festivals 2016

You Can’t Go To David Lynch’s Music Festival But You Can Dream of Other Directors Curating Theirs

What if Sophia, Spike and Harmony curated their own music festivals?

by Xiaoran Shi
30 June 2016, 5:49am

If you came to NOISEY looking for respite from the sense of impending doom that is portended by a Trump America, then I’m sorry to be the one to inform you that tickets to David Lynch’s first music and arts festival have sold out.

You read right. The man who brought you Dean Stockwell singing Roy Orbison’s "In Dreams" whilst dressed in what is ostensibly The Puffy Shirt from Seinfeld will also be bringing you The Festival of Disruption from the Los Angeles Ace Hotel in October.

Robert Plant, St Vincent, Questlove and Xiu Xiu all claim a spot on the lineup, but beyond uniting members of the Roots and Led Zeppelin in one venue, the festival also doubles as a fundraiser for the David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. This could very well be the most wholesome thing the Eraserhead director has ever produced.

Too bad us mere mortals won’t be there to witness it. Tickets were gone within a few days of the event being announced last week, rendering access to the festival as impossible as accessing meaning in many of Lynch’s films. But, despair not. Here are the NOISEY picks for other modern auteurs who should be getting into the #boutiquefestival curation game. Because a girl can still dream, right?

Sofia Coppola

Shoegaze and post-punk are as synonymous with Coppola’s oeuvre as Michael Bay’s is with loud explosions and Linkin Park. While Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides used depressing walls of guitar reverb to devastating effect, her more recent works also demonstrate her confidence in using rap and dance music to explore themes of alienation and fame. Fatally obsessed with circumstances of privilege and luxury, from upper-middle class ennui in Tokyo to upper-middle class ennui in downtown Los Angeles, Coppola would almost certainly host her festival at the ritzy Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevarde or, you know, at an actual chateau in French wine country.

Who Would Play: Air, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, MIA, Deadmau5

Spike Lee

There is no denying the primacy of black music in shaping Lee’s narratives of black struggle. The motif of Public Enemy’s "Fight The Power" in Do The Right Thing made the the violence enacted on black lives visceral; it got stuck in your head and under your skin. Not one to be pigeonholed, Lee acknowledged hip hop as a cause for celebration, unity and movement too. We need look no further than the cafeteria dance number "Da Butt" by funk band E.U. (not to be confused with the now Britain-less European Union) in School Daze to know that his festival would never be the kind of Brooklyn block party overrun by PBR and ironic vests.

Who Would Play: Public Enemy, Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Chaka Khan, Big Daddy Kane

Harmony Korine

It is a truth universally known that Gummo was the movie du jour for sensitive metalhead teens everywhere who resented the hypermasculinity of metal subculture for not fully capturing their inner complexities. Although Korine went on to, uh, trash his directorial credentials with questionable garbage such as Trash Humpers, his debut feature-length demonstrated a poignant acuity to the emotional highs and lows of a generation raised on MTV. In many ways, Gummo was a more fitting sequel to Kevin Smith’s Clerks than the 2006 high-budget nostalgia-trip Clerks II.

It was with Spring Breakers though that Korine truly showcased his dedication to pushing bad taste to breaking point with Skrillex and Wacka Flocka Flame contributing the bulk of the soundtrack. Considering his schizophrenic aesthetic tendencies, a Korine-directed Soundwave 2017 would almost definitely be staged in his mother’s basement with Riff Raff headlining the afterparty at a seedy strip club.

Who Would Play: Eyehategod, Corrosion of Conformity, Madonna, Skrillex, Sun City Girls (reunion show)

Christopher Nolan

If your lips are cracking into a good, old-fashioned sneer right now at the man who brought you Inception and the Batman franchise reboot, I’ll probably join you. As indefensible as some of Nolan’s movies may be, his ongoing relationship with composer Hans Zimmer has produced soundtracks beautiful enough to stand out on their own.

If it weren’t for Zimmer’s sparse, restrained scores set against the maximalism of Nolan’s mise-en-scenes, I would have never seen Interstellar three times at the cinema. I came to loathe the film upon the third viewing and only remained in the theatre due to the highway robbery that is IMAX pricing, but what’s important to focus on here is that when I watched Interstellar for the first time, I was convinced that the score consisted purely of unreleased Burial tracks and Mozart symphonies slowed down 400%. I was wrong about this, but I am adamant that if Nolan were to stage his own festival, it would be Spiritualized playing Ladies and Gentlemen, We are Floating in Space ad infinitum on the International Space Station.

Who Would Play: Spiritualized

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that 'Ladies and Gentlemen, We are Floating in Space' was performed by Spacemen 3.

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