Various Artists: Going the Distance Soundtrack

RIYL: hip new indie rock, your kids

If Drew Barrymore and Justin Long make a movie together, you better believe that they are going to see to it that the soundtrack is stuffed with bands so hip it hurts, and that is exactly what Going the Distance is. Indeed, some people may view a band’s inclusion on this soundtrack as a sign that said band or artist is no longer cool, and it’s officially time to stop listening to them. If you’re friends with one of those people, do yourself a favor: stop being friends with them.

All kidding aside (Psssst! We weren’t kidding), the soundtrack plays out much like the one for “500 Days of Summer,” blending cutting-edge indie acts like the Boxer Rebellion (they’re here a whopping three times, but there’s a reason for that – they’re a key piece to the movie’s plot) with first-gen alt-rock bands like the Cure, the Pretenders and the Replacements. The end result is a more enjoyable experience than the movie itself, consistently engaging and high-brow. (Don’t get us started on the spray tanning scene.) It’s most likely to appeal to alt-rock suburbanites in their 30s and 40s, and that might sound like a death knell on paper, but here’s the thing: there are tons of people who fit that description, and while they may no longer be the hippest demographic in the world, they’re one of the most passionate groups of music fans left that actually still pay for music. And they love stuff that makes them feel cool again. Well played. (Water Tower Music 2010)

Click to buy Going the Distance from Amazon


Ten out of Tenn: Christmas

Even in the low-key, relatively low-ego world of singer/songwriters, artistic alliances tend to implode as quickly as they come together – just ask fans of the Thorns and Little Village – which is just one of the refreshing elements of Ten out of Tenn, the loose collective started by Trent and Kristen Dabbs in 2004. Over the last four years – plenty of time for egos to flare and fragile artistic pride to bruise – the Ten have toured steadily, released a pair of compilations, and now introduce Christmas, a disc that is exactly what it sounds like: 10 seasonal tracks from Ten out of Tenn members. Six of the 10 are originals, and they’re all surprisingly strong; the best of the bunch might be Andy Davis’ “Christmas Time,” but really, there isn’t a bum note on the disc, and even the traditional numbers are handled with aplomb – you may have already heard “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night” more times than you care to count, but they’re delivered here with just the right combination of reverence and flair, by Griffin House and Katie Herzig, respectively. If your tastes run to the sensitive acoustic end of the spectrum, and you’re looking to beef up your holiday playlist, purchase Ten out of Tenn Christmas without delay – it’ll be a disc worth pulling out the day after every Thanksgiving and enjoying until the final strains of “Auld Lang Syne” fade in Times Square. Listening to it during the other 11 months of the year is another story, but that’s par for the course with these albums, isn’t it? (Ten out of Tenn 2008)

Ten out of Tenn MySpace page


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