Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Surrealism: David Lynch - Crazy Clown Time

Film director David Lynch is known around the world for his take on the art of surrealism. Movies like Eraserhead, a cult favorite, and the Elephant Man, which was nominated for eight Oscars, have made him a pop culture icon. One curious fact that is lost on the mainstream media is that Lynch is a mult-instrumentalist and has been contributing to the soundtracks of his movies since Eraserhead in the late 70s. In 2011 Lynch released his first solo outing (he has previously released collaborative albums) Crazy Clown Time. Its title track is a little on the creepy side but shouldn't surprise longtime fans.

The song starts off simple enough with some bluesy percussion and creepy, zombie sounding synths. All's well until Lynch brings in his shaky voice -- high pitched, almost squealing and certainly deranged. He sounds absolutely twisted, even more-so given his spoken word delivery on the track. Then, after figuring the song to simply be weird or creepy, there comes a moment when you piece together the lyrics, and it gets worse: Suzy had ripped her shirt off "completely". Buddy screamed so loud, he spit. And Dede lit his hair on fire. Taken in together, the lyrics don't make very much sense (not that anyone needs a full understanding about something in order to be crept out by it) but neither do nightmares. While dreaming, one scene or locale can change without much explanation or much sense. The same can be said for the art of surrealism, which can easily be utilized in music if the lyricist uses a more abstract approach to writing.

Didi lighting his hair on fire

"Crazy Clown Time" is likely to evoke strong images into the minds of its listeners. Given a good crowd of friends and maybe a few drinks, it can evoke some pretty interesting discussion as well. I would recommend feeding "Crazy Clown Time" to your MP3 player -- just for the fun of it. The music video, which, of course, Lynch directed himself, takes the cake as far as creepiness is concerned, perfectly illustrating the song's twisted lyrics. Lynch has experience directing music videos for Michael Jackson and Moby, so he knows what he's doing.

You can watch the music video here.

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