And you thought his movies were weird.
by Rick Paulas
Today marks the release of David Lynch’s Crazy Clown Time. Who would expect the director of Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive to spend his sixty-fifth year putting out a solo album of electro-pop? In honor of Lynch’s eclectic style of output, here are his five greatest accomplishments outside of the realm of TV and film.
5. David Lynch Signature Cup Organic Coffee
It’s amazing that Lynch wasn’t in Jim Jarmusch’s 2003 anthology film Coffee and Cigarettes. By all accounts, those two products make up a vast majority of his diet. Knowing that, it’s not surprising Lynch used his lifelong addiction to caffeine to develop his own line of organic coffees. The reviews, from both coffee aficionados and decapitated Barbie dolls, have been positive.
Back in 2006, when he was still trying to figure out this whole Internet thing, Lynch experimented with many new mediums and formats. The strangest result was a series of phone ringtones that could be purchased from his site for a nominal fee. While they’ve since been taken down, you can find them across the vast expanses of the web if you search hard enough. As a service to you, here’s one that simultaneously informs you that someone's calling while also haunting your nightmares for eternity.
3. “The Angriest Dog in the World”
From 1983 through 1992, The L.A. Reader ran this weekly comic strip by Lynch. The strip featured a small explanation and four panels of the same artwork showing a dog growling while attached to a chain in his owner’s backyard. The only change on a weekly basis was the dialogue bubbles coming from inside the house, which ran the gamut from deep philosophical thoughts (“If everything is real… then nothing is real at all”) to pun-based jokes (“Bill … who is this San Andreas? I can’t believe it’s his fault”), but they were always pure Lynchian weirdness.
2. The Daily Weather Report
This may be a bit of a cheat — it was filmed, after all — but it gets a pass because, well, it was awesome. From 2005 to 2010, Lynch started every morning by sitting down at his desk, turning on his webcam, looking out his window at the Los Angeles sky, and delivering a twenty-second report on the weather. (An incomplete archive has been saved on this YouTube channel.) There's nothing intricately plotted or artistic or even especially interesting about them. They're just a simple, peaceful way to wake up and start your morning. Oh, unless you ended up signing on one March day back in 2006, in which case you were greeted with this.
1. Dark Night of the Soul book
While this collaboration between Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse – and just about every musician listed on Pitchfork – does have two tracks featuring Lynch on vocals, it’s the accompanying book of photography where he shines. Using the music as his inspiration, Lynch delivers some of his greatest visual work in decades. While the printing run only included 5,000 copies and can currently only be purchased from folks trying to make a buck on eBay or the like, you can get a sense of the work here.