‘Barbie’ Made A Very Unexpected Joke About An Indie Rock Legend

The Barbie soundtrack album is full of artists you would expect in a Barbie movie, like Lizzo, Charli XCX, and Dua Lipa. Even the Matchbox Twenty song makes sense, considering director and co-writer Greta Gerwig’s affinity for bands that reached their commercial peak in the 1990s. But a Stephen Malkmus reference? That came out of nowhere.

Spoilers to follow, but during a sequence where the Barbies are intentionally making the Kens feel so smart as a distraction, one of the Kens tells a Barbie that the Pavement singer and guitarist was influenced by the Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed. Or something to that effect. I can’t remember the exact context because I was busy being feeling seen.

Unless Oppenheimer has a Silver Jews joke, Indie Rock Twitter is now Team Barbie.

“I listen to music when I write,” Gerwig said in 2018. “Not all the time, but I find writing to be quite isolating at times because it feels like the all the kids are outside playing and you have to stay inside and work and it can be lonely.” She then listed five of her favorite songs: “Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” by Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, “The Pearl” by Judee Sill, “Baby Doll” by Laurie Anderson, and “Lay My Love” by Brian Eno.

This Barbie thinks “Spit on a Stranger” from Terror Twilight should have made the cut.