Soundtrack Review: GOING THE DISTANCE

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
September 6th, 2010

Rating: 3/5

There are a few things you begin to expect when you hear Drew Barrymore’s name attached to a movie. A story with heart, some unexpected laughs, and some damn good music. Ms. Barrymore usually has a hand in picking the tunes and seems to have a knack at appearing in films with soundtracks that are a good mix of newer bands you may not have heard of before (The Boxer Rebellion, The Airborne Toxic Event) playing seamlessly alongside classic bands (The Pretenders, The Replacements).

Music plays a large part in GOING THE DISTANCE, as one half of our long distance couple, Garrett (Justin Long), works for a record label. Garrett finds himself assigned to cookie cutter bands trying to chase the latest fad rather than bringing in true talent he finds in small dive clubs and bars throughout New York City. One of the bands Garrett is particularly fond of is real life band The Boxer Rebellion, who gets major screen time performing around San Francisco. It’s frustrating enough watching the couple fight to keep their relationship together, it’s almost equally frustrating to see that Garrett clearly has an ear for real talent and it’s being wasted at a job that is also keeping him from shortening the distance in his relationship.

With lyrics that mirror the themes in the film, The Boxer Rebellion won me over after the first few guitar chords. A little bit Coldplay, at little bit Arcade Fire, I was jealous that a band this cool didn’t play a major part in any of my relationships. We get two tracks from them on the soundtrack with “Spitting Fire” and “If You Run," but you get a third track on the extended version of the soundtrack with bonus track “Evacuate."

Much like Garrett, I also have a few favorite lesser-known bands that I follow around LA from club to club and was beyond excited when I saw one of those bands, The Airborne Toxic Event, featured on this soundtrack. Their string-driven sound (from guitars to violins) is highlighted with the acoustic version of “Half of Something Else” and works perfectly with the tone and story of the film.

But this album is not all melancholy and indie bands about the trials and tribulations of love. The Passion Pit turn in a catchy dance groove with “The Reeling (Groove Police Remix),” and who doesn’t start tapping their foot when The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” cues up? The Generationals’ “Either Way” is quirky-fun while the title of Gotye’s track, “Learnalilgivinanlovin” is wacky-funny and both are upbeat listens that help keep the collection moving along.

We all may not be able to have a fun and sexy (albeit sometimes trying) relationship or hilarious friends to talk about baby pigeons with (someone find me a Charlie Day, STAT), but we can have good music and this soundtrack gives us just that. Plus – you can catch a good handful of these bands live (check their websites for tour dates) and maybe meet a new friend or love interest of your own. Just make sure they don’t live on the opposite coast. Or at least live in the same time zone as you.

This soundtrack is available through Watertower Music.

1. “Either Way” – The Generationals
2. “Places” – Georgie James
3. “Hey Na Na” – Katie Herzig
4. “In Transit” – Albert Hammond Jr.
5. “Just Like Heaven” – The Cure
6. “Don’t Get Me Wrong” – The Pretenders
7. “Spitting Fire” – The Boxer Rebellion
8. “Could We” – Cat Power
9. “Cold Frame” – Band of Skulls
10. “Prizefighter” – Eels
11. “The Reeling (Groove Police Remix)” – Passion Pit
12. “Harold T. Wilkens, or How to Wait for a Very Long Time” – Fanfarlo
13. “Here Comes a Regular” – The Replacements
14. “If You Run” – The Boxer Rebellion
15. “Learnalilgivinanlovin” – Gotye
16. “Half of Something Else (Acoustic Version)” – The Airborne Toxic Event
17. “Evacuate” (Bonus Track) – The Boxer Rebellion
18. “Miss Me” (Bonus Track) – Joe Purdy
19. “40 Day Dream” (Bonus Track) – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

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