A match, surely, made in heaven
Here are 10 reasons why Chris Isaak should marry me:
1. He writes songs about love and heartache (mostly heartache); I write songs about love and heartache (mostly heartache)
2. Hes a major international celebrity; I am (according to the US Department of Immigration) an ‘extraordinary alien’
3. He has matinee idol good looks; I photograph well in the right light with the right make-up
4. His tracks have melt your heart, state of the art production values; my tracks would have melt your heart state of the art production values if I had the money
5. He recently toured Australia; I used to live there
6. He has his own syndicated music TV show where he interviews world famous musicians; I have my own new podcast and ABC radio spot where I interview obscure musicians
7. He has an immaculately stylized neo-50s western/ rockabilly heartthrob image; I have an immaculately stylized neo-60s jilted bride image
8. Chris has millions of fans around the world, many of whom subscribe to his site and blog about him; I also have a website and sometimes people comment on my blogs
9. Chris is not, and has never been, married; I am not, and have never been, married
10. Chris has released 13 albums; I have released 11 and am working on the 12th.
How freaky are all those correspondences?? I think its pretty clear destiny is at work here.
In fact the argument for a marriage is so compelling, I find myself skipping the minor details of how we might actually meet, fall in love etc and going straight to the critical moment of the actual proposal.
How/ where might this take place? What would I prefer – a whispered intimate confession or a passionate public announcement – like how Johnny Cash proposed on stage to June Carter in 1968 during a live performance in Ontario? I think on balance I’d prefer the latter because Chris would find it difficult to back out on it later, you know, saying he’d been drinking or whatever and didn’t really mean it. If there were thousands of witnesses, I don’t think Chris could jilt me without losing a few CD sales. I think his fans would, on the whole, be disappointed in him. But he’s a man, after all, and after so many decades as a touring loner, you’d have to expect a bit of fear about settling down, so an on-stage or live-on-TV marriage proposal could give me the emotional insurance I need.
And then the next most important thing to consider: what music to play just before the wedding vows? Do we play one of his tracks, or do we play one of mine? Or a medley? I think the obvious solution here is for us to write a track together about our love for each other and total undying commitment, which, if we get the right producer, could then be turned into a hit, proceeds from which could then finance our Virgin Islands honeymoon.
I think I should start compiling the guest-list now, because its important to get the numbers right and popular Cape Cod wedding venues are booked way in advance, so I am told. So if you agree Chris and I should be husband and wife, and you’d like to come to our wedding, please post a comment to that effect and I will add your name to our guest list.
Twin Peaks echos
The most important thing thats happened to me over the last week or so, as the above musings might suggest, is that I have rediscovered Chris Isaak’s music, after about a 20 year absence from my life.
‘Wicked Game’ was released in 1991, and that album, along with Julee Cruise/ Badalamenti’s ‘Floating into the Night’ formed the soundtrack to my life for a couple of years in the early ’90s. ‘Twin Peaks’ was the thrilling, magical TV soap altar around which myself and Peter (my then partner) and our friends would gather each week. Like thousands of other fans around the world, we would break donuts and coffee together as part of our Special Agent Cooper ritual then lose ourselves in the Lynchian mysteries. Both Cruise and Isaak were featured musicians in that legendary show.
That relationship and those times are long gone. But ‘Wicked Game’ sends me right back there, because music occupies the same timeless zone as love.
I subsequently had the enormous privilege of recording a track with Julee Cruise in 1999. She agreed to do the vocals to a B(if)tek track from our then forthcoming album ‘2020’. Sony flew us to New York to shoot a film clip with her and it was a wonderful experience to work, albeit briefly, with one of my Twin Peaks’ idols. But for some reason I forgot all about Chris Isaak for almost twenty years.
Until a couple of weeks ago when ‘Wicked Game’ suddenly emerged, completely unannounced, from my musical memory vaults and started playing itself incessantly in my head. This was followed, a few days later, by my walking into Eon’s fashion boutique in Shadyside, Chris Isaak’s vocals still crooning softly in my mind. As I entered the shop, I rounded the corner and came face to face, to my shock, with Chris Isaak – his image was still on an original faded poster for ‘Wicked Game’ stuck to a central pillar in the shop. The next morning I was woken up to the sounds of Scott and Tanya in the kitchen, Scott remarking, “Hey, this sounds like a great song, do you know it?” as he turned up ‘Wicked Game’ on the radio.
While noting these synchronicities, which always give me little shivers of pleasure, still I gave Isaak no further thought. Until yesterday. I heard a track on WYEP and bent over the radio to turn it up (a rare occurrence). The track featured the refrain ‘You Don’t Cry Like I Do’ and it was a total heart-stopper, catchy, epic, naked. I listened carefully to hear who the artist was and was amazed to hear it was Chris Isaak – whatever happened to him? Is he still producing music this great 20 years later? Five minutes later I had downloaded his most recent album ‘Mr Lucky’ and have not stopped listening to it since. It is a truly wonderful album.
Chris’s website is also one of the best designed band/ musical artist websites I’ve seen and a real pleasure to visit.
Pittsburgh’s Zombie Culture
The next most significant event of my life over the last week was international zombie day which took place last Sunday 11th October. This is a day where zombie film fans all over the world celebrate zombie culture, and apparently the event originated in Pittsburgh in 2006.
Pittsburgh has a rich history of zombie movie production, due in large part to the path-breaking contribution of cult director George Romero, who has shot many movies here including two of the most influential zombie movies of all time – ‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968) and ‘Dawn of the Dead’ (1978). ‘Dawn of the Dead’, a bleakly satirical depiction of mindless consumerism, was shot in an outer suburb of Pittsburgh called Monroeville, in its local shopping mall.
Tanya, Scott and I (otherwise known as Glee Club Productions) made our way out to Monroeville mall to film over 1400 undead shambling past rows and rows of retail chain shops – blood dripping, eyes hanging, feet dragging, with occasional bursts of moaning (and much barely suppressed grinning). I interviewed many zombies. And last night myself and Al Vish (also known as Carol Blaze, former drummer for The Jilted Brides in our Warhol Museum gig incarnation, and all-round multi-talented rock star ) finished recording our angst-power-pop version of the legendary Roky Erikson track ‘I Walked With a Zombie’.
What are we going to do with all this awesome footage and kick ass zombie dance music? Well, all will be revealed in the next blog post:-) …