In anticipation of NEXT FEST, Indiewire asked filmmakers with projects screening as part of the program to curate a selection of tracks that may have served as inspiration during the production process or are evocative of the world and themes explored by the film.
The musical selections that follow were made by Gregg Turkington, who appears in the lead role of “Entertainment,” a film which he co-wrote with director Rick Alverson. “Entertainment” follows The Comedian, played by Turkington, as he makes his way across the California desert to Hollywood, performing at a string of third-rate venues along the way.
Our film was shot mainly in Bakersfield and the adjoining area. Here is a slice of vintage, late 60s Bakersfield country, sometimes utilized to prop up the spirits of our weary crew.
Frank Sinatra Jr.’s evocative “Black Night” is a song I’ve been obsessed with for years, and my dream pick to be the theme song of “Entertainment.” It can be heard in the just-released trailer as well. Here’s a different (but also appropriate) track from Frank’s under-appreciated back catalog.
Although any attempt by The Comedian to carve out a musical career is never referred to in the movie, this autobiographical song surely summarizes his plight.
This sad, plaintive song about a cow’s teat running dry, while not actually heard in the movie, I feel in very much in the spirit of the whole thing.
Mark Eitzel’s bleak musical portrait of an even bleaker Western landscape. We shot one of our (many) restroom scenes at a rest area bathroom on the 5, west of Bakersfield.
A powerful and eerie Jimmy Webb song, with a very specific California setting, about the temporal nature of bliss.
Here is a song which, while not actually heard in the movie, gets a shout-out in a key scene.
Much as Phil Spector popped up unexpectedly in the opening scene of “Easy Rider”, the eagle-eyed will spot Bow Wow Wow singer Annabella Lwin in a curious cameo at the beginning of “Entertainment.”
You’ll find that a lot of the same adjectives that appear in reviews of Rick Alverson’s movies appear in write-ups of his music. You gotta appreciate a consistency of vision!
A very classy soul tune that can be heard in the background of a very dark scene in “Entertainment.”
We tried to get this song for the movie but Como’s people weren’t playing ball. The custom version that our sound engineer Pete Townsend recorded at a Nashville church turned out to be just as good.