Two new Twin Peaks soundtracks came out on Friday, one featuring mainly instrumentals and the other focusing on songs with vocals, mostly songs that were performed in the memorable Roadhouse scenes often featured at the ends of episodes. I didn't need to see many episodes to know that Twin Peaks: The Return was going to have one the most amazing soundtracks on TV in decades. I've listened to the original Twin Peaks soundtracks many times over the past twenty five years so I was predisposed to like new work from Angelo Badalamenti but, as many remarked, there was surprisingly little new music to be heard from Badalamenti on the new series. Given how many of the stars of the show are dead or retired I wonder if Badalementi is okay. I see, before Twin Peaks: The Return, he hadn't composed a score since 2015 and that had been two years from his previous score. On the other hand, David Lynch himself has gotten more and more active in composing his own music for his projects. I guess he can add that credit to directing, sound design, acting, and set design.
I was surprised the score actually included the David Lynch remix of Muddy Magnolias' "American Woman". It sounded on the show like all Lynch did was slow the song down. If you're wondering what the original sounds like, you can hear it here. It does turn out Lynch's remix is a bit more than a slowed down version, I can hear some guitar, among other things, laid over it. But it's amazing how something as simple as slowing it down so profoundly changed it. The original song isn't so bad, it's a sort of pep talk song, for the listener to derive some motivation. It was featured on the soundtrack to the infamous 2016 Ghostbusters reboot and I wonder if that's where David Lynch heard it. His remix is certainly scarier than anything in that movie.
Mainly what his remix does, I would say, is to change the point of view of the song. These are the first part of the lyrics:
Bring the bacon and I'll put it in the pan
Got my own, baby, life is grand
Every move I make is just a part of my plan
And I do it just because you said I can't
Do I look like
The step-and-fetch type?
I'm a whole lotta grown-ass American woman
Do I look like
The walk-all-over-me type?
I'm a whole lotta strong-ass American woman
I know my worth and who I am
Mister if you're hard up, I can spare a few grand
Hell will freeze over and I'll be damned
'Fore I take orders from any ol' man
This is about as much as you get to hear on the show, maybe a little more, and it's difficult to make out the words in the slowed down version. Lynch has taken a song with a fierce, rallying quality and made it alien. The singer is a woman named Jessy Wilson--slowing her down makes her sound male, fitting for Mr. C's theme but more than that it has something of the effect of the backwards talk in the extradimensional realms. The words that, in the original, seem like such an affirmation seem to be mocked by the tone of the remix even as their sentiments are shared--the words express a ruthlessness; "Got my own, baby, life is grand/Every move I make is just a part of my plan/And I do it just because you said I can't." Liberation is great when its yours, it can be scary when it's someone else's, particularly someone boasting about their power.
I was disappointed the instrumental soundtrack didn't include all of the dinner piano music from the end of episode 11, Dougie's meal with the Mitchum brothers. It has a piece called "Heartbreak" which is the more sombre bits of the music heard in the episode but lacks the feistier parts. Welcome to Twin Peaks quotes Lynch as requesting from Badalamenti: "I need some Italian restaurant music. Gimme three songs: one of them should be kinda peppy, one of them should be slow and sad and heartbreaking." The "Heartbreaking" part is good but it's so much more intriguing couched in the peppy parts. That dinner scene was one of my favourites of the series, by the way. Like the other scenes with Candie, the emotional undertones to this scene seem treacherous in ways that never quite erupt. There are a bunch of potential threads for a further season of Twin Peaks or a spin-off but top of my list would definitely be the Mitchum Brothers.
The Music from disk includes the Paris Sisters' "I Love How You Love Me" which reminds me how open the Becky/Steven/Gersten plot still was. I honestly expected Lynch to do more with Amanda Seyfried's character though she basically played the Laura Palmer character on Veronica Mars. So maybe it felt like territory she'd already covered.
Twitter Sonnet #1032
A copper vortex holds a salty proof.
Undoubted eyes forgive the breakfast gong.
In hazy thoughts the video's aloof.
In proven shoes the fact'ry can't be wrong.
Antennae lace remains alone at large.
Attended last the vision hit the board.
The silk on this canal came from the barge.
Without a crew the ship has just a hoard.
A blade was dulled beneath the warping deck.
The stars became as flakes that sink adrift.
In careful lines the car reversed its trek.
The newer shoes could not provide the lift.
Retrieved from vinyl fingers songs "Begin".
"Beguine" became the trees and air again.