December 08, 2010

Dark Night of The Soul To Christian Dior in 2 minutes...

 Dark Night of The Soul is the haunting, collaborative brain child of Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse, and now it's mine, all mine bahahaha! A looong drool-worthy list of talented singers also grace the album and spotlight different tracks, which includes:

-James Mercer, the Shins
-Jason Lytle, Grandaddy
-Julian Casablancas, the Strokes
-Frank Black (Black Francis), Pixies
-Iggy Pop
-Wayne Coyne, the Flaming Lips
-Gruff Rhys, Super Furry Animals
-Susan Vega
-Vic Chestnutt
-Nina Presson, the Cardigans

...and last but not least 
Fucking David Lynch!

 -WAIT! He sings?

-Yes, yes he does. He writes lyrics too-sounds exactly like his films would if they could sing.

Now as soon as I read this beautiful, beautiful list I almost exploded with overwhelming music-nerd joy. 

But wait, there's more!

You think a musical collaborative gem, such as Dark Night of The Soul, would stop at pleasing your ears only? HA! They slapped me silly in the face (yet again) because in tandem with the album is, indeed, a photo book shot by king of creep, David Lynch, and is said to be "a visual narrative for the music" (thanks Wikipedia). And sadly, only 5000 golden copies were made.

Photos by David Lynch

I swear, much like this album, Wikipedia is the gift that just keeps on giving. While googling this collaboration I pulled a Wiki page up explaining that the phrase, dark night of the soul, is actually "a metaphor used to describe a phase in a person's spiritual life, marked by a sense of loneliness and desolation". Yep, that pretty much sums up the whole melancholic, isolated, grainy feel of the work, which does nothing but reel me in even more. Strangely enough, the album title and its gloomy connotations seem to have become a self-fulfilling prophecy for the untimely misfortunes surrounding the project:

-On Christmas day of 2009, Vic Chestnutt passed away from an overdose on muscle relaxants. In a 2009 interview, he had admitted attempting suicide a handfull of times in the past, but as he nonchalantly put it, "it didn't take".

-Lead singer of Sparklehorse, Mark Linkous also committed suicide in March of 2010. He tragically shot himself in the heart with a shot gun outside of a friend's Knoxville home.

-The legal dispute with record label EMI almost kept the album from ever being released. Details of the argument have been kept pretty hush hush on both ends. Although, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that money was the issue-big business conflicts are always cash-centric, especially where greedy, soul-draining record labels are concerned.

Wow, sorry for being such a Debbie Downer! 

Moving along now to the actual music. Here are three of my favorite tracks, bare with me as two-thirds of which are described through hypothetical substance abuse:
I really can't illustrate this in any other way than a heroine-induced love song, tragically begetting itself time and time again.

Oh Black Francis, how you light up my life! This raucous track best goes down with a bottle of Jack and a carton of cigarettes, preferably while wasting away at some dark, grungy dive bar.

The eerie title track. This is one of two songs performed by David Lynch and it's definitely reminiscent of Tom Waits' coarse, repetitive sound. The production transitions nicely from a rough, old-world victrola-like recording to a more glossy, coherent sound, as if a haze has been lifted mid song.

Speaking of David Lynch...

I barely discovered today that he directed one of the four short films celebrating the Lady Dior bag by Christian Dior. Each short stars French beauty, Marion Cotillard and the Lady Dior in four colors-black, red, blue, and grey. Lynch created the third film of the installment, entitled Lady Blue Shanghai.

You can watch the first two films of the Lady Dior saga here, called The Lady Noire Affair and Lady Rouge. The fourth and final film, Lady Grey was released today-you must check out the hour glass scene in the very beginning, 'tis amazing!    

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