Wednesday, June 11, 2014

REVIEW: I Saved Latin! (Wes Anderson Tribute album)

American Laundromat Records is known for its inspired collections of theme-related covers - a full album of Cure covers, a collection of women artists covering Neil Young (to name a few). ALR has come up with what I think is the best one yet. The theme is music from Wes Anderson's films - and if you're a fan of those films, you know that part of the fun is hearing tracks like The Creation's "Making Time", placed perfectly in a scene. Those tracks become an inextricable part of the story. The best example I can think of is "They'll never catch me, man - 'cause I'm fuckin' innocent" leading into the sweet Stones anthem "2000 Man". But of course there are dozens more, and the artists on this collection do a great job, some hewing close to the originals, others varying from them, but all drawing some inspiration from Anderson's work (not to mention that of Mark Mothersbaugh). In films like Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, pivotal scenes are impossible to envision without the music that illuminates them.

Here's what I think is the best track on the album, and one of the best songs in any Wes Anderson movie, The Creation's "Making Time" reimagined by WYMA favorites The Generationals (from Rushmore):

And here is a haunting cover of The Kinks' "Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl" by The Solvents (also from Rushmore):

Tele Novella does a fascinating take on the Velvet Underground's "Stephanie Says" (from The Royal Tenenbaums)- instead of Lou Reed's world-weary vocal, the beautiful lead vocal of Natalie Gordon (also of Agent Ribbons) makes the effect of the lyrics even more immediate:

Oh, okay, one more - "Ziggy Stardust" by Margot and the Nuclear So-and-So's (from The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou):

The album is out now (released May 13), and it contains 19 more tracks, including instrumental interludes like "Margaret Yang's Theme" by Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, as well as more Stones covers ("I Am Waiting" sung by Jesse Sykes, "Play With Fire" by Elk City, and "Street Fighting Man" by Mike Watt and the Secondmen) and, really, too many to name. Oh - Jackson Browne's "These Days" is beautifully covered by Matt Pond PA with Laura Stevenson.

Disc 1
1. Margaret Yang's Theme - Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin [1:19]
2. A Quick One While He’s Away - Saint Motel [2:57]
3. These Days - Matt Pond (feat. Laura Stevenson & Chris Hansen) [3:47]
4. Let Her Dance - Freelance Whales [2:10]
5. I Am Waiting - Tomo Nakayama (feat. Jesse Sykes) [3:05]
6. The Wind - William Fitzsimmons [1:57]
7. Needle In The Hay - Juliana Hatfield [4:13]
8. Making Time - Generationals [3:34]
9. The Way I Feel Inside - PHOX [1:44]
10. This Time Tomorrow - Telekinesis [3:18]
11. Strangers - Escondido [4:08]

Disc 2
1. Alone Again Or - Sara Lov [3:26]
2. Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worrin' Bout That Girl - Solvents [4:00]
3. Here Comes My Baby - Tea Cozies [2:36]
4. Fly - Kristin Hersh [3:16]
5. Ziggy Stardust - Margot & the Nuclear So and So's [3:06]
6. Play with Fire - Elk City [3:29]
7. Stephanie Says - Tele Novella [2:49]
8. Oh Yoko - The Ghost In You [4:56]
9. Fairest Of The Seasons - Trespassers William [4:58]
10. 30 Century Man - Tomten [2:08]
11. Street Fighting Man - Mike Watt & The Secondmen [3:41]
12. Five Years - Santah [4:32]

This is a tremendous accomplishment, and it makes the anticipation for American Laundromat's next compilation even higher. Additionally, at the ALR store where you can buy the album (and get a look at the others), there's enough Wes Anderson-related material to keep you in the money at hipster bingo for months.

American Laundromat Records

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