While many of the trailers that debuted over this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con favored the perennial BRRRAAAAHHHHMMMMs made popular by Hans Zimmer (Wonder Woman), or familiar soundtrack music (John William’s lilting Harry Potter theme popped up in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) a surprising number of filmmakers used really well-curated rock and pop songs, plus a hip hop classic. As a public service to you, the trailer viewer, I have compiled the greatest hits into one easy place, so if you’ve been frantically searching for that American Gods song, we’ve got it! (And thank you Commenter Elroy, for pointing us to it!) I’m going chronologically through the weekend—let me know if I missed any songs you loved!
Luke Cage—“Shimmy Shimmy Ya” by Old Dirty Bastard
Hey, Since O.D.B. was a member of the Wu Tang Clan, is it safe to say that Luke Cage kicks down the door to the 36th Chamber and proves he ain’t nuthin’ to (bleep) with? Here’s Hype Williams’ video for “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”, and yes, obviously, it’s NSFW. Come on.
The Defenders—“Come as You Are” by Nirvana
The Defenders used one of Nirvana’s darkest songs, the second single from their second album, “Come As You Are”, to both set the atmosphere and provide the show’s subtext—none of these heroes are ready for the task in front of them, but they’re going to have to accept each others’ baggage if they’re going to make it. The isolated vocal track in the trailer makes it extra creepy. Here’s Kevin Kerslake’s video for the song—technically this video’s NSFW too. Heh.
American Gods—“In the Pines” cover by Danny Farrant & Paul Rawson
American Gods chose a different Nirvana-associated song for their mood, and holy crap is it perfect. They used “In the Pines” (Also known as “Black Girl” and “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”) which is an ominous, violent, haunting piece of Americana that dates back to the late 1800s. A girl (it’s always a girl) is interrogated about where she slept, and replies that she slept outside in a pine grove—where the sun never shines—before veering into a story of her husband, who was decapitated. Did the interrogator murder her husband? Is she having an affair? Leadbelly recorded several versions of the song, usually using the “Black Girl” lyric. There’s also an excellent bluegrass version by Bill Monroe that seems to take place on a haunted train. Most people these days know it from Nirvana’s iconic “Unplugged in New York” performance. The trailer (wisely I think) chose to use Danny Farrant & Paul Rawson’s cover, which allows the song to sound fresh all over again.
Preacher—“Evil Ways” by Blues Saraceno
Speaking of Americana, I could critique Preacher’s choice for being a little on the nose, but I dig Blues Saraceno’s “Evil Ways” to much to argue.
I couldn’t find the song that’s playing in the Justice League trailer—anyone want to chime in? And was I the only one thinking of The Mighty Boosh’s visit to a fishing village when Bruce Wayne dropped in on Aquaman?
Guardians of the Galaxy—“Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay and The Americans; “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
The lucky ducks in Hall H got to see a couple of clips from Guardians of the Galaxy (we’ll share ‘em as soon as we find ‘em) and they were scored with two different fantastic songs! Director James Gunn was quick to tell people that they might not be included in Awesome Mix Volume 2… but I like both of them, so I’m including them anyway. “Come a Little Bit Closer,” by Jay and the Americans is a deceptively poppy song that is about a young lady who is either trying to hook up with a new guy behind her boyfriend’s back… or is trying to get the new guy into a fight with her boyfriend for her own amusement. (There’s also a subtext of a white US-ian tourist looking for love in Mexico, but I’m not touching that.) Don’t worry about any of that right now, just glory in these awesomely chunky sweaters, and Jay & the Americans’ synchronized clapping:
The other Guardians song was Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain”, which… aren’t most Fleetwood Mac songs about how the whole band was sleeping together and breaking up really badly? Is this really the tone you want to set for the Guardians, James Gunn? It is a great song, though. Here’s a live performance from the TUSK documentary. Stand in awe of Stevie Nicks’ glare.
But if you want to know what the writers of Tor.com were singing to each other as we working on Comic-Con coverage this weekend, it was this:
It’s such a classic theme! Those were my favorites from Comic-Con—did I miss any you loved?