Julee Cruise

We got cable at the ol’ homestead a couple months back, and despite my best intentions, I’m watching a shitload of it.  But it’s hard to resist when my DirecTV records stuff for me like Twin Peaks reruns.

Last time I saw most of these episodes, I was in college and hosting a Twin Peaks party, where we spent about 24 solid hours watching all the episodes and the movie, all the while imbibing cherry pie, coffee, doughnuts and, ehem, other things.  But I was surprised how much of the oddness and strange beauty I still remembered.

In particular, the music, by parts New Age and retro fifties rock, really impressed me, and it continues to do so as I re-watch all the episodes.  It’s an integral part of the show as well, adding to the dread and horror of scenes like this:


Apparently the etherial, oddly sad-looking singer is none other than Julee Cruise, and despite the fact that nobody knows who the hell she is, she still holds the record for the highest-charting television theme ever with the theme from Twin Peaks, “Falling.”  She also had fifteen minutes of fame when she performed on Saturday Night Live on the same episode with Andrew Dice Clay (which Sinead O’Connor turned town in protest).  But I think she may win the award for bookending the best scene ever from the Twin Peaks series (give or take a backward-talking little fellow or two):

Before all this mess started, she did music for Blue Velvet.  But what I’d really love to see is the play she appeared in, a Lynch production called Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted, a play loosely based on Laura Dern’s character from Wild at Heart, who has a musical dream involving Julee in several places, as well as people sawing logs and instrumental tunes by Angelo Badalamenti.  It’s not available on DVD, but apparently it was once available to see on VHS, which is where this comes from:

2 thoughts on “Julee Cruise

  1. This reminds me that my introduction to Julee Cruise was through an episode of Beavis and Butthead where the bewildered boys watched the video above. Every time I see her on Twin Peaks, my inner Beavis gets totally agitated by her crazy face. I never noticed until now how haunting and pretty the music is. I’m glad Mike Judge came across this video (I guess more appropriately a scene in a recording of a stage production) and felt that it was totally insane and awesome and worth featuring.

  2. Her face really is crazy! But the whole sad/crazy thing is an act: check out this interview where she lays it all out.

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