SOUNDTRACK: DANGER MOUSE AND SPARKLEHORSE present: Dark Night of the Soul (2010).
Seems like most things that Danger Mouse touches involve lawsuits. I’m not entirely sure why this disc had such a hard time seeing the light of day. But it is due for a proper release in July. Although by now, surely everyone has obtained a copy of the music, so why would anyone give EMI any money for the disc (since they hid it away in the first place).
The name that is not listed above is David Lynch, who is an important contributor to the project. He creates all the visuals (and the visuals in the book that was the original release format). He also contributed vocals to two tracks on the CD. (His vocals are weird and spacey, just like him…and if you remember his voice from Twin Peaks, just imagine Gordon singing (but with lots of effects).
The rest of the disc is jam packed with interesting singers: Wayne Coyne (from The Flaming Lips), Gruff Rhys (from Super Furry Animals), Jason Lytle (from Grandaddy) on my two favorite tracks, Julian Casablancas (from The Strokes), Black Francis, Iggy Pop, James Mercer (from The Shins), Nina Persson (from The Cardigans), Suzanne Vega, and Vic Chesnutt.
I’m not sure if Danger Mouse and Mark Linkous wrote the music already knowing who the singers were going to be, but musically the tracks work very well. And yet, despite the different sounds by the different singers, the overall tone and mood of the disc is very consistent: processed and scratchy, melodies hidden deep under noises and effects. Even the more “upbeat” songs (James Mercer, Nina Persson) are dark meanderings.
It took me a few listens before I really saw how good this album was. On the surface, it’s a samey sounding disc. But once you dig beneath, there’s some really great melodies, and it’s fascinating how well the songs stay unified yet reflect the individual singers.
EMI is going to have to pull out all the stops to make it a worthy purchase for those of us who have already found the disc. Since The Lynch book was way overpriced for my purchase, (and they surely won’t include it with this CD), they need to include at least a few dozen Lynch photos (and more). And with a list price of $19 (NINETEEN!) and an Amazon price of $15, the disc should clean your house and improve your wireless connection too.
[READ: June 1, 2010] Bloom County Vol. 1
Boy, did I ever love Bloom County. Back in high school I had more drawings of Opus and crew in my locker than anything else. (I used to reproduce the cartoons by hand, I was never one of those “cut out of the paper” people.) And so, there are tons of punch lines that I still remember twenty-five years later.
And yet, despite my fondness for the cartoon (and the fact that I owned (and read many times)) all of the collected books, I was amazed at how much of the early strips I had no memory of, at all. True, some of the really early ones are here for the first time in collected form (according to an interview there are hundreds of comics in collected form for the first time in these volumes). But those early 1980 comics…wha? (more…)