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Back to School with Bill Murray (03/19/99) Write to CD Shakedown

Rushmore, the MovieMusic from the film Rushmore (London Records 1998) - Rushmore is the quirky new film about Max Fischer (played by newcomer Jason Schwartzman), a 10th grader at Rushmore Academy who falls in love with first grade teacher Miss Cross (played by Olivia Williams). Max's plans go awry when one of the school's benefactors, a steel tycoon named Mr. Blume (played by Bill Murray in a great role) also falls for Miss Cross.

The soundtrack (assembled by
Mark Mothersbaugh, best known to rock audiences as the leader of the influential Devo), includes songs by the Kinks ("Nothing in This World Can Stop Me Worrying About That Girl"), Cat Stevens ("Here Comes My Baby," a catchy song from 1967, and "The Wind," from his 1971 classic, Teaser and The Firecat), Chad and Jeremy (the 1964 hit, "Summer Song"), and the Who (the ten-minute, "A Quick One While He's Away"). Instrumental tracks from the film tie the soundtrack together.

Jason Schwartzman as Max FischerExplains director
Wes Anderson, "I originally wanted to score the whole movie with songs by the Kinks. I thought this made sense because the Kinks played loud, angry, teenage rock songs, and they wore blazers and ties; and our movie is about a teenager who is loud and angry, and he is almost never seen without his blazer and tie (until he switches to a green velvet suit). I eventually expanded this concept to include the whole British Invasion because they all basically dressed like that."

Also included is
John Lennon's "Oh Yoko" and the Faces (with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Lane) performing the concluding, "Ooh La La."

Bill MurraySuspend your disbelief and you'll enjoy
Rushmore. In particular, Bill Murray takes his old "lounge lizard" character to the nth degree (and certainly deserved an Academy Award nomination).

While the songs didn't stand out during the movie (unlike "The Truman Show," in which the music was critical to the mood of the film), the soundtrack more than holds its own. Enjoy
Rushmore.

1966 photo of Hornsby's late Uncle Charley
Bruce Hornsby, Spirit Trail (RCA 1998) - Bruce Hornsby returns with his sixth album, the ambitious Spirit Trail. On this double-disk set (recorded at Hornsby's home studio in Williamsburg, Virginia), the 43-year-old Hornsby is by turns funky, rollicking and serious.

Hornsby enjoyed big chart success with his 1986 debut, The Way It Is. While Hornsby also penned the 1990 hit, "The End of the Innocence" with Don Henley, his musical interests expanded through tours with the Grateful Dead and later jazz-oriented albums, such as Hot House (1995).

Bruce HornsbyOn
Spirit Trail, Hornsby returns to his piano roots. Explains Hornsby, "I think it's a very Southern record. The place it is coming from is elemental - gospel, folk, the blues. I'm a child of the South, and I've always written about that experience. I'm also trying to see if there's a place for virtuosity in popular music."

With tracks like "Preacher in the Ring, Part I," "Great Divide" (with Canadian
Ashley McIsaac on fiddle), and "Sunflower Cat" (with reference to the late Jerry Garcia), Hornsby finds himself in a comfortable studio element.

Spirit Trail is actually two albums. Bruce finished the first, then went on tour for a couple of months. While on the road, he came up with a new set of songs. A goodly portion of the songs in the second disk were written on a Casio keyboard during down time at the "Further Festival" shows.

Spirit Trail has inspired strong feelings, with some critics calling it the Album of the Year. Nobody seems to like the silly cover (a 1966 photo of Hornsby's late Uncle Charley), except Hornsby, who explains "It's ironic to use an inane cover, because it's a fairly serious record." Fans of challenging pop, with a languorous streak, will enjoy Spirit Trail.

Recall
Peter Murphy, Recall (Red Ant 1998) - Recall is a five-song EP from Bauhaus pioneer Peter Murphy, featuring new versions of "Roll Call" (from his 1990 album, Deep) and "Indigo Eyes" (from 1988's Love Hysteria).

Peter Murphy reunited last year with former Bauhaus mates
David J., Daniel Ash, and Kevin Haskins for the first shows since the band broke up in 1983. Energized by the "Bauhaus Resurrection" (which included four sold-out shows in Los Angeles), Murphy headed into Seattle's Studio X to record Recall.

Peter MurphyThe album remains true to
Murphy's post-modern, hypnotic style - dark and moody, yet densely mixed and with post-industrial instrumentation a la Eno or David Bowie circa "Low." The sound is driven by Murphy's rich and spooky voice, which is both calming and unsettling at the same time.

Also included is "Big Love of a Tiny Fool," and a live version of "Big and Tiny."

Few dare tread in this vein: Bauhaus has been described as the forerunner of
Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson. Go to the source. Try Recall.

- Randy Krbechek © 1999

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