Film Soundtrack Spotlight: Music Supervising “Love Sick Love” — From Score to Synch

May 7, 2013 by  

Love and obsession – it’s a match made in cinematic heaven.

It's not just a love story -- "Love Sick Love" has it's own musical history as well.

It’s not just a love story — “Love Sick Love” has it’s own musical history as well.

The latest film to go there, and then go deeper, is Love Sick Love, a new indie film released by the NYC-based mouseROAR. Directed by Christian Charles (Cheech & Chong’s Hey Watch This), the movie is a deft combination of suspense, comedy, and romance (or it’s evil twin, rather).

The feature-length tale follows power-couple Dori and Norman as their weekend trip to the countryside completely unravels, spurred on by her psychopathic tendencies. Throughout the film, music plays a key role, constantly helping to set the scene and keep the viewer oriented – the result of a sharp collaboration between Charles, music supervisor and SongHunters co-founder Dave Hnatiuk (Heights, Cheech and Chong’s Hey Watch This), and John Swihart (Napoleon Dynamite, Youth In Revolt, Employee of the Month).

Making the original music and soundtrack gel on a movie – whether it’s an indie film or Hollywood release – is always a complex task for the music supervisor, who wants to ensure that the sonic component fully supports the director’s vision. SonicScoop took the opportunity to get the perspective of both Charles and Hnatiuk on their work together throughout many of the music supervision phases of Love Sick Love.

For an in-depth look at the interplay between director and music supervisor on a film soundtrack that was equally rewarding and challenging to pull together, keep reading.

The Love Sick Love full-length trailer:

Meeting of the Minds

Before a music supervisor and director dive into a feature film together, there’s no substitute for trust and the chemistry that comes with it. Hnatiuk became involved with Love Sick Love after working on a film with Charles and mouseROAR in 2003, the New Line Cinema-distributed Full of It starring Ryan Pinkston and Terri Pollo.

“Christian and I met by being introduced by a mutual friend who worked on the advertising campaign for Christian’s first feature Comedian, starring Jerry Seinfeld,” Hnatiuk recalls. “Around this time Love Sick Love was in the early stages of script development, and Christian handed me the script to kind of put it on my radar as something I should read, with the notion that we may one day be making this film together. Well, about five or more years later, we made it, and here we are!”

Meanwhile, Charles had developed a clear director’s perspective on music’s importance in a movie’s storytelling. “It’s emotional support,” he says. “It sometimes can define a specific emotion that isn’t clear with picture alone. It’s also the biggest cheat as far as getting your audience emotionally invested in a scene – that’s what Dave is so good at delivering and why we collaborate so much.

“I love music that has bold expression,” he continues, “that unashamedly makes its emotional or lyrical point. No time to beat around the bush when you’re telling a tight story.”

Besides knowing what he wants in his music, Charles knows what he needs in a music supervisor. “Breadth of musical knowledge,” he states. “Unending delivery of material when you’re searching for a specific song to fit the bill. Great negotiating skills. Great taste and passion for music. This is one of the more fun parts of making a film — it should work that way with a music supervisor. Dave has all these qualities and a whole lot more.”

Setting the Musical Direction for Love Sick Love

Director Christian Charles had the sound of "Love Sick Love" in his head.

Director Christian Charles had the sound of Love Sick Love in his head.

Once his collaboration with Charles on Love Sick Love was established, Hnatiuk began laying the groundwork for pairing each scene with the right music.

“I started reading early versions of the script years before we actually made the film, and this gave Christian and I plenty of time to play with and brainstorm on a variety of musical directions that Love Sick Love could take,” says Hnatiuk. “The process starts with the ‘blocking/spotting’ process of breaking down the script and deciding simply where music will be and where it won’t.

“Once, the blocking/spotting is done, we then look at each cue/spot and play with ideas on whether each spot we deemed music-worthy should be original score, or commercially licensed music.”

After some back and forth on what the music direction would ultimately become, Hnatiuk and Charles landed on the fairly traditional approach of original score, by John Swihart. Complementing it would be a carefully curated selection of modern multi-genre indie pop and rock, singer/songwriter ballads, and pop vocal classics circa the 1950’s.

“The film is multiple genres, deliberately,” Charles says. “The musical tone was tricky. We ultimately found our way in by using the voice of Dori. The majority of the music comes from a female perspective, although there are pieces in there that are pure nostalgia to set a tone in the isolated old house.”

To Hnatiuk, obtaining synch licenses for the Love Sick Love soundtrack was an ideal opportunity to match up emerging artists with classic tracks. “This ended up being a multi-genre, multi-time period, pop and indie rock direction chock full of incredibly talented and on-the-rise indie artists that many viewers probably have not heard of before, but will be excited to experience for the first time,” he says.

“Those indie artists that will be new discoveries for many viewers are consciously complemented throughout the film by well-known and forgotten classics from the 1950’s vocal pop era, such as Jackie Wilson’s ‘My Heart Belongs Only to You’ which we were able to license from our good friend Jamar Chess of Sunflower Entertainment, as well as a number of other classics that for our younger viewers may be a first-time experience which will broaden their musical horizons. For our more mature viewers, it will be a nice nostalgic reminder of how the old and new can meet in a musically timeless way.”

Deciding When to Use Original Music vs. Synch Licensed Tracks in a Scene

With their extended pre-production period, Hnatiuk and Charles were afforded ample time to start the decision making process on which scenes would call for score, and which would call for commercial music that would require synch licensing to clear.

“One of the simplest ways to determine the possibility of using score or commercial music could be determined by the physical setting or environment of any given scene,” Hnatiuk explains. “Source music cues are one of the easiest places to feature commercial songs.  If a song is playing from a bedroom clock radio, a car stereo, a jukebox at a bar, or at a club/restaurant, all of these type of scenes allow for the opportunity to place a commercial pop/rock song.

“And we took advantage of plenty of source opportunities in LSL,” he adds. “Anytime you have a human scenario in a relatable scene where viewers are used to hearing source music –which means you have a song in a scene being played from a realistically believable physical source/location – you have the opportunity to try using a piece of commercial music.  Then it becomes the question of what kind of song would or should be playing in this scene which can be determined by any number of character traits, storyline, geographical influences, time-period, and more.”

According to Hnatiuk, scenes will call for original custom designed music when the director is looking to establish a very particular emotional backdrop, that cannot be accurately focused upon by using a piece of commercial music.  “Our main title sequence is composed score,” he says. “We have some action sequences that are driven by score, and we have some other various dramatic scenes that called for score as well.”

When and Why to Commission a Cover Song

You're totally covered with this music supervisor -- Dave Hnatiuk.

You’re totally covered with this music supervisor — Dave Hnatiuk.

One scene in particular in Love Sick Love presented a tricky challenge. For director Christian Charles, only the classic New Year’s Eve standby “Auld Lang Syne” would do

However, it soon became clear to Hnatiuk that there wasn’t a version of the song that was both ideal for the visual, and also affordable to license. “We searched for covers of ‘Auld Lange Syne’ tirelessly,” Hnatiuk notes, “in hopes to find a version that we could both afford to license and that supported the pacing of our sequence as well as the tonal feel / emotional backdrop – two critical elements that cannot be sacrificed in any scene of a film, let alone such a climactic scene as this cover was used.

“Our search led us to a handful of versions that we liked all of which we tried to use, but each ended up being flawed in some way.  That said, we decided to take the inspiration from the parts of each version we liked, as well as significant additional production notes that led us to the beautiful cover of ‘Auld Lange Syne’ that lives in Love Sick Love forever.”

As you may have guessed, the solution for the fruitless search was to record an updated edition. The result was a collaboration with the Australian duo The Kin, who tailor made “Auld Lang Syne” for Love Sick Love.

“There were a couple reasons to make a new cover version of the song,” says Hnatiuk. “First off, the pacing of the scene was of the utmost importance, and there were variations in character motivation/scene development/ physical movements that needed to be taken in consideration when producing this cover.

“In that sense, we treated this cover almost identically to how score is developed — this is precisely why our score composer John Swihart co-produced this track with Christian Charles and I.  John’s song arranging skills were imperative in helping us produce this song,  and seamlessly support the pace of one of the most important scenes in the film.”

To make the new song, the recording process was done remotely and file transfers occurred via FTP, allowing for a short demo phase that eventually lead to locking down and finishing the track as the video cut of the sequence it was in came closer and closer to final. Engineer/producer Nic Hard tracked the vocals in NYC, with the Kin’s Isaac and Thorald Koren performing the vocals, and Thorald also playing guitar. Swihart co-produced, arranged, and mixed the song, as well as playing additional guitars out of his LA studio.

It was extra work, but worth it: Charles got the exact musical mood he was looking for, and added to the film’s impact in the process. “I’m excited for the world to hear it,” Hnatiuk says. “It’s definitely memorable, and hits home in the way this song was intended to.”

Learning From Experience

The Kin's cover of "Auld Lang Syne" was worth the effort.

The Kin’s cover of “Auld Lang Syne” was worth the effort.

Just as every film is a unique viewing experience, each project also presents a different music supervision path for all involved. For Charles, the development of Cheech & Chong’s  comeback concert film, Hey Watch This, (released in 2011 by Weinstein Company) proved completely distinct from scoring and synching Love Sick Love.

“Cheech & Chong was so much about what the duo had done before,” Charles observes. “Both score and needle drop were inspired by their original musical vibe — hard to ignore and probably foolish to ignore too. Love Sick Love is purely it’s own thing, and required so many subtle decisions to make sure the multi-genre feeling was successfully accomplished. Harder work but ultimately way more satisfying.

“The accomplishment of making the multi genre idea work was ambitious, and the reason I wanted to make the film in the first place,” continues Charles. “I would also say that we managed to create a really rich and confident soundtrack with an incredibly limited budget. This is a real sleight of hand and I’d like to think we pulled it off very effectively.”

For a music supervisor like Dave Hnatiuk, wrapping up a feature, with every cue composed, cleared, fully licensed and locked to picture, qualifies as a high.

“The feeling of seeing the final film finished on the big screen with a final mix, especially after having worked on it for literally years is extremely positive — the sense of accomplishment is like no other feeling,” says Hnatiuk. “The artistic achievement to complete a feature length film within your budget, on time/deadline, and within the framework of your artistic/musical strategy, is one of the best payoffs I’ve ever felt.  When a feature length film is completed, there is a great feeling of camaraderie in the team effort that was achieved. It’s truly priceless.”

– David Weiss is the Founder/Editor of SonicScoop, and co-author of the book Music Supervision: Selecting Music for Movies, TV, Games & New Media.

Music Seen – Synch Licensing Hot Picks * Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP “We No Speak Americano”

October 24, 2010 by  

Artist: Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP

They speak syncho syncho

Song: “We No Speak Americano”

Why I Luv It: I luv “We No Speak Americano”!!!!  Why?  It’s an obvious multi-cultural/international hit song in the making.  (Important note, I must credit my good friends Jonathan Rodriguez and Anthony Fernandez of Union City, NJ for introducing me to this gem.  Thanks guys!!!)

This song by Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP (check out their cool history here) has only been out since March 2010.  It hit my radar within the last few weeks, and now, am I a happier camper as a result. Did I mention this song simply makes me happy?  As a music supervisor, that’s a good thing, because it makes me want to think of ways to place it in a synch license scenario for TV, film or a commercial.

With “We No Speak Americano”, I appreciate the overall production, its thoughtful sample incorporation, and stellar mixing and mastering.  The bouncy beat, catchy yet hilariously chopped-lead horn melody, and the witty sample (from the 1956 hit “Tu vuò fà l’americano” by Renato Carosone and written by Carosone and Nicola “Nisa” Salerno) make this song an undeniable booty shakin’ hit that will translate easily to a wide demographic from kids to elders alike.

It has such potentially wide appeal because:

  • It has a rare timeless quality.
  • Fantastic modern production = kids will love it.
  • Classic sample incorporation = elders will identify with the nostalgic sound.

Thus, “We No Speak Americano” is a contender for several key placements in media…..one of which I’ll predict here today.

(BTW I remind you to be sure in any song you ever try to license or get licensed, that ALL of your samples are CLEARED.  Clear your samples, or tell the truth about them not being cleared if you are trying to license a song for a legitimate purpose.)

Scene I Can See it In: “We No Speak Americano” is ideal for placing in a montage scene of any comedy feature film/TV show where a key main character or group of characters are faced with trying to overcome an obstacle tied to a language barrier.

For example, an American kid from Southern California crosses the Mexican border, and is trying to deliver a message to a Mexican girl he’s falling in love with, but he doesn’t know where she lives or her full name for that matter. He’s wandering the streets of Tijuana trying to find her.  He can’t speak Spanish, and none of the locals want to admit they speak English.

The lead horn melody and the way it’s mixed/performed instills a frantic yet light feeling.  This feeling supports the lead character’s desperation to find his love, yet it still keeps things light for a comedic situation. The uptempo/bouncy drum beat keeps an urgent yet party vibe alive at the same time.

“We No Speak Americano” is the perfect soundtrack to support a video montage of comedic yet distraught young “lost” man trying to find the way to his love in a foreign realm, most likely a Latin location due to the vocal sample’s implied origin.

What does this song make YOU see? Let me know.

Dave Hnatiuk of Autonatic Entertainment is a Music Supervisor / Sound Designer for MTV On-Air Promotions, NYC. Visit him at Autonatic Entertainment, Music Supervision Central or The Song Hunters. To be considered for a “Music Seen,” submit your track or link to Hnatiuk at submissions@sonicscoop.com.

Music Seen: Sniper Twins’ “Computer Friends”

September 29, 2010 by  

Artist: Sniper Twins

Song: “Computer Friends

Why I Luv It: I’ve been a fan of two fired-up Texans now living in Manhattan called the Sniper Twins since the day they played me one of their first demos going back five years or more. On that history changing day, Dax Martinez Vargas and Barry Flanagan played me a snippet of a song that’s now called “Computer Friends,” and I’m fairly certain that both of these gifted MC/Producer/Writer/Directors would tell you close to the same thing if you asked them how the song ultimately came about. If my memory serves me right, it went something like this…

Sniper Twins are NYC-based writer/director/musicians

At the same time Dax and Barry played me their demo, I was helping my friend and regular collaborator film and TV director/writer Christian Charles develop the soundtrack for his pitch to potentially land the job directing a new remake / reimagination of Revenge of the Nerds. So I was in a vigorous search for multiple homerun-songs that perfectly embody the life of the quintessential computer nerd.

Enter Dax and Barry…..

Upon first listen, I immediately gravitated to the then unnamed snippet of a song due to its obvious “hit potential,” and based on certain witty lyrical elements of the song and a great instrumental starting point, I urged D&B to focus their writing on computer nerd life and computer technology specifically. D&B liked the idea, and along with a few more encouraging words of musical constructive advice, they were back in the studio and off to the races.

Result?

The ultimate hip-hop nerd anthem “Computer Friends” by the Sniper Twins was born. The Revenge of the Nerds remake didn’t materialize for Christian and I or anybody for that matter so far, but “Computer Friends” became a cult internet sensation (well over 700,000 You Tube Views to date) and Sniper Twins scored a sponsorship with technology firm Seagate to fund their video.

“Computer Friends” is totally licensable through Sniper Twins, so don’t worry about the sponsorship. They own their rights 100%. Oh, and they followed it up with another sponsorship deal with Hershey’s for their new song “Chocolate Shoppe” too!! Not bad at all, right? Right! (They wrote and directed both videos themselves, btw.)

Yeah sure, I’m a fan and a creative muse on this one, but I’ve got no financial stake in this, so feel free to take your shots! Regardless, this song kicks major ass, and the video is smart and hilarious.

Dax and Barry (and vocal contributor Rob) are all very creative, cutting edge, smart, and talented artists with a very big upside for future success in this business. Make it your business to get familiar with their business both musically and visually because they’re not straying anywhere too far away from the road to success any time soon. I’d like to be there when they arrive, and now here’s your chance too.

Scene I Can See it In: Since I basically laid it out blatantly in my “Why I luv it” section above, I will keep this part short, sweet, and immediately to the point.

Dax Martinez Vargas and Barry Flanagan: Sniper Twins / Computer Friends

With all due respect to our intellectually gifted buddies throughout the media land, “Computer Friends” by the Sniper Twins is the quintessential stereotypical nerd anthem folks, and you, me, and the rest of the world know there is plenty of good opportunity to license the perfect song for anything related to technology — whether it’s scripted or reality visual media we’re dealing with.

Here’s the short list of where to place this overdue baby immediately:

Technology / Computer related story or recurring segment on a cable news or information channel: Your segment theme song should be “Computer Friends” by The Sniper Twins. Who’s your music supervisor MSNBC, CNN, SKY News, Fox News, CNBC, Fox Business Network, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX??? Well, whoever they are, they’re missing the boat on this one. Sorry. Next.

Feature Film focused on computer / technological geniuses like David Fincher’s The Social Network: Even if the film isn’t comically-based in terms of storyline, don’t tell me there isn’t a funny moment somewhere in this film for this song… and any film related to computers, hand-held devices or digital technology for that matter.

Oh and if you’ve got a film that is focused on computer / technological geniuses in general, and it’s a comedy, then your main title theme song or end credits song should be “Computer Friends” by The Sniper Twins.

So there you have it… “Computer Friends” by The Sniper Twins is a hot untapped nerd commodity, and the only question now is who gets the opportunity to license it in the coolest place first? It’s off to the races jockies and horses. Put your money on the Sniper Twins. It’s a sure thing.

“Computer Friends” by The Sniper Twins Complete Lyrics:

My desktop is the best top
Nothing less bought
Check my desk bra’ 
Killa machine
That’s a G5 clean and white
250 Gigabyte 
Gig of Ram killa man
20 inch screen
Wanna burn a disc 
How bout a DVD 
Wirelessly?
Check my POP 1-6-6-2-4-6-7
If there’s ever a problem 
I call my Tech man Devon
Yo devon man whatcha doin’ tonight 
come over to my crib
disc permissions aint right
Check out the back of my CPU 
I got more ports than a wine store do
Let’s talk mouse
And lets talk keys
Bluetooth rays
Compute through the breeze
With my desktop Hey
I compute with ease
think your lap top stand a chance bra’
pleeeaaase.
I’m goin’ buy… baby 
a new disk drive…lady
one point five… terabytes 
stack the memory to the sky

—Chorus— 
[I'm goin' buy... baby 
a new disk drive...lady 
one point five... terabytes 
stack the memory to the sky
It's been a while... baby 
on the 30-day trail... lady 
it's probly time for us to buy 
hit that paypal and comply]

—second verse—
Come on take a ride 
on the super highway
information you cravin’ 
your keyboard’s like a steinway
enter escape 
or print this screen
if your computer freezes up 
hit control alt delete
you can re-boot reload 
restart and re-figure
your motherboard’s crashin 
while my bandwidth gets bigger
i bust through your firewall 
with my fireball 
no network protects kid 
from this Viral
get your norton, your symetec, 
and your MacCafee
got a hail storm of pop-ups 
now you mad at me
OMG, BRB 
when I chat is my protocol 
k
eep em all in stitches 
with my smiley face emoticon
like a robotron 
i’m a stay multi-taskin’
go to message boards for my class 
what they askin’?
Gotta research 
Rwandan murders and death counts
better re-connect my proxy server 
then let’s bounce

—Chorus— 
[I'm goin' buy... baby 
a new disk drive...lady 
one point five... terabytes 
stack the memory to the sky
It's been a while... baby 
on the 30-day trail... lady 
it's probly time for us to buy 
hit that paypal and comply]

—Bridge— [
I got double your ram, ask your man 
my home office looks like a space ship..bam! 
your girls got a busted myspace pic...damn! 
your whole PC needs a face lift...man!]

Flippin these digits and switchin these keys
what can Brown do for you?
Send me software for free downloading diamond bundles from his ftp 
Pluggin in plug-ins and VST
Preamp these vocals lay them down on track 3
So I’m covering my tracks from the interpolice
and I’m watching my back making black market beats
with my refurbished dell plug-in USB
mass appealing to the fans going P2P
DMV on the mic and I need more power,
So patch it right in to my workstation tower
Megahertz popping through my Pre-Sonus Amp
Pumping these beats and kicking these jams
Despite my fiber optic cable ethernet
my quadrupple core processor is working up a sweat
something slowing down my system that I can’t even see
my folder’s full of cookies, eating up my memory.

I’m goin’ buy… baby a new disk drive…lady 
one point five… terabytes
stack the memory to the sky
It’s been a while… baby
on the 30-day trail… lady
it’s probly time for us to buy
hit that paypal and comply

I’m goin’ buy… baby
a new disk drive…lady
one point five… terabytes
stack the memory to the sky

Dave Hnatiuk of Autonatic Entertainment is a Music Supervisor / Sound Designer for MTV On-Air Promotions, NYC. Visit him at Autonatic Entertainment, Music Supervision Central or The Song Hunters. To be considered for a “Music Seen,” submit your track or link to Hnatiuk at submissions@sonicscoop.com.

Hot Topics in Production Music Panel This Wednesday, 9/22

September 20, 2010 by  

The Production Music Association (PMA) will be holding its September meeting with a panel discussion this Wednesday, September 22 at the BMI offices in lower Manhattan.

Join PMA on Wednesday, 9/22...

A panel will be discussing the latest topics affecting production music libraries in an event that’s open to PMA members, non-members and guests.

Moderated by Doug Wood, President and CEO of OMNIMusic, the PMA panelists will include Norman Chesky, Co-owner and Co-founder of Manhattan Production Music and Chesky Records, Music Supervisor and SonicScoop’s “Music Seen” creator Dave Hnatiuk, Mark Levinsohn, Partner at Levinsohn & Arnay, Attorneys at Law, Barray Massarsky, President of Massarsky Consulting, Joe Saba, Co-owner and Co-founder of NYC’s VideoHelper and Alessandra Springer, Executive Director, Music Rights & Licensing at ABC Television Networks.

Full Coordinates:

September PMA Meeting
BMI Offices
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street – 30th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Wednesday, September 22
6 – 9PM

PMA Members – $10
Non-Members & Guests – $15

RSVP to Debra@pmamusic.com

For more information on the Production Music Association, visit http://pmamusic.com.

Music Seen: Music Supervisor Hot Picks * Kele’s “Rise”

September 7, 2010 by  

Artist: Kele

Song: “Rise

Why I Luv It: Bloc Party‘s lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Kele Okereke has released (via Glassnote in the U.S.) arguably one of the strongest electro-rock-punk records of the year. It was recorded right here in Brooklyn, and it’s called The Boxer.

Kele's "The Boxer," a music supervisor's dream...

If you’re a fan of Bloc Party’s uniquely aggressive yet soulful rock-punk meets electronica sound than you’re going to absolutely love this album through and through. The whole album is solid from start to finish, but in my opinion, the standout tracks are “Walk Tall,” “Tenderoni,” and “Rise.”

The Boxer as a complete work is a music supervisor’s dream, and in my opinion — from start to finish — it may be better than any of Bloc Party’s albums to date. The production on The Boxer is absolutely stellar, the choruses are massive, motivating, and catchy, and the blend of electronica and rock is so seamless throughout that this album nearly defines a new genre in itself.

In this installment of Music Seen, we’ll be focusing on the song “Rise.” A dynamic arrangement, accompanied by thought-provoking lyrics, genius synth and drum programming and beautiful vocal performances and production make “Rise” an undeniable force and a serious contender for a major TV or film licensing deal.

Kele is performing tomorrow night, 9/8, at NYC’s Webster Hall, and I’ll be there. If it isn’t sold out yet, and you’re in the area, you’re crazy not to buy a ticket now and check out this show. Kele is gonna’ tear the roof off the sucka’… for real.

Scene I Can See it In: “Rise” by Kele is a perfect fit for a story centered around an average person who has vastly above-average skills, strength, or talent that has gone untapped, unrecognized, or undiscovered for much of their life. At a crucial point in this person’s life when crisis has reached its absolute boiling point, our character somehow comes to the realization that he or she has super powers, and it’s time to tap into them.

Catch Kele at Webster Hall on 9/8/10.

As Kele soulfully and suggestively sing/chants “You are stronger than you think,” ass-kicking, over-driven snyths complimented by a kick drum pulse build in intensity. (Complete lyrics are listed at the end of this article.)  Eventually, the female singer in the band comes in as the build continues and she sing-chants “I’m taking over” until an absolute explosion of energy in synth programming happens in one of my favorite-ever techno/house breakdowns.

The lead-up / build to this explosion would sit very well under a series of shots of our main character slowly but surely discovering his or her untapped talents. When the exploding breakdown section of the song comes at 3:25, he or she has fully accepted their super hero abilities and has now gained the confidence to display them to the world and use them for good purpose.

An alternative usage for this song could be within a story about an underprivileged kid in a poor neighborhood who decides he or she will take it upon themselves to “Rise” above the strife and chaos of everyday reality and motivate those around him or her to be better, stronger, and more focused than ever on the goal of overcoming the bad and building on all that is good.

It’s Kele folks, and he’s playing in the Big Apple Wednesday (9/8) at Webster Hall.  Go see and hear for yourself how ridiculously good this band is. Enjoy the quality, and let me know if you agree or disagree with my assessment by posting your comments below!  Until next time…

Complete Lyrics:
Brothers sisters come with me
(into the light) x2
Brothers sisters can’t you see
(into the light) x2
Don’t lose sight of what you saw
You know you can better than you were before

Brothers sisters can’t you see
That you are stronger than you think
You are stronger than you think x2
You are strong
Raise those arms that once were broken
and put down the grief

Did you think your time was gone
(into the light) x2
Did you think your hard work rode
(into the light) x2
Don’t lose sight of what you saw
You know you can better than you were before

Brothers sisters can’t you see
That you are stronger than you feel
You are stronger than you feel x2
You are strong
Raise those arms that once were broken
and put down the greed

(I’m taking over) x13

But you are stronger than you think
You are stronger than you think x2
You are strong
Raise those arms that once were broken
and put down the green

(“Rise” in background over some choruses)

Dave Hnatiuk of Autonatic Entertainment is a Music Supervisor / Sound Designer for MTV On-Air Promotions, NYC. Visit him at Autonatic Entertainment, Music Supervision Central or The Song Hunters. To be considered for a “Music Seen,” submit your track or link to Hnatiuk at submissions@sonicscoop.com.

Hnatiuk A Featured Music Supervisor-Speaker At Industry Meltdown Midwest Music Summit

September 3, 2010 by  

Hundreds of independent artists and musicians from around the Midwest will attend Unidec’s Industry Meltdown Midwest Music Summit (IMMMS) September 17-18 in Milwaukee. Industry professionals from around the country, including SonicScoop “Music Seen” creator and NYC-based MTV Music Supervisor, Dave Hnatiuk, will participate in the two-day event, themed “I AM MUSIC: Make Your Music Work for You.”

SonicScoop contributor Dave Hnatiuk will be a featured panelist at IMMMS in Milwaukee later this month.

IMMMS aims to educate, equip, and unify artists and music industry professionals to be greater contributors to the Midwest music scene.

Attendees will be face-to-face with successful music business, who will share their knowledge and expertise to provide attendees of every genre with the know-how to take their music careers to the next level.

With seminars and panels on new industry trends, marketing & social networking, successful tour management, and opportunities for one-on-one music critiques from label A&Rs and music supervisors, including Hnatiuk. (See video of Hnatiuk discussing his involvement in the IMMMS.)

“As a panelist, Dave will be leading the conversations on music supervision and how placing your music is a huge part of the new music industry,” said IMMMS co-chair Brent Hoffman. “Dave will lead conversations on the importance of getting your music placed in film, television, and video games, the role of music supervisors, the process to getting music placed, and share some success/failure stories based on his years of experience. IMMMS is extremely excited to have somebody of the caliber of Mr. Hnatiuk as a panelist for this year’s event.”

Other scheduled panelist include: Roy Elkins (CEO, Broadjam), Martin Atkins (author of Tour: Smart), Jycorri Robinson (Digital Marketing Director, UMG), Jay Warsinske (owner, Indiepower.com), Stuart Love (owner, Alice Enterprises), and music supervisors and label representatives from Atlantic, Jive, Sony, Universal, Def Jam and RCA.

For more information on the IMMMS, visit www.industrymeltdownsummit.com and check out the Summit’s Facebook fan page for more on the featured speakers.

Music Seen: Music Supervisor Hot Picks * Underworld’s “Scribble”

August 4, 2010 by  

Artist: Underworld

Song: “Scribble

Why I Luv It: Underworld is one of the most influential and talented veteran electronic collectives out there today, and it’s arguable that the trio (fronted by vocalist Karl Hyde and guitarist Rick Smith) are absolutely the hands down the greatest electronic group ever.

Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of Underworld

These Brits have been making their unique brand of elegant dance/trance/house/techno since the mid to late 80’s, and they’ve been influenced by the best and most historically important — groups/musicians like Brian Eno, David Bowie, Gary Numan, and Kraftwerk to name a few.

In return for these powerful influences, Underworld has generously given back the gift of musical inspiration and influenced many great contemporary acts like Bjork, Portishead, LCD Sound System, Chemical Brothers, Tiesto, Royksopp, Goldfrapp, and too many more to list here.

Their catalog is stylistically diverse yet somehow with all the new sounds they manage to create from album to album, whenever you hit play on a new song, that Underworld sonic signature just can’t be mistaken.  My favorite Underworld albums are the following in no particular order: Dubnobasswithmyheadman 1993, Second Toughest in the Infants 1996, Beaucoup Fish 1999, and Oblivion with Bells 2007.

“Scribble” is the first single from Underworld’s upcoming 2010 full-length album, Barking, due out September 2, 2010.  You can pre-order it here if you’re chomping at the bit like me for this thing to be available for purchase!!!  It is a beautifully orchestrated and produced piece of epic vocal electronica music, and frankly, it may be one of the most “poppy” Underworld songs I’ve heard to date.

This is one of the rare moments, that “poppy” is not a bad thing.  In fact the pop sensibility of this song actually balances out the massive earth bouncing rhythms and vast pastoral synths as well as the elegantly inspirational single note melody in the hook. “Scribble” is yet another bulletproof Underworld masterpiece, and there is no doubt that it has huge potential to be licensed for something significant.

Scene I Can See it In: After selling millions of records over the last nearly two decades, Underworld most definitely isn’t in desperate need for more money and accolades, but like they say on Wall Street, “the rich getter richer, and the poor get…” Oh well, you know the rest, and my point of bringing this up is that I generally prefer to profile an up and coming hungry artist rather than a proven vet on this blog because I think it’s important to help those who are young yet worthy.  But hey, sometimes you have got to point out that which is great.

Download "Scribble" at www.underworldlive.com

Like I’ve said before, what’s great is great, and when it’s truly great, there’s no denying it.  “Scribble” is damn great, and for all you young producers out there, consider it a tutorial on how to do everything right if you’re trying to produce a hit electronic song.

“Scribble” is an absolutely perfect song for a lavish travel lifestyle or expensive automobile sales campaign.  We’ve seen artists like Moby, Led Zeppelin, Chemical Brothers, Dirty Vegas, Black Eyed Peas, Bob Seger and so many more do it with major success, and this song has the potential to make just as big of a splash in these 2 realms of advertising.

The song is extremely uplifting melodically and the lyrical hook “..and it’s ok…you give me everything I need” sets the mood perfectly for a classy car campaign for any brand that has an expensive / high society reputation to uphold. The same goes for a beautiful vacation destination in a wealthy exotic location with deluxe accommodations.

The lush and vast production value of this song makes it feel expensive & exclusive, and therefore it will sit nicely under well shot visuals of state of the art cars soaring down beautiful winding roads in breathtakingly gorgeous environments.  With all due respect, this is not a song for KIA or Hyundai folks.  We’ll call Chromeo or Hot Chip if we need a clever fun foot-tapper to spice up one of their ads, and trust me, it’ll be great!  We’re talking about Underworld here folks. It’s a different animal all together.

“Scribble” is ready for the big time. Wait no, it is big time. Just like Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes, “Scribble” gives up “everything I need” in a car or deluxe travel destination song. It makes me feel just daring enough that I’m cool yet everything around me is still well, happy, secure, safe, classy, sexy, and modern chic……all in a timeless way.

So who’ll be first to make one of these 2 placements happen? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’d love it to be me!!! You can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll make a serious effort because there is opportunity here.  Write it down. I said here first. Enjoy listening to greatness… It’s “Scribble” by Underworld. — Dave Hnatiuk

Dave Hnatiuk of Autonatic Entertainment is a Music Supervisor / Sound Designer for MTV On-Air Promotions, NYC. Visit him at Autonatic Entertainment, Music Supervision Central or The Song Hunters. To be considered for a “Music Seen,” submit your track or link to Hnatiuk at submissions@sonicscoop.com.

Music Seen: Erykah Badu’s “Turn Me Away (Get Munny)”

July 27, 2010 by  

Artist: Erykah Badu

Song: “Turn Me Away (Get Munny)

Why I Luv It: If you’re a fan of real-deal, neo soul, jazz, hip-hop, and funk than you’re gonna’ absolutely love Erykah Badu’s 2010 album New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh). From sensual Billie Holiday–like vocals, to Clyde Stubblefield-like drum parts (reminiscent of his performance with The Clinton Administration on the 2003 album One Nation Under Groove), to super-funky bass-lines (derivative of Paul Jackson’s performances on early Herbie Hancock jazz-funk albums, like Headhunters and Man Child), this album fails to disappoint through and through.

Erykah Badu's "New Amerykah (Part Two)" was largely recorded at Electric Lady Studios in NYC.

Though most critical reviews of this album argue that it’s in fact “sample heavy” throughout, there is no denying that whether they’re instrumental samples you’re hearing or not, they’re damn good ones, they’re well incorporated, and they’re certainly worth the listen in this new form. Why don’t you try and pick out what these samples are, and post them here?!

Being a huge fan of the work of James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Billie Holiday, and Parliament Funkadelic among many others myself, it was hard for me to deny the infectious groove and vocal soul of “Turn Me Away (Get Munny)” upon the first listen.

This song is just as sexy as it is funky, and it’s one of those rare tunes that confidently delivers a consistent message both vocally and instrumentally. That message, in my humble opinion, is directly reflective of the type of film or television scenes it could seamlessly be placed in.

Scene I Can See it In: “Turn Me Away (Get Munny)” by Erykah Badu from “New Amerykah (Part Two: Return of the Ankh)” is a great fit for a story or scene in a film or TV show that is written about the life of and/or from the perspective of a female stripper or an exotic dancer.

Try imagining a savvy and driven exotic dancer working the club-room and stage with a keen eye and astute awareness of her surroundings at all times. She is experienced enough at her craft that she can spot and analyze the physical demeanor and mannerisms of her customers extremely well, and as a result she can be as manipulative as she needs in order to maximize her profits.

For example, like the lyrics (below) of this song suggest, if she knows a customer is drunk, she can conclude as a result that that customer could be more vulnerable and therefore more easily manipulated into doing whatever she wants. Anybody ever seen Andrew Bergman’s 1996 comedy feature Striptease or Paul Verhoeven’s 1995 drama feature Showgirls? It’s clear by reading the lyrics (at the end of this article), that this song would be a perfect fit somewhere in one of these films or something similar.

Alternatively, another placement opportunity for this song could be in a scene or a “music-up” video montage supporting the storyline of an intelligent professional woman working in a male dominated field.

Specifically, I’m thinking this song would work well somewhere in a modern day version of Colin Higgin’s 1980’s hit feature Nine to Five, or I could even see it in the upcoming “sequel” to Oliver Stone’s 1987 blow-out success Wall Street, the music and lyrics scoring a career-driven, inspired, and strong female who is prepared to compete at the most difficult level of business to become more financially successful in her life.

What are your thoughts?  Have a look at the lyrics, take a listen to the song, and tell me what you think!!!

Here are the lyrics:

(What’s the matter’ Is he drunk’?
Yeah, he drunk)

Get Munny (Ha ha ho who ho)
Get Munny (Ha who ho)
Get Munny (Come on Ha ha ho ho ho)
Get Munny (Oooh – oh – oh )

Can’t Turn Me Away (Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart
I’ll always want to stay (Ha ha oh ha)

Can’t turn me away (Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart
I’ll always want to stay

Oooh can’t lie to you honey
I just want your money
Hi I’m Sunny Munny
Don’t run from me trying to get away
just stay ok
Cause Munny I want you bad
La la la la

I look like a model
I’ll do what I gotta
to stay in the runnin’ cause I want you Munny
Give me some
I’ll be the one back stage
cause Munny I want you bad
La la la la

Can’t turn me away (Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart
I’ll always want to stay (Ha ha)

Can’t turn me away (Get Munny ooo)
Oh believe in your heart
I’ll always want to stay (oooo double hook come on)

Can’t turn me away (Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart (ooooo)
I’ll always want to stay

Can’t turn (Get Munny) me away (ooo00)
Oh believe in your heart
I’ll always (Verse 2)
always want to stay

[Verse]
I’ll wait on your doorstep
Till you let me come in
Hey I’ll be your best friend
Say Munny can you come out and play
I’ll stay or I’ll come back
Cause Munny I want you bad
La la la la

Fresh-er than the others
I’ll cook like your Mother
I I’ll bring the honey
You just bring the money
Fingers crossed behind my back
Cause Munny I want you bad
La la la la

Can’t turn me away (ooooo)
Oh believe in your heart (hey)
I’ll always want to stay

Can’t turn me away (Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart (come on hey)
I’ll always want to stay

Can’t turn me away (oooo, hey, Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart
I’ll always want to stay

Can’t turn me away (Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart
I’ll always want to stay

(Wipe out come on, Wile out come on)
This love is chemical
Electric particles
Down to the minimal
Tickle tickle ego stroke
I love your follicles
I know you’ve heard it all
You know that I am skilled
Just how you want to feel

Oooo! Uh-oh dropped your knot
Scoop it up put in my sock
I’ll be your robot girl
Come into me my world
I want you bad
Ooowee boy let me drive your car
I am a predator hey
Cause Munny I want you bad
La la la la

Can’t turn me away (Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart (ooooo)
I’ll always want to stay

Can’t turn me away (Get Munny)
Oh believe in your heart (ooooo)
I’ll always want to stay

[Repeat/Ad lib to end]

Dave Hnatiuk of Autonatic Entertainment is a Music Supervisor / Sound Designer for MTV On-Air Promotions, NYC. Visit him at Autonatic Entertainment, Music Supervision Central or The Song Hunters. To be considered for a “Music Seen,” submit your track or link to Hnatiuk at submissions@sonicscoop.com.

Music Seen: The Gaslight Anthem’s “American Slang”

July 13, 2010 by  

Artist: The Gaslight Anthem

Song: “American Slang

The Gaslight Anthem. Photo by Ashley Maile.

Why I Luv It: Being a New Jersey native myself, I couldn’t help but indulge in the shameless support of a great up-and-coming rock band from New Brunswick, NJ called The Gaslight Anthem.

Yesterday, my colleague Scott Perry at the ever-reliable “New Music Tip Sheet” pimped these guys in his weekly mass music email, and today one of my partners in crime at MTV, heavy metal guru Mike Marco (aka Lead Luminous of The Burn & Cry, also an NJ native) dropped The Gaslight Anthem’s name on my desk with a seriously heavy listening recommendation.

The combination of Scott and Mike’s endorsements, along with my life-long NJ roots, and an undeniably fresh and anthemic modern rock song called “American Slang” made it so that I could not ignore The Gaslight Anthem a minute longer!!!!!

In the spirit of classic and modern timeless American rock n’ roll greats like Bruce Springsteen, Mike Ness, and newcomers Against Me!, The Gaslight Anthem unleashes a stampede of pure rock inspiration on the new album title track “American Slang.”

This song epitomizes lyrical honesty and melodic vigor in simple yet indisputable ways with every word Brian Fallon sings and every note the band (Ben Horowitz – Drums, Alex Rosamilla – Guitar, Alex Levine – Bass) plays. This is another example similar to The Dig’s “Two Sister’s In Love” (which I wrote about a few weeks back on this blog) of how lyrical ambiguity combined with a smart rock n’ roll arrangement, strong production, and impressive performances can make a song a sure-shot for the scenario described below and many many more.

Scene I Can See it In: If you’ve got a coming-of-age story focused on the developing masculinity, maturity, sexuality, and intellect of an average teenage male in the USA, “American Slang” by The Gaslight Anthem could very well be a perfect main theme song for your show, film, or advert.

The Gaslight Anthem = Jersey Boys. Photo by Lisa Johnson

Common American teenage struggles are always well represented in TV and film by rock n’ roll music as it’s arguably a genre that was born on American soil through modern artists that were descendents of visionaries in such early genres as blues, jazz, gospel, country, and R&B.  That said, having a straight up American four-piece rock band supporting a glimpse of the life story of an American “man in the making” isn’t a stretch in the least.

Lyrically, as you’ll read in the “full lyrics” below, Brian Fallon sings about “coming out of my skin” and how “the bandages just don’t keep me in” as if he’s been given advice and experienced things (good and bad) along the way within his life that he is now just finally assimilating and applying to his own personal development. Furthermore, the lyrics describe in my opinion the ups and downs of life, love, riches, and loss on all levels of humanity as if all of these realities will ultimately contribute to the becoming of a complete person.

This person is on his way to being at peace with and eventually grounded by one of the most basic yet horrifying realizations of human life: “when it was over, I woke up alone.”  For some, this realization is the first step in discovering the road to enlightenment, and for others it’s this realization that contributes to the beginning of the end. What will it be for you? Just place the song! Worry about enlightenment later!!!

“American Slang” by The Gaslight Anthem, full lyrics:

Look what you started
I seem to be coming out of my skin
And look what you’ve forgotten here
The bandages just don’t keep me in
And when it was over, I woke up alone
And when it was over, I woke up alone

And they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive
(In a dream I had, oh in a dream I had)
I’ve got your name tatooed inside of my arm
(In a dream I had, oh in a dream I had)
And I called for my father, but my father had died
(In a dream I had, oh in a dream I had)
While you told me fortunes in American slang

And look at the damage
The fortunes came for the richer men
While we’re left with gallows
Just waiting for us liars to come down and hang
And when it was over, I woke up alone
And when it was over, I woke up alone

And they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive
(In a dream I had, oh in a dream I had)
I’ve got your name tatooed inside of my arm
(In a dream I had, oh in a dream I had)
And I called for my father, but my father had died
(In a dream I had, oh in a dream I had)
While you told me fortunes in American slang

And here’s where we died that time last year
And where the angels and devils meet
And you can dance with the queen if you need
And she will always keep your cards close to her heart
So close to her heart
Before they tear you apart

Well they cut me to ribbons and taught me to drive
I’ve got your name tatooed inside of my arm
And I called for my father, but my father had died
(In a dream I had, oh in a dream I had)
And we called for our mothers, but our mothers have died
(In a dream I had, oh in a dream I had)
And you told us fortunes in American slang
Oh, you told me fortunes in American slang

Dave Hnatiuk of Autonatic Entertainment is a Music Supervisor / Sound Designer for MTV On-Air Promotions, NYC. Visit him at Autonatic Entertainment, Music Supervision Central or The Song Hunters. To be considered for a “Music Seen,” submit your track or link to Hnatiuk at submissions@sonicscoop.com.

Music Seen: How To Destroy Angels’ “The Believers”

July 6, 2010 by  

Artist: How To Destroy Angels

Song: “The Believers

How To Destroy Angels is (l-r): Trent Reznor, Mariqueen Maandig, Atticus Ross

Why I Luv It: Right out of the gate, the Los Angeles trio How To Destroy Angels can be directly compared to the best bands/artists representative of their experimental electronically based sound: Nine Inch Nails, Autechre, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Portishead, and Massive Attack are just a few to joggle your musical memory banks.

These artist comparisons suggest a lot considering “How to Destroy Angels’” six-track debut EP just came out in June 2010, and guess what, they’re giving it away for free on their website: http://www.howtodestroyangels.com/store/.

How can you not respect that type of maneuver in this dark day and age of our global economy??!!  I mean, it was super cool when Radiohead did it with their “pay what you want” policy with the ’07 release of In Rainbows, but for a flat-out unsigned band to do it with their debut EP is a different story!  For one, Radiohead was already extremely successful when they did it. How To Destroy Angels is just getting started, and they’re not asking for a dime of your money. Ok ok ok, Trent Reznor happens to be in this group, but still…it’s their debut! Just take the time to enter your email at the link above, and the EP is yours.

Smart arrangements, subtle film-score-like builds, gritty industrially influenced production, howling over-driven electric guitars, soaring synth-e-delic ambient textures, angelic yet demonic vocals, hammer of the gods-like drum sounds, and a FREE debut EP make How To Destroy Angels an automatic “YES PLEASE” for any serious fan of high-caliber intellectual music.

Scene I Can See it In: “The Believers” is the perfect song for two possible scenarios:

1) A dense jungle or dusty hot desert scene in an “edge of your seat” drug cartel / 3rd world / sci-fi thriller similar to scenes in David O. Russell ‘s “3 Kings” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic.”
2) A bank robbery scene reminiscent of those in Michael Mann’s “Heat” or Kathryn Bigelow’s “Point Break.”

For the above scenarios, the nervous organic percussion-based introduction of the song from 00:00 to 00:40 relates directly to human primal emotion/fear of the unknown and a gradual build up of intensity that implies that, indefinitely, something big is about to occur. Once the distorted, industrially-influenced drums make their pounding entrance at about :40-:43, a certain “emotional / mental release” is brought on which suggests the occurrence of an “Ah ha” moment in the sense that something significant has been revealed visually.

This “reveal” in scenario 1 could be an entrance to a heavily militarized zone, prison camp, or some sort of secret drug trafficking or production facility.

In scenario 2, the “reveal” could be the entrance to the bank that is about to be robbed.

In both scenarios, the camera vantage point would be from the perspective of the intruders as they enter one the environments listed above, and this marries perfectly to the nervous/primal energy of the music and how it relates to the intent/motivation of the intruding characters on screen.

Beautifully demonic vocals make their entrance at 02:23, though for the purposes of these two proposed placements, I would use the song up until the vocals kick in, then use original score or an instrumental version of the song, and/or situational sound design, depending on how the scenes play out.

In summary, you have only to gain and nothing to lose by going and downloading your free copy of “How to Destroy Angels’” debut six-song EP today at http://www.howtodestroyangels.com/store/.

Keep your ears open and eyes pealed my friends… Until next time…

Dave Hnatiuk of Autonatic Entertainment is a Music Supervisor / Sound Designer for MTV On-Air Promotions, NYC. Visit him at Autonatic Entertainment, Music Supervision Central or The Song Hunters. To be considered for a “Music Seen,” submit your track or link to Hnatiuk at submissions@sonicscoop.com.

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