Happy 20th Birthday, “Singles”: What Would You Sound Like Today?
Today I woke to a foggy Seattle skyline, the kind of morning when the city’s brick buildings are tightly wound in sea breeze chill and the hills rise like the softly breathing chest of some sleeping giant. She was beautiful and peaceful, and I was hesitant to get to work with my back to the windows.
But when I opened my glaring computer, Facebook let me know something fantastic. It’s the 20th anniversary of Cameron Crowe’s oft-forgot but extremely great 1992 romantic comedy, Singles. A movie that took place in Seattle’s grunge era, full of ripped jeans and coffee brained dreamers, and Bridget Fonda mooning over Matt Dillon from underneath the brims of 300 quirky hats. And most importantly, the soundtrack. A soundtrack that brought Paul Westerberg out of hiding, and compiled all the Northwest grunge heavy hitters into one punchy hour.
Today, Spin attempted to surmise what that classic soundtrack would look like if it was made today. And it was…good? Check it out here.
But, pardon me Spin, you don’t live here, do you? Because dude…I love Kurt Vile, but the guy is from Philly. No. So, yes, you went the route of modern youthful anthems, but I have some Northwest pride bubbling up from my chilly toes all the way to my rainy heart, and it must be SHARED.
If Singles was made in Seattle today, I can guarantee you’d want music inspired by all this wild green and blue bursting from every corner. Music that has rooted here (or in Portland, because Seattle and Portland seem to trade musicians on a daily basis, and I have no complaints), and has been informed by the gray spell of the Sound.
Grunge isn’t the sound on the Sound (yes, I finally did it) anymore. And when I imagine if Singles was shot in today’s Seattle, it wouldn’t be a duplicate. It’d be visiting those age-old themes of stumbling around, figuring out how exactly to be a grown up when you’re too embarrassed to ask anyone. How dating works, what dating is, when it’s OK to call, not call, stalk, show up at their door when you’re nowhere near the neighborhood. And those themes are timeless, and deserve a soundtrack in every generation.
So here is my re-imagining. I encourage you to do the same. I kept “Drown” by Smashing Pumpkins because that song should never be separated from Singles. Also, Matt Dillon would cut his hair, Campbell Scott would have skinny jeans, Kyra Sedgwick would get bangs, but Bridget Fonda would stay exactly and perfectly the same.
Here is the original soundtrack:
1. “Would?,” Alice in Chains
2. “Breath,” Pearl Jam
3. “Seasons,” Chris Cornell
4. “Dyslexic Heart,” Paul Westerberg
5. “The Battle of Evermore,” The Lovemongers
6. “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns,” Mother Love Bone
7. “Birth Ritual,” Soundgarden
8. “State of Love and Trust,” Pearl Jam
9. “Overblown,” Mudhoney
10. “Waiting for Somebody,” Paul Westerberg
11. “May This Be Love,” Jimi Hendrix
12. “Nearly Lost You,” Screaming Trees
13. “Drown,” The Smashing Pumpkins
And here is my new one, hosted on Spotify:
Who would you put on your Singles in 2012 soundtrack? Tell us in the comment section!