Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Welcome to Adventureland

Less a mix this one and more a mini soundtrack of sorts, from a great new film that I saw recently. Adventureland is set in 1987, with Kristen Stewart and Jesse "Squid And The Whale" Eisenberg working dead-end summer jobs at the local theme park. It's being sold as a film "From the director of Superbad", though this would be akin to slapping a sticker announcing "From the writers of Surfin' USA" on a copy of Pet Sounds. In truth, the humour, ambition and emotional range is light years ahead of McLovin and co's original outing but it is the period setting that I'm hooked on here.

Like all great coming-of-age films, they've realised that the key to wider appeal is to set it 20 years previously. Just as Dazed And Confused repackaged 1970s stoner rock classics for the post-Nevermind set, so Adventureland digs up some late 1980s early indie masterpieces for sensitive plaid-shirt wearing Noughties types. Two generations of cinema-goers for the price of one. Winner.

Ok, so the soundtrack is far cooler than anything I was actually listening to in 1987 - at the time, I was transfixed by the sleeve of my older sister's vinyl copy of Iron Maiden's Somewhere In Time and taping early Bon Jovi tunes off the radio - but it just feels right. From the glamorous drivetime rock of Bowie's Modern Love to the reckless backcombed thrash of Paul Westerberg's underrated Bastards of the Young, they have all bases covered. Throw in a Foreigner tribute band and a running joke about Lou Reed's Satellite Of Love and it quickly becomes less of a film and more of a lifestyle choice. No wonder I want one of those "Games Games Games" t-shirts...

The Replacements - "Bastards of the Young" (Tim, 1985)

David Bowie - "Modern Love" (Let's Dance, 1983)

INXS - "Don't Change" (Shabooh Shoobah, 1982)

Husker Du - "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely" (Candy Apple Grey, 1986)

Big Star - "I'm In Love With A Girl" (Radio City, 1973)

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