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Blog Takeover: Jennifer O'Connor

Posted by Lyle On May 6, 2011

 BRM blog image

The delightful and somewhat surprisingly obsessed with wrestling Jennifer O'Connor is taking over the BRM blog this week! Read on below, but also try to check out Jennifer along with Dawn Landes and Bird Of Youth Monday the 10th at the Rock Shop in Brooklyn NYC.

Take it away JOC!

Music, Movies and....Wrestling?

When Lyle asked me to be the guest Bank Robber blogger this week I was excited and also a little nervous.  What would I write about?  What are my favorite usages of music in movies, tv or commercials?  That's when it occurred to me that two favorites that I've seen recently involve, of all things, wrestling!

In general, I wouldn't categorize myself as wrestling fan, but I'm definitely a fan of music in movies that inspires or pushes the story along.  Music that feels intrinsic to the story, like you couldn't imagine the scene without the soundtrack underneath it, can really make a good movie into a great movie.

This first clip is from one of my all time favorites,  the 1985 movie Vision Quest starring Matthew Modine as high school wrestler Louden Swain.  In it, Journey's song "Only The Young" plays while the opening credits roll and we see Swain running through the streets of Spokane, Washington. As the song ends, he arrives at the hotel where he works and has a conversation with his co-worker that  sets up his character's story.  It works really well, check it out:

Up next is the new film by Tom McCarthy, Win Win.   McCarthy's The Station Agent is another favorite of mine, so I was excited to see this and it didn't disappoint.  I really enjoyed the score by Lyle Workman - which is mostly a series of instrumental acoustic guitar pieces that flowed in and out through the film's duration.  The story of Win Win is centered around a high school wrestling coach/lawyer (played by Paul Giamatti) on the brink of financial ruin. We watch him grapple with business, family and health issues - but the tone of the film isn't heavy or heavy-handed, it's humorous and genuine without being overwrought.  The end credits feature one of those songs that stops you dead in your tracks .  It's a new song by The National featuring Sharon Van Etten on vocals called "Think You Can Wait" and it's really great but the highlight of the track is really the voice of Sharon Van Etten.  Van Etten is a extraordinary talent, whose own record, epic, is absolutely one of the best of last year. Check out this live stripped-down recording of epic  standout of "One Day."

And now for something having nothing to do with wrestling! 

I think a great function of licensing music to commercials is that it can often gain a well-deserving, hard working band a lot of new fans really quickly.  I think that was the case with this  placement of Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On" for Jaguar back in '06.  After many years of slogging it out and putting out great record after great record to little notice,  I think this placement was one of a handful of things that happened around this time (including the 1-2-knockout punch of 'Kill The Moonlight' and 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' that really propelled this band to the top-of the-heap-place where they currently reside.

With that, I bid you a happy weekend,
Jennifer O'Connor