dirty martini

old music for new people

high school musical: the 90s December 8, 2007

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it’s a testament to the scary times we live in that something as anodyne, safe and unchallenging as high school musical is so popular and gratefully received by fearful parents.

gone are the days when kids looked up to rebels – these days they actually swallow the moralistic, gap-sweatered cheese the establishment tried so hard to push in the 50s, and again in the 70s. i am talking about the kids who aren’t out shooting their classmates and working on their next asbo, obviously.

don’t call them throwback to the kids from fame – those kids had more grit. even the partridge family look hardcore compared to drippy gabriella and troy.

as in high school musical, my generation, the 90s high school crowd, were infinitely more stylish than the 80s crowd we looked up to, and no less bitchy. but the similarities with gabriella and co end there. the class of the 90s had designer polish by day but by night they lived the 90s dream – drugs, clubs and alcohol. yes, even yanks got pissed in 90s teen movies.

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never been kissed

madonna – like a prayer, ozomatli – cumbia de los muertos

the original version of the madonna classic is far superior and well used in this movie. the reggae club scene shows how underage partying has merged into the adult scene and lost its edge. gone are the days of smoky clubs and out of control house parties – the 90s girls have endless wardrobes and no need to work in record stores or gas stations to fund their social lives.

10 things i hate about you

brick – dazz,  kci and jojo – all my life

old skool funk and 80s soul ruled this soundtrack, and made such a refreshing contrast to the usual dreary US teen angst rock so prevalent in these movies, to the bemusement of the UK where complaint rock is so not popular. some indie warbling did slip past but the main character was resolutely alternative so this was to be expected…

american pie

etta james – at last, paul simon – mrs robinson

well this soundtrack was a bit of a mishmash of genres and these were probably the least offensive. again, the US preoccupation with MOR rock shines through most of the other tracks.

can’t hardly wait

kp and envyi – swing my way, tone loc – funky cold medina

not so great movie, much better soundtrack. miaow – but, does anyone really think jennifer love hewitt is attractive enough to play an obsessive love interest? i’m not buying it personally, can’t see the fuss. but then i’m not supposed to as i’m a girl.

she’s all that

rick james – give it to me baby, goldie – believe

by the late 90s, high school mean girls are apparently dating reality tv z-listers. never in the breakfast club. throw in some superfluous cameos by lil kim and usher within the lead characters’ army of skanks and apparently you have a movie. again – NEVER IN THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

clueless

coolio – rollin’ with my homies, no doubt – just a girl

generation defining movie that started the high school movie ball rolling again. alicia silverstone broke the mould as the teen queen with a heart. 12 years later, people are still saying ‘whatever’ and ‘as if’. much like ‘valley girl’ before it, clueless made er, being clueless, cool again.

 

sex and the city: the soundtrack season one November 3, 2007

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 i’m not sure i’ve looked forward to a movie this much since the rumour that ‘dirty dancing 2’ would be made a few years after the original. that took about 15 years to materialise (and i still haven’t bothered to watch it) but with movies still commercially viable i have a feeling this one will run to schedule.

when the show first aired in 1998, i was living in an absolute hellhole. i’d just graduated and was sharing with a friend in london. we had a bed in the living room, in order to have something to sit on and so watching older, successful women with real apartments was slightly removed from our reality.

what i couldn’t relate to then but i can understand now is the feeling of being in your 30s and single. i now have many single friends, mostly older, who are slightly panicked at the thought that they might not find ‘the one’ i can understand that feeling from looking for a new job and in the end, maybe they’re quite similar as the longer you hold out the better the end result.

the distinct personalities of the girls are perhaps a little too exaggerated here as the series aims to establish the characters. its a fun series as the girls are mostly single and having fun but the warmth and complexity of their friendship doesn’t always shine through as in later episodes.

the music in the first series was mostly jazz, new and standard. with a few disco numbers thrown in for certain scenes. ‘under paris skies’ is currently being used in a ford s-max advert.

you can check out the soundtrack for season two here.

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amber – flying above the clouds

aretha franklin – respect

big bad voodoo daddy – you and me and the bottle makes 3 tonight

edith piaf – no regrets

etta james – something’s got a hold on me

evelyn champagne king – shame

joe ‘fingers’ carr – under paris skies

kc and the sunshine band – that’s the way i like it

morphine – honey white

patrick hernandez – born to be alive

sheryl crow – a change would do you good

squirrel nut zippers – meant to be