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The Cloud Photographers

March 27th, 2009 · 39 Comments

The Cloud Photographers

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A special post highlighting a pet project of Nicholas Gurewitch, the man behind the Perry Bible Fellowship. This particular pet has been groomed for a long time now, and is only now emerging for the show room.

Nick is an artist-chameleon extraordinaire, and has adapted the persona’s of Robert Crumb, Shel Silverstein and Edward Gorey. Now he has taken the cloak of yet another, this time in a medium outside of his typical graphic arts.

Since Bottle Rocket, the soundtracks in Wes Anderson films have both enchanted listeners and raised eyebrows in skepticism. Some believe that his music overpowers his scenes, and force feeds emotions on the audience. Others feel that they endow a sense of magic within his stories. Either way, Mr. Anderson has etched himself a musical signature that is immediately recognizable in the world of film soundtracks. Enlisting the help of Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo, Rugrats) and music geek Randall Poster, Anderson’s soundtracks have evolved into a signature taste. On the face of things, his selections don’t seem much more inspired than your garden-variety college free-form DJ’s selections: Velvet Underground, Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Cat Stevens. But I suppose it’s the application that counts. And count it does. Recall Richie Tenenbaum’s love-struck face as Margot exits the bus accompanied by Nico’s (Jackson Brown penned) These Days. Cue slow motion.

It’s an unforgettably romantic scene.

So now, Wes is four films deep. What’s going to happen next?

Enter Nick Gurewitch. Here we have a speculation on the soundtrack for the next Wes Anderson film. It’s entirely fiction, but yet so plausible.

The Cloud Photographers

The Cloud Photographers – Cumulus

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The Cloud Photographers – John Cale – Paris 1919

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The Cloud Photographers – Itzhak Perlman – Caprice #2 in B Minor by Paganini

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Here’s a little interview I did with Nick explaining what this is all about.

MN: What is the story of The Cloud Photographers? Who stars?

NG: The Cloud Photographers is mainly about the trials of a de-revolutionary group called “R.A.M.R.A.T” – The Royal Association for the Militant Reclamation of American Territories. It stars Alec Guiness as a senile ex-war general.

MN: How did you formulate the track sequencing? Are there any specific scenes that you envision accompanied by a specific song?

NG: For some reason I envisioned “Andrew’s Waltz”, performed by Squirrel Nut Zippers’ Maxwell and Mosher, happening over the opening credits. Probably over a photo album featuring the cast. Now that I think of it, I think I positioned all the tracks in filmic sequence. Especially the climactic ones toward the end.

MN: How would you characterize a song that has an Anderson-esque feel to ti?

NG: Anderson music has a lot of whimsy to it. It’s also almost always kind of trapped in a specific bygone era- like a lot of his characters. Often very fancy, with a high or fantastical ideal. Music from the British invasion is a touchstone in his films. That kind of angst. It might have something to do with the British loss of dignity over the years- coping with that. Royal Tennenbaum is a good example of that; a king who’s lost its crown. This probably, now that I think of it, definitely contributed to the idea of the RAMRAT organization.

I’m most pleased with the tracks on this album that combine British pop music with classical elements. There are a couple of them that are just drenched with the feel of his films.

MN: What was involved in assembling this project and how long did it take?

NG: Well, you helped me with a lot of it. You clued me into some great tracks- like the Mike Berry song, which sounds like its right out of Rushmore. The project ended up taking a really long time because I kept hearing music that I thought would make a great addition, and it kept me postponing the final track listing.

I came up with the idea for a CD mix club about 2 years ago. I’m 2 years late with actually sharing it with the members of the CD club. I’ll do that soon, hopefully.

The Cloud Photographers

Unofficial Soundtrack

Stream the full soundtrack

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1. Cumulus
2. Donovan – Hi It’s Been a Long Time
3. Andrew’s Waltz
4. The Kinks – So Long
5. Les Boréades – Piggies
6. Paul Simon – The Obvious Child
7. Artur Rubenstein – Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini – Var. #7
8. Belle and Sebastian – Fox in the Snow
9. With a Chance of Rain
10. Mike Berry and The Outlaws – Don’t You Think it’s Time
11. Hindi Beatles medley
12. The London Double Bass Sound – Moses Fantasy (paganini)
13. Ion Laceanu – Briu
14. The Rolling Stones – Mother’s Little Helper
15. The Flight of the Bumblebee* (Sinfonia Lahti Cello and Bass Ensemble) (Rimsky-Korsakov)
16. The Zombies – Beechwood Park
17. John Cale – Paris 1919
18. The Who – Can’t Explain
19. English Chamber Orchestra – Water Music Suite No. 2 in D
20. Sparks – Whipping and Apologies
21. Itzhak Perlman – Caprice #2 in B Minor by Paganini
22. The Damned – Jet Boy Jet Girl
23. The String Quartet – Sunday Morning (Velvet Underground)
24. Sigur Ros – Olsen Olsen

Everyone will have their own take on what makes a Wes Anderson soundtrack. Lend your tracklists and ideas in the comments section.

Other Snore & Guzzle News

1. New Gossip column charting many new people from new places.

2. And here is a poster I made for an upcoming screening at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House. On Friday, May 8th, Jeff Lambert will present selections from the most recent addition to the Treasures preservation series, which highlights gems from the american avant-garde. Here is what the Dryden calendar has to say about this screening: “Armed with inexpensive film equipment and the limits of their imagination, a generation of Americans following WWII began experimenting with cinema, pushing the boundaries and subverting conventions. These artists created a parallel tradition to Hollywood which redefines film as an intensely personal and political medium. Hosted by Jeff Lambert of the National Film Presentation Foundation, this program of seminal films by Andy Warhol, Hollis Frampton, Pat O’Neill, Ken Jacobs, Jonas Mekas and Chick Strand is a rare opportunity to see an important but often overlooked chapter in film history.”

Treasures poster

3. I have a new address:

Michael Neault
550 SE 58th Ave
Portland OR 97215

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39 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Margaret // Apr 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Listening to and enjoying Nick’s soundtrack…glad that the Roumanian music made it in! :)

  • 2 olga // Apr 10, 2009 at 1:13 am

    cheers to a new address

  • 3 sarah // May 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    thoroughly enjoyed listening to this!

  • 4 admin // May 13, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    One artist I would’ve included on my own Anderson mix would’ve been just about any song by Left Banke — but especially the songs “I’ve got something on my mind,” or “Barterers and their wives.”

  • 5 admin // May 13, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    “I’ve got something on my mind.”

  • 6 admin // May 14, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    Oh, this one is so perfect…

    Twice as Much – “Sittin on a fence.”

    See if you can find it.

  • 7 Imagining Wes soundtracks: The Cloud Photographers | The Rushmore Academy // May 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    [...] More [...]

  • 8 TWright // May 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    absolutly spot on! I could see this being a really good Anderson movie (theoretically).

  • 9 nadia // May 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I absolutely love this soundtrack and I wish I could buy it. The Donovan track is pure genius.

  • 10 e.c. // May 21, 2009 at 4:43 pm


  • 11 Wes Perry Bible Anderson Soundtrack | The Scope - St. John’s arts and entertainment newspaper // Jun 9, 2009 at 11:39 am

    [...] To read more about this project, and to listen to an mp3, click here. [...]

  • 12 zack // Jun 17, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    very nice – impressed as always!

  • 13 Jake // Jun 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    What is “Cumulus”? Who’s it by? It’s beautiful.

  • 14 admin // Jun 21, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Rosetti — Sonata No. 2 in E flat : Rondeau, Allegretto

  • 15 COLONEL SWEETO! « + 21CB // Jun 23, 2009 at 1:03 am

    [...] Gurewitch has closed shop since 2008. Since then, he’s been compiling faux Wes Anderson soundtracks and working on a film; considering the ingenuity he put into PBF, what’s next should be sick [...]

  • 16 Jesse // Jul 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Dear Science, I want a large print of the artwork.

    (And an unofficial CD or vinyl pressing.)

  • 17 Brett // Jul 20, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Fantastic soundtrack! I’m very happy to see Belle and Sebastian on there. :)

  • 18 Philip Trostler // Jul 28, 2009 at 2:07 am

    This is fantastic. I’ve listened to this numerous times since finding it through the PBF website a few months ago and many of the songs have gotten stuck in my head over and over. Will there be any followup?

  • 19 Tom // Aug 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I just discovered this through PBF, and it’s blowing my mind. The highest praise I can give is to say that the best songs are the ones I’ve never heard before.

  • 20 mwteel // Aug 12, 2009 at 9:31 am

    You mentioned Wes being “four films deep” right now. I think you’re overlooking Bottlerocket which, to this day, is still his best film (in my opinion). And the soundtrack is every bit as awesome as the other ones.

    I love this concept, by the way.

  • 21 make more comics, nick // Aug 20, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    looks like a playlist put together by itunes genius.

  • 22 Dubi Kaufmann // Aug 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I enjoyed this collection immensely. Brilliant choice of British invasion tunes.

    I must say that track 22 seemed out of place. I think Wes would have put the Original version of this song (Ca Plane pour moi).

  • 23 Nicholas // Aug 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm


    Gosh, you are so right, Dubi. Mike, can we get this changed?

  • 24 David // Aug 24, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Wait a minute, I think Jet Boy, Jet Girl IS the original version. According to Wikipedia Ca Plane pour moi was recorded because some producer thought the original english lyrics were too provocative?

  • 25 Maxwell Gonzales // Sep 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    “sitting by the riverside” would be the perfect Kinks song to add to this
    one of my favorite hobbys is finding songs that would be a good wes anderson soundtrack

  • 26 exliontamer // Sep 18, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I’ve started saving bunch of tracks onto a Spotify playlist as a way of introducing a mate to some of this kind of stuff. It’s a work in progress, so needs pruning.

    Also, I haven’t found a way of sequencing the tracks, which is a real shame, as it can’t really function as a playlist per se, more a bunch of songs ;(

    This though, is hella inspiring/ makes me want to try harder.

  • 27 DaveB // Sep 22, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Actual soundtrack for the next Wes Anderson film:

  • 28 Mike // Sep 23, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Nothing big but:

    Bottle Rockets
    Royal Tenenbaums
    Life Aquatic
    Darjeeling Limited
    Fantastic Mr. Dox (to be released November this year)

    I’d say Mr. Anderson is six films deep, yeah?

  • 29 k-sky // Sep 30, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Related: The Onion on Wes Anderson.

  • 30 Linkcetera « The Mississippifarian // Oct 11, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    [...] Very cool embedded music (and the music ain’t bad either) [via Kip] [...]

  • 31 visual madness » The Perry Marvel Fellowship // Oct 25, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    [...] of note is an unofficial soundtrack Gurewitch proposed for a hypothetical Wes Anderson film called The Cloud Photographers. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to listen to it completely, but from the little bits and [...]

  • 32 Montanaosu // Nov 17, 2009 at 1:21 am

    I would suggest:
    “Life ain’t so shitty” Blind Melon
    “Lets live for Today” Grass Roots
    “Dilute” The Honorary Title
    “We’re From Barcelona” I’m From Barcelona
    “Minglewood Blues” Old Crow Medicine Show
    “Mania La” Alpha Yaya Diallo
    “Little Story” Motion Trio

    Not all have the whimsical quality, but I think they would fit well in the soundtracks of Wes Anderson. Love what you have done, thanks for PBF and this.

  • 33 C’mon, Stinky! (This Winter’s Mix) - Joshua Malbin // Jan 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    [...] Ogged, Said the Gramophone, Jim Emerson, Nicolas Gurewitsch’s fake Wes Anderson soundtrack The Cloud Photographers,, the radio and’s recommendation software. If you like the artists, [...]

  • 34 El Zebra // Jan 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    glad to see Sparks made it.

  • 35 Movie Music Misuse « Pangolin Blues // Feb 15, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    [...] of a distinctive style, the fact that Nicholas Gurewich of The Perry Bible Fellowship can create a soundtrack to an imaginary Wes Anderson film called The Cloud Photographers is suggestive of the very rigid [...]

  • 36 פְריק - מגזין אלטרנטיבי » ארכיון » אגדות אנדרסון // Feb 16, 2010 at 1:36 am

    [...] את הפסקול ניתן להוריד דרך הבלוג החביב ביותר Snore And Guzzle. [...]

  • 37 Dave // Apr 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Who played the Rosetti ‘Cumulus’ cover? And also where’s ‘with a chance of rain originally from? It’s nice.

  • 38 Colonel Sweeto! Nicholas Gurewitch and the Art of the Perry Bible Fellowship | 21CB // Dec 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    [...] Gurewitch has closed shop since 2008. Since then, he’s been compiling faux Wes Anderson soundtracks and working on a film; considering the ingenuity he put into PBF, what’s next should be sick [...]

  • 39 alicia mondragon // Feb 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Is it possible to download the complete streaming list of The Cloud Photographers? It is amazing. I did it one or two years ago when I had another laptop, but it got broken and now I want to have it again!!

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