LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD: I don’t know if my brutal schedule will allow for me to write about every episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles this season, but tonight’s Automatic for the People features outstanding pieces I can’t resist sharing. This week, I wrote lovely score cues for new plot lines and characters, but it was actually the “source” music I had the most fun with. (This term refers to music heard by characters in the film, as opposed to score only experienced by the viewing audience).
Several scenes took place in a bar. Typically, there will be music at bars in film and tv, but Automatic for the People presented a unique opportunity. Sarah and Cameron infiltrate a bar and Cameron’s job is to get close enough to the security guards playing pool to visually scan their badges. So, Cameron plays the “helpless girl who can’t play pool” trick. Of course, it would have been just as easy for her to kill them all, but not quite as subtle.
First, she starts a song on the juke box. Here, I had a chance to select the song that Cameron would pick! This was a fun opportunity to get inside the character’s head. She’s methodical, and would undoubtedly choose a song that would help her mission: something sexy, but with a hard-driving beat that might facilitate her getting close to the guys playing pool. Of course, with her looks she could have probably put on Herman’s Hermits’ “Henry The Eighth” and still work her magic. 🙂
I knew immediately the song I wanted her to choose was “Ain’t We Famous,” by Brendan McCreary (yes… relation). He wrote this song about a year ago and has been playing it with his band all over Los Angeles, and it never fails to bring down the house. It’s catchy as hell, and I knew it would be perfect for this scene. But, most of all, I wanted him to record it, since it only existed on crappy live recordings. Terminator was the perfect excuse for us to go into the studio with it.
He recorded “Ain’t We Famous” at the same time as I wrote the episode’s score, and in that short time, ended up with a gem. If you want to hear it, check out his MySpace page. It will also be on the forthcoming Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles soundtrack CD, along with the Shirley Manson song from last week. The recording rocks, but you gotta hear it live. Come see us on Halloween night, where I am playing keys with BrEndAn’s Band in an outrageous show at The Mint in Los Angeles.
BrEndAn’s Band playing “Ain’t We Famous” at The Mint last summer. (L-R: Steve Bartek, Carl Sealove, Brendan McCreary, Paul Cartwright)
A shorter scene in the bar features the bluesy “Workin’ Man” by Doug and the Mystics (you can hear it on their MySpace page). This band features Oingo Boingo alums (and Battlestar Galactica score musicians) Doug Legacy, John Avila, Steve Bartek, Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez and Sam “Sluggo” Phipps. “Workin’ Man” is from their 1995 album New Hat which is currently out of print, but will be re-released in the near future. I’ve loved this band since I was in high school, and am excited they are reuniting on October 30th for The Alternajazz Festival in Los Angeles. That performance happens to be the night before our BrEndAn’s Band Halloween show, also at The Mint!
The last bar scene featured the song “Live Forever” that Brendan and I recorded for a demo a few years ago. It’s far from the best song I’ve ever written, but its thrashing heavy metal power-chords have proved useful time and time again. It was featured in the season two finale of Eureka, and was heard in the premiere of 90210 on CW last week.
However, for me, the most exciting music in Automatic for the People was my full-fledged Looney Tunes inspired score for the “Atomic Al” training video. I’ll post a specific entry about that in a few days.