Music from Film & TV shows

I thought I’d share some old and new (to me) music I’ve discovered through movies and TV shows I have been watching lately. This isn’t really a “if you like this, you’ll like this…” kind of recommendation since as with my taste in music it can be pretty eclectic and changes with my mood.


Silicon Valley:

I had heard much acclaim about this show for a while and put it on my “To Watch” list but only within this year got around to it because I honestly didn’t see the appeal at first. I had ran out of new things to watch so I finally saw it and then wondered why it took me so long to, because I pretty much binged all 4 seasons within a couple of weeks and watched the latest one as it came out. It is one of the funniest shows I’ve watched in a long time, where I actually laughed out loud. Not only is the show hilarious, but they also have great ending credits songs that juxtaposes their meek, nerdy dispositions with hardcore rock/rap signifying their usual predicament at the end of the show.

This one is an oldie to me since I bought this CD when it originally came out, but still great nonetheless.

Green Day - Minority

This show did introduce me to Run The Jewels and they have featured a couple of their songs already.

Run the Jewels - Blockbuster Night Part 1

DJ Shadow feat. Run the Jewels - Nobody Speak

Another great song/artist I was introduced to:

Clearside - Cop Drama


The Mindy Project:

This was another show I had heard great things about but always put off watching until last year. Again, it was another show I binged instantly and actually laughed out loud while watching, the first few seasons are the best but I still love the show overall. I’ve never watched The Office (both UK and US versions) so this was my first introduction to Mindy and can see why she was a successful writer on the US one. On her show, she also had a great music supervisor, and I believe Mindy chose some of the songs herself.

This is not new to me but is one of my favorite bands and songs so why not share it.

M83 - Midnight City

I liked this nice, toned down Beyoncé song:

Beyoncé - XO

Another not new to me song as it’s been on my workout playlist for a while (hah!) but still great.

M.I.A. - Bad Girls

I had heard this song before but it’s always a great, upbeat tune to pick you up.

Jai Wolf - Indian Summer

I first heard of the Chromatics from the Drive Soundtrack (another highly recommended movie and soundtrack), but hadn’t heard their version of Bruce Springsteen's, I’m on Fire.

Chromatics - I’m on Fire


Friday Night Lights:

This is an oldie, but Hulu just recently added the entire Friday Night Lights series and I have been re-watching it again. You don’t have to like football to enjoy the show - everything from the storytelling, to the characters, to its cinematography and music is why this is probably one of my favorite series ever made. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

It introduced me to one of my favorite bands, Explosions in the Sky. Here is the song used in the opening credits.

Explosions in the Sky - Your Hand in Mine


Now onto movies, this has more of a Sci-Fi theme than I was anticipating but maybe it’s what I’ve been drawn to lately.

Blade Runner 2049:

I had only recently watched the first Blade Runner in anticipation of the sequel coming out but also because it was on my “To Watch” list for a while. Despite mixed reviews, I actually enjoyed the first one and I thought the soundtrack helped to tell the story.

I was looking forward to the sequel as I thought the combination of some of my favorite creatives, like the director Denis Villeneuve, cinematographer Roger Deakins (who rightfully won the Oscar for this because it’s visually gorgeous), and actor Ryan Gosling would be a hit. I know some people felt it was a little slow but I think Blade Runner has always been more about the psychological aspect rather than the action.

The soundtrack also helped story tell as with the first and though this track is more the movie’s score and sound effects, the motorcycle (?) sound alone effectively creates a futuristic atmosphere.

Blade Runner 2049 OST - Flight to LAPD


Ex Machina & Annihilation

I am combining these two movies together because they are both by Alex Garland, with similar eerie yet ethereal soundtracks that have been on repeat for me. I saw Ex Machina a while back and even though there was nothing inherently physically terrifying about it, the psychological aspect is what kept me thinking about it for days after I saw it. The soundtrack was composed by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury. Geoff Barrow is part of Portishead (another of my all time favorite bands), so no wonder he was able to help compose such a haunting and riveting instrumental soundtrack.

A couple of my favorite from the soundtrack:

Ex Machina OST - The Turing Test

Ex Machina OST - Bunsen Burner

When I heard that Alex Garland was behind Annihilation I knew I had to see it. Again, when I was watching it, there was nothing inherently terrifying about it at first (although this movie was a bit more gruesome than Ex Machina). Afterwards when I sat with it a bit, I was so disturbed by it that I couldn’t sleep that night. I can’t really explain why or what but certain scenes coupled with the sounds and soundtrack composed again by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, had created an eeriness that I haven’t seen in a long time in movies. Maybe it was the use of “off” sounding elements that helped create this atmosphere.

Here is my favorite song off the soundtrack and possibly the creepiest:


Hope you enjoyed this long winded piece about movies and music and let me know if you want to see more of these kinds of posts in the future and also any movie/music recommendations?

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Museum of Pop Culture (Part 3)

January 18, 2016 (continued): Making my way out the film section of the museum, I came upon the "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty" exhibition. I knew Hello Kitty was a phenom around the world, complete with her own hotel room, but I didn't realize the vast amount of different products she came in from tarot cards to Kendo equipment!

Some personal highlights for me was seeing the mini bubble gum machine and coin purse watch that I used to own as a kid, and collaborations with some of my favorite artists like Audrey Kawasaki, Apak, D*Face and Gary Baseman.

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Other exhibits I visited only briefly, as it was getting on in the day and my legs weren't going to hold out for much longer, was "Indie Game Revolution" (still currently exhibiting), where as it states in it's title you can play a bunch of indie games!

They also have a large music section with an explosion of Fender Stratocaster guitars, to actual recording studios where you get a chance to sing, play music etc. They even have a live band simulator where you and your friends can pretend to play in front of a live audience. There were also instruments from around the world, and of course it was great to see featured ukulele's from my birthplace, Hawaii.

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Delving further into the music related exhibits, I came across the "Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966-1970" (still currently exhibiting), featuring pieces from his tour abroad. Again, it was cool to see his connection to my homeland, Hawaii!

I ended my tour at the "Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses" exhibition where it had a major collection of memorabilia from the band Nirvana, including Kurt Cobain's iconic cardigan!

I finished off my day at MPoP with an early dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Pop Kitchen & Bar, mostly because I didn't have lunch and wanted the nearest access to food to stave off my impending hangriness! I had the cheeseburger and truffle parmesan fries, it was pretty good and did the trick.

Overall I found MPoP had a nice range of exhibits, with a bonus factor of a lot being interactive. You could definitely spend the whole day here since they have quite a bit of pieces within each exhibit. I feel it would be worth a visit if you're interested in pop culture and in the area.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Museum of Pop Culture (Part 2)

January 18, 2016 (continued): Making my way throughout the museum, I ended up in the "Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic" exhibition (still currently available). The kid in me was a bit too excited to see many of my favorite childhood films represented there, I didn't realize how much of a fantasy buff I was.

The exhibition room is decked out with a large holographic tree house, dragon and dungeon so you're automatically transported into another world, which I thought was a fun touch.

For this post, I thought I'd do something a little different in that I'll discuss why the films featured here are some of my favorites and the lessons you can learn from them.

Wizard of Oz - The film no doubt tickles the visual senses yet the messages behind it's story are what makes it most powerful. Like life, Dorothy had to go through a lot of trials and tribulations in her journey on the Yellow Brick Road, and through those challenges she realized she "always had the power" to achieve what she wanted. Without going through life's lessons would we know what we're capable of? Everything's for a purpose. The "no place like home" aspect also resonates with me, in that she wished so much to be transported to another place, somewhere different and exciting and she got it, (in technicolor!). Yet, she found it wasn't what she expected and what made her happy was what she had at "home", that you should appreciate what you already have in front of you.

The Princess Bride - I feel this is a pretty universal film, in that most people of all ages and genders list it as one of their favorites. It's fun, adventurous and doesn't take itself too seriously. I think the the message behind this one is, while possibly cliche is that love conquers all. There's romantic love, Wesley and Princess Buttercup reuniting after all those years, and his love for her helped him through literal torture. There's familial love, where Inigo Montoya vowed to get revenge on the person who killed his father. Even where Fezzik and Inigo were kidnapping the Princess, they saw the love the protagonists had for each other that they ended up helping them.

Labyrinth - I used to watch the Labyrinth religiously as a kid, something about all the different elements she encountered was fun, and the contact juggling in the beginning always used to always fascinate me. The message at the end is something that still sticks with me to this day, where the heroine confronts Jareth and says, "You have no power over me". Like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, she must go through a series of challenges to get to what she wants, but then realizes that she held the power all along. We put so much stock into what other people think about us that we let it control our lives, from how we dress, to career choices, and beyond. When we finally see that we gave them that power and take it back for ourselves, the barriers disappear and receive our lives back.


Stay tuned for Part 3 of my visit to the Museum of Pop Culture!


All pictures are taken by me and opinions are my own.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Museum of Pop Culture (Part 1)

January 18, 2016 (continued): I ended my Seattle attraction trifecta at the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as the Experience Music Project Museum). MPoP has a bit of a pedigree, it was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and designed by renowned architect, Frank Gehry. It has exhibits dedicated to contemporary pop culture, sci-fi / fantasy, and the world of music.

You’ll run into outdoor art between the attractions in this area, the Broad Street Green - Sculpture Garden is made up of four large scale sculptures. Two of these can be seen if you are making your way from Chihuly to MPoP. Alexander Liberman's, red pipe-like structure, Olympic Iliad and Ronald Bladen's, self explanatory Black Lightning sculpture sitting on a lawn near MPoP.

Even MPoP’s architecture in itself is a work of art, with its’ undulating bronze (at the time) panels glimmering in whatever light could peek through the packed clouds on that day. I didn’t go on it, but the Seattle Monorail also runs literally right into the museum so if you’re on it’s route it could also be another sightseeing form of transportation.

Note: Writing this Travel Diary a year later means a lot has changed, not only its name from EMP to MPoP, to its outer shell (which I didn’t think could change so easily), and obviously the exhibits at the time, though some are still going on currently.

Upon entering the museum, there were several pathways to choose from once you check in, I started with the exhibit, “Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film” which is still currently available. As you enter through the heavy doors, you descend down the stairs towards the basement, all the while a mural of hundreds of faces cast in red look at you in horror. It was an uneasy feeling of what to expect considering horror movies aren’t exactly high on my favorite genre list, yet I still enjoy seeing the odd one if I’m seeking that adrenaline rush for the night.

It was dark and somewhat eerie once inside the exhibit, but it was cool to see the original props and costumes from several iconic horror movies. Some of my favorite films were there, though I wouldn’t necessarily classify as horror with things like Pan’s Labyrinth’s knife, the demon from Constantine, and the mutated vampires from Blade 2 (to which Blade will always be my favorite Marvel superhero). There was also Gizmo from Gremlins (which was too cute to be horrific), Michael Myers creepy face/mask complete with chin hairs to send an extra chill down your spine, the alien from Alien, the Angel of Death from one of my other faves from Guillermo Del Toro - Hellboy, and so much more.

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I eventually crossed over into another exhibit “Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction” (also still currently going on), again featuring many props and costumes from iconic sci-fi / action movies. I was most excited to see they had items from several of my favorite movies, including a lifesize cyborg from Terminator, his leather jacket in the movie, even the finger sword from T2 that always made me hide behind my hands when they pan out to see what was at the end of that!

The little Mars Attacks vignette of props was also cool to see and I never forgot the scene where they transplanted Sarah Jessica Parker’s head onto her Chihuahua!

The hoverboards from Back to the Future 2 were also featured and it’s pretty cool to think we’re sort of nearing that reality soon.

They also had the Korben Dallas and Leeloo’s costumes from one of my all time favorite movies, The Fifth Element. I loved that they had Jean Paul Gaultier design the eccentric futuristic clothing, it’s a lot more fun to look at then the dystopic rags that seem to be so popular in sci-fi movies days!

The Ghostbusters proton pack, and ghost trapper was also cool to see since it was one of my favorite movies growing up, with Vigo creeping the crap out of me when I was younger. There were a couple of cool lit infinity halls that I couldn’t resist getting a self portrait moment. The array of the Men In Black alien guns featured in the movies was also included in the show. It was also great to see one of the bugs from Starship Troopers, a film I have no idea why but I’ve watched several times and pretty much know it by heart. I know, it’s not the greatest incarnation from its source material, but I love it for what it is - a campy, B-movie satire that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my MPoP exploration, there was too much to fit in one post!


All pictures are taken by me and opinions are my own.