The whole world is waiting impatiently for the return of Twin Peaks later this month on Showtime. The original run of Twin Peaks on ABC in 1990 and 1991 is one of the pivotal junctures of television history, as the surrealist master David Lynch and his co-consipirator Mark Frost brought new levels of atmosphere and lust to the normally PG-rated confines of network TV, baffling and exasperating audiences with an occult-laced, nightmarish gee-whiz take on the Pacific Northwest that crossed Lynch’s prior hit Blue Velvet with an FBI murder mystery.
After nearly three decades, Lynch is reviving the show, and a certain group of Japanese freaks has taken notice. On May 12, in plenty of time for the premiere of the reboot on May 21, Self Sabotage Records is releasing a split 12-inch with Acid Mothers Temple and The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. from Japan and ST 37 from Texas, U.S.A. both contributing covers of Angelo Badalamenti/Lynch songs from the original run of Twin Peaks. Acid Mothers Temple is covering “Sycamore Trees,” a song sung by Jimmy Scott (as the singer at the Black Lodge) in the final episode of Season 2, and ST 37 is contributing a cover of “Just You,” which appears in the second episode of Season 2.
The “Just You” scene is one of the more interesting in the first half of season 2. The song itself has a completely otherworldly vocal quality, somewhat like “In Heaven” from Lynch’s masterpiece Eraserhead. In the scene James (played by James Marshall) sings the song in the Haywards’ living room, during which Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) realizes that she is in danger of losing James to Laura Palmer’s cousin Maddie (played, like Laura Palmer herself, by Sheryl Lee). I like the song (and the scene), but a LOT of people find the whole thing cringeworthy. It’s definitely up there in the Lynch pantheon of weird/awesome scenes.
ST 37 is psych/space rock band that was formed in 1987 in Austin, Texas. They’ve put out more than a dozen albums since 1989, the most recent of which is 2014’s I’m Not Good. Describing Acid Mothers Temple is a challenge: It’s the main band of a number of psych rock offshoots founded by guitar legend Kawabata Makoto, who sought to create “extreme trip music” influenced by prog rock and krautrock. Befitting a band that is making trippy jam albums somewhat à la Sun Ra, their (often 2-LP) albums have wordy, spacy titles like The Penultimate Galactic Bordello Also the World You Made or Crystal Rainbow Pyramid Under the Stars.
Most of AMT’s compositions are longer than 10 minutes—often 15 or 20 minutes—which is a good reason to be happy that the Twin Peaks split is a 12-inch and not a 7-inch…..
You can pre-order the release directly from Self Sabotage Records.
The original “Sycamore Trees” scene from the series:
And here’s the “Just You” scene:
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Twin Peaks’ soundtrack reissue pressed onto ‘damn fine coffee’ color vinyl