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kottke.org posts about Trent Reznor

The music of The Vietnam War

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 02, 2017

I’m about two-thirds of the way through Ken Burns & Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War on PBS. Much like the war itself, the series is epic and complicated and weird and perhaps even too long.1

NY Times TV critic James Poniewozik says that The Vietnam War “is not Mr. Burns’s most innovative film”, but I would argue that doesn’t apply to the music. Half of the music is what you would expect: rock and folk music from 60s & 70s groups and musicians like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, CCR, The Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, etc. More than two hours of songs used during the series have been released on this album:

Even The Beatles were part of the soundtrack:

Then there’s all that popular music from the 60s and 70s: more than 120 songs by the artists who actually soundtracked the times, such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, the Animals, Janis Joplin, Wilson Pickett, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, the Rolling Stones, and even the ordinarily permissions-averse and budget-breaking Beatles. Of the Beatles, Novick noted, “They basically said, We think this is an important part of history, we want to be part of what you’re doing, and we will take the same deal everybody else gets. That’s kind of unprecedented.”

But an original score was also provided by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross that sounds a lot like their work on The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Seven episodes in, I’m used to the mix of music, but the effect is definitely discongruous; the transitions pulled me out of the narrative more than once. Not sure that’s the effect they were going for…

  1. The whole series starts off on a wrong note. Literally the first thing you hear in the first episode is a shout-out to the sponsors: “Major support for the Vietnam War was provided by…”, which my brain quickly filled in as “Robert MacNamara, Dow Chemical, the American military industrial complex, etc etc”

Gone Girl soundtrack

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 30, 2014

The soundtrack for David Fincher’s adaptation of Gone Girl is out and as with his last two films (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), the music is by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

Whenever the words “Reznor”, “Fincher”, “Atticus”, and “soundtrack” get into a sentence together, you know it’s good news for your earholes. (via @arainert)

ps. Speaking of Fincher, he spoke to Disney about directing a Star Wars movie and had an interesting take on the original trilogy:

I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man.

Reznor’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack out soon

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 02, 2011

Trent Reznor’s and Atticus Ross’ soundtrack for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is in the can and will be released in one week. For now, you can pre-order the soundtrack or download a free six-song sampler. Reznor and Ross won an Oscar for their The Social Network soundtrack.