Lynch's Music (Crazy Clown Time etc.)

Started by modage, December 09, 2010, 03:29:08 PM

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David Lynch, Seminal Musician
Source: Vulture

If I told you I've spent this week obsessing over David Lynch's new electro-pop single, "Good Day Today," you might be forgiven for guessing it's some kind of novelty or absurdity or vanity project. (An oddball 64-year-old film director with an electro-pop tune? On which he sings? In a processed, vocoderish voice?) Maybe that's a little true; I'm not sure how much attention this track would be getting if someone you'd never heard of had made it. But it's not exactly a novelty. Here's the thing: I would like to submit to you that David Lynch has had a music career that's nearly as interesting as his directorial one — or that his general weird "Lynchian" aesthetic has had as profound an influence on recorded music as plenty of beloved bands and producers. Or something like that. Let's not get too bogged down in the exact terms: Point is, Lynch gets our attention for a two-track single because the guy is more or less a music legend.

The core of that reputation is probably the music he wrote and produced with Angelo Badalamenti for the TV show Twin Peaks. (It even won a Grammy!) The music on that soundtrack ties together exactly as many strange moods as the show itself did, all the different elements that somehow combine to create something "Lynchian" — dreamy tenderness, lurking dread, fifties greaser cool, soap-opera sentimentality so over-the-top that it starts to feel slightly grotesque. I don't think I'd be alone in saying that the soundtrack is a pretty crucial document, the kind of thing you might put on a list of the eighties' best albums. Especially if you combined it with Floating Into the Night, the album Lynch and Badalamenti made with Twin Peaks vocalist Julee Cruise — and "Mysteries of Love," the song Cruise sang for Blue Velvet, a track the late David Foster Wallace once suggested had "acquired an underground reputation as one of the great make-out tunes of all time" (at least if you were in grad school for the arts in the later eighties) ... we could go on.

Lynch and Badalamenti have staged "industrial symphonies." Lynch has an ear for mood and music that lets the soundtrack for Lost Highway make aesthetic connections between free jazz, Rammstein, and This Mortal Coil. And you can track this stuff's influence through massive amounts of pop music: For instance, the fact that anyone's heard of Moby has a lot to do with a single called "Go," which was built around a sample from Twin Peaks's ominous love theme. "In Heaven," a song from Lynch's Eraserhead, has been covered by the Pixies, Bauhaus, and Devo. This is just scratching the surface, and not counting the basically countless musicians who have ever sat around stoned watching something of Lynch's, tried to work the mood into a song, and maybe thrown in a few lines about owls for good measure.

All of which is how Lynch can wind up heavily involved in music projects like Mark Linkous and Danger Mouse's Dark Night of the Soul, and why, when he feels like sitting down and making some electro-pop tracks, a niche label is happy to release them — and Vaughn Oliver, one of the three or four cover artists music geeks actually know by name, is happy to do the design.

And also, perhaps, why I've been obsessing over "Good Day Today." The song is very straightforward: mostly just a sedate, pulsing synth and a simple lyric. There's totally something Lynchian about it, though, and I'm pretty sure it's just the strangeness of hearing the director's high-Midwestern accent squeaking through electronic processing — the blurry robot voice of a guy who actually sounds like he prefers his coffee to come from Bob's Big Boy. The flip side, "I Know," does the kind of moody roadhouse rock that's always been in Lynch's wheelhouse (it's very Lost Highway/Fire Walk With Me), but we'll have to wait for January to get the full release, complete with remixes. And I'm going to take a wild guess that some very good producers have been more than happy to hop on that package and flesh out Lynch's sound.

Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.


Whether it's valid or not for Lynch to be recording music (I buy it, he's always been huge on sound) doesn't have anything to do with the fact that this is a pretty boring song.


the one last hit that spent you...


My house, my rules, my coffee

children with angels

It's most definitely not better than Kanye, who has a real feel for beats, texture and mood. This is just dull 80s/90s-throwback electropop like any number of people are making right now. Honestly, if no one knew it was Lynch it wouldn't be given the time of day. Plus, the backing track is essentially the Twin Peaks theme, which was already used much better twenty years ago by Moby.

EDIT: This one is better, in my view:
"Should I bring my own chains?"
"We always do..."


Quote from: Reelist on December 10, 2010, 04:59:50 PM
These are the lyrics:

So tired of fire, so tired of smoke (x2)
Send me an angel, save me (x2)

I wanna have a good day today (x3)
Good day today

Tired of ... goes so low (x2)
Send me an angel, save me (x2)

So tired ..... (repeat)

Send me an angel, save me (x3)

I wanna have a good day today (x3)
Good day today

So tired of fearing, so tired of dark
So tired of fearing, so tired of dark
Send me an angel, save me (x2)

I wanna have a good day today (x3)
Good day today

You forgot:

I gotta feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night
That tonight's gonna be a good good night


I haven't heard his new single yet, but I have been listening to Dark Night of the Soul.

I'm trying to figure out what Lynch does to his voice, as it's hard to imagine that singing voice coming out of him. I think somewhere he said he would never perform live, so maybe it is very heavily manipulated and he couldn't really do it live.
I am Torgo. I take care of the place while the Master is away.


Don't know if anyone has been over to recently, but it's undergone a redesign and seems almost entirely featured on music. Haven't been able to fully explore it yet, but the home page is dedicated to Lynch's remixes of Twin Peaks score, but there's also bits on other musicians (Duran Duran, The Avett Brothers).
He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.


Does anybody follow David Lynch on Twitter?  It's like the periodic interjections of somebody's bored grandpa, with occasional reference to the fact that he makes movies.

Sample tweets:
Quote from: @DAVID_LYNCHDear Twitter Friends, I just got a new bathrobe that I LOVE from Jami and her place called

Quote from: @DAVID_LYNCHI worked some on a lamp using Fix-All impregnated w/some universal colors. It rained on Sunday. Today is much nicer, but somewhat chilly.

Quote from: @DAVID_LYNCHMy father wanted me to become an Eagle Scout & when I think about being an Eagle Scout I think of my father & it makes me happy.

Quote from: @DAVID_LYNCHSomeone asked if I liked wool as well as wood. The closest I've come to this is many times, I've felt like a sheep in today's world.

My house, my rules, my coffee


Falling in love is the greatest joy in life. Followed closely by sneaking into a gated community late at night and firing a gun into the air.

Mr. Merrill Lehrl

Quote from: S.R. on June 28, 2011, 04:59:27 PM
I wish more filmmakers were like Malick.

Also, I wish my grandpa was more like Lynch. Among the living but also other Lynchian things.
"If I had to hold up the most heavily fortified bank in America," Bolaño says, "I'd take a gang of poets. The attempt would probably end in disaster, but it would be beautiful."


Yes, I follow him on Twitter. His infrequent tweets are mostly pimping some random product, some sprinklings of TM nonsense, and once in a while he'll ask a general open-ended question like "what's up?" and presumably get intimated by the vast number of responses and retreat to his LA cave for several weeks to get wanked off by interns.
He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.

cronopio 2


"However, this fall Lynch will finally release his first full-length album — a mysterious affair recorded among friends at his own home studio in Los Angeles. Details on just exactly what a full-length David Lynch album will sound like and what guests might be involved are still mostly being kept under wraps, but I was still thrilled when Lynch called me up to discuss the pleasures of making music and have a nice chat about the weather."

STEREOGUM: Do you have an ETA for when you think it will come out?

DAVID LYNCH: I think it's going to come out, Cole, in the fall. Either October or November, I think.
I am Torgo. I take care of the place while the Master is away.


David Lynch Announces HisDebut Album, Featuring the YeahYeahYeahs' Karen O
Source: Pitchfork

We've been hearing about it for a long time, and now it's finally here: David Lynch's solo album of electronic pop. Here's the first thing you need to know about this album: It's called Crazy Clown Time. And here's the second thing: It features guest vocals from Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader Karen O on a song called "Pinky's Dream". Those are two very good reasons to get excited.

Crazy Clown Time arrives November 8 from Sunday Best Recordings. (In the U.S., it will be co-released by PIAS America.) Lynch wrote, produced, and performed the entire thing with help from engineer Dean Hurley, who also plays guitar and drums on several songs.

Crazy Clown Time:
01 Pinky's Dream
02 Good Day Today
03 So Glad
04 Noah's Ark
05 Football Game
06 I Know
07 Strange and Unproductive Thinking
08 The Night Bell With Lightning
09 Stone's Gone Up
10 Crazy Clown Time
11 These Are My Friends
12 Speed Roadster
13 Movin' On
14 She Rise Up

"Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art." - Andy Warhol

Skeleton FilmWorks