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Top Ten Indie Movie Soundtracks

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Top Ten Indie Movie Soundtracks

Posted on 17 February 2012 by Joe

Every successful indie film needs a cool  indie music soundtrack. In some cases the choice of tracks or artists involved is so good the music ends up overshadowing the film. In most cases though it acts as the perfect compliment, with independent music showcasing the best of independent cinema. We invite you to pull up some popcorn, settle down in your slightly uncomfortable cinema seats and enjoy Neonfiller.com’s Top Ten Indie Movie Soundtracks.

10. Alex Turner – Submarine

Arctic Monkey Alex Turner’s  ballads and pop sensibility proved the perfect match for Submarine (2010), the charming and bittersweet coming of age tale set in coastal Wales in the 1980s. Turner even looks a little like Craig Roberts, the star of the film.  This is the shortest soundtrack on our list, with just six tracks, but sometimes less is more. The songs, which are especially written for the film, perfectly encapsulate teenage life and are a far cry from his bombastic work in the Last Shadow Puppets and the increasingly dark rock of the Arctic Monkeys. Among the standout tracks are Hiding Tonight on a soundtrack mini-album that proves  Turner has clearly found another fine string in his bow.

9. Velvet Goldmine

Velvet Goldmine is not a great film, in truth it isn’t a very good film at all, but it does have a great glam racket soundtrack. Alongside originals by the likes of Lou Reed, Roxy Music,  Shudder to Think, Pulp and T Rex are covers of classic 1970s songs. These are recorded by a range of collaborations (a trick that director Todd Haynes would play again on the soundtrack to I’m Not There, another contender for this list) including two supergroups The Venus In Furs and Wylde Rattz. The English musicians who played under the name The Venus in Furs on the soundtrack were Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, David Gray, Suede’s Bernard Butler, and Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay. The American musicians who played as Curt Wild’s Wylde Ratttz on the soundtrack were The Stooges’ Ron Asheton, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley, Minutemen’s Mike Watt, Gumball’s Don Fleming, and Mark Arm of Mudhoney.

8. James Murphy – Greenberg

LCD Soundsystem main-man James Murphy goes for a lower key piano driven sound on most of his songs for the Ben Stiller film Greenberg. The result is a soundtrack that is much more engaging than the film it was taken from and more interesting than the LCD Soundsystem album of the same year. There are some uber-cool tracks by Galaxie 500, The Sonics, Albert Hammond and Duran Duran (the excellent ‘The Chauffeur’) amongst others but it is Murphy’s tunes and songs that make this stand out. His LCD Soundsystem work showed what a sophisticated songwriter he is but these tracks reveal a level a Laurel Canyon sound that is a refreshing change from his typical New York coolness.

7. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou was the forth Wes Anderson film to feature a soundtrack produced by Devo front-man Mark Mothersbaugh. In addition to his music, and ‘Gut Feeling’ by Devo themselves, are a number of well chosen songs by the likes of Scott Walker, The Zombies and, in particular, David Bowie. What makes the soundtrack stand out are the contributions of one of the film’s stars Seu George. In his songs, played diegetically in the movie, are brilliant Portuguese language versions of some of Bowie’s best loved tracks.

6. Away we go – Alexi Murdoch

Scottish folk musician Alexi Murdoch soft vocals and intricate guitar playing proved a perfect match for 2009 romantic comedy Away we go, directed by Sam Mendes and written by Dave Eggers. The soundtrack features nine Murdoch tracks, all beautifully echoing the likes of John Martyn and Nick Drake and supplemented by a few classics as well, including The Stranglers’ Golden Brown and George Harrison’s What Is Life. Orange Sky, from Murdoch’s 2003 Four Songs EP is among many highlights.

5. Clint Mansell – Moon

This soundtrack stands out on our list in that it doesn’t contain any indie songs, or any songs at all for that matter. However, it was written and performed by the former pineapple headed lead singer of so-so grebos Pop Will Eat Itself. A career of average singles with the midlands indie act was the surprising foundation for a second career composing award winning soundtracks for critically acclaimed films. The majority of his soundtracks have been for Darren Aronofksy films, but his finest hour was the soundtrack for Duncan “Zowie Bowie” Jones’ debut feature Moon. The music is incredibly atmospheric and the perfect accompaniment for the story of lonely Lunar Industries employee Sam Bell.

4. Belle and Sebastian – Storytelling

Happiness director Tood Solandz’s Storytelling,  with its two part premise of ‘fiction’, ‘non-fiction’ involving disability and high school life,  got a rollicking from most critics. The Belle and Sebastian soundtrack on the other hand is a work of genius in comparison. While not enough to save this movie from the bargain bin this soundtrack takes pride of place on our shelves through its careful instrumental score and piano ballads. It’s actually a fairly decent Belle and Sebastian album as well, especially the tracks Wandering Alone and Big John Shaft, but sadly overlooked due to the film’s sour reputation.

3. Jon Brion – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Jon Brion has had a pretty impressive career, but most people will be unfamiliar with his name. The former Jellyfish guitarist has worked with Kanye West, Evan Dando, Aimee Mann, Of Montreal, Best Coast and (ahem) Keane as a musician and a producer. He will probably be best known for his soundtrack work which includes Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, I Heart Huckabeees and, our personal favourite, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His downbeat instrumentals, including a beautifully mournful theme, are the perfect accompaniment to the film. The addition of songs by ELO, The Polyphonic Spree and Beck (covering The Korgi’s ‘Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes’) make this a very special musical set.

2. Juno

Kimya Dawson and the twee poetry folk of Antsy Pantsy take the lion’s share of tracks on this mother of indie soundtracks, helping this heart warming tale of teenage pregnancy to become one of the biggest grossing indie movies of all time.  Indie music interweaves in the plot too with Jason Bateman’s aged indie-kid’s taste in the likes of Sonic Youth dismissed by the teenage central character played by Ellen Page, who prefers the innocence and warmth of Mott the Hoople’s All The Young Dudes, which along with Sonic Youth’s version of The Carpenters’ Superstar, features here.  Belle and Sebastian also get a couple of tracks, including the excellent Piazza, New York Catcher from Dear Catastrophe Waitress.

1. Trainspotting

Back in 1996 the soundtrack to Irvine Welsh’s tale of drug abuse in Scotland was everywhere. For us it’s impossible to hear the likes of Underworld’s Born Slippy,  Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life and PF Project’s Choose Life,  featuring the film’s lead Ewen McGregor, without traveling back to that time. The music was so integral that two soundtracks were released. For us there has been no better combination of music and film, on a pair of soundtracks that successfully manage to mix a group of artists as diverse as Lou Reed, New Order, Heaven 17 and Fun Boy Three and still sound cool.

Compiled by Joe Lepper and Dorian Rogers.



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London Riot Blaze Decimates Indie CD Stock


London Riot Blaze Decimates Indie CD Stock

Posted on 10 August 2011 by Joe

The UK indie music scene is facing a “disaster” after hundreds of thousands of CDs were destroyed  in a warehouse blaze during rioting in London.

The Sony DADC warehouse in Enfield housed CDs for hundreds of UK and European independent labels through the distributor PIAS.

All the stock was destroyed in the blaze, which music trade association AIM says will lead to “much hardship for the artists and labels affected.” Labels are now battling to ensure release dates are met and stocks can reach retailers.

AIM chairman and CEO Alison Wenham said: “This is a disaster for the music community.”

She called on music fans to help the artists and labels affected by buying a digital album from an independent label or seeking out a CD by one of the affected labels at their local independent record stores, who are also set to be hit as stocks dry up.

A Statement from AIM adds: “This way the labels will be able to remanufacture their CDs and vinyl more quickly, to resupply the record shops who are also affected by the riots.”

Arctic Monkeys' single among releases effected

Arctic Monkey's single among releases effected

PIAS  has been working with Sony to find a temporary distribution partner. The distributor said: “It is envisaged that they will be in a position to pick, pack and ship orders in the course of next week.”

Among artists affected is Arctic Monkeys, which lost thousands of copies of its new single The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala. Limited stock of the Domino label released single is now available direct from the band’s website.

Domino said: “While relieved that no one was injured in the incident, we’re upset about the loss and destruction of our stock, and thinking of our friends at other independent labels who were also affected by the fire.

“We are currently working hard with Sony DADC to maintain our release schedule and keep business going as usual.”

Another is former Busted singer Charlie Simpson. Holly from his PR firm Dawbell Digital tell us that “we’ve had Charlie Simpson’s debut album affected; 30,000 stock was in the warehouse and the record is out next week.”

Here is a list of labels affected. Why not show your support for the UK’s independent music scene by googling them, check out their artists and download an album today.

1234, 2020 Vision, Accidental, Ad Altiora, Adventures Close to home, Alberts, All City, Alt Delete, Ambush Reality, Angular, Ark, ATC, Atic, Atlantic Jaxx, Azuli, B Unique, Backyard, Bad Sneakers, Bandstock, Beggars, Big Chill, Big Dada, Big Life / Nul / Sindy Stroker, Boombox, Border Community, Boysnoize, Brille, Bronzerat, Brownswood, Buzzin Fly, Can You Feel It, Catskills, ChannelFly, Chemikal Underground, City Rockers, Counter, D Cypher Dance To The Radio, Deceptive, Def Jux, Dirtee Stank, Divine Comedy, Domino, Drag City, Drive Thru, Drowned in Sound, Duophonic, Eat Sleep / Sorepoint, Electric Toaster, Emfire, F. Comm, Fabric, Faith And Hope, Fantastic Plastic, Fargo, FatCat Feraltone, Finders Keepers / Twisted Nerve, Fingerlickin’, Flock Free Range, From The Basement, Full Time Hobby, Goldsoul, Gronland, Groove Attack, Halftime, Hassle, Heron, Hum&Haw, Independiente, Info UK, Join Us, Kartel, Kensaltown, Kitsune, Kompakt, Laughing Stock, Leftroom, Lex, Lo Max, Loose, Love Box, Lowlife, Lucky Number, Marquis Cha Cha, Memphis Industry, Merok, Metroline, Mute, Naïve, Nation, Navigator, New World, Ninja Tune, Nuclear Blast, One Little Indian, Output / People in the Sky /, Process, Pale Blue, Palm, Peacefrog, PIAS Recordings, PIP 555, Productions, Play To Work, Powerhouse (T2), Propaganda / Ho Hum, Raw Canvas, Red Grape, Red Telephone Box, Rekids, Renaissance, Respect Productions (PES digital), Reveal Records, RMG, Rock Action, Roots, Rough Trade, Rough Trade Comps, Rubyworks, Ruffa Lane, Search And Destroy, Secret Sundaze, Secretly Canadian / Jagjaguwar / Dead Oceans, Sell Yourself, Setanta, Shatterproof, Sideone Dummy, Slam Dunk, Smalltown, Soma, Something In Construction, Sonar Kollectiv, Soul Jazz, Southern Fried, Stranded Soldier, Subliminal, Sunday Best, TARGO, Taste, Ten Worlds, Thrill Jockey, Total Fitness, Touch And Go, Track And Field, TriTone, Trouble, Try Harder, Turk, Turnstile, Twenty 20, Underworld, Union Square, Urban Torque, Vagrant, Vice, Victory, Wagram, Wall Of Sound, Warp, Wi45, Wonky Atlas, Word And Sound, Xtra Mile, You Are Here

by Joe Lepper


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Arctic Monkeys – Humbug

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Joe

Humbug, the Arctic Monkey’s third album is the band’s darkest to date. Their trademark style of new-wave, choppy indiepop is undoubtedly still there but it has been significantly beefed up with a mature, epic edge.

Moody and grand-scale recording locations in the US, such as the Mojave desert and Los Angeles as well as co-production by Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, certainly help to make their sound somehow larger.

It is unfortunate though that they haven’t produced the lyrics to match this epic sound. Opening track ‘My Propeller’ is a case in point. Its moody, gothic sounding guitar riffs and military drumming are somehow at logger heads with cheeky-chappy, double-entendre lyrics such as “Coax me out, my love, sink into tomorrow. Coax me out, my love, and have a spin of my propeller.”

Another where lyrics seem at odds with the band’s grand sound is ‘Pretty Visitors’, where the epic-organ intro is wasted by lyrics such as, “what came first, the chicken or the dickhead?” Er, not sure and don’t care.

Although it has lyrical faults and is not packed with ten perfect songs Humbug is no dud. While there are fillers that wear a little thin such as ‘The Jeweller’s Hands’ and ‘Dance Little Liar’ overall the maturity across the album is to be welcomed and the bulk of the tracks are pretty good.

Among the best is first single ‘Crying Lightning’, which starts like a cover of Iggy Pop’s ‘Passengers’ before the guitar riffs branch out into something far more complex and satisfying. ‘Cornerstone’ is another quality track, among the slowest on the album, but showing a good glimpse of how the band is progressing.

Humbug is also an interesting album, showing a band embracing and enjoying the challenge of moving its sound on and is far more ambitious than the rubbish being churned out by fellow festival favourites such as Keane and Kasabian.


by Joe Lepper, Aug 2009


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