Continuing my pattern of looking back at 2017 well into 2018, this week I’ll highlight five of my favorite musical moments from last year’s movies.
Two of these picks are performed by characters in the films, one is played through headphones by a character in the film, one is a song used as score and the last is a traditional instrumental score (and a bit of a cheat, as I’ll explain when I get there).
Where possible, I’ll embed a clip of the actual scene as well as the original song.
Every time I hear Jimmy Buffett’s Songs You Know By Heart, I wonder why I don’t play it far more often. As much as I dislike the idea of greatest hits albums, I can’t help but feel that this particular collection is one of the best records I own.
I’ve heard other Jimmy Buffett songs over the years, either online or on the Sirius/XM Margaritaville station, but nothing that’s flipped my lid the way these 13 songs do.
Death Cab For Cutie’s 2003 album Transatlanticism is a record I’m sure I’d love if I took the time to listen. It is a melancholy break-up album that has received wide critical acclaim — exactly my cup of tea.
I’m not sure why I haven’t taken the time to get to know it. Probably just an accident of timing, which kept it out of my rotation when it first came out and then saw it filed away and overshadowed by a decade and a half of new musical discoveries.
My final video is the most ambitious of the bunch.
San Francisco rapper Watsky’s song ‘Exquisite Corpse’ is inspired by the word game of the same name, in which multiple writers add new verses to a poem in succession. Watsky recruited seven rappers to add verses to a story he kicks off with a reference to a post-apocalyptic hellscape (that thankfully still has a Sbarro).
Today’s video is the ultimate example of a director turning lemons into lemonade.
Director Ryan Staake actually shares those duties with Young Thug himself, but as you’ll see when you watch the video, he was pretty much on his own. I won’t give away more than that, because this is best seen without much context.
The video has over 30 million views on YouTube and earned Young Thug a Best Editing trophy at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
This song (and its video) is one of my favorite discoveries of 2017, and I didn’t even know it existed until two days before the New Year.
Francis and the Lights is a one-man pop act who hails from Oakland and has released two albums and a handful of EPs over the last decade. He is best known for collaborations with Kanye West (on the song ‘Friends’) and today’s track, which was remixed with an added verse by Chance the Rapper.
Khalid’s debut album American Teen was one of 2017’s musical highlights, and its laid-back appeal is perfectly summed up in the video for second single ‘Young Dumb & Broke.’
The clip features the carefree last day of high school (a time from which the 19-year-old Khalid is not far removed), following a wonderfully diverse group of students as they hang out and enjoy the fleeting moments between childhood and adulthood.