Composer Danny Elfman on music, books and 'The Daily Show'
SHARP EYES AND EARS: Danny Elfman, Twyla Tharp and Kevin
McKenzie preside over rehearsal for Rabbit and Rouge.
Composer Danny Elfman has slipped his way into our collective
subconscious by creating the scores to numerous films, including the blockbusters
Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible and Men in Black, as well
as the themes to The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives.
The L.A. native made his name as the frontman for '80s new wave
band Oingo Boingo. This year he composed the scores for the films Wanted,
Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Standard Operating Procedure.
His first ballet Rabbit and Rouge, choreographed by Twyla
Tharp, premiered at the Orange County Performing Arts Center this summer, and
he recently began work on his first Broadway musical, Houdini. He shared
his pop culture interests with Liesl Bradner.
HEAVY ROTATION ON YOUR IPOD
I listen to constantly changing messy playlists. If I had to
pick I'd have to say a playlist that heavily features the work of Gavin Bryars,
Farewell to Philosophy; Steve Reich (Kronos Quartet), Different Trains;
Erik Satie, "The Irreverent Inspirations of Erik Satie," which is
a rare use of him writing for solo voices. It would also be mixed with doses
of Radiohead and Sparklehorse, Cat Power, Aimee Mann and the incredible Mauritanian
singer Dimi Mint Abba.
SOUNDTRACK FOR YOUR COMMUTE
Mock-ups of whatever music I'm composing at any particular moment get a whole
lot of play when I'm driving because it gives me fresh ears to what I've been
obsessing on in the studio.
IN YOUR NETFLIX QUEUE
I decided to watch the entire first season of Mad Men
on the flight back from London. Unfortunately I got them all in Blu-ray and
my computer wouldn't play any of them.
I can't make it through the week without "The Daily Show"
and "The Colbert Report." I also have the guilty pleasure of Weeds
going this season and the usual constant late-night addiction to Turner Classic
ON THE BED-STAND LIBRARY
I'm ashamed to say at this moment, no Tolstoy nor Hemingway by my bed does
sit. But much like half the country, I'm reading David Sedaris' new one, "When
You Are Engulfed in Flames." I'm also reading "Elephant and Other
Stories," the last short story collection of Raymond Carver. When Sedaris
gets me too light-hearted, I use Carver to tug me back down again.
TOP INTERNET DESTINATION
Rotten Tomatoes to compare all the movie reviews, and IMDB (Internet Movie
Database) for trivia.
"Unnecessary Censorship: Come and Play Edition" from Jimmy Kimmel
and the amazing footage of Bill O'Reilly flipping out on camera.
HUH? OR I JUST DON'T GET IT
The world of Facebook and MySpace, as it's the absolute antithesis
of how I lived my entire life. I'm most fascinated by the obsession with "sharing"
one's experiences with strangers and/or the world in general. As long as I can
remember, I was the kind of person who shared with and trusted very few. Not
to mention that for years now I've received fairly regular alerts about various
people on these sites reporting to be me . . . saying God knows what . . . to
who knows how many people? But, alas, I've never been on either site.