• Ken Friedman's "Made in USA" was Sonic Youth's first film score project. Thurston's liner notes for the much belated 1995 soundtrack release tell you what you need to know about how they got involved.
  • The following text is taken from a report I posted to the newsgroup on April 12th, 2000 after seeing the film "Made In USA" for the first (and last) time:

    regular readers of this newsgroup will know that my love for the "Made in USA" soundtrack is anything but a secret -- i've said time and time again that I consider it to be one of my top 5 favorite sonic youth releases. in the liners, thurston says that most of their music was cut from the film, so i wasn't expecting much, but i was a little surprised.

    note that the movie was filmed in 1986 and released eventually in 1988, i believe. the soundtrack was released in 1995, and probably doesn't contain all of the music recorded for the film (another track simply titled "made in usa [segment]" was released on a compilation entitled 'step-step-stepping on satan's foot' around the same time). i'll assume that most of the music in the movie is on the soundtrack, but since most of the tracks are variants on other tracks, it's hard to decide which is which, ya know?

    i set the VCR timer to 00:00:00 and put the film in. obviously, there's no coming attractions or any of that jazz beforehand, so the movie basically starts right away. some of the SY music is played underneath scenes, some is played in the forefront. most of the music in the opening/ending credits and strewn thru-out the film is some weird, rock and roll harmonica/mellencamp style stuff that's very out of place and awkward (and not sonic youth). most of the SY pieces aren't even played in full. here's the SY content:

    • 04:14 -- text reads: "Score Composed & Performed by SONIC YOUTH"
    • 09:45 - 11:35 -- "secret girl" piano theme plays, followed by harmonics/whammy bar stuff, then kim's vocals (this is reminiscent of some of the later tracks on the soundtrack, but i couldn't pick any of them directly)
    • 12:22 - 12:46 -- "moustache riders"
    • 14:15 - 14:55 -- "cork mountain incident"
    • 31:05 - 32:30 -- "moon in the bathroom"
    • 32:34 - 33:15 -- "secret girl" piano w/ trem bar harmonics
    • 42:24 - 44:12 -- "lincoln's gout"
    • 48:20 - 48:54 -- "coughing up tweed"
    • 49:27 - 50:36 -- "hairpiece lullaby"
    • 51:21 - 52:05 -- "hairpiece lullaby"
    • 52:30 - 52:58 -- "pre-poured wood"
    • 54:05 - 54:39 -- "tuck n dar"
    • 1:05:55 - 1:06:35 -- "pre-poured wood"
    • 1:10:31 - 1:11:36 -- "pocketful of sen-sen"
    • 1:11:45 - 1:12:11 -- "webb of mud"
    • 1:12:37 - 1:14:00 -- "webb of mud"
    • 1:15:07 - 1:15:37 -- "webb of mud" (used well in the 'climax')
    • 1:15:41 - 1:16:34 -- "bachelors in fur!"
    • 1:16:48 - 1:17:28 -- "mackin' for doober"
    that's it. in the ending credits, we get (curiously enough):

    Secret Girl as performed by Sonic Youth
    Courtesy of SST/Blast First Records
    Written By Sonic Youth
    Copyright 1986 Savage Conquest Music

    Tuck And Dar as performed by Sonic Youth
    Written by Sonic Youth
    Copyright 1986 Euphonius Music/Savage Conquest Music

    SONIC YOUTH are:

    and that's it.

    interesting points:

    "Tuck N Dar" (as listed on the soundtrack, note it's "Tuck And Dar" on the film -- Tuck and Dar are the main characters in the film) is used almost unnoticeably in the film (playing on the car stereo while everyone talks overtop), but its instrumental manifestations are used almost in full. It and Secret Girl (which also isn't played in full anywhere) get credit at the end though (could Tuck And Dar basically be a copyright for that one singular riff/song?). Both songs probably appeared on the original 1988 soundtrack for the film.

    The songs are basically used in the order they appear on the soundtrack. The Webbs of Mud at the end are used well, and they utilize the same explosive build-up/momentary pause/segueway into "Bachelors in Fur!" as they do on the soundtrack. However, the film should have ended there, instead of moving on to a lame beach scene w/ lousy "rock and roll" playing over the end credits. Oh well.

  • Can I recommend this film? Well, if you're as fond of the soundtrack as I am, perhaps, if only to see how the music reflects the movie. Soundtrack aside, it's not exactly 82 minutes of compelling art, but if you find it cheap, it's definitely worth a viewing.