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In 2006 Canadian filmmaker Ron Mann asked The Sadies to score his latest documentary about Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, a custom car builder and leader of the hot rod movement of the late 1950's/early 1960s. Tales of the Rat Fink was described by many critics as Mann's masterpiece. The film uses non-traditional documentary techniques such as animation and first person narration (Roth was voiced by John Goodman) to tell the story of Roth's car creations and hot rod life in Southern California. The Sadies scored the movie by bridging animation and photo segments with stylized surf-rock; Dick Dale is alive and well in this film.
All of the songs in this film score are intentionally short, as per the fast pace of the film. Many people/fans were disappointed that the songs on this album were not like full-length songs on The Sadies previous studio albums. But with 26 different surf-rock tunes in the context of a film score, I don't think that one can complain.
The Sadies weren't sure what to name the songs in the score, so they decided to name them after their favorite bars and music venues throughout North America. Track 9 "The Crocodile" is the name of a music venue in Seattle. Track 15 is "The Mohawk" in Austin, Texas. Track 23 "The 400" is in Minneapolis, etc.
The second track on the album is named for The Horseshoe Tavern, in The Sadies hometown of Toronto. The Sadies can almost be described as the "house band" for the Horseshoe as they play there several times a year, sometimes as the backing band for legendary performers, and have served as the New Years entertainment for the last 11 or 12 years. The Horseshoe itself has quite a legendary history, which you can read about on their website. Mostly importantly though, I spent many, many, many nights at the Horseshoe where I not only saw The Sadies live six or seven times (easily securing themselves as my favorite Canadian live band), but dozens of other killer local and nationally touring bands and artists. Not to mention drinking more than my share of Keith's. I miss that place.
I moved from Toronto to Boston in 2010. I notice that the Tales of the Rat Fink soundtrack has no songs named after a Boston venue. Feel bad for me.
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