Performance Breakdowns deconstructed by Painted Palms

Post Author:
Painted Palms

Sometimes really cool moments happen when a performer gets tangled up in their performance–overwhelmed, exposed, whatever. They get backed into a corner and left bare, stripped of their plans, face to face with an audience or situation. Their reaction is something different from the performer, the performance, the audience. It's a new and unscripted thing, and to see someone balance on that tightrope risking absurdity can be more exciting than whatever was planned in the first place.

True Stories

Our favorite scene from David Byrne's stories from West Texas. Mr. Culver's Vericorp has become untamed with expansion. Rather than crumble at his loss of control, he embraces the innovation and spontaneity, tying together a unifying theory of work and life. His new-found philosophy turns him from a businessman to a prophet, a change which he sanctifies by partaking in a communion of his own design.

Natural Born Killers

After tearing through the desert on a killing spree, Mickey sits down for an in-prison interview and is forced to relive some nightmares and painful memories. Everything kind of blurs together and he pulls us into his trance, spitting us out with talk of illusion and realization.

Nina Simone

This entire performance looks like a soul trying to escape from a body. There’s a wild energy in her gestures and improvisations, and everything in this video has massive emotional weight, like a lifetime of emotion compressed into a 10-minute song. She's overwhelmed but always composed.

Barton Fink

Charley gets found out as serial killer Mad Man Munt and corned by the cops. He beautifully morphs into a mythical figure and he starts burnin' down the house.

Pump Up The Volume

When you're young it can seem like the whole world is weighing you down with bullshit. As time passes it gets harder to remember when there was an anonymous voice in your head telling you to fuck things up, but this scene summarizes those years pretty well. Put all your stuff in the microwave.

Painted Palms' Forever is out now on Polyvinyl and streaming on Bandcamp.