Above is a link to an article at The Nerdist that reviews and recaps the book The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. This is a book that all Twin Peaks fans should read, especially as we await the new season in 2016. (Yes I have read it.) 22 year old Jennifer Lynch, daughter of show creator and director David Lynch, wrote the book. It provides a view into the life of Laura Palmer leading up to the events in the Twin Peaks movie Fire Walk With Me which itself was a prequel to the series. (I can’t remember if any events from the movie are specifically hinted at in the book. It has been several years since I read it.) Those that are particularly fascinated with the darker side of Twin Peaks will find much to dive into here.
uncanny – strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way.
I have been revisiting Twin Peaks lately in preparation for the return of the series next year. It still amazes me, 24 years, on how well it holds up. I also can’t believe it was on mainstream network television. There are scenes of pure surrealism that often disturb due to their uncanny nature. As I’ve grown older there are very few times when I find myself the least troubled by things that try to shock or scare. However, there is some subconscious level that David Lynch taps into, especially in scenes in the red room, where I find myself still getting chills late at night. This is, despite the fact, that I have seen this show many times and have read and watched countless interviews about it.
Because the show was on network television there is nothing explicitly sexual or violent about the series, although explicit sex and violence are always lurking in this show just off camera. Lynch, without being able to show any nudity or extreme violence, is able to tap into some kind of primal dream state that unnerves in ways that so many other TV shows have never been able to. Lynch has a strange ability to put images and sound design together in a way that is the closest to the unsettling nature of dreams as I have ever seen. While surrealism can sometimes just appear to be random things thrown together, with Lynch there is always some perfect connection between the things he uses, even if it can’t be described in any intellectual way. While most dreams on TV are nothing like real dreams, but are simply pieces used to move the story along in a different fashion, Lynch gets that dreams reflect life without adhering to the same logic or structure.
Lynch is a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation. He talks about how he uses this for inspiration in the book Catching the Big Fish. While having next tried it myself, I can neither confirm or deny its merits. However, he does seem to be able to tap into the subconscious in ways that no other filmmaker can quite match. I’m looking forward to what Lynch does with this show once it returns, especially now that it will be on Showtime, which does not have the restrictions of network TV.
The above link is to an article where Johnny Depp discusses his distaste for actors who use their fame to start bands. Depp plays music with others on the side, but would never form his own project because most people would only want to see it due to fame.
I was trying to think of people that were famous in one career, that moved over into music later in life, and there isn’t many that I can think of that actually made valid music. David Lynch has gone from being a director to creating valid music at times, even releasing solo records. However, Lynch has always been sort of a Renaissance man. He was involved in the music and sound design of many of his films. He wrote the lyrics for the Julee Cruise albums that him and Angelo Badalamenti did with her. I think someone like Lynch is the exception and not the rule though.
One of the things that is really troubling in Austin is that you see a lot of the young rich starting bands and taking up club slots on the weekends. The tech industry is really big in Austin. You will have these guys that are rich by the time they are in their 30’s start up these massively funded bands, taking slots away from working musicians. If they were any good one could possibly ignore it. Although I’m sure one of those kinds of bands is actually decent, most of them are terrible. Sure, they are usually professional, as they can afford to buy good equipment, pay for promotion, take professional photographs, buy good looking stage outfits, etc. However, the music itself is usually the worst kind of cliched nonsense. It may seem like I am jealous, and I do feel it is an insult to people that have spent years honing their craft, but really I just wish my ears wouldn’t be polluted by so much nonsense. The 1% will not only own 50% of the wealth by 2016, but are also pumping out more than their fair share of sonic gibberish. There are some that will refuse to believe me, and will think that this is some kind of personal vindictiveness, but I would so rather hear rich guys making amazing music than poor people making total shite. However, this is rarely the case. Most of these “weekend warrior” bands are making, to quote Keith Richards when talking of Mick Jagger’s solo album, “dogshit in the doorway”.
Sky Ferreira’s 2013 album Night Time, My Time is one of the few pop records I have returned to consistently since it came out. Major props for referencing David Lynch’s Fire Walk With Me
About a year and a half I was in Kyoto, Japan. I was walking back to the hotel solo and I started to take a shortcut through a mall. Ferreira has a song called Omanko in which she sings about a Japanese Christmas. I will never forget coming up an elevator and seeing a giant Japanese Christmas display while that song played. It was one of those times when the music you happen to be listening to and your surroundings find complete synchronicity. The snow and costumes were the same as ours. However, most of the characters in those costumes looked like they were from The Legend of Zelda. I often wonder if other countries are as befuddled with our Holiday characters, as I was with theirs? Who knows such things…
I just saw this today, although the news appeared yesterday. I don’t really get that excited by many TV announcements, but Twin Peaks coming back on, and all that entails, is pretty damn exciting. Fire Walk With Me is one of my all time favorite movies, and the TV show is obviously a classic. Plan to hear more about the series return here in the future.
Kanye West – Yeezus – Kanye West’s album sounds front to back unlike any other record ever made. Oh there are recognizable pieces all across the record, but it is the combination that is unique. Electronic noises, Marilyn Manson drums, strings, melodic choirs, and atonal noise all rear their head at different moments. It’s mood evokes everything from David Lynch inspired dread to raunchy comedy. It is a hip-hop record only in the vocal delivery, a few of the beats displayed, and its cut and paste genre bending aesthetic. I get a physical high every time I listen to this album from both it’s sonic insanity and intensity, and his seeming willingness to sacrifice himself to the judgmental and often hypocritical gods of common decency. West begins the record:
Yeezy season approaching
Fuck whatever y’all been hearing
Fuck what, fuck whatever y’all been wearing
A monster about to come alive again
From that start through the rest of the record West seems like a man unhinged. It is as if all of the press scrutiny he has faced has been internalized and is being spit back out with maximum venom. But the record is not a humorless affair. After spouting one particularly vulgar line, you can hear West start to crack himself up at the end of his delivery. This is not a dumb record either, as it is masterfully constructed to take an art form to a new level. The record is also emotionally complex as West plays with the public perception of him as an extremely arrogant yet successful African American, who has overstepped his bounds. There is pain in certain parts of the record, but there is no mea culpa. There are times when he is purposely playing into the monstrous version of himself that the media has created around him, but he slips out of any easy categorizations, always one step ahead of those that want to define him as a one dimensional caricature. It is a dark and visceral listen by someone willingly putting his head on the chopping block and having fun while doing it. A masterpiece.
For the first week of 2015 I am writing pieces about records that I can only describe as “batshit insane”. These are brilliant albums that are so dark they cross the threshold into a knowing comedy. If you want to understand exactly what I mean in more detail read the first paragraph from the start of this series:
I love records that one can only describe as sounding “batshit insane”. Where the artist seems as if they are out-crazying the din and the whirlwind of the Great Void. Albums that trump death, even if the artists are alive and the albums don’t even have death as a central theme because, even if it is subconsciously, they know it is out there and they seem not to give a shit. I am reminded of the character at the end of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle who dies, “lying on my back, grinning horribly, and thumbing my nose at You Know Who.” I also think of George Carlin, putting on a show making the batshit insanity of this world hilarious, and then ending his set by standing on one leg with his arms outstretched, daring to be smited. These are albums where artistic fear is not only not present, it almost seems as if the artists are daring you not to like them. Albums like this make me laugh out loud and warm my heart to its very foundation. I could be having the worst day possible and when I put one of these records on I think, “Thank God they are out there.” I wanted to write about several of these records to start 2015 out on the right foot. My goal is to post at least one record a day for the next week. I’m just having fun, like a child skipping through a field.
“Twin Peaks” novel will reveal what happened during the show’s 25-year hiatus http://www.salon.com/2014/10/17/twin_peaks_novel_will_reveal_what_happened_during_the_shows_25_year_hiatus/ via @Salon
I am about to hit the highway towards Lubbock. Posting will be slow today. In the mean time there is more great news for Twin Peaks fans: Co-creator Mark Frost will be publishing a novel next year that explains what has happened in the 25 years between the last season and this new one. I will definitely be reading this when it comes out. If you are a fan I recommend The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer.