There is seemingly no rest for the wicked mind of Tim Burton. With current/recent projects ranging from the film version of Dark Shadows to a reworking of his stop-motion short Frankenweenie to Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty (sadly, it was just announced he's bowing out of the latter), it seems the man just never stops. Ironically, the song he requested from Jane's Addiction, who performed Saturday during a private preview party for the film-maker at his LACMA retrospective exhibit, was in fact "Stop." The exhibit opened to the public this past weekend, but Saturday night, there was also a private, star-studded soiree filled with flowing libations, non-stop nibbles and Mr. Burton himself (who flew in from London just for a book signing and the soiree). Burton was a most gracious guest of honor, agreeing to frequent photo and book signing requests throughout the fete, whether they be from unknown or famous faces -- Slash and his family, Eva Mendez, Crispin Glover, Diablo Cody, Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, and Johnny Knoxville were all partying on LACMA's patio at the exhibit's exit.
Judging from his astounding body of work, all of which is explored in the exhibit, Burton is perpetually busy, socially, creatively and subconsciously. The show is a wondrous experience, a walk inside the head of the dark, surreal fantasy genius featuring everything from movie props and get-ups (Catwoman and Edward Scissorhands costumes) to sketches for films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland to fine art inspired by or that influenced his work.
Burton's long time music director/scorer Danny Elfman was there as well, which got us thinking ... Burton's aesthetic has always been associated with "goths," but his musical choices on film have run the genre gamut. Here, a lil reminder of some of Burton's expected (and unexpected) choices/collaborators, plus his music video directorial debut and a clip of his requested Jane's track:
Prince's "Batdance" was a weird yet funky amalgamation of dialogue and rhythm from Burton's first Batman movie, and though somewhat disjointed, it did capture the film's sexiness, madness and dark yet opulent atmosphere. Love the sample mixing and guitar work here too. Not exactly topping most Prince fans' fave list, the artist's Batman collection nonetheless sold well at the time.
Harry Belafonte's tropical tunes are the jubilant soundtrack for the underworld in Beetlejuice, suggesting that death can actually be kind of fun. "Banana Boat Song" in the dinner scene here is perfection as is Ryder's dance to "Jump In The Line," at the end, which leaves everyone on a high note, literally.
Several of Tom Jones' tunes were used in Edward Scissorhands (the pastel-garbed housewives in the movie were definitely hurl-their-skivvies-in-Vegas types) so Jones appearance in Attacks was a no (big) brainer. "It's Not Usual" takes on an obvious irony here. (Dialogue in this clip is in Spanish.)
If Burton is pop culture ultimate goth prince (alongside similarly poofy-tressed Robert Smith, perhaps?), then Siouxsie Sioux is hands down the queen. The sultry track "Face to Face" was written by Sioux and Elfman, and it's in both in the film -- backdropping Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman reveal to Bruce Wayne -- and during the end credits. See clip here.
Burton's only music video to date, for The Killers' "Bones," meshes his biting humor with gift for old-timey atmosphere and of course, skeletons.
The mural behind the band is a set piece from Ed Wood.
Jane's LACMA setlist:
End to the Lies
Ted Just Admit It
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In other Jane's news, the band will be inducted into Guitar Center's Rockwalk by Tom Morello this Wed, June 1st.
More photos from Burton's bash in this week's Nightranger slideshow.