iTunes catch of the day: Cassandra’s Dream and “The River in Reverse”

Few have ventured to see the new Woody Allen movie, so most are unaware that Allen has, for one of the few times in his career, commissioned a score for his soundtrack, from an actual living composer, Philip Glass, no less. And what a corker! I buy all of Glass’s soundtracks whether I’ve seen the movies they’re in or not, and this one has quickly vaulted to the top of my list of favorites. Stormy, melancholy, brooding and propulsive. If you like Glass or have an abiding interest in soundtrack music, this is a real treat. Can’t say I like the cover. You can listen to little bits of it either at iTunes or Amazon.

Meanwhile, Elvis Costello has knocked off a handful of his songs in solo settings for the iTunes market. I enjoy all of these renditions, they are some of my favorites of his songs, but the new recording of “The River in Reverse” is just stunning. I enjoyed the album of the same title when it came out, but to hear Costello snarl his way through this searing, scathing reading is a remarkable experience, even coming from this longtime snarler. His insistent, plangent solo guitar sets lyrics like “In the name of the father and the son/in the name of gasoline and a gun” in bold relief and elevates this song to a classic to stand with “Pills and Soap” in its withering social criticism.

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9 Responses to “iTunes catch of the day: Cassandra’s Dream and “The River in Reverse””
  1. craigjclark says:

    Somehow I doubt Cassandra’s Dream will even make it to my area, but I can always hold out hope.

    As for Philip Glass, I discovered that my library has several of his scores in its collection, so I am currently borrowing The Truman Show and The Illusionist. I think I like his work for Errol Morris best of all, though, especially The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War.

  2. urbaniak says:

    Wow. Woody’s come a long way from Marvin Hamlisch’s kazoo-heavy score for “Bananas.”

  3. dougo says:

    I saw that title the other day when I ran across a page about Woody Allen’s typography, but I didn’t realize that it’s actually out right now. Maybe I’ll go see it. Thanks for the reminder.

    On a completely unrelated note, do you know Danny Rubin? He wrote the awesome Groundhog Day, among other things (S.F.W. and Small Soldiers are the ones I’ve seen). I just found his Groundhog Day blog and it’s good reading, reminded me of your journal. He has some interesting things to say about screenwriting.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Re: ca$h money

    “If all Plainview wants is money, then why doesn’t he accept standard oil’s million dollar deal?”

    He feels that he can get more with the deal he has planned with the pipeline- and I think he was right.
    There is the added motivation of feeling that he is not getting the respect that comes with his new wealth-
    Standard was trying to do to him what he had done to so many people in the past…
    just with a slightly better payout

    “And how do his actions in the final act (torturing/disowning HW…”

    It was a twisted business issue with HW- he felt that HW was going to be competition for oil (which leads to the ¢ash)

    “and torturing/murdering Eli)”

    Eli’s a little more complicated, because he did humiliate DP- but I still think it comes down to Eli is asking for a handout and Greed don’t do handouts.

    “He’s got an oil empire, a mansion with a bowling alley, and a butler. But he isn’t “finished” until the final moment.”

    He finished his last unfinished business deal (the one that got away)-
    plus he did tell the guy he was going to kill him.

  5. Well, I was able to venture out and see it (though they only played it for a week) but I liked it:
    as well as the soundtrack!