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by Bill Gibron

7 May 2012

More often than not, a legacy needs just one thing to hold it firm. Be it a voice, an idea, a line of poetry or a cinematic statement, myth can be born out of even the most minor. It can also rise from the misunderstood. Back in the early ‘80s, when rap was just getting a hold of the pop cultural zeitgeist, a trio of white boys decided to show their skills and flaunt ethnic acceptance. Initially viewed as a novelty, The Beastie Boys soon became a benchmark, a linking verb between the incendiary urban message of the current music and party animal element it would come to be known for. Indeed, the combination of East Coast antics and knucklehead novelty made the guys an initial hit. Two decades dedicated to the true art of hip hop turned them into icons.

Now, with the untimely and tragic passing of Adam “MCA” Yauch from cancer at age 47, one of the defining groups from rap’s original ascent is no more. Even worse, the death throws the eccentric offshoot of the man’s muse - Oscilloscope Laboratories - into flux. Last week, a shake-up of sorts was announced when President David Fenkel (who used to run THINKFilm) stepped down, making way for Dan Berger and David Laub to run the company. Both had previous roles in marketing, distribution and acquisitions. Oddly enough, none knew how sick Yauch really was (he had recently been a no show at the Beastie’s induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame). In light of current events, Fenkel announced that he will remain closely linked to the organization, acting as a consultant.

by Bill Gibron

2 Sep 2010

It’s another one of those “over the transom” moments, a chance for SE&L and Surround Sound to catch up with what seems like a never-ending stream of scores and ‘music from the film’ collections that constantly clog our “To Do” box. We get a lot of these titles every month, everything from the obscure (there are companies out there now specializing in the forgotten and the infamous) to the standard “part of the post-production contractually mandated release” paradigm. What’s even more shocking is the sense that, instead of dying off like the dinosaurs of a seminal cinematic age, the soundtrack seems to be having a renaissance of sorts. Thanks to digital downloading and the instant access to media, movie music is once again seen as a viable souvenir of the overall motion picture experience.

Of the dozen offerings discussed here - that’s right, 12 separate soundtracks - we can see what makes the score collection so attractive, as well as what continues to keep it a very isolated enjoyment indeed. There are more genre titles than any other category and that seems to go with the geek obsessive mentality of such cinema. In addition, a lot of RomComs get their scores selected for release, the adult contemporary feel to their dynamic making for easy Soccer Mom appreciating. Comedies are hard to come by, the examples here exploring the various reasons why and the drama is all but left out of the mix. In fact, it’s safe to say that the era of the signature soundtrack, celebrated entries like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Starman, and 48 Hours has been replaced by a generic attempt to be everything to everyone, sonically speaking. Just like the movies they are supporting, when you come to think of it.

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