Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dark Night of the Soul


Haven't you always wondered what would happen if Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, and David Lynch combined forces?  Me neither, but now that you know it happened, aren't you crazy intrigued?  The other day, Chester mentioned this collaboration (known as Dark Night of the Soul, not to be confused with the nonprofit/indie compilation Dark Was the Night,) so I did some research.
Aside from appearing on two tracks (it's so distorted I hesitate to call it "singing,") Lynch's main contribution is a hundred-page book of surreal photos inspired by the music.  In fact, due to disputes with EMI, the book is the only thing you can get your hands on right now (it comes with a blank CD-R that says something like "do what you will.")  Good thing you can stream the entire album on NPR.org.
I've only given it a few listens, but I'm digging on it.  Almost every track has a different guest appearance, including James Mercer (The Shins,) The Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals,) Jason Lyte (Grandaddy,) Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Frank Black (the Pixies,) Iggy Pop, Nina Persson (The Cardigans), Suzanne Vega, Vic Chesnutt, and Scott Spillane (Neutral Milk Hotel.)  Although there's a multitude of different artists' fingerprints all over this album, the tone remains pretty consistent throughout.  And in describing that tone, the NPR review states it best:

To be sure, the music is often strange and gloomy. There's pain and madness. But Blue Velvet director David Lynch is involved, so what do you expect?

But even with a name like Dark Night of the Soul, the album has uplifting moments, with catchy pop and rock hooks. It's richly orchestrated, with layers of ambient sounds, infectious rhythms and singalong harmonies. It's the perfect marriage of joy and sorrow.

Thankfully, those of us in LA can feel the joy a little more than the sorrow.  Starting May 30th (this Friday), and every Tuesday-Saturday til June 11th, the Michael Kohn Gallery will showcase 50 of the 100 photos from Lynch's accompanying book.  The album will also be playing throughout the gallery.  This is something different, this is worth attending.  Let's go.

1 comment:

  1. Are...you...fucking...kidding...me...with...this...album? COME ON.

    ReplyDelete