Saturday, February 21, 2009

Listening to Oscar®

Tomorrow night will be the 81st Annual Academy Awards, an event which has always been one of my guilty pleasures. For the most part, the music nominated each year is largely forgettable. But there are regularly notable exceptions, such as last year's extraordinary story of the movie Once and its ultimate award.

Last May I had the opportunity to go to the U.K. to observe a different Academy Award winner (Grammy®), Tchad Blake, mix the new record by the local ensemble Halloween, Alaska. After a few days mixing the HalAl tracks, Tchad had to run off to Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios, just down the road from his home studio, to, as he told us, "mix a track that Peter is doing for some Disney movie or other."

No more than four months later I was back home in a movie theater watching the Pixar film WALL*E, which I highly recommend by the way, and the ending credits feature a song that I had never heard before by Peter Gabriel, "Down To Earth." Notable, because I'm a huge PG fan. It then dawned on me that this was the track Tchad Blake went to mix when I was there!

Last week, Gabriel announced that he was declining to perform the song on the Oscar® broadcast because they were limiting all music performances to under one minute each. The song is up against the probable streamroller called Slumdog Millionaire, which has some great music of its own. But "Down to Earth" is a brilliant song, so enjoy it here with a trailer from WALL*E:

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