Here at 25YLSite, we handle a lot of heavy lifting. Analysis, interpretation, deep discussion, introspective interviews… you name it, we’ve got it. “Favorites” takes a lighter approach to the material we normally cover. Each week, we will take you through a list of favorites – whether it’s moments, scenes, episodes, characters, lines of dialogue, whatever! – in bite-sized articles perfect for your lunch break, a dull commute, or anywhere you need to take a Moment of Zen. So, sit back and enjoy this week’s offering: The 25YL staff’s Top 5 Acts they would like to see play at The Roadhouse in a dream Series 4 of Twin Peaks!
Sadly at this point Series 4 of Twin Peaks is still just a fantasy, but at least that means we can go to town with our dream Roadhouse Acts. So here are my choices, in no specific order.
Amon Tobin, “Melody Infringement”
Amon Tobin is a Brazilian musician, composer and producer of breakbeat/jazz/drum and bass/trip hop. His third album, Permutation, was heavily Lynch inspired with references to Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Lost Highway, but this tune sits so perfectly in the Roadhouse it is a crime it hasn’t happened yet. Just wait til you see Audrey dance to this. Isn’t it too dreamy?
Chrysta Bell, “Blue Rose”
I am sure that many people will think including an actual Twin Peaks actor, singing about a Blue Rose no less, is a bit of an obvious choice. But Chrysta Bell really does deserve a place on that stage, but not as Tammy, maybe as her sultry singer tulpa. Having seen her live not so long ago I can honestly say this woman is a supremely talented performer. This song is the current theme tune to my life in all its Lynchian glory. With its sheer level of ethereal whooshing it would be the perfect way to close out a melancholic episode, you know the one where James finally gets the crying girl Renee, and they think they are going to be together forever when her husband wakes up from his Freddy Sykes inflicted coma. Keep holding on James, good things come to those who wait, just look at your Uncle Ed! Until then keep listening to Chrysta Bell and dreaming.
Wolf Alice, “Don’t Delete The Kisses”
Modern music and I don’t really go hand in hand, I am usually sat firmly within the New Wave 80’s era but Wolf Alice are an indie/rock band I do really enjoy. “Don’t Delete The Kisses” is a beautiful dream pop anthem that builds up to a soaring celebration of reckless, youthful love, proof yet again that I have become a soppy fool in my later years. This would sound perfect in the Roadhouse, especially if you have a little sparkle in you.
Death From Above 1979, “Romantic Rights”
Ok, let’s step it up a gear. It’s not all jazz and romance at the Bang Bang Bar, this is where the owls often come out to play. Now, Coop’s shadow self may be smoldering away in the Black Lodge, but he’s not dead, just dormant, and let’s face it – he could escape at any time. What would he do if he did? He’d get his badass self down to the Roadhouse for some sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll of course. Mr C doesn’t need anything, he wants it as this song tells us repeatedly.
Heart, “Magic Man”
This I imagine to be Shelly & Red’s theme tune. Shelly tends to go for the bad-boy drug-dealer types, but I get ya Shelly, you tamed the bad boy Bobby and that didn’t work out either, so why not add a little sparkle to your life? Besides, he’s got magic hands. ‘Nuff said.
Odd Nosdam feat. Mike Patton, “11th Avenue Freakout Pt.2/Odd Nosdam, Untitled Three”
Odd Nosdam is an ambient hip hop genius. Mike Patton is a genius full stop. Put them together and you have the perfect mix of uplifting/depressing melodic drudgery. Everything Odd Nosdam does sounds like your mind slowly unraveling, perfect for those lost souls of the Roadhouse. I couldn’t choose which song I wanted so I’m having two which you can listen to here and here. Sweet dreams.
As a fan of chronology, I’ll be presenting mine in order of least important to most important. Though it should be noted, all of the acts I’m listing are compulsory for another Twin Peaks season.
5. Radiohead, “Pyramid Song”
It was between this song and “Everything in its Right Place.” Really most of Kid A or Amnesiac would fit in well with the atmosphere of The Roadhouse. “Pyramid Song” just seems like too good of a chance to have another poignant Eddie Vedder “Out of Sand” moment.
4. Swans, “The Seer”
A performance of this song would take up more than half the runtime of an episode of Twin Peaks, which sounds like exactly the kind of insanity David Lynch would be perfectly comfortable committing to. Swans could well be the house band at The Roadhouse.
3. Neutral Milk Hotel, “Oh Comely”
“Your father made fetuses with flesh-licking ladies.” Neutral Milk Hotel is some strange, surreal, deeply emotional music. Jeff Mangum and Julian Koster as Roadhouse guests are no-brainers. “Oh Comely” is probably the most out- there track on the 1998 masterpiece In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, and also my personal favorite.
2. (The) Nine Inch Nails (again), “TheBecoming”
Honestly, I just want to see a wicked, raw performance seething with brooding rage of “The Becoming” on Twin Peaks, and since Nine Inch Nails has already been on the show, while considering the fact that David Lynch and Trent Reznor are frequent collaborators, I don’t even feel obligated to defend this pick.
1. Death Grips, “Giving Bad People Good Ideas”
Hip-hop didn’t really get a fair shake at The Roadhouse, did it? Death Grips to me is basically the David Lynch of music. Someone must have forgotten to show Lynch the music video for Death Grips’ first official single, “Guillotine.” Had someone remembered, Lynch would have realized rap has plenty of weirdness and atmosphere to go around. As for The Roadhouse stage, I want to see Death Grips at their most chaotic, bringing an intensity only they can bring, completely unfettered. “Giving Bad People Good Ideas” is the perfect song for that.
I have taken the approach of choosing songs that seem to me to fit the vibe of the Roadhouse scenes from The Return. I can imagine each of these on that stage, and aim to encourage you to do so as well. Thus I offer for each a brief selection of lyrics, and a suggested time when the credits should hit. Of course, my list includes a couple of artists who are unfortunately dead, but maybe we could get Philip or Phillip to help out with that.
5. Puscifer, “Polar Bear”
A moat of icy water
No end in sight, save your own
I know that look
Of fear, I’m well aware
No need to brave it all alone
I’ll be there
I’ll be there
(Starring Kyle MacLachlan at 3:10)
4. Pink Floyd, “High Hopes”
Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of magnets and miracles
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell had begun
There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps
Running before time took our dreams away
Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground
To a life consumed by slow decay
(Starring Kyle MacLachlan at 5:10)
3. Bjork, “Bachelorette”
I’m a path of cinders
Burning under your feet
You’re the one who walks me
I’m your one-way street
I’m a whisper in water
Secret for you to hear
You’re the one who grows distant
When I beckon you near
(Starring Kyle MacLachlan at 4:10)
2. Cranberries, “Dreams”
Oh, my life is changing everyday,
In every possible way.
And oh, my dreams, it’s never quite as it seems,
Never quite as it seems.
I know I’ve felt like this before, but now I’m feeling it even more,
Because it came from you.
And then I open up and see the person falling here is me,
A different way to be.
(Starring Kyle MacLachlan at 3:17)
1. David Bowie, “Where Are We Now?”
Sitting in the Dschungel
On Nürnberger Strasse
A man lost in time
Just walking the dead
Where are we now, where are we now?
The moment you know, you know, you know
(Starring Kyle MacLachlan at 3:27)
The Roadhouse totally reminds me of this campus bar I used to go to back when I was in university. I imagine it’s always dark inside except for the stage, with permanently sticky floors and that smell that permeates most drinking establishments: faintly sweet, like last night’s drink special, mixed with aromatic wood and the traces of fog machine smoke. I arrive after class, hopped up on too much Margaret Atwood, with my textbooks and a classmate or two. We sit down at my favourite booth next to the stage and order a round of cheap domestic beer, and as the dreamy night begins, we sink into the blissful state we might call “Lodge-adjacent” and let the music take us…
Bat for Lashes, “I’m On Fire”
I’m a sucker for this song and covers of this song, but nothing sends shivers up my spine quite like the dissonance, the slow moody piano and the dulcimer-like notes hanging over it all. I love that the gender has been switched, as it lends the song an even darker edge to it — it’s more predatory now somehow. I can imagine Laura singing this song: “Ohhh, I’m on fire.” Yes, my dear. Yes you are.
Purity Ring, “Obedear”
There’s something very rough about this song that I feel would be a good bookend for a heavy-hitting episode. Dreamy, echo-y vocals over deep bass and the 8-bit video game clicks and pops, and lyrics that speak of deep oceans and low skies. It’s a song about something painful and traumatic, absolutely, but there’s power there too. This isn’t something you run from. You attack it with, “with [your] chest un-bared.” It’s tragically beautiful in its darkness, just like Laura Palmer herself.
“We’ve got a war to fight… I got nobody on my side, and surely that ain’t right.” It starts off soft and unassuming, but the danger is there in those chords. A simple beat, with wavering vocals… then a wah-wah guitar… and swelling strings that take us further into the emotional core of the song. This is what plays in the rain, when you’re at your lowest ebb, knowing that the fight is far from over, but that you can’t turn away now. Remind anyone else of Cooper? “How can it feel this wrong?” It doesn’t. It feels oh-so-right.
Lord Huron, “The Night We Met”
It’s maybe not the most typical song for a Roadhouse set, but the lyrics here are what get to me. I can’t help but relate it to our dear Agent Cooper. “I am not the only traveller / who has not repaid his debt… take me back to the night we met” or “I don’t know what I’m s’posed to do / haunted by the ghost of you.” The regret and sadness of that lament feels like the logical next step after “What year is this?” (Plus, just imagine for a moment a close up on the hands of the guitarist picking their way through those arpeggios, bathed in purple light from above…)
Stars, “Going, Going, Gone (Live)”
The only band on this list that I did see (many times) when I was in university, this Stars song is best served live. The 80s synths that start it off kill me, as does the stuttering beat that drags along underneath the back-and-forth vocals. “You’re killing time with gin and lime / Each second numbs the pain,” he sings, and I can’t help but see Audrey Horne, tragically destroyed by the actions of a quarter-century earlier. If she had a storyline in Season 4, I’d love to see this song cap off some moments with her.
Lord Huron, “Meet me in the Woods Tonight”
Lord Huron will without a doubt be the most modern band that will end up on my list. I see this song as an opener for the fourth season, a palette cleanser if you will. *Cue dramatic narrator voice*: “Previously in the town of Twin Peaks”…
I took a little journey to the unknown
And I come back changed, I can feel it in my bones
I fucked with the forces that our eyes can’t see
Now the darkness got a hold on me
The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Taste the Floor”
Everyone needs to brood a bit, and I’d say the folks in Twin Peaks might even deserve a good bit of brooding. I can see the show cutting between The Jesus and Mary Chain playing this song live, and a brutal murder scene, so not only does it fit into the show’s aesthetic, you can bob your head along to it as someone is senselessly butchered! Really takes the edge off things.
Echo and the Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon”
The love life of any given character in Twin Peaks is at best, complicated. “The Killing Moon” would bleed through the atmosphere of the bar, becoming impeccable background music, stimulating the decay of all the tortured romances.
In starlit nights I saw you
So cruelly you kissed me
Your lips a magic world
Your sky all hung with jewels
The killing moon
Will come too soon
Pixies, “Indie Cindy”
I just want this song to play James out. Whatever he gets up to in season four, he isn’t going to get the girl. That fact may have driven him a bit batty by this point, so this song would be perfect in my eyes.
Be in love with me
I beg for you to carry me
The Everly Brothers, “All I Have to do is Dream”
This song would be the seasons final song in my mind. The end of a lot of Lynch’s work leaves you questioning even the basic plot of what you just saw. His films flat-out make a lot people feel uncomfortable. This song could put the audience at ease, until they start to pick apart what the lyrics are supposed to mean in the context of the show. Always best to leave ’em wondering.
I can make you mine, taste your lips of wine
Anytime night or day
Only trouble is, gee whiz
I’m dreamin’ my life away
Wow. Select 5 tracks/bands to play at the Roadhouse. Not too much pressure then.
Chris Isaak, “Nothing’s Changed”
So a Twin Peaks alumni sadly missing from The Return makes his appearance on stage in (or not in) character! A beautiful song, which could be right out of Lynch’s own stylistic tendencies, this one for me reflects the themes of The Return. In particular, the passing of time for someone like Bobby Briggs – reminiscing, looking back at his time with Shelly and visiting the old haunts they used to frequent. There’s “New lovers taking our place,“ but for him, all he sees is the past – his past – lingering in the town, its people, and especially the RR Diner.
I reckon this is a nice fit for a particular kind of scene at the Roadhouse…
Exterior of the Roadhouse. It’s dark. We can hear a beat, indistinct, slow, consistent.
Inside: warm lighting… Kind of dark… The red drapes glow on the faces of young people, dancing… Slow motion… There’s a vibe – it’s pulling them together… The track pulsates – vibrates – seductively. We descend into the throng. Couples getting closer. Beginning to touch. The camera moves through them as the sheen of moisture on their skin reflects the light. We pass by them, lingering occasionally before another body moves into frame, then another. We begin to move backwards through the crowd, slowly weaving between them. The music is intense. A feeling is rippling through the scene. Something is happening.
We move up to faces briefly. There’s a blue light shimmering, then it’s gone… One man’s face, blue eyes gazing at the woman in front of him… He closes his eyes, swaying against her, and her eyes open. Her pure-white eyes are seen for a moment, instantly reminding us of the doppelgänger-Laura. She closes them again and begins to kiss him. Slowly. The music continues its sensuous rhythm. They eventually break from the kiss, dancing so closely now. The blue light flickers again. He opens his eyes once more. The blue in his eyes is gone, replaced by the pure white we saw in hers a moment before…
The credits begin to roll.
Nine Inch Nails, “The Line Begins To Blur”
This was a dream come true – not only were they in Twin Peaks (Reznor was a massive Peaks fan so I can only imagine he was thrilled), but they were in the infamous Part 8. I was one happy fan. So even though they have already graced the Roadhouse stage, but I think they have at least one more song to put out there. I pick “The Line Begins to Blur.” The track is hypnotic and pounds my brain – it would need to almost deafen the Roadhouse crowd. The lyrics, though – the lyrics:
The more I stay in here
The more it’s not so clear
The more I stay in here
The more I disappear
As far as I have gone
I knew what side I’m on
But now I’m not so sure
The line begins to blur
Special Agent Dale Cooper anyone?
Concrete Blonde, “Why Don’t You See Me?”
Another character-based track that has a haunting start before kicking into high-gear, eventually succumbing to the mysterious lonesome guitar that began it all. Johnette Napolitano’s distinctive voice plaintively reaching out…
Audrey Horne this time, trapped in whatever space she is in – mentally, physically, or psychically – desperately reaching out for someone to hear her, to see her, to help her.
What do you think?
What do you feel?
‘Cause this is feeling very real.
And if you feel, why can’t you say?
Give me a little demonstration.
Can’t you feel me?
Why don’t you feel me?
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, “Talk About The Blues”
A track all about individuality and the spirit of rock n roll. A complete David Lynch kind of track and therefore absolutely born to rock the Roadhouse into the early hours..
Plus, y’know… talk about the blues. Blue. Blue Roses…
Music is essential. It’s a setter of moods, a narrative tool, and sometimes a bearer of feelings, messages, and additional layers of subjective meanings. Throughout The Return, the live music acts at the Roadhouse often seemed to comment on current events within the series – sometimes more so than others. When choosing musical acts for my list, I let the lyrics (as well as the mood of the audio) play a crucial role. These are five songs that I love but other than that, they are also in complete harmony with my own view of the wonderful and strange world of Twin Peaks. I’ll let each of my chosen songs and their lyrics speak for themselves and hope that you enjoy them.
Tom Waits, “Watch Her Disappear”
Last night I dreamed that I was dreaming of you
And from a window across the lawn, I watched you undress
Wearing your sunset of purple tightly woven around your hair
That rose in strangled ebony curls
Moving in a yellow bedroom light
The air is wet with sound
Sigur Rós, “Viðrar vel til loftárása (Good weather for airstrikes)”
Dett niður eg læt mig líða áfram og einhvern veginn
Ég kem alltaf niður aftur á sama stað
Það besta sem Guð hefur skapað
Er nýr dagur
Fall down and I let myself slide forward
And somehow I always come back to the same place
The best thing God has created
Is a new day
They say I made the moon
Everything was in the dark
No memories at all
Just a tiny freezing wind in my back
As I was sitting there
Singing a song they had never heard before
Suddenly, a voice told me:
Keep on singing, little boy
And raise your arms in the big black sky
Raise your arms the highest you can
So the whole universe will glow
Portishead, “The Rip”
As she walks in the room
Scented and tall
Hesitating once more
And as I take on myself
And the bitterness I felt
I realize that love flows
Wild, white horses
They will take me away
And the tenderness I feel
Will send the dark underneath
Will I follow?
This Mortal Coil, “Another Day”
The kettle’s on, the sun has gone
She offers me Tibetan tea on a flower tray
She’s at the door, she wants to score
She really needs to say
I loved you a long time ago, you know
Where the wind’s own forget-me-nots blow.
We hope you enjoyed our choices and we’d love to hear from you! What are some acts you’d love to see play in The Roadhouse? Let us know in the comments or on social media!