Peaking at the Garbage

See what I did there?  Yes, this post is primarily about two big loves of mine…Twin Peaks and the rock band Garbage.  First more of an update on what’s going on with my favourite band.  Firstly they are working on new music!  This is reported to be a song they hope to release in time for a forthcoming tour.  Shirley Manson, lead singer and general all-round bad-ass, has also contributed her vocal talents to the soundtrack of TV show ‘American Gods’ with a song she worked on with composer Brian Reitzell (Hannibal, 30 Days of Night) called ‘Queen of the Bored’ and well, it’s super cool.  Video-link below:

GirlsRockLondon ShirleySecondly Shirley is visiting London to attend the summer-camp music school for girls known as ‘Girls Rock London‘ as a Patron giving talks I presume on what it’s like to be a woman in the music business, conveying her 30+ years experience to the attendees.  Should be very interesting.  Here’s a picture of her as posted by the event organisers.  Yeah, she’s looking great as usual.  Now as mentioned earlier the band are preparing to go out on tour – with none other than legendary band ‘Blondie’ for the rockingly-titled ‘Rage & Rapture Tour’ which kicks off in July.  Around the same time the band will also be releasing their autobiography entitled ‘This Is The Noise That Keeps Me Awake’ … so an eventful time for Garbage and a great time to be a fan of this pioneering and acclaimed band.  Although they seriously don’t get the recognition they deserve these days; even 20+ years after they began, Garbage don’t answer to nobody and do their own thing, their own way … which is pretty damn cool.

Twin Peaks

On the TV front of course the big event has been the (very) long awaited return of Twin peaks – you know, that quirky little soap opera about a murdered girl that ran in the early nineties, got cancelled after it’s second season and also spawned a (mostly) reviled movie that later gained cult appeal.  Now it’s back and if you thought the original was ‘a bit weird’ … well, David Lynch, series creator and all-round genius (or madman, I’m undecided) has been let off his leash and delivered possibly the strangest, darkest, freakiest and most daring TV show in years.  I’ve watched 3 episodes so far of the 4 that have been revealed, and even though I’m loving it as a Lynch aficionado – it’s also really messed with my head and I can certainly understand if even die-hard Peaks fans could get turned off.  Just watch it though – you just have to give it a go and make your own mind up.  It’s that kind of experience.  Even if you end up not liking it.

To celebrate the release of Twin Peaks, I also picked up the newly-restored version of Lynch’s Oscar-winning surreal drama Mulholland Drive and will be watching and reviewing it soon, so watch out for that.

Well that’s all from me for now.  Check in again soon and I’ll have more stuff to show you…probably.


Blue Velvet

Viewed – 02 December 2011  Blu-ray

David Lynch’s 1986 movie has been heralded by some critics as the greatest movie of the 80s, even if it’s subject matter and provocative, often disturbing imagery may contradict what we think of when recalling the eighties.  There was clearly nothing quite like it during that decade, and despite an initial negative reaction, has gone on to be considered the director’s masterpiece.  I have had a mixed relationship with the film, and although a fan of Lynch’s work, didn’t enjoy Blue Velvet when I first watched it.  Like much of the director’s output, it treads an awkward line between conventional drama / thriller plotting and absolute weirdness with moments that can’t be rationalized or explained … yet on subsequent viewings, I began to greatly appreciate the style, the uncomfortable atmosphere and the often beautiful imagery.

Beautiful and disturbing, much like Isabella Rossellini’s Dorothy, part glamorous siren, part broken doll.  She plays a nightclub singer trapped in a situation by the malevolent Frank, a career best from the late Dennis Hopper who deliver’s an intense and very disturbing performance of a very perverse and unpredictable monster.  Dorothy finds salvation from snooping high school amateur detective Jeffrey (Kyle Maclachlan) who stumbles upon her plight after finding a severed ear in a field, and after giving it over to the Police, begins his own investigation with the help of the Police Detective’s daughter Sandy (Laura Dern).  He goes on to uncover a dark and sinister world lurking beneath the idyllic suburban town of Lumberton, and gradually enters a nightmare he may never wake up from.

This is movie that never allows the viewer to feel safe, and will be an acquired taste for some.  It explores aspects of violence, masochism and sex few movies fear to tread, and although it doesn’t show anything particularly graphic, it creates a mood that is unflinching in its nightmarish-tone.  Lynch is one of the few director’s who can perfectly capture the feel of a dream, and with a surreal use of music, from Bobby Vinton’s timeless title track to Roy Orbison’s seminal In Dreams, this has a look and feel uniquely its own, and uniquely Lynch.  Quite brilliant.

The Blu-ray boasts a very nice if purposely soft-focus image, which oozes colour and detail.  The soundtrack, very important for a David Lynch movie is also very effective, with clear dialogue and great impact from the music and also the weird and effective sound design.  The extras are plentiful with a multi-part documentary called Mysteries Of Love running for 72 minutes, newly discovered footage spanning 50 minutes, and we also have outtakes, interviews and a Siskel & Ebert review.  No commentary, although that is not really surprising considering Lynch’s often secretive attitude towards his work, and overall this is a great treatment for a real classic.

Verdict:  5 /5