Liner Notes The Real Blonde:
The shooting done, the film edited, now the creative team behind the soundtrack for The Real Blonde had to put the music together. Director Tom DiCillo, composer Jim Farmer and music supervisor Robin Urdang spoke about their choices and creating a soundtrack as compelling as the film, song by song, piece by piece.
“Neighborhood” -- Space
DiCillo: I like this group Space. That guy writes a little bit like the guy from Wall Of Voodoo, Stan Ridgway. Space is funny. ‘Neighborhood’ is about this guy living in this apartment surround by psycho killers. It’s really hilarious, but quite sophisticated musically.
Urdang: ‘Neighbourhood,’ by Space, that’s been on the radio in LA.
“No Respect” -- Kool Moe Dee
Urdang: Some of the music, is older like “No Respect” by Kool Moe Dee.
DiCillo: I’ve always wanted to use that piece by Kool Moe Dee, ‘No Respect.’ That’s an old piece. It’s from the early 80s, now they call it “old school.” I tried to use it in another film. I just think what the bass is doing there is very cool. It’s got an emotional thing. You don’t have to turn it up loud to enjoy it. You just wanna. He’s got a great sense of humor, and musically it was quite engaging.
Jungle Bill -- Yello
Urdang: “Jungle Bill” by Yello is another older track. Tom plays music. He knows what he wants. In that case, it was really great working with him. He just said, ‘I like this, I don’t like this. That works, that doesn’t work.’ He knew what he wanted. We all knew what he wanted. It was just finding the music that worked.
DiCillo: This is from their latest album. I’ve always found their music dramatic -- it has all the elements of drama. I’d love to have them do as score for me. Their music is incredibly cinematic. It makes this scene, a photo shoot of two bare-chested bikers attempting to rape a woman on a motorcycle, seem like a spiritual event.
“Vanishing Point” -- Apollo Four Forty
Urdang: “Vanishing Point,” by Apollo Four Forty is brand new.
DiCillo: The film itself tries to create a new, slightly artificial world. I wanted the music to do the same thing. It had to have some comedy. It had to have some real humanity. It was an extremely difficult thing, trying to find this kind of music. It was a real turn on to hear Apollo Four Forty. First of all, it’s quite sophisticated musically. They’re doing different things with music and lyrics. And the music has a sense of humor. I like that.
Urdang: The music we needed, we realized, was energetic and funny. Yet, we wanted it to work with the film. We wanted the people who saw the film to know the music and like the music.
“The Real Blonde” -- Jim Farmer
DiCillo: The guy did an incredible job. It’s even a point of note that he scored all of my films. This is my fourth film that he has scored. That’s pretty damn rare in this business.
Farmer: Absolutely. Tom and I said it should sound like Hannah-Barbera meets Peter Gunn at the Cotton Club. Beatnik with a little cotton club thrown in there.
DiCillo: Yeah, isn’t that great? I kind of came up with that idea when I listened to two things: Peggy Lee, ‘Fever.’ Then there’s this incredible record by Duke Ellington Afro-Eurasian Eclipse. This record was instrumental to both Jim and me in terms of coming up with the real blood of the score. It’s some really incredible music. It’s very cool music. It sounds timeless. It doesn’t sound like big band. It’s just unbelievably beautiful. Then, Jim just took off and he came up with it.
“Inhaler” -- Hooverphonic
Urdang: There’s a lot of music that’s coming out of London that you might not have heard of yet. Some of it you might. “Inhaler” by Hooverphonic is playing now.
DiCillo: I think that trip-hop is one of the more musically interesting movements lately. It does tend to be a little glum, but I like it musically in terms of the atmosphere.
“A Martini For Mancini”
Urdang: “Martini For Mancini'“ is a Joey Altruda song. He’s really moving up right now. He’s part of that whole nuevo-lounge scene.
DiCillo: It has a playful energy. The scene happens in a restaurant. A lot of restaurants try to establish an edgy atmosphere with the music they play. It supports the scene but doesn’t force it.
Vaquero -- The Fireballs
DiCillo: This is a very personal piece of music. The Fireballs are a ‘pre-surf’ band from the mid-fifties. I fell across them while choosing music for Box Of Moonlight. Some of the most interesting surf music had an ethnic flavor, like Dick Dale’s ‘Misirlou.’ The Fireballs influence was Mexican music. This tune sounds like some of Morricone’s early work.
“Stolen Dog Jam” -- Jim Farmer
DiCillo: There’s a fifteen second cue where a dog gets stolen. The music for that had such great energy I told the guys to jam on it and see what happens. It was a great group of New York musicians. The resulting take was unrehearsed and is here just as it was recorded. The sax was all played by one guy name Crispin Cioe. He also served as Jim’s arranger. We had two and a half days in the Edison Recording Studios. I have to tell you, it was better than any drug I’ve ever taken.
Farmer: Tom is musically very informed. He knows what he wants and he knows what he likes. He’s very musically astute. It’s a great collaboration and we have a lot of fun when we work on this stuff.
“Referendrum” -- Fluke
DiCillo: There are actually two Fluke pieces in the film. “Atom Bomb” is genuinely infectious. “Referendrum” is more hypnotic and emotional, less dance oriented. It has an odd sort of drive and beauty to it.
Urdang: Fluke is brand new. A lot of the music, people will recognize, especially if they listen to modern stations. Some of the music, people aren’t going to recognize, but it works very well with the film.
“Anthem” -- Jeff and Joan Beal
Urdang: I love the Jeff and Joan beal song 'Anthem,' at the end when the dog is walking down the street. That song is great. I think that’s hysterical, that last scene with the dog.
DiCillo: This is a bit more on-the-nose emotional than what I usually go for. It’s justified every now and then. It makes people smile and cry. What a way to end a film.