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10 Musician/Director Duos That Should Design Theme Parks

Amusement Parks
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You’re probably thinking, “What kind of weird list is this, CoS? This isn’t Buzzfeed!”

Let us explain.

Wes Anderson and DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh recently announced that they plan to open a theme park together. The wacky DEVO front man has scored several of Anderson’s picturesque films in the past (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), so one can imagine the quirky, pastel world the duo will create. A submarine excursion ride with the Zissou crew, perhaps? Yes please.

Upon this announcement, we began to ponder what other magnificent musician/director theme park worlds we’d like to step into and what they would entail. While most of these musicians and directors haven’t worked together directly, we think the eccentric minds of these 10 duos would make for some awesome theme parks, or at least, a pretty sick RollerCoaster Tycoon Expansion Pack.

— Danielle Janota
Staff Writer

10. Oneohtrix Point Never + David Lynch

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And you thought the lines for Space Mountain were uncomfortable. David Lynch teaming up with avant-garde, electronic producer Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never would create a theme park to make the whole family’s skin crawl. Both artists are known for the unsettling approach to their craft. Take the eeriness of Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive with the disorienting sounds of R Plus Eleven and you have a surefire mental breakdown on your hands. Obviously the park would be in all black and white, favoring stomach-churning rides like the tilt-o-whirl and the scrambler. – Dusty Henry

9. Avey Tare + Richard Linklater

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Combining the trippy minds of Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunset, Boyhood) and Animal Collective’s Avey Tare, this theme park would make for cartoon dream world heaven. I imagine the fluid animation stylings of each artist would come together for an existentially charged Disneyland on LSD. Costumed characters with smiles too large for their faces would bust into harmonized a cappella arrangements (a cross between free-form poetry and Tuvan throat singing) completely at random. They would sporadically deliver mind-fucking one-liners like“On really romantic evenings of self, I go salsa dancing with my confusion!” Complementary rides would run at odd time signatures, but still feel quite rhythmic, and each would have its own composition of samples — philosophic dialogue, clocks ticking, Madosini — some too obscure to name. Combine this with rotoscoped animations and the 3-D glasses you receive upon entering, and you’ll start to wonder if you really are all the things outside of you. – Kevin McMahon

8. My Morning Jacket + Terry Gilliam

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Bold, strange, and often life-affirming, this theme park would have you gripping the rails and questioning what you just experienced as soon as it was over. Each ride would be its own bizarre world filled with hallucinogenic imagery. You could ride a rollercoaster through an industrialized dystopian future-scape and fly past quirky robots and neon-glowing towers while Evil Urges-era My Morning Jacket swirled around you. An It’s a Small World/Splash Mountain hybrid would lead visitors through a land of silly, disproportioned cutouts only to have it all turned on its head as the track spirals down a dark flume soundtracked by a ripping Jim James guitar solo. There would be moments of pure joy and others when you’d want to run screaming into the hills, but it would all leave you wide-eyed with wonder. – Ben Kaye

7. Giorgio Moroder + James Cameron

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Enter the brainchild of James Cameron and Giorgio Moroder: the theme park of the 22nd century. Completely based in a virtual world, a 4-D reality helmet whisks guests away into an over-the-top science fiction park faintly tasting of salt water as if you’re at the front of a boat. “Rides” (or better, programs) take you flying across moons yet to be discovered on the backs of prehistoric creatures while dodging pre-futuristic ’80s laser beams that shoot through the sky. Patrons can boogie in disco competitions against menacing cyborgs to the tune of dreamy synth lines. Dramatic panning sceneries backed by feeble trumpets and triumphantly slow synth beats fade in and out — distorting any sense of time within the virtual park. PSA Warning: experiencing the feeling of being trapped in an ’80s montage may occur. – Brian McMahon

6. Aquabats + Kevin Smith

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Kevin Smith is at his best when he taps into his inner comic book super geek: Clerks‘ scruffy charm rested in its characters’ love for rooftop hockey and probingly philosophical Star Wars rants; Mallrats turned Jason Lee and Jeremy London into walking, talking comic book protagonists; and Chasing Amy centered on the lives of a comic book author and tracer (sorry, illustrator). So Smith certainly has the know-how to create something as cartoonishly off the wall as a theme park, but who would add the soundtrack? Seeing as the Aquabats have built a quirky cult of personality by morphing ska with bizarre superhero alter egos, I say they have a pretty good shot at rocking a Smith View Askew-niverse. Let’s just make sure that Jason Mewes isn’t controlling the rides, mmmkay? – Ryan Bray

5. Death Grips + Darren Aronofsky

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They could call it “Requiem for the Noided.” Somewhere between the deepest K-hole ever reached and the end of a two-week meth binge, you’ll find ethos of this would-be theme park. Although that doesn’t sound like a good time, it would certainly be a marvel. Death Grips are known for dabbling in the visual arts, so combining their lust for disturbing cut scenes with Aronofsky’s portrayal of the darkest moments of the human soul would create a horror legend. Each ride would be visceral to the ‘nth degree — music sculpted to blood-curdling perfection and images invoking seizure and emotional trauma. I picture a raving MC Ride with mic in hand, beckoning patrons to prepare for a ride, which would start before the safety harnesses even lock. The park would be poorly maintained — rollercoasters going off tracks, carnies drugging the food … On second thought, maybe we should just leave this one in our minds. – Kevin McMahon

4. Madonna + Harmony Korine

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Once you pass the giggling girls in ski masks huddled for a selfie by the cheap entrance sign and the disgruntled “I-liked-him-before” fans waiting for fast-passes at the box office, a world of lowbrow conflict awaits. Madonna’s hits play overhead to emulate much of Korine’s work. Is it gaudy art? Is it demonic trash? Do either of these people know what they’re doing? Sit through the Who’s That Girl screening and whoever stays awake wins a pair of long, pink bunny ears. Pick up a “Make it, make it, don’t fake it.” shirt. Go ride Like a Virgin, a 15-minute indoor rollercoaster based off Julien Donkey-Boy where Werner Herzog’s shouts drown out Madonna’s voice in tasteless irony. The center of the park, of course, has a weight-lifting aerobics course led by Madonna in a grandfather mask. Just don’t wander past the dumpster food court; one peek at unfinished rollercoaster, The Trap, will have “Borderline” ringing in your ears for months. – Nina Corcoran

3. RZA + Quentin Tarantino

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Let’s face it: Tarantino flicks are pretty much the equivalent of a cinematic thrill ride. That said, it’s not a total stretch to imagine him putting his carnivalesque energy into a theme park driven by his iconoclastic instincts. Were he to follow through on the project (Quentin, if you’re reading this, please do), he already has a suitable musical partner in the RZA. The Wu-Tang ringleader put his beats to good use on the Kill Bill soundtrack, so how about an adult-themed park crafted out of the guys’ mutual love for B-movies and kung fu flicks? Wu-Tang Land? There, you have a name. I’ll let you guys take it from here. – Ryan Bray

2. Aphex Twin + The Wachowskis

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Inspired by the Wachowskis’ penchant for multi-tiered stories and Richard D. James’ spiraling electronic compositions, this park would allow visitors to seamlessly traverse technology-driven worlds, unsure of when or how they left the previous one. Accompanied by Aphex Twin’s menacing or soothing digital tracks, guests might find themselves navigating different eras from 1930s Edinburgh to 2144 Neo-Seoul, outrunning a sentinel in the green-tinted dystopia of the Matrix, or speed racing through a hyperactive candy-colored land. Disorientation would be common here, as déjà vu often occurs for patrons who repeatedly come across the face of Agent Smith and the menacing grin of Richard D. James throughout the park. – Danielle Janota

1. Jay-Z + Baz Luhrmann

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Director Baz Luhrmann and Jay-Z both have a knack for excess. Simple just won’t do. So with Luhrmann’s flashy set designs and Jay-Z’s love of success, you’ll get one expensive-looking park. Everything is either gold or shimmering. Eras clash throughout. Imagine a Disney’s Frontier Land soundtracked by Watch the Throne beats. As a celebration of wealth, the Luhrmann-Hov park would cost a fortune just to get in the door. You’ll leave dazzled by the spectacle but leave wondering if it would’ve stood as well on its own without all the shiny objects to distract you. – Dusty Henry

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