It’s Friday night. It’s the beginning of a three-day weekend. It’s time to sit back and chill out, if only for an evening…or three. Labor Day weekend is fast becoming my favorite three-day weekend. It used to be Memorial Day weekend, but things have changed. Things were said…feelings were hurt. Listen, we had some good times Memorial Day weekend, really. But, well, I’m getting older and things change. I’m not really a fan of the Indianapolis 500. I like grilling, sure. But I grill all the time. Nothing special about your grilling, MDW. I’m sorry, but have a little dignity. Don’t squabble about this.
So what is it about Labor Day weekend that I prefer over the other three-day weekends? Well, even though it’s quite often warm, it feels like the official ushering in of fall. And when it’s overcast on Labor Day weekend it’s no big deal. Hell, I prefer overcast skies. It’s also this nice breather after the beginning of the school year starting. I tend to be more creative this time of year, too. I usually take Labor Day weekend to work on some new music. And of course I take some time to spin some music, too. Plus, it’s a sign we’re that much closer to Halloween, one of my favorite days of the year.
What’s going on this weekend, you ask? Well, I will be working on some new music for this incidental music project I’m working on with my friend Shane Darin Page. I will be spinning some vinyl. I’m also taking my 12 year old daughter out tomorrow night just the two of us for some burgers and ice cream. We’re both quite looking forward to that.
So this evening I’m enjoying a nice stout, a Dark Truth Stout from Boulevard Brewing Co’s Smokestack Series(one of my favorites), and I’m spinning Cliff Martinez’ Only God Forgives S/T.
Have you seen Only God Forgives? Well, it’s rather batshit crazy. I absolutely LOVED Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive. I haven’t read the book it was based on, but the movie absolutely oozed style and noir. Refn made a homage to the neon-lit 80s films of Michael Mann, as well as the gothic perverseness of David Lynch with a cast to die for. When I saw that Mondo was releasing Cliff Martinez’ S/T on vinyl I had to have it and I snagged a copy. It’s still one of my favorite scores. When I first saw the trailer for Only God Forgives I had goosebumps. I thought this movie is going to be one of the best movies I’ve seen in the last ten years. Easily. Just on the trailer alone. Well, when I finally got to see the film it wasn’t what I was expecting. At all. It was one of the most beautifully shot films for sure, and the Cliff Martinez score was, once again, effin’ amazing. But the movie I’m still on the fence about. Gosling has taken the stoic quiet guy to new heights. I wondered if his character in this film was learning challenged at some points. Kristin Scott Thomas was wonderful and terrifying as the matriarch to this den of thieves and murderers. But the film really has nothing to do with character development. It’s really about raw emotion. Not thinking before you speak. Acting solely on instinct. For that, it’s a visceral experience. But there’s really no human heart to connect with. With Drive you had characters you empathized with. Here, it’s just raw nerves doing horrible things. It’s exciting, but also perplexing.
I think that maybe in another couple years I may come to see this film as a classic. Until then, I will view it as Refn’s Wild At Heart. But as far as film scores go, this one is top notch. Cliff Martinez has proven to be one of the best film score cats in the last 25 years. His work with Refn, as well as his work with Steven Soderbergh is second to none(I had his Kafka score on CD for years until it disappeared into the ether.) Martinez as of late has been delving into the 80s synths on his soundtracks, with Drive being some of the best throwback synth I’ve heard in a very long time. Only God Forgives mixes far east moods with mood synth, creating a musical multi-verse of culture and retro neon noir.
It’s damn good.
Thanks to Discogs for leading me in the right direction to find this beautifully-colored double LP, and for an extremely cheap price.
Time for another stout. Enjoy the weekend all.