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The Best Music of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

The Best Music of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

As anyone who attended the 2012 Sundance Film Festival can attest, this year’s lineup boasted some great music. For those of you who didn’t make it down to Park City (and for those of you that did and want to relive the memories), listen to some of the musical highlights that made up Indiewire’s Sundance 2012 experience. Tell us which songs we missed in the comment section below. Happy listening.

Song: “Sugar Man” by Rodriguez
Film: “Searching for Sugar Man”

Sundance audiences walked into Park City not knowing who Rodriguez and walked out as fans of the elusive singer/songwriter. The subject of the Audience Award-winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man,” was touted by record executives in the ’70s to be a rock icon to rival the best of them. Sadly, his rise to fame never happened in the states. Hopefully, this documentary will change that.

Song: “It Takes a Muscle to Fall in Love” by Spectral Display
Film: “Simon Killer”

This 1982 track (later reinterpreted by M.I.A.) serves as a theme song of sorts for the titular deranged protagonist, Simon (Brady Corbet). Don’t let the laid-back nature of the track fool you; Simon’s not an easy-going guy.

Song: “Dance Yourself Clean” by LCD Soundsystem
Film: “Simon Killer”

One of “Simon Killer”‘s most memorable scenes has Simon dancing to the entirety of this track from the now-defunct LCD Soundsystem.

Song: “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” by LCD Soundsystem
Film: “Shut Up and Play the Hits”

LCD Soundsystem fans flocked to screenings of “Shut Up and Play the Hits,” the documentary that chronicles the band’s farewell show at Madison Square Garden. Arguably the highlight of the film, and the concert, was their performance of this downbeat but poppy affair.

Song: Untitled by Filly Brown (aka Gina Rodriguez)
Film: “Filly Brown”

One of the biggest breakouts of this year’s festival was Gina Rodriguez, the actress who proved she can MC alongside the best of them, with her commanding turn as the titular young hip-hop artist in “Filly Brown.” No one track from the film has landed on the web just yet, so get a feel for one of them by watching Rodriguez MC in the studio.

Song: “Hey Jude” sung by Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Event: hitRECord at Sundance

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in Park City this year with his collaborative multimedia studio, hitRECord, to unveil the latest short films produced by his compnay. The highlight of the night, however, came at the end when the actor took to the stage at the Eccles to perform an acoustic rendition of “Hey Jude.”

Song: “California Love” by 2Pac and Dr. Dre
Film: “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap”

Ice-T’s directorial debut is packed to the brim with popular hip-hop jams, but none got the crowd at the Sundance premiere more riled up than this classic track.

Song: “Invisible Light” by Scissor Sisters
Film: “Me @ the Zoo”

This trippy dance track, courtesy of the Scissor Sisters, drives a scene that depicts the rapid rise of the YouTube phenomenon in the documentary, “Me @ the Zoo.” Fun fact: Scissor Sisters’ frontman, Jake Shears, is the boyfriend of the film’s co-director Chris Moukarbel.

Song: “Soon-To-Be Innocent Fun” by Arthur Russell
Film: “Keep the Lights On” and “How to Survive a Plague”
Cellist/composer Arthur Russell figures prominently in two heartbreaking gay films that played in Park City: “Keep the Lights On,” Ira Sach’s tragic, autobiographical love story; and the harrowing AIDS documentary, “How to Survive a Plague.” Russell died of AIDS-related causes in 1992.

Song: “Graceland” by Paul Simon
Film: “Under African Skies”

“Paradise Lost” documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger was at Sundance this year with “Under African Skies,” his latest film that chronicles the making of Paul Simon’s 1986 solo album, “Graceland,” which won a Grammy for album of the year. Despite the wealth of acclaim lavished upon the work, “Graceland” was also Simon’s most controversial release, unleashing the wrath of many after the world discovered the musician had violated a United Nations cultural boycott by playing and recording in South Africa, which was still under the apartheid at the time.

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