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KTW vs. ETC: Ernessa Picked the Choke Soundtrack


A versus by Ernessa T. Carter and Kyle T. Wilson

Does one of Ernessa’s favorite books + one of Kyle’s favorite TV dads = one of the great soundtracks? Let’s find out.

First here’s at least one song, we can both agree we like, “Navy Nurse” by The Fiery Furnaces:

Then here’s Kyle’s Take

A soundtrack, Ernessa?  Really?  Hold on a second while I pick my head up off the desk and splash some cold water on my face.

Okay, it seems to me that soundtracks are most successful when they’re either trendsetting or unexpected.  We love it when Tarantino pulls some obscure but perfect song out of someone’s back catalog and slaps it up onscreen.  Or when Cameron Crowe reminds us of “Tiny Dancer,” or….

Sorry, I can’t stop yawning.  What was I saying again?

Oh right…anyway, for all I know, the soundtrack to Choke works beautifully in the context of the film.  I haven’t seen the movie yet, although I may go just to support its director, Clark Gregg, who happens to be my favorite TV dad in his role on The New Adventures of Old Christine.  One listen to his soundtrack doesn’t have me making plans for opening night, though, as it mostly comes off like a perfunctory smattering of buzz bands from the last three to five years.  Shout Out Louds, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, (my beloved) Fiery Furnaces, My Morning Jacket, Death Cab for Cutie…they’re all on here.  I have no beef with any of these songs necessarily; I’m just not inspired by the collection.

Luckily there are a few highlights.  Its always fun to hear Greg Dulli, even if his Twilight Singers (“There’s Been an Accident”) only makes me nostalgic for The Afghan Whigs, and a Britpunk noisefest like “Orgasm Addict” by The Buzzcocks can’t help but stand out in the midst of all this up-to-date indie cool.  But the big find of the whole album is a 1971 single from a low-budget Detroit studio called Big Mack; the song is “If You Feel It,” by Ms. Tyree “Sugar” Jones, and it’s a sultry, downright dirty track that deserves all the audience this movie can give it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look for my Pump Up the Volume soundtrack.  After a nap.

And Then Ernessa’s take after the jump:

Okay, Kyle begged me to choose the The Cold War Kids new album this week, but it’s my week, and I’ve always rathered that a variety of acts bore me than just one band.

However, though I stand by my soundtrack choice, I do have to admit that this one does verge on boring. It’s all perfectly respectable indie act with almost no surprises. It’s the equivalent of someone (other than that one guy from Project Runway) telling you that they have impeccable taste and then showing you an example of their impeccable taste. That’s great that this person has perfect taste, but is it interesting?

In this case, I’m afraid not. But there were some stand outs. Sad that more women weren’t tapped, b/c Ms. Tyree “Sugar” Jones offers one of the best and most fun tracks on the album. I’ve also been working on cross-dimensional scheme to marry Nicole Atkins in in a parallel universe for some time now, so obviously I appreciated her cover of The Doors “The Crystal Ship. As for the guys, like Kyle, I appreciated the Twilight Singers, but I probably wouldn’t seek them out beyond this album.

However, if you’re a writer, it should be noted that though this is an only B+ listening record, it’s an A+ writing record, great for background, in that it’s engaging enough, but not distracting.

BTW, Kyle, I still ADORE the Pump of the Volume soundtrack for introducing me to Concrete Blonde. In fact here’s the weirdly bad Joey video, just so we can all be nostalgic together.