Twin Peaks finally premieres tonight. I’m so excited I could plotz! (Quick, name the TV show that line comes from.)
I know it won’t be as stunning as the original premiere was; there’s no way to recreate the experience again. And with so many of the original cast members having moved on from this plane–and so many new characters–it’s bound to be different. Not to mention the fact that Lynch isn’t going to be constrained by broadcast network standards; he gets to play in the big boy premium cable sandbox. But I’m hopeful this will be as good as anything else David Lynch has done. I’m hoping he stays with the psychological mind games bordering that made so many of his films and the original series so intriguing and wonderfully baffling. But mostly, I’m hoping I get to spend time in that wonderful, weird, eerie town again. I’ve missed it so.
I just watched David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, the 1992 prequel to his brilliant television show. The film’s ostensible story is the telling of what happened in the days just before Laura Palmer’s death. It’s real story is a human soul and mind in disintegration, of the hidden dangers lurking just beneath the seemingly normal exterior of the human psyche. One of the things I enjoy most about Lynch’s work is their deliberate interiority, the way the line between what is real and imagined is blurred into non-existence. It’s difficult to tell the difference between things that happen in the physical world, the so-called “real” world, and the things that happen in the minds of his characters. It’s a very real possibility that there is no “real” world in Lynch’s films, just an extended dream sequence meant to represent the darkest thoughts, desires, and nightmares of human beings. In short, this is one weird movie.
This song from the soundtrack of Fire Walk With Me is definitely cut from the same cloth as the film. David Lynch wrote the lyrics, Angelo Badalamenti the music. And like everything else Lynch has his hands on, there is a sense of unreality to this song. It’s unmoored from context or genre. Jazzy but not quite Jazz. Spoken, not quite sung. It reminds of Pere Ubu or the Residents. Or Was Not Was’ great “Dad, I’m in Jail.” I googled the name of the band listed as the performer, but there doesn’t seem to be any information on Thought Gang; most of the hits related to a novel of the same name by Tibor Fischer. That seems appropriate.
It’s also totally appropriate that this clip simply uses the empty red room from Special Agent Dale Cooper’s dreams. And Laura Palmer’s dreams. And the Black Lodge. You won’t know what any of this means unless you’ve seen Twin Peaks. I’m not sure you’ll understand this post at all unless you’ve seen Twin Peaks. I highly recommend both the TV show and the movie, and pretty much every other movie David Lynch has made. He’s one of my favorite filmmakers, although I admit to not having seen several of his films; I think he’d like that. I am positively vibrating in anticipation of the new Twin Peaks episodes premiering in May. I’ve been watching whatever they air on Showtime in preparation for the return to one of my favorite imaginary places. But then again, isn’t every place in Lynch’s world imaginary?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden craving for cherry pie.
I just realized that there’s twelve days before the big day, and I haven’t once inflicted any Christmas music on you nice followers. Depending on your perspective, this may be a good thing. (I know precisely how limited my own tolerance of Christmas music is, so I can understand why people might want to avoid it.) But here goes. I’m gonna try to post a Christmas song of some sort for every day leading up to the holiday. And no, it won’t be twelve different versions of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”: that’s just where I happened to start out.
I first heard this on Dr. Demento’s radio show, and I thought it would be appropriate since it was announced earlier this year that Twin Peaks would be returning soon-ish with nine new episodes (I’m still kind of giddy about that). This song was never officially released, at least not that I could find. I only heard it a couple of times, and recorded it directly off the radio one of those times (I’ve still got that cassette, too). It’s totally silly, and more than a little stupid. I can’t tell if all the bits were recorded by actors from the show, but you can tell some of them are the genuine article. If you love Twin Peaks, and don’t mind hearing a Christmas classic skewered, this song is for you.
There is a god, and he/she/it loves me very, very much.
When I read this morning that there would be a continuation of the brilliant Twin Peaks, I almost squeed in delight. (Almost, because squeeing doesn’t quite fit in with the universe created by this surreal TV show. Click here for the full article at Variety.) I am soooooo looking forward to this. And because it’s going to be on Showtime, David Lynch and Mark Frost will have a little more leeway than they did with network television back in the 90s, which could be really, really good. Or it could be gratuitously gory and/or naked. We’ll just have to wait a little over a year to find out.
God, I wish it was 2016 right now!
I’m excited. Can you tell I’m excited?
Back when I first fired up the jukebox, I spent one of my mental quarters on the them song from Psych, “I Know, You Know.” It’s a fun little ditty as is, but the creative people at the show are not afraid to change it up once in a while, especially if it will enhance whatever the episode is about. Recently, I finally saw their Twin Peaks tribute/parody ep, “Dual Spires.” This is what they did to the theme.
Pretty awesome, huh? I love that several stars from Twin Peaks and Julee Cruise agreed to participate in this really fun episode of a pretty fun show.
Well, it’s really only awesome if you were a fan of David Lynch’s wonderfully bizarre series. And I was a HUGE fan of Twin Peaks. Still am. The first season is still some of the best television ever made. It’s too bad the network just couldn’t let Lynch run the show the way he wanted. See, Lynch’s plan was to not reveal Laura Palmer’s killer right away, if ever. He just wanted to drag it out and let the audience experience the dream-state of Twin Peaks along with Special Agent Dale Cooper. But ABC wanted to keep the story moving or some other nonsense that was supposed to drive ratings up and insisted that the killer be revealed. While later episodes were still interesting, it lost the magic that had been created at the beginning.
An integral part of that magic was the music Lynch chose for the show. He is a master at choosing the soundtracks to match the worlds he creates with his projects. His choices for Twin Peaks were Angelo Badalamenti and Julee Cruise. Julee Cruise was blessed with the sort of ethereal voice that fit the mist and mystery filled small town. It seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere, filled with ghosts and memories that haven’t happened yet. It was a frighteningly apt blend.
Blending music and visuals is not always easy. It takes someone who understands the mood s/he is trying to convey with both the action and the song. Even if you don’t know what happens on the show before/after this scene, you know that it is terrifying. I won’t spoil it for anyone unfamiliar, but the song, “The World Spins,” conveys the helplessness and devastation of the scene. The way music enhances this moment is one of the things I love most about its power and versatility. Everything goes better with a song.