Soundcheck from WNYC

WNYC Studios

WNYC’s source to hear your favorite bands and discover new ones, with live in-studio performances, interviews, and tips on wading through New York’s ever-vibrant concert scene. Hosted by John Schaefer.


The film world is rightly mourning the loss of Jonathan Demme earlier today. But the music world will miss him, too. Most filmmakers are keenly attuned to music -- it is, after all, such an important part of the overall experience of a movie. But Jonathan Demme was one of the most enthusiastic listeners I have ever known. And if his enthusiasm was aroused, so too were his cinematic skills. Most people know that he created one of the great live concert films in Stop Making Sense, with Talking Heads. And any Neil Young fan will know that Jonathan did no fewer than three films over the years about the mercurial singer and songwriter. But he also did a documentary in Naples about the musician named Enzo Avitabile, simply because he heard some of Enzo's strange, deeply rooted Neapolitan folk music on my nightly New Sounds program while driving to his upstate home and wanted to know more about it. (You can hear that interview above) Jonathan liked lots of music -- from the well-known to the obscure, from the sublime to the subterranean. Think of the extraordinary songs written by Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young for the film Philadelphia ... a film that featured a good helping of Mozart, as well. Then recall his brilliant, unsettling use of underground rock acts like Savage Republic and Colin Newman in Silence of the Lambs. You don't need me to tell you how great these movies are. I'm just saying that his irrepressible, inexhaustible love of music helped make those films the landmarks they've become. And that there is a JD-sized hole in our music community today.