Monday, March 24, 2008


I'm usually not a big fan of soundtracks, since they often seem to be lacking something without the movie playing along with them, but we have a couple of new CDs that just might be the exception. Part of the reason for this is that their movies are actually about the music and songs, rather than the soundtrack just being a pretty little thing in the background.

I'm Not There is a 2-disc set that features covers of 34 Bob Dylan songs. Artists include Los Lobos, Eddie Vedder, Richie Havens, Yo La Tengo and the folksy duet of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (winners of the 2008 Academy Award for best song - see my blog of January 24). In case you haven't guessed, I'm Not There is the recent biopic of Bob Dylan for which actress Cate Blanchett was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Regardless of whether or not you liked the film, if you're a fan of Dylan's music you will be intrigued by these interpretations of his work.

Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox story takes a poke at all the music biopics that seem so popular lately, and the tried-and-true formulas some of them seem to follow: struggling musician from nowhere gets a big break, is catapulted to stardom, descends into a frenzy of sex, drugs and alcohol, fails to accommodate changing musical tastes, gives up the booze and pills, returns to their musical roots and finds redemption on the pop charts (as well as a second wave of fans). The songs on this album track the evolution of musical styles from Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash to Ziggy Stardust and disco. John C. Reilly is always likable, and he does a creditable job with the songs on this album. For fans of A Mighty Wind and This is Spinal Tap.

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