October 10, 2008

“…Like an addiction — you gotta do that so you can go home happy” :: One Track Mind surf film & music

Woodshed Films is the surf film collaborative through which brothers Chris and Emmett Malloy (along with Tim Lynch, Jack Johnson, and other artists) have turned out artistic surf culture films like Thicker Than Water, Sprout, Brokedown Melody and Shelter.

I appreciate how their work turns a daring eye towards breathtaking natural cinematography, and captures a raw & pure excitement for surfing that I can catch onto even though those damn surfboards have never cooperated with my specific self. Their films succeed at what good filmmaking is supposed to do (what good anything is supposed to do, really — writing, music included): they make you feel the way it feels, and they show you why they love it.

In addition to the graceful arcs of the ocean and the powerful control exerted by the surfers they follow, their films are always accompanied by some fantastic soundtracks. Not surprising since The Malloys are also heavily involved with the Brushfire Records label, which began with Jack Johnson as an outcropping of their film soundtracks. Check the trailer for their new film One Track Mind which premieres on Facebook next week.

Is There A Ghost – Band of Horses

How perfectly does that song align?! The visuals demonstrate all my favorite majestic aspects of that song, the way it shimmers and breaks. Here’s the rest of the One Track Mind soundtrack:

One Track Mind – Soundtrack

Not too shabby.

When I spoke with Mason Jennings back in May, he mentioned that he was working with the Woodshed guys and James Mercer from The Shins on the 2009 film 180° South about the pristine Patagonia region of South America. I’ve been waiting eagerly for that collaboration since then (fueled by the bus-singalong video clip Stereogum featured). You can finally hear some of their joint endeavor now — featuring virtuoso whistling which may or may not be the otherworldy skills of Andrew Bird.

November 8, 2006

The White Buffalo?

If I was in a record store and flipping through the stacks (in my own little slice of heaven) and I came across something called The White Buffalo EP, I would probably shallowly dismiss it as some kind of Native American folksy music and keep going to the White Stripes or even Whitesnake.

But that would be foolish of me.

Picture instead that the first exposure to this tune is a soundtrack to a low-key little surfing movie called Shelter, with a gorgeous blue wave curling its way around a bronzed and happy surfer dude (or chick). That opens my mind to the sound — and I immediately liked the unique, quavering, urgent voice and the old-school scatting interludes to the vocals, like an old blues song. Give it a shot, I ripped it here from DVD audio:

Wrong (acoustic) – The White Buffalo

I don’t know why Jake Smith chooses to call himself The White Buffalo. Maybe it came to him in a dream about a woman dressed in white with a holy pipe. But I have learned that he was born in Oregon, moved to San Francisco, waited tables, and is currently on tour with Ziggy Marley and later with Donavon Frankenreiter, and has that aforementioned EP which is actually thoroughly enjoyable.

Here’s one more track, others on his MySpace, or buy the EP here.

Love Song – The White Buffalo (alternate link)

(Both songs re-upped on 11/11/06)

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October 19, 2006

New from Brushfire Records: Brokedown Melody soundtrack

Just got word from the folks at Brushfire Records (Jack Johnson’s label) that they are finally releasing the soundtrack from the 16mm surfing film A Brokedown Melody (2004). Johnson’s other surf films have had very interesting, well-put-together soundtracks (see the write-up of Sprout here) so I am looking forward to hearing this one as well.

Notable ’round these parts is the inclusion of a nice little ukulele ditty with Ed Vedder which, as I recall, played over the closing credits. A friend of mine once said I’d do backflips for this but I was never able to find a version of it until recently. And I’ll admit, I fairly did.

Goodbye” – Ed Vedder
This version from 3-15-02 in Los Angeles, the first live performance

Here’s the full tracklisting of the album, which includes the usual suspects (Jack Johnson, Matt Costa) and some notably interesting inclusions (M. Ward, Kings of Convenience, The Beta Band):

01. The Cave – Culver City Dub Collective
02. Breakdown (film version) – Jack Johnson
03. Know How – Kings Of Convenience
04. We Need Love – Johnny Osbourne
05. Transfiguration No. 1 – M. Ward
06. Let It Be Sung – Jack Johnson/Matt Costa/Zach Gill
07. Goodbye – Eddie Vedder
08. Needles In My Eyes – The Beta Band
09. Heart (Things Never Shared) – Doug Martsch
10. The Road – Matt Costa
11. Vuelo Al Sur (Koop Remix) – Astor Piazzolla
12. Home – Jack Johnson

It’s available for pre-order now and comes out November 14, to coincide with the theatrical release of the film. Speculation is flying fast and furious that this would be the perfect song for Vedder to bust out at the Bridge School Benefit this weekend, which I am conveniently in-town to attend. I wouldn’t mind hearing this one live at all.

February 8, 2006

Let’s go surfin now (everybody’s learnin how)

With all this winter nonsense abounding, sometimes a gal just needs to relax and remember warmer days. Although I do not (and probably never will) surf, the soundtrack to the surfing movie Sprout is one of the best chillout soundtracks in my collection. Out on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records label (check out Thicker Than Water & The September Sessions too), this laid-back collection features Calexico, Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions (who I blogged about recently), Superwolf (Bonnie Prince Billy & Matt Sweeney), The Shins, Sam Prekop, and others. These are two of my favorite tracks:

Two Stones In My Pocket – Neil Halstead (this song is only on the iTunes version of the album, as far as I can tell)

Got My Sunshine – Mojave 3 (also with Halstead, if you think the voice sounds slightly familiar)

You can also see the video for one of the best instrumental tracks on the album here, which completely makes me want to get a little sunburned:
Butternut video – Sprout House Band

So check out the album, eh? Feels warmer already.

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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