In Hear This, The A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week: In honor of Leap Day, we pick our favorite songs about time.
To introduce Rushmore’s activities wunderkind Max Fischer, soundtrack maven and director Wes Anderson chose a slipped-through-the-cracks single from England’s ’60s mod days (one of his favorite eras). The Creation was one of those also-ran bands that fit right in with The Who and Led Zeppelin; they liked to light artwork afire at their gigs, and Creation guitarist Eddie Phillips was playing his guitar with a violin bow before Jimmy Page. But for whatever reason, The Creation exemplified that classic rock tale: huge in Germany, not so much in their native Britain. Before their demise before the end of the decade, they knocked out a few memorable singles, including “Making Time.”
It’s that scratchy guitar riff that first grabs you, then carries you throughout the song. The axe earworm is eventually joined by a tom-tom-drum and a fervent tambourine, before dissolving into a reactionary chaotic guitar solo The Velvet Underground would envy. The track was produced by by Shel Talmy, who also worked on Kinks and Who singles. Like these contemporaries, Creation singer Kenny Pickett was lambasting the lame, older generation: “Why do we have to carry on / Always singing the same all song,” urging all to rage against “Tellin’ lies / Closing your eyes / Pulling the wool / Actin’ the fool,” layered on top of that rock riff impossible to ignore or resist.
The deconstructive song transcends just as well decades later. The Creation showed that time was nothing to waste, and the same old song nothing to treasure. Which made it the perfect intro for Max, a permanently busy character who was continually concentrated on improving his surroundings. The song also helped kick off the sublime Rushmore soundtrack, which become yet another of Anderson’s many successful creations.