The Hired Hand is a 1971 western directed by and starring Peter Fonda. I've never seen the film but today I heard the score and it is absolutely fantastic. The composer is Bruce Langhorne, a veteran of the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, and the inspiration behind Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Also of note, Langhorne lost two fingers on his right hand as a child but clearly that doesn't impair his playing. The Hired Hand OST is a beautiful collection of atmospheric ghostly banjo, lapsteel, violin, and piano. Dig the cinematic blues:
Recently released by Scissor Tail Editions, the music has been compared to contemporary electronic experimentalists like Black Dice and Boards of Canada! Along with a digital download, Scissor Tail Editions sold 1,000 copies on 180-gram vinyl. I teared up when I realized they are completely, utterly sold out.
Have a listen and buy the digital album for $10 here: "The Hired Hand"
Death Waltz Recording Company deals in exquisitely-curated horror/cult movie soundtracks reissued on vinyl in gorgeous packaging with newly-commissioned cover art. Several months ago, I posted about their fantastic reissue of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's Escape From New York soundtrack. Since then, I've picked up several more Death Waltz reissues like Giuliano Sorgini's "Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue," Johan Söderqvist's "Let the Right One In, " and John Carpenter and Alan Howarth's "Halloween II." Surprise, surprise, now I want all of them. In fact, Death Waltz offers a subscription service for six releases in limited-edition colored vinyl complete with a numbered lithograph and poster. Yes, that will be on my holiday wish list. Juno Plus just posted an interview with Spencer Hickman, Death Waltz's zombie-in-chief:
Where was the idea for Death Waltz born? My three loves have always been music, movies and art, and I’ve always worked within that to an extent, whether it’s doing horror fanzines, putting on film festivals or working in record shops. And I was just thinking there’s a real lack of soundtrack music out on vinyl, even though vinyl is the only physical format growing in sales. So I decided to do start my own label – it’s just something I wanted to do. It was originally only going to be soundtrack reissues but now we’re moving into current films…
You obviously have a predilection for horror – where does that stem from?
I think I was 12, and my dad gave me a copy of The Exorcist on bootleg video. Around that time I was watching stuff like Salem’s Lot on TV, scaring myself shitless. There was a video shop that opened up down the road from us, and because there were no laws then, we joined and I would go down and rent stuff like Cannibal Holocaust. I remember watching a double bill of Cannibal Holocaust and Last House On The Left when I was about 13. I’m surprised I’m a functioning member of society. I basically watched a lot of shit and then the odd gem.
"In discussion with Death Waltz’s Spencer Hickman" (Juno Plus)
Listen to bits of Death Waltz releases on Soundcloud