It’s kind of odd to imagine that a dude like Chris Isaak, who sounds like he cut his teeth alongside Joy Division and Barry White, would throughout his career find his music in a grip of movies. Hailing from Stockton, Calif., Isaak’s strange brand of post-eighties-balladic-ghost pop has found its way into the backgrounds of silver screen flicks from all over the map: David Lynch (who used an instrumental version of Isaak’s most famous song, “Wicked Game,” in his 1990 film Wild at Heart), Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino each saw fit to throw Isaak’s unique singer-songwriter prowess into their films, and they probably weren’t disappointed.
To top it off, Isaak has also starred in a few films. Perhaps not big roles, but it’s always cool to see somebody occasionally multi-tasking with his career — opening up all sorts of avenues and still being liked while doing so (for unexample: Justin Bieber).
A disclaimer here: Just because this was your favorite music when you were a teenager does not mean that kids today are going to like it. I’m absolutely certain that just about every 14-year old you play this for would rather be shot in the face. At its heart, Chris Isaak’s sound is adult contemporary pop with an eerie new-wave twist, and that’s why it’s awesome once you stop liking bullshit like Linkin Park and Korn.
For this tour Isaak is breaking out some super oldies. Presley, Orbison, Cash, Perkins and a whole load of other genius artists that were signed to Sun Records at the dawning of rock ‘n’ roll adorn Isaak’s set list for his “Beyond the Sun” tour.
Chris Isaak plays 7 pm Thursday, March 22, at McDonald Theatre; $55-$100 rsvd. seating.