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Some Friendly Suggestions for Wes Anderson

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Dear Wes,

Hey! You don't know me, but I'm a big fan. I haven't seen your newest film, Moonrise Kingdom yet, though. So, no spoilers! Haha. That was a joke, Wes. I know you wouldn't do that to me. I trust you.

But onto business! I am writing you this open letter because I have some great ideas that I think you should hear. It's not a screenplay, although we can get to the first draft of my 300-page fantasy epic later. It is about music, as everything is. I have these suggestions you might want to consider for your next soundtrack. I briefly considered addressing this to Randal Poster, your music supervisor/partner in crime but I thought, no, that will not do. This has to go to the top.

First, I know you have a soft spot for lovely folk music from its heyday in the '60s. Your use of Nico's “These Days?" Tops. So why not go back to that well, but with The Velvet Underground's “Femme Fatale?” Nico's distinctive voice would be a nice callback for your most dedicated fans, and it's got that quirky edge to a love song that you seem to enjoy. It's a crossroads of all kinds of conflicting emotions, from reverence to fear to good old melancholy. Maybe set it to slow motion Gwyneth Paltrow coming off of a plane this time. See? Idea machine, right here.

If you don't mind getting into omnipresent, popular, classic, Americana stuff, how about some Neil Young? Say, “Heart of Gold?” It has more production than you might prefer, but the emotional depth is there. It’s the search for true love versus the passage of time and sounds like something for a great subplot! Maybe a grizzled Bill Murray could be a latex glove inspector in a factory and this would play during the montage that shows us what a strange and alien world he lives in. I even know a pretty good string quartet rendition of it, too, if you want to put a classy twist on it.

If you're willing to venture out into today's vibrant folk/singer-songwriter scene, and I know you have a couple of times, might I suggest the critically acclaimed Fionn Regan? Listen to “The Underwood Typewriter” and tell me this isn't something you could do some magic with, bro. It's got some great finger picking, which I think you like, and alternates between this upbeat folksy demeanor to this colder, mysterious chorus. It's versatile! It's pretty! It's Jason Schwartzman and Anjelica Huston having a picnic in a zeppelin above 1960s New York.

But it's not all quirk and acoustics for you. No sir. As you've shown with your use of The Clash and The Ramones, you are also adept at working in some bare bones punk in there to provide your soundtracks some snarl. And to your credit, you make it work, with that same rusty aesthetic that's found on your folk music choices. So here's what I'm thinking: You. Wavves. “Post Acid.” Wavves is one of the biggest names in sort-of-nostalgic lo-fi, and they channel the same energy that you can find in guitar-mashing classics like “Judy is a Punk,” which you used in The Royal Tenenbaums. “Post Acid” is exactly that type of song: fun, fuzzy and head banging. I'm seeing jump cuts of Owen Wilson snipping the hedges in his yard into elaborate sculptures in order to validate the smallness of his life. Do you see it too?

I know this is a lot to take in. It's cool! Take your time, no pressure. When you're ready, have your people call me. I don't have any people so you'll just have to look me up in the phone book or something. I'm free for lunch. Or, anything really, whatever you want big guy! Keep me updated.


Justin Pansacola

Vitamin String Quartet Performs the Music From the Films of Wes Anderson

Available now on iTunes and Amazon

The String Quartet Tribute to The Velvet Underground + Nico

Available now on iTunes and Amazon

Rusted Moon: The String Quartet Tribute to Neil Young

Available now on iTunes and Amazon

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The Many Lives of Damon Albarn

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Damon Albarn is a true creative. He's not the type that seems to coast, he is not only driven by the need to create, but by the need to create new things. It's a drive that has led to gigs like an opera, movie soundtracks and a consideration to direct the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. But it's never been just about his music output. The latest news out of Camp Albarn is that one of his supergroup projects, Rocket Juice and the Moon, featuring Flea and Tony Allen, are at long last releasing their debut album. For the sake of convenience and keeping it all together, this is a look at all that Albarn has wrought. Blur - At one point, Damon Albarn was just the Blur frontman, and that wasn't so bad. They were a central figure in '90s Britpop as they fought tooth and nail with Oasis over sales dominance. While Americans were getting grungey with Kurt Cobain, Albarn and Blur were creating an especially British sub-genre that didn't cross the ocean until “Song 2,” which some only remember as “woo hoo!” and a consistent presence in action movie trailers/commercials. Gorillaz - Not content to be part of one of the biggest figures in '90s British alternative rock, Albarn worked with cartoonist Jamie Hewlett on Gorillaz, a cartoon band vehicle for Albarn to explore pop and his other genre inclinations. It still stands to this day as his biggest thing ever, which is a tremendous feat coming off of Blur, and you have to wonder if he has an even bigger hit group concept in him. Mali Music - In 2000, Damon Albarn took a trip to Mali and came out with a new band because that's how his mind works. The aptly titled Mali Music is a collaboration with Malian musicians like Afel Bocoum. Anyone that expected something along the lines of world music or folk music was surprised by the electronic ambience and mesmeric style. The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Here's another supergroup that should be right up the alley of any Gorillaz enthusiast. Their music is interesting, eclectic, and often hits on a great beat. Although it features members of The Verve and The Clash, the production by Danger Mouse (another compulsive collaborator) is just as big a feature. Albarn insists that the band has no name, just an album name, but no one's buying into it and just calls them what it says on the sales charts. Rocket Juice and the Moon - The newest thing out of his imagination, Rocket Juice and the Moon haven't even put out an album yet. It's a purely groovy funk outlet that's also made up of Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen. If that's not enough overkill, the album is supposed to have a guest spot by Erykah Badu. With that kind of pedigree, working in that genre, the expectations are high.

Listen to "Song 2" as performed by Vitamin String Quartet here.

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