10 Best Songs Specifically for Movie Soundtracks

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10. Partytime (Zombie Version) – 45 Grave
If you grew up in the 80’s the odds are pretty good that you loves the punk zombie schlock of Return of the Living Dead. Since the world is brimming with zombie-philes, it is only fitting that this screamer starts off the list.

9. The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff
In The Harder The Come, Jimmy Cliff plays Ivanhoe Martin. In real life, he plays the song that make the whole world sing.

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8. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) – The Pixies
Prior to its use in Fight Club, this redux appeared in the Christian Slater vehicle Pump Up The Volume. At the time, the film seemed like an aspiring punk-DJ’s dream – on the run from the FCC, telling it like it is, and taking over the airwaves. Now, we simply toss a couple tracks together, release a podcast, and hope for listeners. But, beyond it all, this melodic track stands against the tides like a Colossus of fuzz tone feedback.

7. She’s on it – The Beastie Boys
Back in 1985, The Beastie Boys weren’t quite the internationally renowned pioneers of funk and rap, but a bunch of punks from New York in tight jeans and leather jackets. This track originally appeared on the Krush Groove soundtrack and sorta fizzled until it was re-released in 1987. I guess the world wasn’t ready for snotty nosed punks who hadn’t yet figured out to fight for their right to party.

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6. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly – The Pogues
From the Alex Cox film, Straight to Hell, with Joe Strummer, Elvis Costello, The Pogues, Zander Schloss, and numerous other talents of film and song (despite the inclusion a wretchedly caterwauling Courtney Love), this track is a literal remix of Ennio Morricone’s classic opening theme. It is a complete departure from standard Pogues Irish pub-fare and proof that they were a band to be reckoned with.

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5. Golf Course – Michael Hutchence
Dogs in Space is one of my all-time favorite punk movies. It’s also one of the films I tend to avoid as it give me ‘all the feels’. Dogs in Space is a meandering walk through the final days of a bunch of Australian misfits as they drink, drug, and wait for Skylab to crash and wipe them all out. ‘Golf Course’ is a cover of the track from the real life band The Ears (who are fictionalized in the film) and always seemed like a companion song to Harry Chapin’s ‘Cats in the Cradle’. Do yourself a favor and check this film out, it’s melancholy window into the hedonistic restlessness of a bygone punk era.

Also of note is the killer track “Shivers” from The Boys Next Door which has the amazing line, “I’ve been contemplating suicide / but it really doesn’t suit my style / so I think I’ll just act bored instead.” This song will rip your heart out and keep it alive in an ashtray of burned photographs.

4. When the Shit Hits the Fan – The Circle Jerks
Forget every other pretender to the cinematic throne, Repo Man is the unequivocal king of punk movies. It also has one brilliant soundtrack and The Circle Jerks’ trashy blues infused redux of their satirical anthem is my personal favorite.

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3. Trash City – Joe Strummer and the Latino Rockabilly War
Permanent Record may be the one Keanu Reeves film you never knew existed. It was an 80’s teen drama that dealt with kids coming to terms with their friend’s suicide in the face of a community that wishes to pretend it never occurred: Way heavier that Breakfast Club and slightly less intense than Reeves’ River’s Edge. This soundtrack featured several of Strummer’s first non-Clash tracks and was way more punk than anything the Clash did in their final years.

2. Pet Semetary – The Ramones
This is one of the best Ramones songs written. Lyrically it is significantly more complex than most anything they ever wrote and, following a film about a fresh from the dead 3 year old, it’s a welcome bit of B-movie silliness. In fact, they come dangerously close to writing a Cramps song here. The video is hilarious with its dramatic scene-grabs and Rocky Horror Picture Show-esq cemetery party sequence.

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1.Who Did That to You – John Legend
 The fact that this song was eligible for a Grammy and overlooked is a sign of a very broken system. This song is everything that cinema soundtracks of the last hundred years should be; its bold, vengeful, rebellious, soulful, and unbelievably kick-ass.

Feel free to DOWNLOAD a mix featuring these songs.

The Ramones: Only 500,000 Punks Alive

“Never mind what’s been selling
It’s what you’re buying” – Fugazi

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This past week we saw the passing of Ramones drummer Tommy Ramone . Like many, it got me pulling out all my old Ramones albums and giving them a good hard listen. It’s strange to think the original gang is gone.
During this moment of punk-self exploration, I was shocked to discover that the Ramones eponymous first album only recently went gold this year. Yeah, that’s right. After 37 years of the world rocking  Ramones shirts, converse tennis shoes, and action figures,  less than 500,000 people ever purchased the actual music.

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Now, granted the Ramones are a punk institution: the face of pop-punk and DIY demigods. “Mania” (the greatest hits album that went gold 20 years ago / 15 after its initial release) satisfies most people’s Ramones-lust. There is no real reason for anyone to purchase the original albums when all the choice cuts have been laid out in ready bite-sized portions. No real reason, that is, other than to experience everything else the Ramones had to offer. When you simply grab the hits from iTunes or on collections, you are being told what is worth listening to by the record companies and advertisers. That ain’t punk. Punk has always been about saying ‘Fuck you’ to authority and demanding to make your own decisions. Punk is giving it all a listen and choosing for yourself what tracks you love.

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Even the homeless love a good Ramones shirt
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Who is more punk?  Why do you care so much?

Simply looking at numbers, it seems the Ramones owe more to One Direction and ‘fake music geeks’ keeping the name alive than to those who couldn’t be bothered buying the music over the past 37 years. This is the music we love. If we feel it’s been co-opted by the rich, the famous, and the mall-rats of the world, we haven’t done much to show our appreciation than to point and complain. When I was kid we looked at those standing off to the side being judgmental and called them poseurs. They were too busy talking about the scene than actively being part of it. At least the celebs fiscally supported the Ramones.

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Shia contemplates his role in punk history.

My social media feeds are alive with people posting the ‘ghost image’ of the first Ramones cover. It’s a haunting sentiment. I’d like to believe that those posting have all been true to their rock’n’roll high school and have a copy of something other than Mania sitting on their shelves. I want to believe that 500,000 punks aren’t only buying greatest hits collections. I want to believe that punk isn’t dead or simply a hip new re-established trend.
I guess the core of this diatribe is simple: If you love the music, get off your ass and buy it. Ensure its existence. Love it while it is here and alive. Stop yelling at the celebs wearing the clothing and sending money to The Ramones LLC, and know that you supported them as well. Be one of the 500,000 that kept the sound alive.

Episode 39 – Stephen King’s Joyland

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Joyland by Stephen King
Hard Case Crime

For this episode I am forgoing an original cover and instead reposting the beautiful Glen Orbik and Robert McGinnis covers.

After the positive reception of the Batman 1972 podcast I’ve tried a similar experiment (keeping the tracks specific to the year and text) . I’ll get back to garagepunk, rockabilly, and punk soon enough, I promise, I just wanted to break from genre and play some classics.

Wanna speak like a carney for fun and profit?

Rage Well,

Can’t You Hear Me Calling –  Johnny Otis
Can’t Read, Can’t Write BluesBig Joe Turner
Hound DogElvis Presley
Crocodile RockElton John
Good VibrationsBeach Boys
Stay With MeThe Faces
Baby Please Don’t GoBilly Lee Riley
I Remember YouThe Ramones
Right Place Wrong Time – Dr. John
Brain Damage  –Pink Floyd
Cars Hiss By My WindowThe Doors
Run For Your LifeThe Beatles
Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)The Hollies
Walking The DogThe Rolling Stones
Love Is All AroundThe Troggs
(Wish I Could) HideawayCreedence Clearwater Revival
The Door Into SummerThe Monkees
Show Notes After the Jump
Can’t You Hear Me Calling –  Johnny Otis
Can’t Read, Can’t Write BluesBig Joe Turner
Early in the novel someone tells protagonist Devon Jones about the musical greats who have played at Joyland and, if King mentions it, its important. I don’t think for a minute I got the right tracks, but I got the ones that are right for this episode. I meant to showcases Devon’s depression: Tracks that he gravitate towards after his break-up.

Hound DogElvis Presley
The park’s mascot is a lovable dog named Howie and if you only have one licensed character – you use him. Turns out Devon is one heck of a hound. “I Can’t Help Falling in Love,” does appear in this book, but I thought that “Hound Dog” spoke to the park itself. I was tempted to split hairs and use the Big Mama Thorton version but it just didn’t seem to fit correctly in the flow.

Crocodile RockElton John
Released as a single in 1972, this track ate up the charts in 1973.

Good VibrationsBeach Boys
Now turn to page 22 in your copy of Joyland. Read the bottom of the page and continue to the top of 23. See?

Stay With MeThe Faces
A track for Devon who spends just as much time pining for lost love a most of us do. I suppose that is why the book never gets monotonous. King always manages to focus on the common threads of humanity and Devon’s pain is all to real .

Baby Please Don’t GoBilly Lee Riley
I figured this was a solid bookend for the Elvis track. It’s rock ‘n’ roll and it’s plot is simple and familiar.

I Remember YouThe Ramones
Yeah, this track came out several years after the events of the book – I know this. This was one of my melo-dramatic anthems as a kid and thought it fit the narrative. If you worry about the massive anachronism, put this book in the Colorado Kid/Dark Tower series and move on.

Right Place Wrong TimeDr. John
Brain Damage  –Pink Floyd
Devon spends a ton of time plugged into Floyd’s Darkside of the Moon. Although he doesn’t spend any time with Dr. John’s 1973 funk track it does have th line, “My head was in a bad place” Dr. John’s insight into looping emotions connects beautifully to Floyd’s line, “There’s someone in my head but it’s not me.” Add the lines about lunatics and slashing and, well, we’d have spoilers.

Cars Hiss By My WindowThe Doors
I promise that this track is referenced in the novel, but I can’t find any trace of it in my notes. Spooky? No. Just poor marginalia.

Run For Your LifeThe Beatles
This is the creepiest John Lennon has ever sounded and I’m not sure I ever really payed attention to his obscene threat of violence. I did think about playing the Nancy Sinatra cover , but figured this would be an interesting first The Beatles track for the show. Also, check page 44.

Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)
The Hollies
After you spend time on pg. 44 turn to pg. 69.

Walking The DogThe Rolling Stones
Brian Jones and Jagger share the vocals on this cover of Rufus Thomas song.

Love Is All AroundThe Troggs
Skip back to page 30.

(Wish I Could) HideawayCreedence Clearwater Revival
I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone so after you read the book come back this point.

The Door Into SummerThe Monkees
Off of Pisces, Aquarious, Capricorn, and Jones, this is one of the most reflective and beautiful songs about summer and the price of youth. A fitting end to a beautiful narrative.

Fan Service #3 – Words, Words, Words

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Ambulances – Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons -White Lighter
Country Feedback – R.E.M. – Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage
I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive – Hank Williams – 40 Greatest Hits
Here Come The People In Grey – The Kinks – Muswell Hillbillies
Dirty Life And Times   – Warren Zevon – The Wind (for Brooke H)
Mercy Street – Peter Gabriel   – Shaking The Tree ( for Colleen F)
Black Pear Tree – The Mountain Goats – Black Pear Tree EP
Innocent When You Dream (78) – Tom Waits – Franks Wild Years (for Steve S.)
Strange Fruit  – Billie Holiday
Black and Blue – Louis Armstrong – The Essential Louis Armstrong
Restless – Langhorne Slim – Langhorne Slim
Hip Kids – Becky Lee And Drunkfoot – Hello Black Halo
Powertrip – Monster Magnet – Powertrip (for Jezebella C)
God Save the Queen  – The Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down    – Ramones – Weird Tales Of The Ramones
Youth Is Wasted By The Young – The Trouble – Nobody Laughs Anymore            1
Don’t Drag Me Down – Social Distortion – White Light White Heat White Trash
Cheer Up! – the Singing Loins – The Complete and Utter
Pass The Mic – Beastie Boys – Check Your

Episode 33 – Punk Rock Jesus

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A few weeks ago, I reviewed the epic that is Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus. The tale follows the months before a clone of Jesus (J2) is born and continues into J2’s teen years. Sean is one of my favorite Hellblazer artists so, obviously, when I heard about this book I jumped on it. It has it all and knows how to use it; a IRA tough guy, political debate, religious conflict, cloned polar bears, great characterization, and PUNK ROCK!

There is so much information in this book, that the jumps in scenes can sometimes be a bit jarring, but the overall strength of the narrative is so compelling that it is completely forgivable. Hell, I’m amazed that Vertigo let Murphy do the series. I guess what I’m getting at is that 6 issues is too confining but this story needed to be told and I’m impressed with Murphy’s skills at working with what he had. In a perfect world we may see an expanded edition. It would be worth the price tag.

Episode 33 – Punk Rock Jesus

Anarchy In The U.K. – The Sex Pistols
We Did Alright  – Tim Timebomb
Rip ‘Em Off – Showcase Showdown
Propaganda By The Deed – The Pinkerton Thugs
Product of My Environment – Circle Jerks
Bring Out Your Dead – Anti-Flag
1000 More Fools – Bad Religion
Filler – Minor Threat
Values Here – Dag Nasty
Live Free – Youth Of Today
Zero For Conduct – OFF!
Jaded – Operation Ivy
Real World – Hüsker Dü
Ideas Are Bulletproof – The Pist
American Nightmare  – The Misfits
Send Me Your Money – Suicidal Tendencies
Wasted Life – Stiff Little Fingers
Innocent – the burdens
1 of the 2 – The Damned
Cats And Dogs – Gorilla Biscuits
You Should Never Have Opened That Door -The Ramones
New Wind – 7 Seconds
Dance of Days – Embrace
Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot – The Buffets
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – F.E.A.R.

Episode 26 – Hate

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A Simple Gesture – J Church
Hate Your Friends – The Lemonheads
Tarpit – Dinosaur Jr.
Beergasm – The Karl Hendricks Rock Band
Slack Motherfucker – Superchunk
They Don’t Care – Fastbacks
Stumblin’ Man – Tad
If I Think – Mudhoney
Feels Blind – Bikini Kill
One Out of Four – Seaweed
Be Nicer To Me – Can You Imagine?
I Can’t Control Myself – The Troggs
Lil’ Red Riding Hood – John Felice
Can’t Stand It  – The Greenhornes
Muck ‘n’ Bullets – The Mobbs
New Resolution – Heartless Bastards
California Sun  – The Ramones
No Correspondence – The Beckett Quintet
Mine All Mine – The Beat Rats
Love Is All Around (The Troggs Cover) – Mooseheart Faith
Ain’t like you – The Primates

For more information on Peter Bagge
For information on Hate Comics from Fantagraphic Books

Photo courtesy of sacks08