The first mix leans more toward rock and features the new single from Florence + The Machine, spoken word punk from Aussie Courtney Barnett, and a blues-rock cut from the stunning new album from Alabama Shakes (on a shortlist for favorite album of the year).
Mix 2 has more of a dance vibe and includes a joyous new single from Australia’s Tame Impala, New Zealand’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra deliver a promising new album, and Jamie XX has a debut forthcoming featuring his XX band-mate Romy on vocals. We also included a rumbling bit of new hip hop (language warning!) from A$AP Rocky among the more dance friendly tunes.
We hope you enjoy the tunes!
Thomas, Yvette, Michelle & Garrett (the SMV team…)
It was announced last week that SuperMusicVision team members Yvette Metoyer and Garrett McElver will be speakers at the 2015 ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO in Hollywood, CA. They will both be a part of the One-On-One sessions where ASCAP members get a private meeting for feedback and advice on their career. Yvette and Garrett can be found in the One-One-One Sessions room on Saturday May 2nd.
Let us know if you'll be there!Click here to read the formal announcement and for more information about the expo.
As Chris Hardwick pointed out on 'The Talking Dead', Dub-Step survived the apocalypse. Last Sunday's The Walking Dead, episode 514 "Spend", featured the single "Internet Friends" by Australian EDM duo Knife Party. The song was first released on their 2011 EP 100% No Modern Talking
. Our characters don't come across music too often in The Walking Dead. Earlier this season Abraham managed to drive a bus that still had a tape from The Consolers in it, giving him something to hum throughout the whole episode. W
e also met a doctor at Grady Memorial who had a record player in his office, allowing him to listen to old Junior Kimbrough and Blind Willie Johnson albums. After Sunday's episode, Thomas did an interview with Radio.com's Brian Ives about the Knife Party use, and talked about another way source music is used on the show.
For episode 514, we got an opportunity to use source music to help rescue our heroes. In Merle’s final episode in season three we worked a similar trick letting Merle’s good fortune of grabbing a car with Motörhead and Ted Nugent to crash Woodbury and give Merle his final hurrah. In the case of Aiden, who is a younger generation, we get Knife Party’s “Internet Friends” and the pleasure of watching Noah roll his eyes when the mixtape starts to play. The song returns when Eugene gets a ‘hero’ moment by both saving Tara and using Aiden’s taste for dubstep to draw the walkers away to save his friends.
Part of the fun of ’The Walking Dead’ is that you never know who’s going to make it through the episode alive, and you never know what songs will help to tell the tale.
I love when people ask what kind of music is used on the show. Well... this week was dub-step. The week before was a late 60's pop song (Read: The Bee Gees - "Spicks and Specks" in TWD 513
). With two episodes left this season, it's anyone's guess what curveballs will be thrown musically.
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln)
Closing this episode with “Spicks and Specks” came from editor Jute Ramsey’s idea. He pulled it from the very first mixtape I created for ‘The Walking Dead’, way back in Season 1. At that time, we weren’t sure of the tone of the series, and I wanted to include some ironic counterpoint songs that played on the apocalyptic tone of the series, but approached the scenes lyrically from a romantic point of view. The Walker Brothers song “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” (which was used in our season 1 Comic Con trailer) came from that same collection as did Ellie Greenwich’s “You Don’t Know” a wonderful girl group song that we have yet to find a home for.
Scott Gimple really liked the counterpoint approach of “Spicks and Specks” in the cut and we were able to get the song cleared for the episode. One of the exciting things about working on ‘The Walking Dead’ is we keep shifting the tone and approach of the series and the storytelling. Scott has created several seasons now where the story and the tone shifts in pretty dramatic ways, while still staying true to the characters. Using music with a bit more ironic detachment is an exciting new direction to play with. This Bee Gees song, very early in their career and largely overlooked, was a wonderful way to capture Rick’s strange and unsure sense of his direction forward.
Hey everyone, so this week Thomas is headed to Muscle Shoals, Alabama to take part in the 2015 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival. Thomas will join fellow music supervisors, and our good friends, Dave Jordan ('The Avengers', 'Guardians of the Galaxy'), Julianne Jordan ('Edge of Tomorrow', 'The Bourne Identity'), and Andrea von Foerster ('500 Days of Summer', 'Begin Again') in a panel moderated by Grammy award winning songwriter John Paul White. You may know White as being a member of the folk duo The Civil Wars. He is also an alumnus of University of North Alabama.
The panel will discuss the use, importance, and creation of music within the film and television media. One of our favorite topics! If you're in the area, come check out this high profile panel in what is sure to be a very exciting and educational opportunity.
The panel will be held this Friday, March 6, at 7p.m., at the Mane Room, 310 N Pine St. Florence, AL
For more information, check out the UNA website: John Paul White to Moderate Music Panel at George Lindsey UNA Film Festival http://www.lindseyfilmfest.com/
The rest of the SMV Crew won't be able to make it out, but if you do attend, we'd love to see some photos of the event! Please send them our way via the contact form on this website or on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SMVcrew
Bob Odenkirk in AMC's 'Better Call Saul'
The All That Jazz “It’s Showtime” homage in Better Call Saul's second episode ‘Mijo’ is a music supervisor's dream. When you read a ‘Better Call Saul’ script written by Peter Gould with Michelle MacLaren attached as director, and there is an ambitious montage within the pages, the prospect of creating something really special with the music just glows.
This is the same episode that featured Equivel's “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” in the PTSD breadstick montage, and our 60’s era Italian pop song for the nail salon, which is constant fun. With each visit to the nail salon we get to find a song that reimagines some magical moment on a vacation to the Mediterranean Mrs. Nguyen’s took many years ago.
This “It’s Showtime” montage comes at a turning point in Jimmy’s life. Having effectively talked his way out of a terrible fate for himself and the skateboard twins with Tuco, he is now ready to follow the straight-and-narrow, heed his brother Chuck’s advice and get to work as a public defender. This montage illustrates the challenges for Jimmy in "doing the right thing”, a running theme throughout the season.
Peter had written the sequence as an homage to Bob Fosse’s fantastic 1979 film “All That Jazz”, and a featured day-in-the-life montage showing Roy Scheider putting in eye drops, taking Alka-Seltzer tablets, knocking back Dexedrine pills and smoking a lot of cigarettes in between moments as a big-shot choreographer. It’s a wonderful sequence. Here’s a link: All That Jazz (1979)
In our version, we see Jimmy referencing the “It’s Showtime” line from the film, and then going through a litany of his public defender duties. The original montage in “All That Jazz” runs for less than a minute, the Vivaldi piece - “Concerto in G For Strings, RV 151 “Alla Rustica”: Presto” - runs just over 1 minute. Our sequence runs over 4 and a half minutes long. This presented a challenge: how to reference the music playing in the “All That Jazz” montage while keeping it interesting running over 3 times the length with a constantly shifting narrative.
Our first approach was to see if music editor Jason Tregoe Newman could loop the original Vivaldi piece to work over editor Kelley Dixon’s montage. We discovered that the song eventually outwore it’s welcome. Next we came upon the idea of changing the instrumentation and re-working the arrangement so we can custom-build changes that will help to accent the on-screen action. The added benefit in rebuilding the music from scratch would be that we could feature instruments more appropriate to Jimmy McGill and his hard-scrabble working class Irish roots. Jason recalls that "Vince referred to this approach as creating a poor man's orchestra for Jimmy."
This led us to asking our composer Dave Porter to create a MIDI version of the arrangement using different sampled instruments so we could strategize with Peter and Vince on how to re-create the arrangement to best work against picture. Dave described it this way:
"With the SuperMusicVision team taking the lead on this cue, my task was simply to support them during the demo process. With so many potential instruments and variations possible, it wouldn't have been practical in terms of either time or money for us to record all of the instruments and variations we were contemplating. Instead, my role involved creating a tempo template that would be our framework for the cue, and then developing computer (sampled) renditions of many of the instruments that we were considering, so that we could assemble various options to show to Peter and Vince without necessarily committing to them. Once the overall structure was decided upon, most of the computerized parts were then replaced by live performances." -Dave Porter (Composer)
After presenting a few variations of the MIDI version to Vince and Peter, we decided that the best strategy would be to start with folk instrumentation, and then slowly integrate more traditionally classical elements as the sequence develops momentum.
With this game-plan in mind, we reached out to music producer Tony Berg, who works with many of the best studio musicians in Los Angeles, including the Calder Quartet, who would be responsible for the string section. We worked with Tony at his Zeitgeist studios and did a core pass with the Calder Quartet using the original tempo map multiple overdub passes of the 4 minute new arrangement giving ourselves many instrument options to work with, using Dave Porter’s MIDI output as a guide track.
The next challenge was in figuring out the final arrangement, working with the real instruments, and methodically developing options for how to best support the on-screen action with all the choices we had. The flexibility of the recording process gave us the ability to tweak and change the arrangement during the final dub session. This led us to the final version that sits in the montage today. It features warm, organic folk instruments - often with a light Irish flavor - including banjo, guitar, dulcimer, and mandolin, and then slowly integrating violins, then viola, then cello and bass and even harpsichord into the final arrangement.
"We found keeping the lighter pass of the quartet as an ongoing base for the folk instruments kept the piece’s integrity and allowed us the creativity to weave the various leads in and out to follow story. Counterintuitively, the more we switched up the leads to hit picture the more repetitive the arrangement felt. The final version allows each lead to play full sections and then fold itself into the band as the next section begins creating a natural and musical build throughout. " - Jason Tregoe Newman (Music Editor)
There was some final tweaking done on the mixing stage, and we spent considerable time getting the balance between music and sound effects just right.
This is a good example of the collective efforts involved in the music of ‘Better Call Saul’. In addition to Peter and Vince and the writing team, we have Michelle MacLaren’s dynamic direction, Kelley Dixon’s intuitive editing choices, Jason Tregoe Newman’s elegant music editing, Dave Porter's smart tempo and MIDI modeling, Tony Berg’s tasteful music production, the wonderful performances of all the musicians and the efforts of the SMV team in putting it together. And we had a lot of fun doing it.
Tony Berg summarizes the experience nicely:
"Being asked to provide music for "Better Call Saul" was a little like being asked to play on John Lennon's first solo album. Going into the studio with Gabe Witcher, Dan Higgins, Randy Kerber, and Michael Valerio to spend a day playing Vivaldi––knowing that something extraordinary would be happening on-screen––was Christmas morning with a “Do Not Open Until…” note attached. Better call Antonio."
- Tony Berg (Music Producer)
We're so excited about the response for Better Call Saul this past week! We've had the great fortune of enjoying the show as it was assembled each step of the way and always knew it would be something special. In our wildest dreams we did not expect to be breaking cable ratings records
, skyrocketing Reddit activity
, and boasting a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes' 'Tomato Meter'
! We are thrilled to share the final product of season one with you.
This show, like Breaking Bad, is truly the results of an incredibly talented and hard-working cast and crew, led by the inspirational Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. These two master storytellers have created a loving family that encourage everyone to bring their very best to the table. We love the results and, as we wrap production on the finale, are very proud of season one of 'Better Call Saul'.
The first episode opens with the Ink Spots' "Address Unknown" as we get a b/w glimpse of the fate of Saul Goodman after the events of 'Breaking Bad'. Massimo Ranieri's "Se Bruciasse La Cittá" plays in the nail salon where Jimmy McGill keeps his "office". Dutch artist Shook's funky "Milestones" plays during the skateboard scam where Lars and Cal get "felonied". Episode 2 features Esquivel's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" in the 'broken breadsticks' sequence, and our 'All That Jazz' "It's Showtime" homage was created with talented producer Tony Berg featuring the Vivaldi string quartet arranged with more Jimmy McGill-scale instrumentation. Deft and elegant music editing by Jason Newman. Dave Porter returns as composer for the series and does, yet-again, a fantastic job. The main title was created for the show by the English blues-rockers Little Barrie.
There are many more fun music moments to come, some of which have become instant favorites. We hope you enjoy the 'Better Call Saul' experience as we have.
Thomas... (and the SMV crew)
SMV officially has a more formal blog! Each member of the SMV crew will occasionally post thoughts on our projects, the craft of music supervision, the Guild of Music Supervisors, the latest music, and the industry at large.
Let us know if there is anything you'd like to know more about when it comes to these topics! We'll do our best to make it interesting (like posting ridiculous group photos with references to our projects).
The SMV crew...
Thomas, Yvette, Michelle, and Garrett