For the second summer in a row, a short-lived, surrealistic cult hit has returned to make the season’s television landscape a little stranger. Of course Twin Peaks and FLCL don’t have a lot in common on the surface, but eh, the parallels are there if you look for them.
The first is an American network TV drama that premiered in 1990, ended the following year, and came back for a masterful third season in 2017. The second is a 2000 anime that told a complete story in six episodes, but nevertheless picks up on Saturday when its de facto second season dubbed FLCL: Progressive drops on Adult Swim. Both shows’ fanbases snowballed during their lengthy periods in stasis. Both offer visions of mundane, small town life interrupted by otherworldly operators with shadowy agendas. And neither would be what it is without its music.
Just as Twin Peaks owes its eerie off-kilter ambiance to Angelo Badalamenti, FLCL would lack its signature irreverent jubilance without The Pillows — slated to play their first US gig in almost a decade at Royale on July 10. The show has instantly sold out.
Though they’re pushing 30 years as a staple of Japanese alt-rock, the trio’s recognized overseas principally for their involvement with FLCL. So it follows that they’ll perform plenty of tracks from the show’s original run and new tunes from FLCL: Progressive and this fall’s FLCL: Alternative in this six-city US jaunt. Fellow Pixies-ish Japanese outfit Noodles and onetime Smith Westerns-er Cullen Omori round out the bill under the “Adult Swim Presents” banner.