It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and now that we’ve all consumed a gratuitous amount of food, let’s get back to music. This month, we asked our writers the following question:

Movies and television can often times have some pretty killer soundtracks. What are some of your favorite songs from movies or television that completely rounded out the scene, or just really stuck with you for whatever reason?

And so, the November playlist was born. Learn a little bit about our staff’s music taste AND moving picture intake.

Attention! Due to the nature of the question, this post could contain some spoilers. Proceed with caution!


Andrea Francois

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – “In the Hall of the Mountain King” (Edvard Grieg) from The Social Network

Ignoring the fact that I am a fangirl of pretty much every person who worked on The Social Network, this song is perfect in every way. The scene itself involves the Winklevoss twins, who claim to have come up with the idea of Facebook, competing at the Henley Royal Regatta, a prestigious rowing competition. At this point in the film, the twins have been in a constant battle with Mark Zuckerberg over “theFacebook” and have lost every step of the way. The scene is shot beautifully, and Reznor and Ross team up to turn this classical piece into one of the most tense scenes you will ever experience in a drama consisting mostly of coding montages. Watch the race scene here.

Creed Bratton – “All The Faces” from The Office

Regardless of how you feel about the latter half of the series, The Office was a once-in-a-generation comedy that captured the hearts of millions. It’s no surprise then that when the series ended, literally everyone cried. Creed Bratton, both real Creed and Office Creed, are incredibly talented musicians. Former guitarist for the Grass Roots, Bratton has been working on his own albums since as early as 2001. “All The Faces” originally comes from his 2002 album Coarsegold. A more upbeat version was later re-released on his next album in 2008, Creed Bratton. In the finale, Ed Helms’ character, Andy Bernard, says “I wish there was a way to know when you’re in the good ole days before you’ve already left them.” And now I’m crying against just thinking about it. Here’s the scene, spoilers etc.


Kali Sluyter

Aimee Mann – “Wise Up” from Magnolia

Magnolia is my favorite film, and while Paul Thomas Anderson got a lot of shit for putting this scene into the movie because it’s kind of random and weird for all the characters to stop and sing a song, it is incredibly poignant and beautiful in the overall context of the intersecting plotlines.  I will unfailingly cry every time I see this.  I’m crying a little right now while watching it at work.  I am embarrassing.

The Rolling Stones – “Let it Loose” from The Departed

I AGONIZED over this choice, but for the sake of picking something that is not from a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, and also not picking something based on really loving a singer’s vocals (Danny Elfman), I choose this because, hey, it actually is important to the scene and plot overall.  “Let it Loose” is one of my favorite songs of all time, and it somewhat frequently pops up in movies, but never more appropriately than in this agonizing scene in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed.  The saddest song about agonizing over an out-of-control lifestyle is matched perfectly with Leo getting his arm busted by Jack Nicholson to prove he isn’t an undercover cop.  Scorsese has many musical moments, many of which feature the Stones, but this is one of my all-time faves.


Rene Rodriguez

John Cafferty – “Hearts On Fire” from Rocky IV

To say I grew up with the Rocky movies would be putting it lightly. My father was a boxer and he loved boxing movies, but none more than the Rocky series (plus they were shown on TV like all the time.) This song comes from the fourth installment of the series and is the training song for Rocky’s toughest fight against the Russian powerhouse Ivan Drago. While there are a lot of great songs in the Rocky series this is the ultimate pump up song because the stakes have never been higher, Rocky’s never trained harder, and the guitar/keyboard solo has never been more stellar. To this day if I hear this song I get pumped like it’s 1984.  

Kiss – “God Gave Rock and Roll To You” from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Adventure

This song comes from one of my favorite films of all time. I mean Bill and Ted explores history, friendship, the afterlife, and struggle along with the belief that rock and roll will save the world. This song in particular ends the second film in which Bill and Ted win the Battle of the Bands and subsequently start to build the utopian world of the future with their music. I mean I love rock and roll and I wish the world could unite under it so I think it’s just a powerful idea. Plus the song is “most excellent.”


Matt Brier

Queen – “Don’t Stop Me Now” from Shaun of the Dead

Shaun of the Dead straddled the line of comedy and horror artfully. This scene is a bit of a tension breaker. Imagine trying to survive the zom, err “zed word” apocalypse. What you thought was a secret hiding place is now given away because of your best friend’s gambling habits. Then the jukebox kicks on random autoplay. Can it get any worse? Watch it here.

Duran Duran – “Ordinary World” from The Layer Cake

The Layer Cake was Matthew Vaughn’s directorial debut and featured Daniel Craig before he was Bond. It is a fast paced crime/heist film in the vein of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels  or Snatch. In this scene Morty, played by George Harris, runs into an old colleague at a diner. A colleague whose incompetence **mild spoiler** put Morty in jail for a stretch. Hence the beatdown. The song starts as incidental radio music in the diner and then switches to movie soundtrack and back as you hear it from the victim’s perspective.


Paul Jaissle

The Rolling Stones – “2000 Man” from Bottle Rocket

Wes Anderson constructs the soundtracks for his films just as carefully as the visuals, a skill that is evident even in his first –and still best, in my opinion– feature. In the penultimate scene of Bottle Rocket, an obscure deep cut from on the the Rolling Stones’ 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request perfectly matches Owen Wilson’s Dignan in his final shot at glory before being captured by the police following a bungled robbery. Whenever I hear Mick Jagger singing about being a lonely computer, I picture Wilson running around in a bright yellow jumpsuit.

Styx – “Lady” from Freaks and Geeks

There are too many brilliant musical moments in the single season of Freaks and Geeks to really just pick one, but I think this scene –where Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel) professes his love for Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) by serenading her with Styx’s AM radio staple “Lady”– captures the awkward earnestness of the TV show just about perfectly. What made the show so beloved is the honest way it portrayed adolescence, when hormones and heartache can make even pop schmaltz like this feel poignant by putting confusing emotions into words.

About The Author

Andrea is currently the Site Administrator and Music Editor at DestroyTheCyborg!, and in real life works as a corporate drone for a mid-west retailer. Like most people, she did not go to school for any of those things. In her spare time, she plays her musical things, video games, and occasionally goes outdoors. She loves beer and wine, and avoids dirtying dishes at all costs.
Andrea is the wife of video game and comic reviewer, Jon Francois, and together with their cats, have a life goal of ruling the world (or just sort of hanging out, whichever proves to be easier).

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