07 June 2005

Sound and vision

Intermission time. Let's take a break from the intensity. Here are my latest Internet deliveries:

The Lost Highway - directed by David Lynch.
In the opening scene the central character listens to a message through his house entry phone. In the closing scene he is outside speaking the same message into the entry system. We are shown a series of incidents that seem to be related yet probably are not. Video footage is shot by an unseen intruder from an impossibly high vantage point which adds to the feeling of unreality.

The film’s success lies in its creation of a dreamlike atmosphere. The characters talk in very basic dialogue as if sleep-walking and the action is sometimes in slow-motion at others high speed. Ultimately this fascinating piece of cinema, shot in the style of a ‘film noir,’ defies strict interpretation. It explores schizophrenia and identity. We might be learning about a couple who smash a snuff video ring or it might just be a dream about paranoia.

Weezer - Make Believe
If you are expecting more songs like the current single Beverly Hills you’ll be disappointed. Instead the punk pop four-piece from LA deliver a convincing collection second only to the Green Album. Lyrics developed with the wisdom of age, melodies to lift the heart and lush, layered vocals over dirty power chords. Minor key choruses give that all important dash of melancholy. I’m forty seven going on seventeen!

Oasis – Don’t Believe the Truth
At last an Oasis album that can seriously claim to hold a candle to the great (Whats the Story) Morning Glory? Most noticeable is Liam’s voice, which has recovered from the gravelly dirge of recent years to the youthful energy and range of those early days. Song-writing duties are shared among the new band and the variety shines through. But Noel’s efforts are just too good to be overshadowed, a writer of such simple yet effective songs.

Turin Brakes – Jackinabox
The Optimist might just have been the only good set of songs these guys had in them. I feared they would sink without trace along with their pale imitation second album. Jackinabox is a rebirth with genuinely fresh material but all the quiet easy charm of old. Trademark harmonies soar over slide acoustic guitar and deft sticks. Saw these guys supporting Stereophonics at Southampton Guildhall four years ago, now they headline Brixton Academy.

(Where have bands like Smashing Pumpkins gone?)

"Today is the greatest day I've ever known
Can't live for tomorrow, tomorrow's much too long."
Smashing Pumpkins – Today


recoveryroad said...

I like David Lynch's stuff lots.

Oasis? I never got them, I'm afraid.

doughgirl said...

I love the new Weezer stuff, been downloading it for days. Thanks for your words today Perfect, you are a great friend :)

Perfect Virgo said...

Kenny - deep, harsh material isn't it. Cinema for thinkers, melancholy thinkers!

Being a britpop kind of guy (amongst other genres,) I latched onto Oasis in 1995 with the 'What's the Story' album, it was the soundtrack to a French driving holiday that summer. Memories eh. Poor stuff since then but this sees them back on their early form for me.

Doughgirl - another Weezer fan! There's nobody I know in the UK who likes them, except my younger son. I have all the albums and just love their infectious energy.

I left a long comment today because you need it right now and because I really wanted to. Thank you too for your friendship, I know I need it.

finnegan said...

Absolutely spot on view of this odd film called 'Lost Highway'. 'Lost' is the resonant idea here, for it seems that this film, like most of Lynch's films explores that pesky netherworld of dream visuality through the non-linear lens of hallucination. There is no 'aha' moment in any Lynch film to make the viewer feel he or she's 'got it'. That would make the inherent ideas too easily discardable and hence uninteresting.

Oh, doesn't this sound like a whole lot of twattle? I do. Thank you very much and good night.

Perfect Virgo said...

Finnegan - no aha moment as you say. Somehow the whole thing seems so much more enigmatic precisely because it stubbornly defies efforts to pin it down. I get parts of it and I get the themes and ideas expressed but I will watch it again. Plumbing its depths even deeper will probably make the 'truth' slide even further out of reach!

Twaddle is to be heartily encouraged on this site, merci et bon soir!

finnegan said...

Slip further out of reach is right. Lynch's characters are often involved in a dream-within-a-dream quest, where they are trying to solve a mystery of some sort (the mcguffin-like video tape in Lost Highway) or the Van-Goghish ear-in-the-grass from Blue Velvet. In these quests, the protagonists go deeper into a mystery that intensifies as it is revealing something which is becoming less clear.

Cocaine Jesus said...

the david lynch film sounds like my kind of thing but then again i loved, and still do the sixties TV series 'the prisoner' which went nowhere and didn't mean a great deal but was like a magnet to my eyes. lynch is a puzzle but one that is fun to try and unravel. he also seems to allow the audience to interpret the story in what ever way they feel is appropriate to them. like the best art or some of the finest songs, open to personal interpretation.

the first album, "Definately Maybe" was very good as was "Whats the Story". Unfortunately, for me, they lost the bogus britpop war (a media creation and nothing at all to do with the youth of the day) to blur who are far more inventive and innovative. i don't dislike oasis but every song is to the same old tired formula and liam, unlike Lennon or Lydon, is just a bad advert for the working class.

funny though coz that year (95) we went to france and we were all singing "Wonderwall". the title of which comes froman old george harrison album circa 1968.

as if you needed to know that bit of useless info!

Perfect Virgo said...

CJ - yes they wear their Beatles influences very obviously, Wonderwall being a shamless borrow. My sons have the albums from the interevening years so I know this is more like the early stuff.

I ended up into much edgier britpop bands like Mansun.

The Flea said...

Hey, don't I get a plug? Hehe. I'm sure I told you you should see "Lost Highway". Unless, like Lynch's characters, I'm going completely and utterly mad.

Perfect Virgo said...

Flea - abject apologies are due. This is what happens when I stare goggle-eyed at a PC screen for too long! Of course the recommendation was yours. What was I thinking of??!!

The Flea said...

Haha -- not to worry. I'm just glad to hear you enjoyed it. I believe I originally mentioned it to you regarding the video sequences in their house. Where they have been filmed sleeping.

Perfect Virgo said...

Flea - you did indeed, following my own piece regarding my nightmare. Those video sequences were chilling, they generated a palpable feeling of helplessness. The film is peppered with dreamlike episodes, great, great viewing - thanks.