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Trailer Tunes: 'Jobs' & Macklemore & The Who

At the intersection of movie trailers and music, what do Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's "Can't Hold Us" and The Who's "Baba O'Riley" tell us about the Steve Jobs biopic?

There's always so much to unpack about a movie trailer: the stars, the plot, how much of the plot is being totally given away. But in many cases, the part of the trailer that sticks with you the longest is the music. Be it a pop song or a piece or orchestral score, it's the music that most often makes a trailer.

This Week's Trailer: Jobs, which places Ashton Kutcher in the shoes of legendary tech billionaire and Apple founder Steve Jobs. After a more elliptical teaser, this trailer presents the Jobs narrative the film is running with, which appears to feaure a good bit of Jobs surpassing stuffed shirts who told him no.

This Week's Tune(s): "Can't Hold Us," the propulsive hip-hop dance track from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; and "Baba O'Riley," the epic youth anthem from The Who.

Can't Hold Us" has quickly become the Trailer Song of Summer, having been featured in ads for everything from ESPN to R.I.P.D., to, most prominently (and ironically, in this case) Microsoft.

How Literal Is It? "Can't Hold Us" speaks of boundaries broken and an unstoppable force of genuine awesomeness that cannot possibly hope to be contained. The kind of awesomeness that leads to iPods. The part of "Baba O'Riley" we get for the trailer is obviously the "teenage wasteland" part, which comes only seconds after the part in the trailer where Steve Wozniak reminds Jobs that he's a teenage wunderkind. So, yeah, pretty literal.

How Emotional Is It? From the looks of it, Jobs is an energetic look at a dynamic young American whiz kid who revolutionized -- to get unavoidably hyperbolic -- the way we all live our lives. To sell it, they've chosen a pair of songs that, some 40+ years apart, present bursts of energy that give the impression of unstoppable, fist-pumping youth.

How Definitive Is It? Yeah, here's where Jobs maybe trips up. "Can't Hold Us" has quickly become the Trailer Song of Summer, having been featured in ads for everything from ESPN to R.I.P.D., to, most prominently (and ironically, in this case) Microsoft. If there's any song that Macklemore's commercial ubiquity brings to mind, it's "Baba O'Riley," which is the Trailer Song of All Time. And apparently one that's on a comeback tour.

Overall Trailer Tune Effectiveness: Depends on who you're selling to. I can't imagine the combination of Macklemore and The Who are going to make much a dent among film snobs who crave novelty and risk-taking, but if you're trying to sell Jobs to, say, my dad? Or young people who might need a better reason to pay attention to a movie about a computer nerd played by a guy who hasn't had a hit in a really long time? That's when The Who and Macklemore start to look like a dream team.


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