Jim jarmusch’s imminent set of dryly comic vignettes, filmed over the course of a decade, will pitch him to a new generation, as it features Jack and Meg White, Wu-Tang Clan (RZA scored Jarmusch’s last film, Ghost Dog) and Steve Coogan among its cast. One of the better sequences sees Tom Waits and Iggy Pop mock-bickering over who’s more famous, and both contribute to this studiously cool soundtrack. Jarmusch, closely associated with The Clash, Talking Heads and Neil Young in the past, goes for pieces which underline the atmosphere of specific scenes, rather than random marquee names.
Bookended by two of the seven billion versions of “Louie, Louie” currently on record (Richard Berry & The Pharoahs to begin, Iggy as penultimate flourish before a surge of that rock beast Gustav Mahler), it gets lively with two Funkadelic cuts and The Stooges’ matchless “Down On The Street”. Eclecticism ensues, with The Skatalites, Jerry Byrd and Eric “Monty” Morris. Waits then combines with C-Side for “Saw Sage”, one of those abstract, percussive Waits instrumentals which sound like angry children bashing upturned milk bottles and pulling cats’ tails. The real glory is “Crimson And Clover” by Tommy James & The Shondells, the extraordinarily airy, ambitious, reverb-riddled romantic reverie which, years ahead of its time, knocks everything Brian Wilson ever recorded into a cocked hat. Those present simply can’t fathom how to produce it?they actually don’t know what they’re doing?so it eternally retains a muddled, misty magic all its own. Like “Down On The Street”, but for entirely different reasons, it’s one of the greatest records ever made.