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I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson

Various Artists

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Editors’ Notes

Wes Anderson's films are special for numerous reasons, one of them being the exquisite range of classic songs that define their memorable scenes. Gems by The Kinks or Love or Creation coloring a cinematic moment of soul-crushing or utter befuddlement or childlike passion can make any serious rock lover’s heart skip a beat. So imagine those songs covered by artists ranging from Matt Pond to Mike Watt, Kristin Hersh to Telekinesis. These artists bring a entire new elements to the originals, much as their film appearances did. Newer artists having the chutzpah to tackle John Lennon (The Ghost in You) or The Zombies (PHOX) yield awesome surprises: The Solvents’ string-laden cover of The Kinks' “Nothing in This World” is just short of magic, and Trespassers William’s delicate version of Nico’s “Fairest of the Seasons” beguiles. Lovers of Wes Anderson, lovers of rock trailblazers, lovers of all kinds: take joy in I Saved Latin! (What Did You Ever Do?). (The title and rhetorical question are from Rushmore.)

Customer Reviews

LOVE IT!!!

I rarely purchase tributes but this one looked so deliciously unique I just couldn't help myself. I'm very glad I did. It's absolutely wonderful. I've listened three times now and it just keeps getting better. The songs evoke some of my favorite cinematic moments from Wes Anderson's films and I can't help but smile. It's truly a gem!

Listen, love, buy.

I learned about this fantastic album from my favorite pop culture hipster, Whitney Matheson, who writes for USA Today. Here's what Whitney has to say about 'I Saved Latin'... "I've been listening to and loving this record all day, particularly Hatfield's take on Smith's Needle in the Hay and Matt Pond's version of Nico's These Days, both of which sound a little more hopeful than the originals. Put it in your ears, then re-watch your fave Anderson flick tonight to complete the mood."

A sweet, satisfying set of 23 covers of songs from Wes Anderson's films.

The title of the compilation, ‘I Saved Latin!’ is a reference to high school romantic Max Fischer’s crowning achievement in 1998's Rushmore. Spread across two discs, there are 23 cover versions of songs that have appeared at various important moments in Anderson's nine films. Reflecting the director's indie-ness, the vast majority of the artists are relatively underground, and often very cool; there are appearances from Throwing Muses' Kristin Hersh, the Minutemen's Mike Watt – performing ‘Street Fighting Man’ with his new band The Secondmen – and Juliana Hatfield, formerly of Boston alt. rockers Blake Babies (of whom Evan Dando is also an alumni).

That the collection has avoided casting glitzy A-listers lends it an element of discovery. It's often easier to recognise the scenes the songs are taken from than the artists, which makes it feel like you're being introduced to someone who shares a common interest.

From Rushmore is ‘Here Comes My Baby’ – originally by Cat Stevens, – tackled by female-fronted Seattle trio the Tea Cozies, who keep the chipper bounce of the original, but give it an unpolished, Vivian Girls-like quality that reflects the film's youthful naivety. Texan psych-pop band Tele Novella’s take on The Velvet Underground’s ‘Stephanie Says’, meanwhile, is a gorgeous, doe-eyed version that perfectly brings to mind The Royal Tenenbaums’ fragile and damaged family, while John Lennon's classic ‘Oh Yoko!’ is performed by Philadelphian bedroom musician The Ghost In You, whose stripped-back, sweetly acoustic rendition couldn’t be more quintessentially Wes if it tried.

Perhaps best of all is Hatfield’s cover of Elliott Smith’s heartbreaking ‘Needle In The Hay’ – previously played out over Luke Wilson’s suicide attempt in …Tenenbaums. It’s a track so integral to the hugely affecting scene that Hatfield’s plaintive version brings all the emotions flooding straight back. But, irrespective of the cinematic tie-ins, ‘I Saved Latin!’ is – from the sprightly trills of ‘Margaret Yang’s Theme’ to Generationals’ swaggering version of The Creations’ ‘Making Time’ to Santah’s Spanish cover of Bowie’s ‘Five Years’ – a great listen in its own right. Cohesive and pleasingly idiosyncratic, it tugs on your heartstrings in the sweetest of ways – just like the films themselves.

I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson
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