! I’ve got songs in here by Radiohead, Depeche Mode, John Lennon, T. Rex, New Order and a number of great indies.
The original score for this film was a unique challenge as it was woven together by contributions from 8 different artists/composers rather than just one. Most of the score was composed by Brian Zack Lewis (a regular go-to for me) as well as a fantastic ambient rock group out of Eugene Oregon called This Patch Of Sky who I rather serendipitously stumbled upon early in the process. If you dig artists like Explosions In The Sky you’ll love these guys.
Here’s a little spot I did recently with Media Creature for short term lender Rise Credit. Nothing too terribly fancy here, just a tight 30 second spot with some cute animation and of course the perennial favorite “Eye of The Tiger” by Survivor:
I’m going back to Toronto! I love that town so I’m excited to participate in Canadian Music Week again this year. They had me up to speak a couple years ago and it was a blast so I’m sure this year will be equally enjoyable.
I’m looking forward to catching up with my Canadian music friends and meeting some new ones. If you’re in town for the even’t try and catch my panel on the 9th. I’ll also be doing some more intimate artist consultations later in the day.
I’m pretty unbelievably excited to report that I won an Indie Series Award for “best soundtrack” last week! It was quite unexpected but very flattering. The award came via a very cool digital series called “Wallflowers” that I’ve been involved with for a couple years. The show was nominated for 7 awards that night which was partly why I didn’t think mine would be the one to take it. But lo and behold we won for best soundtrack and I got a shiny crystal award and I’m pretty happy about it.
I put a little video clip below of our acceptance from the live stream of the event. I was a little too shocked and unprepared to say anything very cohearant so I’m glad Kieran (the creator) did all the talking.
The premiere was a blast and so far the press has been pretty great. Unfortunately Russell was a no-show writing a diplomatically worded “open letter” as to why he was not only ditching the premier but also his duties as the keynote speaker of SXSW interactive. This was a source of more than a little controversy but it certainly didn’t hurt the publicity of the film coming out of the weekend. Here’s a solid review from The Hollywood Reporter:
And here’s a red carpet shot of me and my lovely date for the evening, Neph Basedow, star music writer for the Austin Chronicle:
So this is kinda fun. I didn’t know until today what the “Independent Series Awards” were but apparently they are in their 6th year and have nominated me and my fearless leader, friend and filmmaker Kieran Turner for best soundtrack on his fantastic series Wallflowers! Not only that but Wallflowers was nominated for a total of SEVEN awards overall this year.
The Independent Series awards celebrate excelence in digital series and Wallflowers is certainly an excellent one. It’s been fun to be a part of it. Take a look at the nomination announcements below for our mention.
Last week I was invited to come on to the “Hunnypot Radio” show as the guest DJ. It was pretty fun!
If you are unfamiliar, Hunnypot Radio is a live and archived webcast/podcast/videocast show which has been broadcasting about twice per month for the last 10 years or so here in LA. It’s hosted by music industry veterans John Anderson and Jeff “Pesci” Grey and features guest DJ sets and live bands at The Mint night club. It’s a fun (and free) event so folks kinda drift in and out during the live stream.
It’s kind of an all night thing so I just snipped out my section of it to post here rather than the full evening’s worth of audio. I played about a half hour of music that I’ve been digging lately and just kinda shot the shit and had some drinks.
Here’s what I played:
“Waiting For The Heart To Beat” / Lights On
“Rush Hour Soul” / Supergrass
“Nature” / Walla
“Visions Of You” / ROOM8
“Come Alive” / FMLYBND
“Make Our Move” / Le Concorde
“Dreamers” / Scavenger Hunt
“ON/OFF/ON” / PLS PLS
The musical badasses at Wolf At The Door just put some more points on the board with this new global spot for ASICS via 180 Amsterdam. I was happy to have a hand in this as well. Definitely expect big things from those guys this year!
I’m a terrible card player. I have a lot of anxiety about certain kinds of pressure and I’m not good at lying so I’d be an open book at a poker table. Yet somehow I’ve managed become involved with the World Poker Tour and I’m now in charge of executive producing all of the music for their endless amounts of programming hours on Fox Sports.
I had no idea how popular watching people play cards is but apparently I’ve had my head under a rock or something because in recent years it has become one of the fastest growing spectator sports in the world and their shows reach 90 million homes world wide. That’s a lot of content demand!
As a result I’ve been pretty much buried for the last 3 months with the gargantuan task of developing their music library for their new season of programming and replacing all of the music for re-airs of the last season. I think the madness should slow down in a couple of months but right now -yikes!
I’m happy to announce the trailer release of a fun little indie “comic thriller” that I recently had the pleasure of music supervising. The film is called “Coffee Kill Boss” and it was produced and directed by the multi-talented Nathan Marshall and scored (and produced) by the also multi-talented Scott Van Dutton. The score really is quite good… as a score geek I was thoroughly impressed
Here’s a brief plot synopsis:
“When ten executives secretly meet to sell off their company, they’re murdered one by one in this darkly comedic romp through the halls of corporate America.”
The film has a great cast starring: Noureen DeWolf (Anger Management) Eddie Jemison (Oceans 11, 12 & 13), Robert Forster (Mulholland Drive /Jackie Brown), Chris Wylde (The Chris Wylde Show / Just Shoot Me) Peter Breitmayer (Mad Men / Horrible Bosses / G.I. Joe) and Zibby Allen (Grey’s Anatomy / Without A Trace). It’s a pretty goofy and fun ride of an indie film and seems quite topical considering all the nonsense going on in government these days. The film premiers this week at the Austin Film festival and I’m sure you’ll be hearing about it on a screen of some kind near you eventually!
A couple of weeks ago I was invited in to the studios of KPCC, Southern California Public Radio in Pasadena to talk about my job. It just aired this morning at 9am but if you missed it I’ve linked to the streaming archive of the show below.
Even though, long ago I was once myself a public radio DJ I have to admit I was pretty nervous about going into the surprisingly sophisticated and palatial KPCC studios to talk about myself on the air. I’ve been interviewed a few times in print before but never quite like this on the radio.
It ended up actually being fun experience and A Martinez was a gracious host and a great interviewer. We probably talked for about 15 or 20 minutes and then they condensed it to the final 7 min that you’ll hear below. For the most part I think they did a decent job of keeping me from sounding like a rambling fool via the magic of editing. However, there was one weird edit when we were talking about The Canyons. They removed the part where I mentioned that the song in the trailer for The Canyons which we were discussing is called “Love French Better” by Montreal band Gold Zebra. As it is now, it kinda sounds like I’m saying that was one of the composer’s cues (Brendan Canning) which it isn’t.
Also, just FYI, I didn’t have anything to do with the trailer for The Canyons -Amine Ramer and I music supervised the film but not the trailer. But, “Love French Better” WAS used in the film as well so that’s cool. In case anyone is wondering what the main “back end cue” in The Canyons trailer is, it’s called “My Other Girl"by Brian Randazzo. That song isn’t used in the film though. That said, I do think it was a great choice for the trailer … whomever made that choice, I’m just saying it wasn’t me. I’m guessing it was someone at IFC.
Anyway, click the image below to hear the interview and even read the transcript if ya like :)
This actually came out a few weeks ago but I forgot to post anything about it due to the craziness around some of my film projects. I’ve been doing some work as an associate producer for a fantastic new music shop called Wolf At The Door and this is their/our debut work as a company. Not bad to snag Volvo as your first client!
Wolf is basically the collaboration of Alex Kemp and Jimmy Haun, two long time ad music vets who have respectively composed and produced music for some of the biggest brands and agencies out there. So needless to say, it’s pretty flattering to be recruited into that fold. You can bet that we will be seeing a lot more major brands leveraging the Wolf music talent soon. Hopefully I’ll have my hand in some of their future projects as well.
This is the new global broadcast commercial for the Volvo XC60
“The Playlist” on Indiewire recently gave us some digital ink for the soundtrack to The Canyons and had some nice things to say thankfully. My good friend Amine Ramer and I, along with Alexina Matisse collaborated on music supervising this film and I’m happy to see some excitement and anticipation for the release of the soundtrack.
If you have Spotify you can take a listen here:
Anyone with functioning eyes and ears has probably heard something of the various and widely reported drama that The Canyons film has had throughout it’s production, (this now infamous NYT magazine piece might be exhibit A) and without getting too gossipy I’ll just say that it was no pleasure cruise for us on the music side of things either. That said though, I’m really proud of the work we did and I think the score is really one of the main highlights of this film.
Soundtrack albums are a tricky proposition these days. Of the many films I have now music supervised this is only the 2nd to officially release a soundtrack album. Back in the 90s soundtracks were a huge industry and even soundtracks for marginally successful films could make tons of money in sales. Just think about how many soundtracks CDs you probably lost in college. In fact, that’s how music supervisors used to make most of their money back then in what is now essentially considered something of a golden era for our business. Typically we get points (a percentage) of gross sales on a soundtrack album and back in the day that would often amount to far more than our fee for working on the film. Btw, that fee used to be a lot bigger too… sigh.
However, with the advent of iTunes and other online marketplaces for songs, the soundtrack industry began to rapidly collapse due in part to the fact that consumers no longer needed to purchase a packaged collection of songs that they may have liked from a movie because they could now buy any of them individually -and from any source that popped up on their screen.
Generally a music buyer could care less what album the song or songs they like comes from so long as it’s available right now with the single click of a mouse. So, if the same songs appear on itunes in a number of different collections such as, the original albums on which they first appeared, another soundtrack or two, maybe a greatest hits collection or some other compilation -that’s basically Russian roulette for for the record label who released the soundtrack in question. Which collection will the consumer buy the songs they liked from? Which label gets the money? The consumer doesn’t care because it’s all the same recordings usually and now they are most likely just buying a single song or just a few songs and not the entire album anyway. And there goes the soundtrack biz…
Soundtracks still exist obviously, and music is as important as ever in film but studios are far more careful about rolling the dice on releasing a soundtrack album than ever before. They cost money to produce, soundtrack rights are never included in the licensing terms for the music use in the film so that’s a separate cost. And then there is the physical manufacturing of the CD and distribution and marketing. If nobody buys it you’ve just pissed away a lot of money potentially. Releasing a soundtrack for a smash hit movie is maybe a better bet but it still isn’t a sure one. Plenty of huge films don’t release a soundtrack and plenty that do totally fail even when the film is a hit. Soundtrack success now is very hard to predict and seemingly involves a lot of voodoo.
However, there are ways to mitigate that risk. Basically, the soundtrack market has become more niche and like any niche market success within that requires delivering something special to your audience, something they can’t just get from anyone. The Drive soundtrack is a great example of this. Cliff Martinez created a compelling score that was the heartbeat of that film. His music wasn’t just underscore or punctuation, in my opinion it was crafted with a pop song mentality (albeit a very progressive one) and many the song contributions from other featured artists were unique to the film -in other words, unavailable on other collections. When Drive first came out all I remember hearing people talking about was the soundtrack and where they could get those songs. Luckily for the film, the answer to that question was for the most part “buy the soundtrack” because you cant get most of that music elsewhere.
Back to The Canyons. Amine and I were lucky enough to secure the musical talents of Brendan Canning (of Broken Social Scene fame) as the composer for the film. Much like Cliff Martines’s score for Drive, Brendan produced a score for the film with many cues that could be right at home on the radio (well, not Clear Channel radio but still…) all by themselves without sounding odd. And just as the music in Drive, I feel that Brendan’s score is really the heartbeat of The Canyons. There are only 3 other songs in the entire soundtrack by outside artists which fit in beautifully with the sonic landscape that Brendan created, but basically if you want the music from the film there is only one source for it.
We’ll see how things work out in this regard but I think that between all of the intrigue in the movie and the economic realities described herein, perhaps we will be pleasantly surprised with how the soundtrack does. Who knows.
The Canyons soundtrack will be digitally released (because CDs are expensive to make) by SQE this week.
Click on the new IFC poster below to read the Indiewire article about the Soundtrack:
Hi guys, thought you might find this soundtrack from the Iceberg Slim doc enjoyable. There isn’t an official soundtrack release planned but the production compiled this Spotify play list of the music that I licensed for the film.
Looks like everything is here except for the opening title track “The Set Up” by Obie Trice & Nate Dogg. For some reason that song doesn’t seem to be on Spotify.
This dropped today and I wanted to share it. After many months and much hype and speculation fueled in part by several “teaser” trailers released by the production -the “official” IFC trailer for the Canyons has finally been unveiled.
As you may know if you follow my posts, my frequent collaborator Amine Ramer and I music supervised this gem together and it was scored by the fantastically talented Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene fame.
This trailer is certainly a much truer representation of what the film is like than the teasers were.
Catch it August 2nd in select cities.
Hi Friends! Sorry I’ve been pretty silent here since February. It certainly isn’t for lack of interesting projects on my plate, quite to the contrary I’m hoping to make some exciting new announcements soon. But one thing that I CAN talk about right now is the release of the official trailer for “Iceberg Slim: Portrait Of A Pimp,” Produced by Ice T. and Directed by Jorge Hinnojosa. The film comes out in select theaters next month.
I’ve already written quite a lot about this film in other posts so I won’t rehash that here (just scroll back a little) but do check out the new trailer below and know that I’m pretty proud of the soundtrack.