Summer is a-cumen in! | Bleader

Summer is a-cumen in!


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Well, no. It's not. It's actually approaching November, which is not only NaNoNotWriMo (National Novel Not-Writing Month), it's also Black Metal Month at chez Monica. I've always been a little obsessed with the change of seasons. I can (and sometimes do) watch clouds for hours, and I keep the Weather Channel on a lot at home. (When the Senate isn't in session, at least--CSPAN2 is really my background theater of first choice).

October's a month that sounds like British folk music to me. A little melancholy, a little eerie, very melodic. So my earworm at the moment is Paul Giovanni's entire sound track to The Wicker Man. The real one of 1973 vintage, that is, not that Neil LaBute thing I have no interest in seeing. (No cheesy songs, no Nekkid Booty-Slapping Dance, no snail porn, no cross-dressing Christopher Lee? That's just a straw man.) Especially that pseudopagan fertility anthem all the residents of Summerisle sing as they [PLOT POINT REDACTED], to drown out the screams.

Such happy music. Such a warm, chintzy, Celtic-twilighty evocation of a happy hippy pagan idyll warmed by the fires of [PLOT POINT REDACTED] in the slight chill of the evening. Such lovely Scottish island scenery, warmer and more generous than its neighbors. (And I've been to the Isle of Skye and I'll tell you, it doesn't take much). So absolutely perfect for taking me out of my den of teetering stacks of CDs and into a world where Halloween kitsch is definitely not for Walgreen's.

The most delightful thing about this sound track is that, taken separately from the movie, it almost passes for some The Thistle & Shamrock sampler, if a bit showtuney and not suitably obsessed with "authenticity." There's just enough off-kilterness in the high-pitched children's choirs, the forced jollity, the otherworldly threats of bagpipe abuse, and the just-barely-there hints of ineptness in some of the performances that whisper of the sort of cultish sincerity that only low-budget British productions seem able to reliably generate. And no, the cover versions of "Willow's Song" by the Sneaker Pimps and Faith & the Muse don't come close to this particular unquantifiable quality.

By sound-track standards, this one absolutely refuses to stay in the background of anything.

So what's your oddball seasonal favorite? At the moment, anyway.

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