It is sometimes easy for me to get excited about a movie, but there haven't really been a lot of movies to get excited about the last couple of months-- and finally Where the Wild Things Are is right around the corner! I have been extremely excited about this movie ever since I first heard about it, from the first time I saw a poster for it online, and then the first time I saw a teaser trailer. I finally saw a more substantial trailer last week before the movie 9. I didn't think I could get more excited, but I did! And I know I am not alone. Millions of us grew up with this story. It was a pretty simple picture book. Hardly any words at all in the "story." It was mostly just the amazing drawings that captured our imagination and forever made us fall in love with this story. I have probably not looked at the book in at least 10 years or so. I remember looking through the book at a a bookstore a while ago, and at the time I don't think I had seen the book since I owned it as a kid, but somehow the memories were always still there. The feelings I had when I first experienced the story never really went away. That was the power of this story. I remember even being excited about the Where The Wild Things Are themed restaurant that opened up in the Metreon in San Francisco. It closed years ago but maybe they will bring it back now. The Where the Wild Things Are book first came out in 1963. It was written by the brilliant Maurice Sendak. I don't think he ever could have imagined the book would have had such a profound affect on generation after generation. I think the book and story will get an even larger following after the release of this movie, although I have yet to meet anyone who didn't at least read this book when they were young. The story is simple enough. A kid, Max, is banished to his room for bad behavior. He then enters a magical world of big furry monsters, all in his imagination, of course. Similar stories had been told before and they would continue to be reimagined, but something about the drawings really brought me into the story. It was a magical little story that all children could relate to. Max of course gets lonely and ends up returning to his normal life. But we all had moments like that when we wanted to escape from our families into a magical world of make believe.
The book was made into an animated short in 1973. An updated version was made in 1988 with new music and narration. Spike Jonze has created the new live action film. Maurice Sendak had been trying to get this film made since the early 90s. Sendak fell in love with Being John Malkovich and then decided he wanted Spike Jonze to direct. It makes sense. So Spike has been working on it for almost 10 years. It has been a long time coming and I am glad the time has finally arrived. I am already in love with the film from the trailer. I am sure that I am not the only one that shed a tear during the trailer. I think it will impress those of us that grew up with the story. And I hope it makes a whole new generation fall in love with the story, although I imagine that parents from my generation are now raising their kids with the same stories they grew up with -- I know that I would -- so I imagine this book is already in the collections of the young ones of today. The new movie doesn't come out till October 16th. However, the soundtrack comes out this week.
Sometimes I like to wait until after I see the movie to listen to a soundtrack, but in this case there is no way that I could wait. I can't really think of anyone better than Karen O to do this soundtrack. We of course know and love Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is somewhat of a departure for her but it also makes perfect sense. She for sure has something weird and magical about her. I can never quite figure out why I love her and her voice so much. I just do. And she of course does a fantastic job with the soundtrack. Just imagine the Yeah Yeah Yeahs combined with your favorite children's album. I only wish Karen O was making children's albums when I was a kid! It is magical and weird and cute and everything that you could hope for. She also gets some great people to help her out with the album. Bradford Cox from Deerhunter and Atlas Sound helps her out with many of the songs. Both members of the Yeah Yeahs worked on the album, along with members of The Liars, Dead Weather, and The Raconteurs. I am excited to see how the music works within the film. I think it will be beautiful to hear her voice attached to the great imagery of the film. Now I just have to wait a couple more weeks to see the film. I will be counting down the days.
There have been lots of other great albums out lately as well. Please go and get the new album from The XX if you have not yet done so. It is absolutely brilliant. The album by Big Pink is also great. I like to think of them as a more pop version of the Jesus & Mary Chain-- imagine Jarvis Cocker from Pulp singing with the Jesus & Mary Chain. The new album from Girls is also great. I saw these guys open up for The Pains Of Being Pure at Heart. I went from hating to loving them during the course of the show. They reminded me of 90s bands like Jesus Jones and the Happy Mondays, but mostly just cause of how they looked and dressed. They sound so familiar to me but I still can't really figure it out. They remind me a bit of the Lemonheads. Imagine the Lemonheads combined with Jesus Jones and Ween and the Beach Boys and you might get close to what Girls sound like.
The new Noisettes album is also really really good. Don't know if you got around to listening to their first album yet, but you should if you still haven't -- super fun pop music with big heart and soul. The album that has really been killing me lately is the new album on Kranky by To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie. It is not for everyone. It's for fans of the dark and disturbing and beautiful. It reminds of the beautiful album by Grouper. I can't listen to it too much cause it kind of gets me down, but I do really love it. Give it a try. I also love the new Rose Melberg. I will forever love her since her days in Tiger Trap, The Softies and Go Sailor. Nobody quite has a voice like hers. And then there is Hope Sandoval, the fantasic Hope Sandoval. I was really ready for another album from her. I loved myself some Mazzy Star and always welcome her return. The new album is beautiful and magical just like Where The WIld Things Are. She should have been on the soundtrack! And then there is Hidden Cameras. I will always love them too! I have not really spent a lot of time with this new album yet, but I do like what I have heard so far! So go listen to some new music already! There are lots of albums out there. And get ready for Where the Wild Things Are. Go read the book if you are one of the 3 people in the entire world who has not yet done so. It will only take you about 2 minutes to "read." And let the countdown begin until the release of the movie...
Here is one of the animated shorts of Where the Wild Things Are...
and here is the trailer for the new Spike Jonze movie...
also out 9/22...
Scars by Basement Jaxx
Brief History of Love by The Big Pink
Texas Rose Thaw the Beasts & by The Castanets
White Lunar by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Magic Neighbor by Lisa Germano
Album by The Girls
Truelove's Gutter by Richard Hawley
Origin: Orphan by The Hidden Cameras
45:33 Remixes by LCD Soundsystem
Homemade Ship by Rose Melberg
Monsters of Folk by Conor Oberst,Jim James & M Ward
Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know by Mum
Wild Young Hearts by The Noisettes
Pleasure Principle-30th Anniversary Edition by Gary Numan
Higher Than the Stars by Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Rain Machine by Rain Machine
White Water White Bloom by Sea Wolf
Born Again Revisited by Times New Viking
Marlone by To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie
Forget the Night Ahead by The Twilight Sad
Unmap by Volcano Choir
Milwaukee at Last!!! by Rufus Wainwright
Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets
also out 9/29...
Crash Love by A.F.I.
Black Gives Way to Blue by Alice in Chains
I & Love & You by the Avett Brothers
Dethalbum II by Dethklok
La Roux by La Roux
Celebration by Madonna
Chicken Switch by The Melvins
God is Good by Om
Through the Devil Softly by Hope Sandoval
Love is the Answer by Barbra Streisand
Yeah Ghost by Zero 7