So yeah, I’m geeky enough to notice these things

larsThese are the things that concern me.

I was rewatching Lars and the Real Girl the other day, which if you’ve haven’t seen it is a wonderfully sweet little film starring Ryan Gosling about a reclusive introvert who takes on a “real doll” as his girlfriend. Anyways, there’s a great scene at the movie’s midpoint where Lars brings Bianca (the doll) to an office Christmas party and the host puts on the Talking Heads’ brilliant “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” for everyone to dance to. The scene is both sweet in the lengths that Lars’ coworkers go to to accomodate and welcome Bianca, but also a bit sad: it’s one of the first times that we sense Lars coming to terms with the limitations of his relationship, that he can never dance and swoon with her in the way that David Byrne blissfully sings about.

When I first sat down to watch the film six months ago or so, I was only casually paying attention (I think I was working on a report or something at the same time) so I just thought it was a cool scene and moved on. This time, though, I was devoting more of my energies to the movie, which led to one of the bigger moments of obsessive music geekdom I’ve had in a while.

My thought process was as follows:

lars-party

– “Hey, I didn’t realize this the first time, but that’s the Stop Making Sense version of “This Must Be the Place” that the party host is playing on that stereo.”

– “Wait a minute, did she put on a record or a CD?” I zoom back the DVD quickly to check. It’s a record.

– “Something’s not right here. My music geek sense is tingling.”

Stop_Making_Sense_-_Talking_Heads– I grab my vinyl copy of Stop Making Sense. “Ah HA! As I suspected, that song wasn’t on the original release.” A quick visit to allmusic.com confirms that it didn’t appear on the album until it was re-released in expanded form on CD in 1999. I’m proud of myself for noticing this inaccuracy in the movie.

– But I suddenly become less certain: something tells me that the Stop Making Sense version of the song WAS released as a single at some point. Back to allmusic I go and, yep, it was the B-side for the concert’s take on “Once in a Lifetime,” released as a 7″ single in 1984.

– “So did the party host put on a 7″ record or a full LP?” I go back to the DVD, hoping that the shot of the record would show off the label to confirm exactly what was put on the stereo. Since it doesn’t, I screen-cap it.

lars-record

– I proceed to spend a good minute or two sizing up that image. I conclude that it’s an LP, confirming this as a mistake in the film.

– I feel good about myself.

– I then realize how much mental energy this whole process took. I feel a tinge of sadness, not unlike that which strikes Lars at that exact moment in the film.

lars-sadness

These are the things that concern me.

Watch: Talking Heads – “This Must Be the Place” (from the film Stop Making Sense)

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One response to “So yeah, I’m geeky enough to notice these things

  1. Good spot! It didn’t take me anywhere near as much hard work, but my movie music-geek moment is in High Fidelity. When he’s putting his lps in alphabetical order the letter tabs towards the end of the alphabet are pretty evenly spaced. This has always irritated me, as in my experience there are far more artists whose names begin with R, S & T than any other letters – or maybe I’ve just got a weirdly slanted collection.

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