Mother Whale Eyeless

Brian Eno, being saddled with the ‘art rock’ label, sometimes gets dismissed as a cold intellectual, more concerned with concepts than with feelings. Obviously, this is a fallacy of a mainstream media culture that considers intellectualism and conceptuality inaccessible and therefore somehow bad. American anti-intellectualism is a powerful force with a long ┬áhistory that I won’t get into, and it’s not exactly been a boon to Brian Eno’s popularity. However, to anyone who’s ever actually listened to Eno’s seventies pop output, it’s clear that his songs have a great emotional capacity, as well as plenty of wit. I’d like to point to his music’s frequent appearances in movies (not just of the high-camp Velvet Goldmine variety.) I was recently impressed by Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, in which a teenage girl dies of leukemia to a soundtrack that leans heavily on Brian Eno. A few years earlier Eno’s music did a similar degree of emotional heavy lifting in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. I suppose filmmakers are drawn to using Eno because his songs are both memorable and not widely familiar. To me they are instantly recognizable and deeply familiar, but for others I imagine an encounter with an Eno song is an “OMG what is this!?” moment. Thanks to these filmmakers for making a minor trend of Eno songs as emotional punctuation. Let’s see if it brings people to Tiger Mountain.