Forgetting Sarah Marshall
A Taste for Love
"A Taste for Love" was written in a hotel room in the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii (yep I know life was rough on this one). I worked with Forgetting Sarah Marshall writer/star Jason Segel, director Nick Stoller and producer Judd Apatow - and I took their written template and created the musical finale, which was filmed back in Hollywood and then recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in LA. Cameo alert - I'm the voice of the "dumb puppet" saying "he's the worst".
Broken and Bent
"Broken and Bent" I recorded (playing everything) in my garage studio in Venice. I had gone to see a screening of the work in progress, and David Wain asked me to score the reflective scene with a song, with the caveat being that there was no guarantee my song would be picked. At literally the last possible moment on the mix stage I was told that the song was going to be used but I needed to make some changes - I added the final instruments with about an hour to spare.
Down in the Valley
Fly Sparrow Fly
Edward Norton had brought David Jacobson to a show of mine in LA, and a few weeks later they had placed "Fly Sparrow Fly" (which I had recorded in Brooklyn with Don Piper essentially as a one off) as the opening title, editing the film to match some of the lyrics. Eventually this led to me scoring the movie. Check out Don's ethereal lap steel work on the track.
Down in the Valley
I was in LA and had watched a work in progress screening of Down in the Valley, and I knew that this particular scene needed a song. I had my laptop with me and with rudimentary gear I set up in my sublet. The low-fi sound seemed to match the unforced intimacy of the scene. When I showed Jacobson what I had done with the song he hired me as the composer of the film.
Keeping the Faith
Heart of Mine
I had sent Edward Norton an advance copy of my Heart of Mine cd, and he ended up using it as the main theme of "Keeping the Faith", both as a montage song and the end title song. The producer T Bone Burnett and I worked on a remix for the movie, which was a ton of fun. The song has travelled very well and I'm very grateful it has touched so many people.
Wet Hot American Summer
Wet Hot American Dream
While spending time on the set of Wet Hot I wrote "Wet Hot American Dream", which when I wrote it was my ode to Billy Squier. That crazy version can be found somewhere in the dvd extras and online. When it came time to do the version for the movie, director David Wain wanted a mellower, cleaner sound, which we recorded in Teddy Shapiro's (nice) home studio in Tribeca. David also asked me to write and sing the music for the final moments of the movie leading into the credits.