Category: David Lynch

It's ‘Crazy Clown Time' with David Lynch

The iconic director, whose debut solo album is out this week, talks jamming, electric music, working with Karen O, drinking beer and the origin of that ‘Crazy' title.

David Lynch

Iconic weirdo director David Lynch releases his debut solo album, “Crazy Clown Time,” this week, and it is as predictably warped as its title suggests. Recorded with engineer Dean Hurley, the CD is a psychosexual map of twisted landscapes, blues guitar and Lynch's own falsetto (think Neil Young hallucinating in the woods). He chatted about the album from Paris, where he was designing a bar, Silencio, loosely based on the club in “Mulholland Dr.,” and co-curating an exhibition on mathematics at the Cartier Foundation.

What inspired this album?

Dean and I like the ideas of blues, some kind of modern take on blues. That was an inspiration for each jam. I would think about a gasoline-powered guitar, a dirty sound. It doesn't all stay dirty, a lot of it gets cleaned up, but I really like dirty music, electric music. I like the idea of electricity, when a guitar gets plugged into an amp. That moment is a thrill beyond the beyond. It's just euphoria to me.

You spent more than a year recording. Describe the sessions. 

A lot of times I'd say, “Dean, let's jam. Are you up for it?” Dean would play the drums and I would play the guitar. A theme will start to emerge and then a variation will emerge on that theme.

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David Lynch album 'Crazy Clown Time' set for Nov. 8 release

David Lynch, who is releasing a solo album
As music has been a critical component of nearly all of David Lynch’s film and television projects, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that he’s finally getting around to putting out a solo album 
of his songs this fall.

“Crazy Clown Time,” slated for Nov. 8 release, features the auteur filmmaker playing guitar and singing 14 original songs, which he has been describing as "modern blues."

“The love of experimenting with sound and music is what’s driving this boat,” Lynch said in a statement. “All of the songs on the album started as a jam. The jams eventually found a form and lyrics appeared.”

A clip of one such jam session at his Asymmetrical studio in Los Angeles, where the album was recorded, is on YouTube, showing Lynch trading licks with Moby and his collaborator on “Crazy Clown Time,” guitarist-drummer Dean Hurley. Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O also guests on one of the album’s tracks.

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David Lynch plotting 'modern blues' album, drops digital single

D_LYNCH_3 Those awaiting David Lynch to shoot a proper, full-length follow-up to his 2006 film, "Inland Empire," will have to be patient. Right now, the experimental auteur is focusing on his music. 

Last heard on 2009's "Dark Night of the Soul," a collaboration with producer Danger Mouse and the late psychedelic roots artist Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), the Los Angeles-based artist has released a pair of songs exclusively to iTunes. The tracks -- "Good Day Today" and "I Know" -- couldn't be more different. "Good Day Today" is a trancey electronic cut, while "I Know" goes for a more spooked, atmospheric rock feel.

Lynch has signed with British indie Sunday Best, a label run by DJ  Rob da Bank. The songs were recorded with engineer Dean Hurley, who has worked with Lynch on many of his films. Lynch says the goal is to release a full-length album of original music.

"We're working on a lot of things, and we hope to have an album soon," Lynch says. "All of this to me is an experiment. We were calling it kind of a modern blues -- music based on the blues. It's led to all sorts of different things, but I really want to do a modern blues album."

To get a sense of what Lynch considers "modern blues," sample "I Know" below. The keyboard has a vintage feel, but the manipulated spoken-word-like vocals lend a more warped, Tom Waits aura to the track. Mood-wise, Lynch fans will be in familiar territory, as the track comes complete with cold, frightening effects and mysterious lyrics. "She stopped to sing, since I went and did that thing," Lynch sings with a raspy vocal drawl.

"The advancement in digital things means there's a whole slew of possibilities," Lynch says. "I love organic phenomena. I love the real, rough sound of blues. I love a heavy guitar and great, strong drums. Then there's so many things that can be done to it that will modernize it."

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Ariana Delawari's Afghan-Angeleno folk

Arianapic

In 2007, the Silver Lake singer-songwriter Ariana Delawari traveled to her parents' home in Kabul to record parts of her debut album, "Lion of Panjshir," as Afghanistan was under fire from Taliban-sympathizing suicide bombers. Under the watch of armed guards, she played her brand of California folk-rock with local masters of Afghan instruments, and found an unlikely helping hand from director David Lynch in mixing the record, which came out in October on Lynch's label. Read the full story, today's Column One, at this link.

-- August Brown

Photo by Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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