Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Twin Peaks: The Return - David Lynch at his Finest

It's hard to believe that after 25 years, Laura Palmer has kept her promise to the world, and David Lynch has once again invited us back to the strange yet beautiful world of Twin Peaks. The show aired on Sunday with the first two episodes, followed by the next two available On Demand immediately after, die hard Peaks fans are finally able to get some questions answered. The biggest one being, what happened to Dale Cooper, and has he been stuck in the Black Lodge for the past 25 years?!

Being a post on my all-time favourite show, I'm going to do Lynch the justice of not giving anything away, but to review elements of this premier that I think were fantastic. Lynch does a wonderful job of starting off glacially, some scenes move so slow and yet you can't bring yourself to look away in case you miss anything. The trademark Lynchian touch is littered throughout, with very long pauses and stares between characters, bizarre dialogue, accompanied with the occasional staple long shots of empty hallways.

Watching Twin Peaks, it's interesting to note that it has characteristics of his more experimental films like Mulholland Drive, and less like the original Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet. We get no jazzy soundtrack we're used to. In fact, the silence in the first two episodes is absolutely unnerving. We have less of that soap-opera style dialogue that was so dear to the original Twin Peaks. After watching the first four episodes it can only be described as a sensory overload, an absolute experience that sucks you in entirely. Some of the scenes are so bizarre and so out there, that you have to just let go of any sense of logic and go with it.

As for the familiar faces? Seeing them brings shivers up your spine, and it's all tinged with a hint of sadness. Jerry and Ben are back, offering up some witty banter, and you see that Ben is still running the Great Northern. Seeing Lucy and Andy is also wonderful, and they're still working at the Sheriff's Department. It's like everything has been stuck in time, and in a way it's all beautiful. Hawk is still Deputy, and his exchanges he has with the Log Lady (the late Catherine E. Coulson who passed away shortly after filming her scenes in 2015) are heartbreaking. She's so frail, and every time you hear her and Hawk say their goodbyes via phone, you end up with a lump in your throat. It goes to show that even in Twin Peaks, nothing is eternal, and everyone ages. We also run into Shelly and James, as adults, at the Roadhouse. Seeing all these familiar faces will strike a chord, you absolutely better believe it. I felt a sense of nostalgia, and couldn't believe everyone was back.

Also to note in that phenomenal scene at the bar, Portland-based band Chromatics take the stage instead of Julee Cruise in the original. They preform Shadow, a song that rivals Julee's Falling. It has the same bittersweet vibes, and as Shelly and James spot each other across the bar, it's magical and absolutely perfect. I was so happy to see this collaboration (Johnny Jewel's album that he just released recently features a plethora of songs that will be in the series), because I feel like they're the perfect group for this bizarre and twisted world. Bittersweet and airy music has never been more fitting, and it gives off all the feels. 

We finally get to see what happened to Cooper as well, and lo and behold, he's still trapped in the Black Lodge. Meanwhile, his doppleganger is out in the real world not treating Coop's body too well, with long greasy hair and a couple extra pounds. This evil version of Cooper is also terrifying. With gruesome murders being committed, and some that we get to experience ourselves, we're left hoping and praying that the original Dale Cooper gets to leave the Black Lodge, and find his way back to Twin Peaks.

All in all, the premier was everything I wanted it to be. I think Lynch did a perfect job starting off at such a gradual pace. He's mentioned himself that this Twin Peaks shouldn't be viewed as a series, but as a long, 18 hour film. Seeing all the familiar faces was such a wonderful treat, and you just can't believe that it's all happening again. The iconic theme song pulls you in and really drives the point across that Twin Peaks is back. With the theme playing over a faint photo of Laura Palmer's prom photo, you realize that 25 years later, the show is equally impactful and meaningful as it was before, telling you that it still has the power to commandeer the world and grab your attention, time future, or time past.


Catch Twin Peaks Sundays at 9c on Showtime.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Cannons - Night Drive

Cannons must be some sort of musical Gods, because anyone who manages to make the cowbell sound suave and sexy knows what they're doing. I have to say I'm absolutely overjoyed and filled with glee, because this release goes to show how strong Cannons are as a band, and that their first LP marks them flatting out any sort of tiny kinks we've heard in the past. A brilliantly cohesive album, Night Drive guides you through a neon-coloured adventure, with every track meshing beautifully into the next. 

You may have heard me ranting and raving about the LA-based trio in the past, I caught up with them a few months ago and got to know a bit about them, picking their brains as they were working on Night Drive. With the album finally out, it's absolutely what I expected it to be, danceable and lush songs, just in time for the summer. They sound like such a well-oiled machine, it's hard to believe this is their debut LP. 

The album starts off strong with Miracle, a light but ridiculously groovy track with Michelle's voice lulling you along. The Beach is another one of my favourites, with a very 80s-inspired and catchy synth that'll leave you tapping and grooving consistently. I listened to the album on a long drive home and couldn't help but realize how fitting everything was, and how enjoyable it made the entire trip back. 

Future Love is the cowbell-infused gem I can't get enough of. It's the type of song you'd play at the beach or by the pool, soaking up the rays and enjoying drink after drink on a scorching hot day. The blend of 80s synth and 70s disco rings true with this one, and it has so much radio-friendly appeal.

So many great things have come out of Cannons in the last little while, and Night Drive just proves what a wonderful roll they're on. I expect huge things from these guys in the next little while, and will be waiting, edge of my seat for more.


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