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Adam Scott is one of the funniest actors around, from Party Down to recent comedy classic Stepbrothers. He talks about songs that shaped his sense of humor, a track that inspires his kids to play air guitar and picks one from his favorite band, R.E.M. in his Guest DJ set. He stars in the NBC show Parks and Recreation.
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1. Oh My Heart - R.E.M.
2. My Pet Snakes - Jenny And Johnny
3. Boogie In Your Butt - Eddie Murphy
4. The Power of Love - Huey Lewis & The News
5. I Should Have Known Better - The Beatles
RC: Hey I'm Raul Campos from KCRW and I'm here with Adam Scott. He's definitely one of the funniest actors around, from Party Down to Parks and Recreation. Today we're here to talk about songs that have inspired him over the years as part of KCRW's Guest DJ Project. Adam, welcome, it's a pleasure. How you doing?
AS: Thanks Raul, thanks for having me.
RC: I guess we should get right into it. What's this first song we're going to check out?
AS: This first song is called "Oh My Heart" by R.E.M.. R.E.M. is my favorite band and has been since I was a teenager and listening to them kind of shaped my world view of music in a way. So I just remained a loyal fan through the years and I feel like they are just an important band in American music. People often kind of disparage their later work and when they do I usually point them to this song from their final album. I think it's lovely and I think it can be up there with some of their best songs.
Song: R.E.M. -- "Oh My Heart"
AS: I had listened to their final album and been able to predict them breaking up just by reading between the lines in the lyrics and I was right. It made me feel a little old and it was a little depressing to see this chapter of fandom in my life close. But I think it's also a healthy thing for bands to like this to move on. I think they did it in a classy way.
RC: So that was R.E.M. "Oh My Heart". Our guest DJ is Adam Scott, just hanging out, picking some tunes. And Jenny and Johnny, you know we're big fans here at KCRW of the Rilo Kiley stuff. This next track "My Pet Snakes", why that one?
AS: I love this Jenny and Johnny album. I love the way it's recorded. I get a Buddy Holly feeling from the production. It sounds like they're all in a room together. There's a lot of echo and it sounds like accidents are happening and they're capturing them and they're just great. And the songwriting is incredible. I have no idea what they're talking about in the song, but I think it's just so catchy. And I love they interplay between Jenny and Johnny, it's kind of a duet of sorts.
Knowing what people are talking about in the music I enjoy isn’t really important to me -- hence being a big R.E.M. fan, I still don’t know mostly what they're talking about. But there's just something about this song that is just incredibly catchy and Jenny Lewis' vocals, especially during the chorus, are really terrific.
Song: Jenny and Johnny -- "My Pet Snakes"
RC: "My Pet Snakes" Jenny and Johnny right here at KCRW.com/guestdjproject. Alright, so we're going to flip the script a little bit. Eddie Murphy.
RC: Why this tune?
AS: Well, if I can get serious for a second, Raul.
RC: Sure, absolutely, please, by all means.
AS: "Boogie in Your Butt" was a huge deal for me. I guess I was about nine years old at the time. I can't even measure how many times I listened to this song as a kid. I mean it was so funny and I have a suspicion that it is the greatest thing in the world. It's still really funny, it's still really stupid, it's terrific, and it's "Boogie in Your Butt".
RC: Well, we we're in the office and immediately co-workers started singing along.
AS: Oh, sure!
RC: Because everybody knows all the lines and all the follow ups and everything and all the banter that he's got in between the hook.
Song: Eddie Murphy -- "Boogie In Your Butt"
AS: Put a little tiny man in your butt was the one that really got me. I just remember that's what always sent me over the edge as a kid. You know, you look back and you realize how much it must have influenced you. You know his performances in Trading Places and 48 Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop, I mean people talk about them a lot but they are extraordinary and so funny. Particularly Trading Places, for whatever reason they one really stuck with me and I love that movie. It really holds up. But his stand up was really something that still hasn’t been equaled.
RC: So that was Eddie Murphy "Boogie in Your Butt" right here at KCRW.com. Adam Scott, our Guest DJ, how you doing so far?
AS: Great. This is really fun. I love listening to these songs, my god.
RC: So we're going to go back to a tune from one of my favorite movies of all time “Back to the Future”. Huey Lewis and the News "Power of Love", talk to us about it.
AS: I love this song so much and, for me as a kid, each summer of the ‘80s from when I was old enough to really go to the movies by myself, each summer became about a particular movie. And I kind of lived my life as if I was in these movies. '85 for me was definitely the summer of “Back to the Future”.
Song: Huey Lewis and the News -- "Power of Love"
AS: I was about to go into junior high school, I was in seventh grade. And so I realized that they thing that was going to kind of catapult me socially into the upper class at the junior high school was I needed to dress exactly like Marty McFly on my first day of school and ride a skateboard. So, I went to Mervin's with my mom and I found the closest approximation of that whole outfit he wears in “Back to the Future” which is a stonewash kind of jean jacket and jeans with this like white and black checkered shirt and the white tennis shoes. So I had this whole fantasy playing out in my head where I would arrive at junior high school and everyone would just freak out because I looked just like Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future”.
But, you know, it took me a long time to get to school because I was terrible at riding a skateboard so I ended up walking most of the way carrying it. I arrived at school and I was all sweaty because I was wearing this jean jacket. And then, you know, no one cared and I ended up feeling a little stupid about my outfit. Because when you put it into the context of the rest of the world, maybe it doesn’t look quite so cool. So it was a rude awakening to life and junior high school for me.
RC: It is KCRW our guest DJ is Adam Scott and before we get into the next tune, I guess I already know the answer to this question, but Beatles or Stones?
AS: Well, for me it would be the Beatles.
RC: Alright you picked “I Should’ve Known Better”.
AS: Growing up we had this album. The cover was that last photo shoot they did where they're all standing in front of a giant door and John Lennon has this huge beard, so that was the image I would look at when I listened to the Beatles as a little kid.
So when this song was on I just associated it with the late period Beatles. When I really got into the Beatles on my own as a teenager, I was surprised to learn that it was very early Beatles, like 1964 or something. But it's such a great song and so ahead of it's time really, that I think it would fit in really well on the “White Album”. It just kind of shows how incredible they we're from the very start.
Song: The Beatles -- "I Should've Known Better"
AS: And now my son really sort of clicked in with this song and it's all he and his sister, and now my daughter as well loves it, and they always request it in the car on the way to school we'll listen to this song five times and they love air guitaring to it.
It's really, really cute and everything, but it's also…I love that they have good taste. For me, as a kid, it was an important song but now it's renewing itself and its importance again because my kids love it so much.
RC: That was the Beatles "I Should've Known Better". Adam thank you so much for coming through, this was so much fun.
AS: Yeah, thanks for having me Raul, this was great.
RC: For a complete track listing and to find these songs online go to kcrw.com/GuestDJProject and subscribe to the podcast through iTunes.