Monday, May 27, 2013

Camp "Century Plant"

So I'm hosting The Hot Seat tonight, and I'm doing something overly complicated.

Usually for The Hot Seat, you pick a theme and fill the hour with songs on that theme.

Over the course of the year, I keep notes on things that I think are good possible ideas for Hot Seat themes.  Here are a couple I have considered.

Songs that spell things out (like R-E-S-P-E-C-T).

Great hidden tracks of albums.

Rock artists that improbably threw rap into one of their songs.

They all sound like interesting ideas to me, but none of these themes were ever made into full shows, because I couldn't find an hour's worth of good songs on the subject.

So tonight, instead of having one theme, I'm doing ALL of them.  Four mini-Hot Seats, using each of the three above themes for 15 minutes.

The fourth theme (the last 15 minutes) is the one that I feel like will take me a whole hour to explain.  But here goes:

Songs that appeared in movies about bands that were presented in the film as an original song but was actually a previously released tune written by a famous artist.


Okay, maybe an example makes it more simple.

Remember that Michael J Fox movie "Light Of Day" where he and Joan Jett had a bar band?  And they sang a really catchy rocking tune that they wrote?

You may remember that "Light Of Day" was actually a song written by Bruce Springsteen.  He hadn't written it for the film or anything, but he hadn't put it on an album yet, so in the movie, it could seem like an original by the fictional band.

Okay, so songs written for movies don't count.  "That Thing You Do"?  Doesn't fit this theme.

Or that Gwenyth Paltrow movie where she sings karaoke with Huey Lewis?  No, those songs are not being passed off in the film as originals.  So that doesn't fly.

A good example of something that works would be the movie "Velvet Goldmine" which is a Rock N Roll story featuring fictionalized versions of David Bowie and Iggy Pop.  The fictional bands in the movie do songs that are presented as originals, but are actually Roxy Music and Stooges songs.

My favorite example, one that I'll be featuring tonight, comes from a great little indie flick called "Camp."  Camp (featuring a very young future Oscar nominee, Anna Kendrick) precedes the TV show "Glee" by several years, and works on the same theme---kids who are awkward and just want to sing.  It's set in a summer camp, instead of high school.

Part of the storyline is around the campers getting to meet a famous playwright/musician, who hasn't had success since his debut musical.  Near the end of the film, the kids rally around this flagging icon, and sing one of "his" songs.  What a pleasant surprise it was to hear the kids launch into a sweet Victoria Williams song called "Century Plant."

As you can see in the video, the music and lyrics are presented as written by a character in the film, but are actually from a song released many years prior.

That's the 4th theme.

Hey, that only took me 374 words to explain it!

Join me tonight at 9pm ET, to hear my half-ass mishmash of a Hot Seat!

Hear the song on Youtube.

Victoria Williams has two songs in tonight's show.  "Crazy Mary" has spelling in it.  The Hot Seat will feature the Pearl Jam version, but here's Vic singing it, as well has her "Century Plant."

Hear Victoria Williams on Youtube.

Movie trailer for "Camp" on Youtube.

Movie trailer for "Velvet Goldmine" on Youtube.

Movie trailer for "Light Of Day" on Youtube.

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