Arts Desk

The Pragmatist: Three Songs to Soundtrack Your John Hughes-Inspired Teen Drama

The man was a cinematic god in the realm of pop culture if not beyond. You got through high school watching The Breakfast Club, you got through puberty watching Weird Science, and you survived countless home invasions through the tricks you learned in Home Alone. Your new teen drama will be the ultimate tribute to the filmmaker who inspired you to skip class. Of course, John Hughes' films wouldn't have been half as memorable without his cleverly chosen soundtracks. Here's a few suggestions for yours.

Classic setup: Parents are out of town, so it's time for a party. Things get out of hand, too many people show up, too much booze gets consumed, and the lead character is left frantically picking up the mess. Obviously, The Talking Heads have got this one covered with "Burning Down the House."

John Hughes was apparently obsessed with Robert Smith's songwriting. It's easy to see why—The Cure's earnest, simple pop melodies with an edge of youthful frustration and alienation are hard to forget. They sound right at home in a teen drama. Try "Friday I'm In Love" for that scene where the guy sees the girl opening her locker... you know the one.

D.C.'s own The State Department reach for the same New Wave-inspired melodies and nostalgia that you'd hope to find in a John Hughes flick. Here's a performance of "Engender Me," which you can see them play live at the Black Cat this Friday.

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