After weeks of hype and buildup, “Inception” is finally in theatres. Many people I know rushed to see it this weekend, including myself. And the verdict? Ultimately, mixed. Too much hype? Too slow? Too thick? Except for the last moment, which I won’t reveal here, but I found bothersome – I thought the film was a marvel. Stylistically cool, amazing editing, action that kept you at the edge of your seat, and frequently baffling writing. They just kept raising the stakes until I myself felt like I was experiencing everything with the characters. Most of all though, I was impressed by the richness of the world Nolan creates. What would the plane of your subconscious look like? Who would be in there? What would they do? He thoroughly and creatively capitalizes on dream experiences we’ve all had to answer those questions and set the rules – having a dream within a dream, waking up from the sensation of falling, etc.
Right before I went into the film, I found myself struggling with the last few songs on this nightmare mixtape. It was a hard one, especially since a week before even starting it the perfect nightmare song fell into my lap via Strangers in Stereo. It was “Cola” by Beaty Heart and it fit all my criteria: dreamy, strange and builds into a terrifying climax. But then I couldn’t find anything to match it. First off, I had a hard time finding songs about nightmares that sounded the way I wanted. Tonally I didn’t want to go too electro, or veer into noise rock, or into ambient shoegaze – though I was tempted. I sought the artists that represented the cross section of all three. If you know any seriously let me know, because I had an impossible time.
And so I stopped beating myself up about it and went with my gut. I stopped trying to find ideal songs and started focusing on what I wanted to overall mood of the mix to be, and what I personally thought was “nightmarish.” I probably could have gone with any CocoRosie song. And while the song “A Cold Freezing Night” by The Books may not tonally match the other more overtly eerie creepy tracks on the mix, the twisted but simple reality behind it is extremely unsettling. Because if there was one thing to take away from “Inception” its that there is no way to keep your own phobias or desires out of your dreams – and it’s near impossible to try.
Go read more about Beaty Heart and download “Cola” here, on Strangers in Stereo. And perhaps check out my column while you’re at it.
Sleep Tight: You’re Naked and Late for Class! by tadpole in dreams
The Pity Party is performing July 26 at the Echoplex with Mississippi Man, The Dam Sons and FIM. It’s FREE! Details here.
It’s still a ways away, but The Books will be at the Music Box at The Fonda on November 29th. Keep your eye out for tickets.
To close out these two dreamy mixtapes, I thought I would toss a couple of my favorite sequences from the most fantastical film of my youth, Fantasia:
First, the one that I bust the VHS for trying to play over and over and over and over….
….And the one I was too terrified to watch in it’s entirety until my adolescence.