Ed Burns and Shitty Soundtracks

Posted: October 5, 2013 by generationgbooks in Movies, Music
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brothers-mcmullen-soundtrackI was so inspired by Dave’s last post about finding two albums of relevance in good times and bad (in one trip) that I decided to tie two absolutely abysmal albums- soundtracks, no less- that have several common threads together, and blog about it. Except that unlike Dave’s previous recollection, this one is not a happy vinyl adventure, so I figured, I’ll give another side of the vinyl frontier. Anything goes here at Hannibal Collector. 

The year was 1995 and my ex “Biceps” was home on leave. The first thing he wanted to do after having a quick tete-a-tete (fucking French phrases) about Amish country was to go see a movie. Most guys who were thousands of miles away from their girl would have used that time to, uh, get re-acquainted with their girl, but not my guy. Nope. He wanted to see shitty cinema. I should have known it was too good to be true. We went to see this awful, awful Ed Burns movie called The Brothers McMullen, at some dumpy theater in Oak Park. I just remember it was a matinee, and I’m glad it was, because the money I paid for it (yes, not only did I NOT pick this steaming pile to see, but I PAID. He was on a “budget” which was cheap-speak for his burrito and beer in El Paso habit) was definitely not worth it. I wish I’d gotten loaded beforehand, it would have been more bearable. No, it wouldn’t have, I lied. Worse than that? The fucking soundtrack. It was awful. It was a lot of Celtic and Irish music. Normally, if I’m at Irish Times in Brookfield and I have a stomach full of Shepherd’s Pie and full of booze on St. Patty’s Day, that’s alright, because I have no clue what I am listening to, nor would I care in that setting. That was not the case. I was bored to tears with the plot, annoyed with the idiot for not wanting Wang Dang Sweet Poontang instead of this crappy flick we were at, and worse than that, sober. All of it added up to churning dislike. The music made me feel like I was front and center at the worst Gaelic Storm concert known to man, with bad acting and an idiot at my side who kept whispering how “moving” it was. Moving bowels, maybe, you dolt. Just when I thought “It can’t get worse”, it did. “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan begins. If there’s nothing that Burritos for Jesus loves more than bad cinema, it’s bad cinema ballad music. By the end of the song, not only was he teary eyed, but he was doing the sway. For those who know him, you know the boy is seriously afflicted with Bad White Boy Dancingitis. I seriously questioned whether I could sneak out of there and go hide by Mike’s (he lived on Harrison, not far from this dive theater) while Burritos for Jesus was making sweet love with this awful music. My burning hatred for Sarah McLachlan? This was probably the start. I should have seen this whole experience as a warning for the end that was already writing itself. If a guy can’t take you to a good flick or at least pay for the shitty flick he’s making you sit through while he tries to be Meatloaf (but sounding more like Beetloaf) and croon the soundtrack during the film, run like hell. Or sneak out of the theater.

By the time 1996 rolled around, he was gone. Unfortunately, Ed Burns was still making bad movies. I went out on a couple of dates with my friend DT to try to erase the pain of the end of my first love and engagement. DT was a blast, a nice guy who liked loud, rowdy music, drank like a fish, lived at Denny’s, knew great movies, and better yet, a Libra. For those of you not familiar, that meant he has a snowball’s chance in hell of being more than friends with me. Anyhow, I was feeling low around Sept as Biceps’ birthday drew near. DT got free tickets to a movie of his choice. One night, while he and I were eating bad food at Denny’s and then demolishing a bottle of vodka, I told him, laughingly, of that movie date a year before. He misunderstood and thought I was a huge Ed Burns fan, and so he surprised me by taking me to- you guessed it!- the new Ed Burns film. It was playing in some arty theater in Westmont, near where he was living at that time. It was the film She’s The One. Do yourself a favor and don’t check it out. I did enjoy it more than The Brothers McMullen, namely because I made sure I was shitfaced this time, and I was seeing it with my friend and just looking to see what I had hoped was a good movie. Ed Burns had a better known cast this time, including his longtime girlfriend (who clearly wasn’t the One, because he ended up marrying Christy Turlington, best known to people who know me, because she was the model on the cover of Duran Duran’s Notorious album). He also had two minuses in the actress pool, meaning The Aniston and the Diaz were in this movie. Two strikes right there. And Ed Burns, he tries so hard, but I just don’t buy anything he’s selling. The only thing I did dig in the entire movie was John Mahoney, later of Frasier fame. The rest? I was fucking bored. DT was yawning throughout the movie, and about 45 minutes into it leaned over and said “Sorry, G, I owe you a pack of smokes for putting you through this.” The music? Well, it was better than the other, but still left a lot to be desired. Much of it is Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, of whom I am a fan, but it’s watered down and inspired by a lackluster film. Walls(Circus) was the most well known song, perhaps the only song come to think of it, released off of this album. There is a ironic link to Dave’s post about Rumours in this, because Lindsay “Genius” Buckingham sings background vocals on that song, but otherwise, a number of strange brew flows on this one. There’s a Lucinda Williams song on there, which I was not inclined to like or dislike (more like disinterest). There’s Asshole by Beck, which is a nice little ditty. But otherwise, it’s like a Tom Petty demo album, and except for Walls(Circus), not an album I would bother with on any level. It’s just there, like Ed Burns.

A year later, I am at a flea market with Redneck Flats. He ditched me and Mark by a cart selling bootleg rap cassettes. Mark and I stocked up and got a lot of great stuff; Tupac, Biggie, Puff Daddy before he went Diddy Doo Doo, etc. That bum went off in search of likely bongs or smoking apparatus of which I would maintain a healthy distance from, but unfortunately, he came back, excited and clutching a large paper bag with “surprises”. Brown bags with surprises usually do not bode well, as we all know. When we got back to the house, Mark and I were dying of curiosity. He pulls out a bunch of records. Some Steve Winwood, Traffic, Heart, and Wings. Stuff I would normally rather knit carrots to than actually be forced to listen to. Then he tells me to close my eyes and hands me two albums. I open my eyes. Screaming occurs. Would you like to guess what the fucker got me? Well, dear reader, he got me the soundtracks for The Brothers McMullen and She’s The One. The evil had come full circle. I remember a conversation ensued to determine why the fuck he would think I wanted this shit. He went on to say that he remembered me telling him about the Ed Burns movies I had seen, except the pot-smoking wasteoid believed I was FONDLY recalling them, not the opposite. True case of miscommunication. I don’t remember what happened to those vinyl records, he either kept them, I sold them, or maybe Mark walked off with them. In this case, I hope they vanished into a crack in the Earth..like Ed Burns movies. 

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