Monday, June 21, 2010

Thoughts on the new Twilight soundtrack

By Shanna Farrell
cas:ev contributor

What do the Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, and Beck have in common? The same thing that Thom Yorke, Lykke Li, and Bon Iver had in common- they are all on The Twilight Saga soundtracks.

The upcoming release of “Eclipse” is the third movie in the series. You can find the track list HERE , which includes another round of indie heavy-hitters and up-and-comers. Some of my favorites, including the aforementioned Black Keys, Vampire Weekend (sorry John, but I’m a fan), Bats for Lashes, and Battles are on the soundtrack. Seeing this roster affected me in the same way seeing the “New Moon” line-up did- my heart broke a little. Battles, what are you doing? Fanfarlo, why? How much are you all getting paid for this? (I could not find out this information, though I tried.)

I’m not the only one who feels this way. In a recent interview, Vampire Weekend discussed the backlash they have been getting from fans about their decision to write and record an original track for the movie. Though Vampire Weekend is usually on the receiving end of criticism and are a truly polarizing band, even their biggest fans have been voicing their resentment. And it’s not just fans of Vampire Weekend that are upset , it's many indie music lovers.

This forced me to examine what I am bothered. This has proven to be a good question, one I can’t quite put my finger on. These bands are probably getting big paychecks (which are a good thing) and are definitely getting more exposure (which could also be positive). Music is their livelihood and why start a band and sign to a label is you don’t want to be heard? Perhaps this is what is at the core of my discontentedness. I don’t want these bands to compromise their integrity, “sell out” for a paycheck, or become overexposed to the point of exhaustion. This may be a quick judgment and a mistake on my part. I don’t personally know the people that comprise these bands, so how should I know what “selling out” entails for them? Another reason is that, as indie bands, I feel somewhat privileged for being in the know and connected to their music, loving them when the mainstream isn’t aware of their existence. I understand this comes off as elite, but I don’t want to lose that, as I think might happen when “Eclipse” is released.

In the end, I might need to revise my opinions and reverse my cynicism. The “Eclipse” soundtrack, or any other mainstream choice, could be a favorable decision for my beloved indie bands. Youngsters (or adults) may learn and come to love these bands because of the soundtrack, cultivating a love for music they never knew existed within them. After all, this is how it began for me.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post Shanna!
    I was really into Vampire Weekend's first album. I thought The Kids Don't Stand A Chance was a really great song. But overall, it was feel good music at best. I was hoping for something fresh with Contra and didn't get it. They will have continued success among the younger set, but won't get much respect from me until they mature as a band ...