Wednesday, April 27, 2011

'Hackers' and the Lost Track

It would seem I'm in a very retrospective mood, what with pieces about the '90s cropping up all over the place around here. This afternoon, something in my rearview-focused psyche urged me to Google a song that's eluded me for over a decade. There's a scene in 1995's "Hackers" that sees Kate Libby (Angelina) step out of her own party onto a balcony and gaze across the New York nightscape. It is a scene so deeply evocative and emblematic of how I often felt through my adolescence: obsessed with social life, but invigorated by isolation; uncommonly meditative for an ostensibly rebellious "cool kid"; quietly hypnotized by the flickering wonder of urban life; always desperate for something cinematic, something beyond my back porch.

Not the scene, but a helluva still, yes?
The song that plays in the scene is perfectly chosen. It has the required electronic vibe, but a soothing, introspective quality that I always identified with as a teen (think Sarah McLachlan, or The Sundays, or, as Cher Horowitz would call it, "crybaby music"). If I ever took a moment at a party -- or anywhere, for that matter -- to step away, smoke a cigarette by myself, and muse over things that perhaps didn't mesh with whatever persona I was putting forth at the time, this song was often the one playing in my head. I instantly associate it with nighttime breeze, like that which brushes Kate's punk sideburns across her cheeks on the balcony.

But what the hell was it? It might sound stupid to say I couldn't find a song that I adored so much, and I admittedly haven't thought about it for some time before today, but the age of find-anything-you-can-possibly-think-of is newer than we often think, kiddles. And whaddyaknow? One little search and I found my beloved track. Turns out it's called "Protection," by Massive Attack featuring Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl. Success! Ironic that a song from a movie about the booming world of whizzing technology escapes my grasp until 15+ years after its release, when computer technology finally seems like it can indeed do anything. Anyway, I love the song, and I was thrilled to find it. The video's embedded below. Play it, watch it, turn it up and walk outside and let the breeze hit you.

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