Ellie’s Pick: This is a Life – Son Lux (featuring Mitski & David Byrne)
For my intern pick, I chose “This Is A Life” from Best Picture winner Everything Everywhere All At Once. Sweeping the Oscars, cast and crew were also awarded Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. A tender film in its whole, EEAAO uses humor, action, and drama to tackle existentialism and mental health. As well as navigate the reality of Asian American family dynamics and what it’s like to be an immigrant.
One of the most important themes articulated in the film is that there is beauty and meaning in everything. Despite seeming like a nihilistic film, EEAAO flips the script showing that no matter how zany, each alternate reality has significance, but it’s up to you to choose what truly matters. This is the essence of “This is a Life.” Chorus two reads, “This is a life (Every possibility). Free from destiny (I choose you, and you choose me). Not only what we sow (Every space and every time). Not only what we show, we (We, ooh).”
“This Is A Life” includes vocals from Mitski and Davide Byrne and instrumentals by Son Lux. Just like EEAAO, the ballad prompts listeners to reflect on personal relationships, and show appreciation for loved ones.
Caden’s Pick: Kenny Loggins – “Danger Zone”
Since this week’s pick has to come from one of the soundtracks of a movie selected as a nominee for Best Picture at the Oscars, I chose the classic “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins. Of the nominations for Best Picture, I have only seen Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water, and All Quiet On The Western Front. I am sure that the other nominees have fantastic soundtracks. I even saw that one of the movies had John Williams as the composer! Given that Mr. Williams has soundtracks that I could listen to any time of day, I am sure that his soundtrack for The Fabelmans is spectacular.
My reasoning for choosing “Danger Zone” this week is quite simple. It is a classic and my brother has watched the first Top Gun so many times, it’s a wonder the disc hasn’t called it quits! This song is practically ingrained in my memory. “Playing With The Boys” is also stored somewhere in my brain, but it has a tendency to get paired with oily men playing volleyball. I was thrilled to be welcomed into the theater again with “Danger Zone” playing while scenes of F/A-18s and F-35s on aircraft carriers set the mood for the movie.
Though we had to wait longer than we wanted to see Top Gun: Maverick, it was well worth the wait! I know I had a goofy smile on my face while hearing “Danger Zone” in the film’s first moments.
Christina’s Pick: Doja Cat – Vegas
Since Oscar week was last week, our picks are honoring the Oscars Best Picture nominees! I had to go with one of my favorites, “Vegas” by Doja Cat, featured in ELVIS.
As soon as I heard this, I understood the hype. Not many artists can pay homage to such a classic song as Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” by Big Mama Thornton, yet Doja Cat manages to do this in such a seamless and uniquely refreshing way. “Vegas” takes it back to the original roots of blues as it samples Thornton’s vocals while incorporating Doja’s distinctive sound blending pop, R&B, and hip-hop. Her clever lyricism and catchy chorus melodies drive the song, along with Thornton’s legendary vocal sample which is featured 14 times over the 3 minute track.
The original version of “Hound Dog” sung by Big Mama Thornton is well-known for being a ‘sauntering blues song with a raunchy tale about a two timing man’, which Doja Cat capitalizes on in “Vegas”. The sassy relationship anthem exudes confidence in all the right ways, and you’ll definitely find this one stuck in your head all week.
Claire’s Pick: Bee Gees – “Stayin Alive”
For this week’s intern pick, I chose “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees. “Stayin Alive” was featured in the best picture nominated film Triangle of Sadness. The track was initially released in 1977 as a part of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. It is one of the Bee Gee’s most recognized songs and was named of the best songs of all time by Rolling Stone. This song was played in my house growing up alongside other tunes by the Bee Gees, Gloria Gainer, Whitney Houston, Kenny Loggins, and Hall and Oats.
With “Stayin Alive,” the Bee Gees bring mundane tasks to life. The bass line is still one of the most iconic grooves of all time. The sky-high vocal melodies and jaunty drums make it hard to stay still when listening. It’s disco, baby!