Duran Duran, Flaming Lips Play Surreal ‘Music of David Lynch’ Tribute
Director David Lynch hasn’t made a feature film since 2006’s Inland Empire, but in the interim his legacy has only grown. Recording albums, appearing on Louie and shooting a concert film with Duran Duran, the 69-year-old Oscar nominee has managed the nifty trick of remaining visible while simultaneously maintaining an enigmatic, cryptic air.
Part tribute concert, part fundraiser, part transcendental meditation infomercial, “The Music of David Lynch” was indeed a deeply Lynch-ian experience, a one-night-only event in which musicians spanning different generations and genres gathered at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles to play songs from and inspired by the director’s movies and albums. Raising money for meditation non-profit the David Lynch Foundation, the occasion will surely be the only time Donovan, Duran Duran and the Flaming Lips come together under one roof. Speaking before the show, the Lips’ Wayne Coyne confessed, “We’re not worthy, but we’re here.”
And yet, the man of the hour, as seems to be his wont, stayed out of the spotlight. Posing for a few photos on the red carpet before quickly walking past shouting reporters, Lynch turned behind him to announce, “We’re going to hear some music,” and then vanished.
Before the music, though, the sold-out crowd of approximately 1,600 heard about Transcendental Meditation. The show opened with a promotional video featuring prisoners, vets and celebrities such as Jerry Seinfeld and Paul McCartney explaining how such restful contemplation can improve one’s worldview and harness untapped potential. The video’s sincere, inspirational tone flipped the temperament of Lynch’s movies, which have a wizardly ability to capture the banality of life and then tweak it just slightly so that ordinary reality suddenly feels funny, unsettling, dangerous.
Nevertheless, Lynch’s message had its converts among the performers. Sky Ferreira, who sang a smoky, fragile version of “Blue Velvet” — a song that Lynch made iconic by including it in the 1986 movie of the same name — said before the concert that Transcendental Meditation radically helped her. “I started [meditating] last year,” she said. “I had severe stage fright. I don’t sleep very well. My mind is constantly racing. Once I learned how to do it, suddenly it set everything in place.”
Still, even TM couldn’t completely calm her nerves this evening. “I’m very excited,” she told Rolling Stone. “I’m very lucky that I got to do it. But it’s a little nerve-wracking.” She laughed and then added sarcastically, “I mean, it’s only in front of David Lynch, whatever.”
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