Three Clicky Clicky favorites feature prominently in the soundtrack to the new unromantic comedy "Party Like It's A Verb," and this is no accident: we recommended the bands ourselves to producer Jeff Stern while the film was in some stage of production in the summer of 2010. Heady times, heady times indeed. But perhaps the headiest times are to come, as the film will make its Boston (and world) premiere at the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, MA, March 1 (Facebook Event Page / BUY TICKETS NOW). It's no accident the film will premiere here, either, as the core creative team behind "Party Like It's A Verb" met at Boston University's film program and the movie was shot in Cambridge, Somerville, and New London, CT. The screening begins at 7:30PM and will be followed by a question-and-answer session with director Rob Peyrebrune, producer Mary Baker, and stars Giulia Rozzi and the aforementioned Mr. Stern. And somewhere in the feature you will encounter Pastel Group's moody bleeper "Mistreated," The Hush Now's unabashed dance anthem "Vietnam Giraffe," and Hands And Knees' rootsy bomp in the form of the numbers "Dancing On Your Tears" and "Fieldtrip!" We've got embeds of all four songs below so you can study up and maybe quietly sing along during the screening. While you're listening, have a look at the quick interview we did with Mr. Peyrebrune about how he went about selecting music for the film. Bonus points were awarded for the excellent use of the word "partyability."
Clicky Clicky Music Blog: I assume you didn't pick these songs solely because they are cool. Can you give specific examples of how the music you selected helped you emphasize some part of the narrative or illuminate some aspect of your characters?
Rob Peyrebrune: I specifically tried to shy away from using music to help describe the characters or give indications about the story. I wanted to let the audience find their own relationship with the characters. I did use the music to help set the pace of the party. We used a bit of a stronger beat to drive things forward when we needed to. As a comedy, the music also worked as a nice contrast to the action. There's a scene with two guys sitting and talking awkwardly on a couch with a dance-pop song, Andree Belle's "Dance With Me," in the background. It still cracks me up. A similar thing happens when the main character is leaving a phone message for woman who just broke his heart while Sandman's "From Behind" is playing. While I did carefully select which songs played when, I tried to make it feel as organic as possible so that the characters were in an environment that seemed unresponsive to them.
CCMB: When you were picking songs for the soundtrack, did you have to approach it with a kind of detachment? I am interested in knowing how much you picked songs you personally liked, or whether you picked them strictly to fulfill some inherent narrative or thematic need?
RP: I would say that more than anything, I considered the songs to be part of the setting. It got to be a little tricky as they were songs that would have been picked by one of the characters for a party playlist. This character (Chuck) isn't really someone I personally identify with so it became a bit of a search for common ground, almost like negotiating with your freshman year roommate that you got stuck with. They're all songs I like, but only a specific part of what I like. In order of importance, our qualifications were: affordability (our budget was negligible), partyability, and how well they fit with the other songs chosen.
CCMB: Which song on the soundtrack was the biggest "euraka!" moment, as far as fitting perfectly what you had been imagining in your head for the film?
RP: The song that really jumped out at me was "Fieldtrip!" by Hands And Knees. It has a rough-around-the-edges feel to it that fits very well with what we are trying to do. It's an optimistic song that fits the attitude and reflects elements of the film without conspicuously referring to it. Halfway through my second listen, I knew it would be a perfect way to end the film.