EVERYTHING, that's what!!!
The Flaming Lips EP - Pink Dust 1985
And the songs? Three of them are great; buzzsaw "Bag Full Of Thoughts" and "Sex Bomb"-twister "Out For A Walk" kick acid-drenched dirt all over the garage, while "My Own Planet" alerts us, the home listeners, of the poppy pleasures imminent in Lips future. And the others???? Well, a little weak. A tad dull. Don't do much. Just kinda rest motionless on the shag carpet waiting for a dog biscuit. Wonderfully enough, though, this is one of the worst records they've ever released, and it's still "purty dagnab gut," as Southern Germans are wont to utter.
It doesn't nearly approach the later material, but then again, it's not trying to, because it's more or less a totally different style of music. I'm a young'um, and my parents didn't have much good vinyl to dig into other than the beatles and decade by neil young, so I haven't actually heard much actual vintage garage rock, but this is exactly what I would imagine those sort of bands would sound like. I could completely imagine someone stumbling on a little known 45 with a psychadelic jacket at a garage sale, taking it home, dusting it off, and hearing "bag full of thoughts" come on. It's interesting to hear the lips do this style of music, and more interesting to hear them fronted by a guy with such a low voice. Mark does have a very limited vocal range, but it suits the music fine. For me the only unmemorable number is "forever is a long time", although admittedly "scratching the door" I mostly like for all those spooky and yet hillariously overdone false endings. All in all it's a pretty good ep, but more interesting for historical purposes than the music contained within. 7/10 on the "I only grade albums when I feel like it/remember to" system.
Look, I don't know if there's some sort of limit on the length of these "comments", but I've got some more here. I was watching the Angry Beavers cartoon today, and there's this idiot scientist who walks up with Dagget who has a bump on his head and says he's discovered the last of the great horned beavers, and Dag goes "where?" and the scientist answers "right here, you am him". I almost fucking fell off my chair!!! You am him!!! MAN!!!
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Hear It Is - Restless 1986
"Hey, do I know any of the songs on it?" you're probably asking a neighbor or group of anonymous passersby at this particular moment in the time/space continuum? Should I not have put a question mark at the end of that sentence? It looks really weird without one. Unirregardless, the only classic on the album is "Jesus Shootin' Heroin," a slow, somewhat blasphemous (or perhaps not!) and lengthy epic that shifts from religious query to Stones tribute without batting an eye - or, heh heh, LIP, as it were. Heh heh. Oh, how droll I can be.
Oh, and I'm sort of wondering about what version of this cd has the "summertime blues" cover on it. It's mentioned in the liner notes of Finally The Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid, but curiously absent from the product itself, despite a bunch of other apparently contemporary covers showing up. It's a shame, because I'd love to hear that. Oh well, at least I get to hear that hillarious cover of the batman theme anytime I want.
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Oh My Gawd!!! - Restless 1987
Well, four, if you count all the members - all the current members, that is. 1996, I mean. Unless they threw someone out. Hell, why would you count all four of them anyway? What the hell's your problem?
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Telepathic Surgery - Restless
Still, folks complained. Frankly, I'm baffled as to what they might have found to complain about, but there you go. If you axe my ass, it's every bit as strong and lovely as the last two. They could still use a second guitarist, sure, but what else can you bitch about? Melody's the name of the game when you're talking about the Lips, and it's certainly here in SPADES, as they played in CLUBS, winning the HEARTS of girls wearing DIAMONDS. It's not metal. It's not good-time rock 'n' roll. It's a sort of messy cruddy pop rock created by some guys who know where it's at (musically speaking, of course). At least, in 1989, it was. Oh, how things change.
It's saved by the wonderful 'Right Now' and 'UFO Story'.
Good job you can now get in in a set, shame that wasn't out when I bought this.
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Unconsciously Screamin' EP - Restless
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In A Priest Driven Ambulance - Restless 1990.
And there's something for everybody! The dark acoustic numbers (especially "Stand In Line" and "Five Stop Mother Superior Rain") recall the Stones at their Sticky Fingers best, "Take Me Ta Mars" is about the grooviest Can rip-off ever penned, and "God Walks Among Us Now" - oh my. Oh HO my. Pump the bass way way way up and maybe, if you're really lucky, you'll be able to discern the melody through the buzz, static, and hiss that screech at you like a cat with his tail in my mouth - an unbelievably satisfying song. "Shine On Sweet Jesus" and "Mountain Side" are pretty much classic, too. Natural sounds created by Americans. Moods galore and splendid melodies to match. Beatles comparisons are possible. That's all I'm saying.
'Take Meta Mars' is Can, nowt wrong with that at all. In fact, it's encouraged. 'God Walks...' scares the shit out of me every time.
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Wastin' Pigs Is Still Radical EP - Warner Bros.
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Hit To Death In The Future Head - Warner Bros.
And my my, what a beautiful sound it is. Hissy distorted noise reigns supreme like some kind of bastard king until it is suddenly buried behind currents of lovely maturity that drift in and out of the mix, introducing dreamy melodies that would have been lost to the world forever sans the grace of amazingly strong production, thoughtful arrangements, and remarkably unorthodox rock 'n' roll instruments. I'd compare it to Sgt. Pepper's, but they don't just toss out the guitar rock like the Fabulous Foursome had done; they enhance it. Like, say, Bob Marley, if you work with me. If you don't, fuck off.
Just kiddin' about that "fuck off" thing. I meant to type "givl pgg," but you know these ornery keyboards.
The ten songs as a unit aren't quite as strong or immediate (whatever the hey that means) as the baker's three short of a dozen on the last slab of metal, but the production certainly doesn't let you down a teeny iota. And get this - somehow, to keep with the spirit of the proceedings, Wayne manages to sing every single note ON TUNE!!!! Buy it. Listen to it a few times. The songs can seem a little samey at first, but they'll catch up to you in a little bit. And for your info, my fave raves are "Hit Me Like You Did The First Time," "The Magician Vs. The Headache," "Frogs," and the mini-epic "Halloween On The Barbary Coast."
Say, you know what I just found out, ten years later? Jonathan wrote and sings a few of the songs! No wonder I thought Wayne was hitting all the notes!
And yeah, the album ends with a hidden track filled with 29 minutes of speaker-shifting noise, so if I were to be some sort of objective technical nerd, the album would only get a six or seven, but that would make me no better than the people who give In The Court by King Crimson a really low grade just because "Moonchild" technically takes up a large section of the album.
The album's a bit too crowded in the pink haze an army of musical instruments but I still enjoy it on occasion. Only when I don't have a headache tho....
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Transmissions From The Satellite Heart - Warner
Plus, they got on the radio! The hilarious and infectious masturbation ode, "She Don't Use Jelly," provided the Lippers with their first strong MTV support, boosted by the band's surreal guest appearance on Beverly Hills: 90210 starring Jason Priestley. "Turn It On" got a little bit of play, too, but not nearly as much as it should have considering that its melody is exactly the same as "Let Her Cry" by Hootie And The Blowjob. Elsewhere, "Superhumans" and "Chewin' The Apple Of Your Eye" are gorge, positive-sounding pop thumpers, "Oh My Pregnant Head" is weird enough to warrant about fifty listens in a row, and "Slow*Nerve*Action" (with its astonishingly John Bonhammy drum sound) is the sole hint of the dark underbelly that used to live in this beast we call Flamers. Eh? Yeah, even though some of the lyrics are a little melancholy, most of the tuneage on this discage is happy as garbage. Good though, unless you're one o' them G.G. Allin fans, in which case it's really faggy and they don't eat their own poop.
Ten out of Ten
Re: She Don't Use Jelly Compact Disc Maxi-Single -- Nothing to see here folks, move along. Unless you...see below. The hit song, an indulgent dork rework of it, an itermittently amusing too long useless version of "Turn It On" (one of my favorite Lips songs), and a version of the Jesus song (the Satellite one, not one of the other five hundred Jesus ones) with no distortion. Track this down only if you want to see a blurry photo of a woman with big lips unable to see a plate of eggs. 5 of 10. For the blindfolded with ductape big lipped smelling egg but unable to see it crowd this is a 1000 of 10. You will NOT be disappointed.
In regard to your review of The Flaming Lips' "Transmissions From the Satellite Heart":
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned "Moth in the Incubator" yet, which has always been one of my favorite Lips songs. The rousing slide-psych-guitar stomp coda is one of the most cathartic moments in the band's catalog.
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She Don't Use Jelly EP - Warner Bros. 1994
The most surprising thing about the buxom superstar's musical entre is exactly how much she sounds like obscure one-hit-wonders "The Flaming Lips." Some of my more "long in the tooth" readers might remember that band's whimsical early-'90s novelty hit "She Don't Use Jelly" from its many appearances on popular MTV program Beavis & Butthead. Somehow, the talented Ms. Lohan pulls off an EXACT COPY -- down to the very SECOND -- of that long-forgotten nugget from yesteryear! There are times when you could almost SWEAR that it's the original singer performing the timid warbles, but nope - it's just Lil' Miss Lindsay showing the big bad world what she can do!
Sassy Ms. Lohan continues the proceedings with a lively hoedown bluegrass version of a Flaming Lips rarity entitled "Turn It On," complete with instrumental assistance from former celebrities The B***hole Surfers and Firehose. Talk about adorable! Next up on Luscious Lindsay's soon-to-be-Billboard-chart-topper is a solo acoustic version of an aged hymn entitled "Plastic Jesus," and the magnum opus reaches its denouement with a genius piece of avant-garde cut-and-paste composition entitled "Translucent Egg," essentially a loud, brilliant reworking of "She Don't Use Jelly"'s master themes. Bravo, Lindsay! My compliments to the Chef! Girl go, you!
At a mere 20 minutes, the major label debut from America's Chesty Sweetheart may seem a mite brief, but sometimes you have to measure quality rather than quantity. And considering sweet Lindsay's lusty sensuality and dual artistic assets, it should be but a matter of months before we find her doing quintuple-anals in Max Hardcore's Crosby, Stills & Gash.
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Providing Needles For Your Balloons - Warner
Anyway I heard this once at a used store and didnt see much use for it except the early version of Bad Days. A couple of the covers were decent if I remember correctly. I guess this was teaser or holdever collection of some sort since She Dont Use Jelly was getting airplay and they were on Lollapalooza (Smashing Pumpkins headlining the mainstage, Lips on the second stage... the only question is which one would be headlining now. In case you havent noticed, the Lips grew to become the band Corgan always seemed to be hyping his Pumpkins to be. I'd like him more if he grew some of his hair back and wrote an entire album of decent to good songs again.)
Good if you wanna collect everything they've done, but hell i'm probably not even gone bother with the new Christmas On Mars DVD/CD and will probably only buy the next album if it's better than At War With the Mystics, so whatever. Decide for yourself if you can still find this one.
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Soil Samples 23 7"- Warner Bros. 1995
Side A) "What's The New Mary Jane?" - I don't know if you've ever heard The Beatles, but the worst song in their catalog besides "The Long And Winding Road" is an excruciating novelty disaster by John Lennon entitled "What's The New Mary Jane?" You can find it on Anthology III, but don't blame me when your ears rip themselves off your head and vomit wax all over the place. As such, can you imagine how relaxed my sphincter became when I learned that an Australian band called "THE MOLES" later recorded a completely different song with the same title? I'll pause here and allow you a moment to close your eyes and imagine the relaxation of my sphincter.
For, you see, it's the MOLES' version that The Flaming Lips perform live on this single! And it's a pretty little song with a bendy note over four basic chords and pleasant vocal melody! Good choice, Flaming Lips!
What do you call gymnastics performed by the members of Tool?
What was Erik Estrada doing about his failed career as late as 2009?
What is William Hung best known for doing?
What was Missile Command doing back in 1983?
What do you call L.A. gang members who enjoy a nice round of backgammon?
Well, that was terrific fun but it's time to move on to Side B.
Side B) "Under Pressure" - Twelve years later, the Flaming Lips would collaborate with Neon Indian to ask the musical question, "Is David Bowie Dying?" But the only question raised by this song is "Is David Bowie Trying?" Like most of his discography, "Under Pressure" has always been completely average, and remains so here.
I apologize. Now I feel all guilty and am wondering "Is David Bowie Crying?"
Say! What's that smell? "Is David Bowie Frying?"
Hey! A gun is being removed from Charleton Heston's cold dead hands! "Is David Bowie Prying"?
I can't believe I'm actually putting effort into this.
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Clouds Taste Metallic - Warner Bros.
But after you listen to it a few times, it starts to sound much less like they're bounding about in Fairy Rabbit Patch, and more like they're just really worn out and depressed, but trying desperately to cheer themselves up. The songs are positive, but relaxed. And they actually aren't all the same. Most of them (especially the first five or six songs) are rilly memorable. Heck, wonderfully memorable, if I may be so supportive. At this point in time, I'm most likely to rave about the movie-projector-ridden "The Abandoned Hospital Ship" and the actually-different-from-the-others bass-driven "This Here Giraffe," but that's probably only because I haven't listened to it enough times yet to really pick out individual songs from the herd. It's awfully samey but, like Hit To Death, repeated listens reveal depth in the songwriting and arrangements that are just hard to notice at first.
This should be a verbal question on the SAT-- "Rich Bunnell is to XTC as Tim Eimiller is to The Who." Well, everyone has to have a favorite band. Sorry to seem off-topic -again-, but it needed to be said and I definitely do plan on venturing into the Flaming Lips' discography in the very near future (when I finally get some freakin' extra spending money for such matters).
There are many reasons for this, but the reason I will divulge is this, the one that follows, now. I asked my Mam to get me Clouds Taste Metallic by The Flaming Lips around the Christmas Time of it's release.
Quite a challenge as the record shops in Sunderland only sell 'The Frogs Chorus' by John Lennon, (some ancient by-law passes by the ancestor of Jimmy Nail for to placate some moss); so it was to my great surprise that on Christmas Day I unwrapped this treasured disk, popped it on and very nearly shit me self as a drum roll tore apart the very foundations my live had been based on.
The house didn't fall down but the rafters were raised upon the heralding of the chimes of love, (the dog was driven mad by the clicky camera FX too!)
'When You Smile' is the best Lips song ever! Possibly the greatest beat ever! There is so much pop on display here I was always amazed at how little impact they made in the mainstream blah, blah, blah. But I never imagined seeing, (and HEARING), Wayne on Top of the Pops that.... t.b.c...
Evil will prevail and all our bad days will end.
Ten out of Ten
So this is the one - "Clouds" is the best album with the definitive line-up that gave this band so much power and originality, with Drozd's Bonham-like drums and Jones's wild guitar stylings. Similar to "Transmissions," but more focused, with more complex arrangements and melodic sophistication. "Abandoned Hospital Ship" is a slow, druggy anthem that is so imperfect that it's the perfect way to start the album, and "Psychiatric" has a melody that's so great you swear you've heard before. (Cat Stevens? No, sorry, wrong album.) "Placebo Headwound" sounds like the Beach Boys if Syd Barrett had been allowed to join the band as he so frequently requested (I believe this is what led to his mental breakdown, if I'm not mistaken.) "Guy Who Gets A Headache And Accidently Saves The World" sounds like a 50's B-movie with that radio voice at the end. Cool song. "This Here Giraffe" and "Christmas At The Zoo" are just classic Wayne Coyne - goofy and melodic, but somehow meaningful, even if I still don't get why a tiger would rather stay in a cage being gawked at by crowds of fucking rubes than running around free ripping apart gazelles and gay magicians. Seriously, unless there's some kind of scientific preservation stuff going, the whole zoo thing is fucking arrogant on our part. And then "Kim's Watermelon Gun," which I think is about all those spooky gurus and new-age religions (Mahareishi, Scientology, Christianity, etc) that people cling to in order to feel more important - "And all the celebrities want permission." But then "She won't give it to them 'til they learn how to love" which is just saying "HEY ASSHOLE, THERE IS NO MEANING TO FUCKING LIFE IF YOU'RE JUST A SELF-CENTERED PRICK. ALL RELIGIONS ARE JUST PETRIFIED DOG SHIT. JUST BE KIND TO EACH OTHER. LOVE. THAT'S IT. CHRIST, DIDN'T LENNON ALREADY GO OVER THIS SHIT WITH YOU FUCKERS?" At least, that's what I think it's saying, but I might be projecting a little. "Evil Will Prevail" sounds like a late-sixties pop song with the a decidedly more pessimistic message and then one of my favorites, "Lightning Strikes The Postman," which literally sounds like a melodic ball of fire aimed directly at poor Mr. Postman's chest. And we all know "Bad Days" is from one of those fruity Batman movies, but c'mon - these guys had to make SOME extra money to pay for studio time and effects pedals and sheets of acid and stuff. I couldn't think of a better way of capping off the album than a poppy Brian Wilson arrangement with lyrics about blowing off your boss's head. Brilliant stuff.
Great band - very heady, stoner-friendly, catchy, quirky, etc. And "Clouds" is the pinnacle for me, before they started releasing albums that required a Circuit City showroom to be heard properly and songs with some fucking "yeah yeah yeah" bullshit going on every two seconds. No, seriously, I still love these guys, even though the new album kinda sucks.
And great site Mark - very stoner-friendly too.
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Bad Days CD-single - Warner Bros. 1995
If I were you, I'd call it an interesting glimpse into the way they develop their songs, I suppose. Also, check this out. (*is neat*).
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This Here Giraffe CD-single - Warner Bros. 1996
This one includes the killer CD track it promotes as well as Peel Sessions of the two Hit To Death tracks "The Sun" and "Hit Me Like You Did The First Time." The first doesn't include horns, and the second one doesn't include a sliding guitar during that slidey guitar part. The second one also seems faster than the studio version.
What sucks is that there are a billion people who love music and want to write about it. So they'll do it for free and I get nothing but emails like "attack attack is helllllla dope. the 'crab core' shit where there get hella low like that is so cool looking. these clowns dont know shit" from the world's stupidest generation of all time with their emo hair and vomitous taste in the arts. I did fine professional work for 12 years and now I've been unemployed for 10 months. Why? George W. Bush. I have written hundreds of songs and thousands of reviews, but my sole sources of income are unemployment insurance and people clicking on my Amazon links. Why? Did I pick the wrong career? (by which I mean "accidentally fall into the wrong career"). I don't think so, because my only other option would've been journalism, and every magazine and newspaper in the world is currently going out of business. If The Flaming Lips are actually able to support themselves with their music, then thank god for small favors.
Life is scary. Life wants you to fail. Life makes you think you're on top and all set, then it takes everything away and fucks you up the ass.
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* Zaireeka - Warner Bros. 1997 *
I have little else to say, but I want to continue raving anyway, okay? Now, I know it sounds like a dumb idea, but this octophonic thing sounds amazing in your house, mainly because these musicians are very smart and know how to really creep the thing up with spooky as hell sound effects and stuff. Just sounds that augment the melodies like no man. The sort of heavily freaky stuff we last heard on Hit To Death, but even more psychedelic, because, well, quite frankie, there are FIFTEEN different ways to listen to the CD without hearing it the same way twice!!! Now, granted, none of the CDs are all that great by themselves. They're interesting, I guess, but all fairly incomplete. However, even having TWO CDs going at once will blow your mind and give you an experience to tell your grandkids about for weeks, days and weeks on end. And three? Ohhhh.... Drool..... I had trouble running all four at once (it's too hard to keep all four in synch!), but three... man, three is the magic number.
Even if it weren't a groundbreaking experiment (which it is, more so than any rock album since the Ramones' debut), Zaireeka would still aim to please because the songs are wonderful. The lyrics deal mainly with madness and uncertainty, with only an iota of that happy jive you might have picked up on Clouds Taste Metallic. And the music deals mainly with art rock. Of the HIGHEST form. Like To Our Children's Children's Children or Ummagumma, but FOUR times as immersive and harrowing. If I took drugs, I probably would. Crack and AC/DC. Run out and buy this NOW. If you don't have two CD players, then tape the other CDs and play 'em on your boom box while jammin' a CD in your big ol' stereo system. That's all you need, baby doll sugar! And hey, don't call the Lips pretentious wankers. Honestly, what ELP album would feature a song called "The Big Ol' Bug Is The New Baby Now"?
Oh, okay, Tarkus, but I mean besides that one.
by the way, didn't you read the liner notes? you're not supposed to try to keep the CDs in synch. the fact that the CDs won't stay in synch is the whole point (well, part of the point, anyway).
Okay maybe i'm exxagerating.
Let the warez be with you.
by the way, this is brilliant live. loud, though.
First, I thought the idea was pretentious and goofy when I heard it; then, as Boston encourages, I heard the album. It's really hard to explain to people how the gimmick doesn't *ever* sound gimmicky. That, to me, is what's most impressing. This experiment, about as highbrow art-fringe as you can get, seems perfectly normal in a rock setting. How'd they do that?
Plus, the liner notes are crucial. Sure, up until Zaireeka I had enjoyed both the beautiful languor and the anxious feedback of the Lips. But you read the liner notes here and suddenly you know, instead of just suspect, that Wayne Coyne has got his shit together. He sounds very smart, very dedicated, and full of ideas instead of full of himself. He can write a sentence like "What sort of music do you play for people whose civilization is coming apart?" and make it sound like he's actually considering the answer.
And then he made an album to show us the answer he came up with. Wow.
And about getting 4 CD-players together: it shouldn't be that difficult! If you have a computer, a regular stereo, and a portable CD player, that's three right there. Plus the album makes for a great party piece. Invite some buds over, tell them to bring over their stereos, and let 'er rip! Christ, these guys just keep getting better and better! I really feel sorry for all those people who just know them for She Don't Use Jelly...
...Oh, and how about those dogs at the end of The Big Ol' Bug!!!
Better than Piper At The Gates of Dawn, even!
'Okay I'll admit it' has the greatest beat ever. I know! I ripped the track from disk one and that's only part of that album I posses. Don't need a mix down, don't need to get it or lend it. I know where it is and I have my memories, (how can you possibly explain this thing to anyone who hasn't heard it? I've heard people say they'd "imagined what I'd be like but never imagined it'd sound like THAT!!!" You've got to try "The Big Old Bug" totally stripped down!
The best Lips album, ever!
the last time i remember getting stoned before listening to an album for the first time was stoner witch by the The Melvins, which is fitting, don't you think? i mean, that whole "my lungs are fine" bit! it made me really paranoid, and it wasn't the weed!
so, back the flaming lips (no, not a gay rim job), i blew my load, purchased this hunk o' plastic on euphrates.com and waited for my sexy mailman to leave it out in the rain. then it came mumble mumble mumble...
i set up four stereos in my living room, not because i'm rich (see above) but because my name is not rich. i invited some semi-willing people over to listen and help me press buttons. said people barely knew who the spin doctors were let alone the flaming lips. ok, so they listen to entirely too much "math rock", but they will still go to heaven either way. so, shit is set up! GO! BAM! EXCLAMATION MARK!
good. very explicatively good. two points: a. i'm pretty ambivalent to the flaming lips up to this point and b. i'm not stoned up to this second point.
i would not say it lived up to expectations. instead, it completely skewed them... and this is only the first song... and the second and the third and fourth and the fifth! damn that's a tasty ear morsel... then the other two... annoying noise (yet poignantly so) and the dog song that i'm sure my neighbors loved as much as i did. in total: (i'll have to use spell check on this word) WOW.
to rapmetal it up, i spent a good two hours screwing around with different mixes of this album. i felt like i was in the studio drinking cocaine from wayne coyn's crystal capstan. track five! yeah baby (i've never seen austin powers)!
this ain't your momma's Spin Doctors!
what about movies? four screens, four movies at the same time?!!?!?!? imagine a good horror movie *surrounding* you...4 "blair witch project"s would be cool...so you're really IN THE FOREST
anyway...i'm going to buy this cd! hope the music is as good as the idea behind it!
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The Soft Bulletin - Warner Bros. 1999.
So, taken in this context, what differentiates The Soft Bulletin from Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness? Ummmm... err.... ahhha..... Well, Steven and Wayne strike oil with their songcraft a bit more regularly than Mr. Corgan. But even in this capacity, they seem to be getting a bit tired. For one thing, although the instrumentation is different than before, Wayne sings all the songs the same way - high above his range with basically the same vocal melody line over and over - when there's really no need to do so. In doing so, all he does is make all the melodies sound the same (which they aren't). On the positive front, they're still out in fruity Brian Wilson popville, though this time around, they seem to be making an overly conscious effort to slip unpredictable breaks and changes into the bubbly chord sequences. And the songs themselves are mostly up to their usual standards, but, because all the songs are so slow, gentle and non-rock, about halfway through it becomes really hard to concentrate. Just like Pet Sounds!
So yeah, it's a really good album but if you buy it and hate it, don't assume that the Lips are a bunch of Billy Joel-loving pansies. Just buy some of their earlier work and give them another chance. This soft "experiment" is not indicative of the band's creativity so much as it is a sign that they're afraid of repeating themselves.
However, even the more forgettable material has got that great Lips' charm and there are some good songs that don't bother to draw attention to themselves but still make a good impression ("A Spoonful Weighs a Ton", "Slow Motion"). Overall, it's another incredibly artistic progression (how much more can they do?) but it feels a little bit lacking in terms of pop songfulness. If you love the Lips, you'll love it. 8/10.
I also must say I get extremely bored by the Pet Sounds (thereīs a lot of them here!) and Deserterīs Songs comparisons. This is a unique album, I havenīt heard anything like it, still I redcognize the fact that it sounds sorta Pet Soundsy at times, but in my opinion most pop/rock music in the nineties is like hybrids of older music. Sometimes it is extremely obvious. Other times itīs like a band has created something really special and unique out of the old. Thatīs what the Lips have done this time around.
As Wayne Coyne states in his notes on the album at flaminglips.com:
No more enemies, no more friends....... just sounds.
I'm just writing because I was actually surprised at the relatively lackluster review you gave the album. I was expecting something at least as exciting and generally positive as the earlier reviews. The Soft Bulletin needs no apology.
And The Soft Bulletin doesn't sound a fucking thing like Billy Joel!
But the thing I want to say is that the second act, a Japanese rock/pop group masterminded by Keigo Oyamada, was by far the second best thing to The Lips at the concert!!! It's called Cornelius, and he's got an album called Fantasma out in the US and I think it's the best album of the Nineties! Damn, it's sooooo amazing: it's like if you took Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Disney World, Bach, and Moby and squeezed them into a tube and then fed it to a Japanese Einstein! I just want to say that as soon as you can find it, pick up Fantasma and tell me how you like it, it's sooooooo awseome!
For me 8 stars!
In relation to this album, I took a gander at the Amazon.com reader reviews for it, and like usual for all newer releases, there were over 100 reviews; many five-star ones with some one-star reviews sprinkled throughout. That wouldn't normally shock me except for the fact that some of these one-star reviews were just unreasonably harsh. I saw a bunch of comments calling the album "mediocre, annoying, and derivative," "one to avoid, big time," and "boring, insular, pseudo-indie prog rock." Now, I certainly respect other peoples' opinions, and I have no problem at all with people not caring for certain albums (it's personal preference, after all), but why is it that some people feel so fit to act like certain albums are a complete disgrace upon human existence? I personally try to take a more optimistic view towards music, and with a few exceptions (such as King Crimson's "Discipline" album, which I really just can't get into), it makes the whole process of music-listening a whole lot more enjoyable. Why be a music fan if you're gonna be overly-cynical about it and treat certain albums like blemishes on the fabric of the universe?...Anyway, there're probably a lot of holes in what I just said, and I've certainly written reader comments where I've treated certain albums in the way that I just condemned (Whammy! by the B-52's for one), but I just had to get that off of my chest. This isn't directed at anyone on this page (since basically everyone here has nothing but praise for the Lips) but just to get it out: it's just music. If you don't like an album, that's your opinion and that's perfectly fine, but there's no reason to be unbearably harsh towards it just because forty-five minutes of your time was taken up by something which was less than satisfactory to you. Rant over, thank you, buh-bye.
By the way, loved the message about overzealous music slamming.
The soft bulletin is a major achievement in pop music, taking elements from past pop records, and using today's technology to make it sound "unheard" and incredibly fresh (and I'm not too keen on previous Lips' records... except maybe "this here giraffe" from Clouds taste metallic...).
Do you American fans know that the European CD version has a track that is not on the US version ? It's called "Slow motion", and is one of the best tracks on the record (after the two tracks I have already mentionned...). Go and find it !
The only thing that bothers me, is how on earth will the Lips come up with a new album as good as this one ? Needless to say, I'm dying to hear it... Certainly one of the best albums in the whole decade (if not one of the best pop albums ever...).
Radiohead and Bjork are all over the media, here in France, and I just say that those two are just talentless soup mongers, compared to the Lips. Plus Dave Fridmann is certainly one of the most talented producers ever (along with Jim O'Rourke..). A record that will stay with me forever, and a major change in my approach to pop music (see, I used to think that most pop music is tasteless and dull...). Cheers.
The Best Lips album ever.
Mark, the guitars you miss are there. True they're not screaming of freaking out, but they still twang in that country way I have no real foundation to speak about. Must learn though as it sounds pretty interesting (for a basshead anyway.) Sorry. Seems you all like the drums for 'Race for the Prize, me too, but the best beat is 'A Spoonful Ways a Ton' or maybe the break in "The Spark That Bleed', "Waiting for a Superman?. Difficult, it's chock a block.
I like the drums.
Chock a bloke - checking out!
The Southern Oklahoma Cosmic Trigger Contest EP - Independent 2001
Every once in a while, an artist will get the urge to let his hair down and create some playful country-western music for Bradley Beesley's documentary Okie Noodling, which highlights a subculture of fishermen who wade into murky water and stick their hands into dark holes hoping that a giant catfish will latch onto their arms. And sure, I enjoy sticking my hand into dark holes as much as the next guy, but who wants to sit through generic country music while doing so? If anything, that just makes it take longer.
A recurring problem with musicians attempting to extend themselves beyond their genre is that their unfamiliarity with the playing style and tropes of the new genre prevents them from creating anything more than a cliched, middle-of-the-road version of it. Look at Roger Waters' opera. Look at rappers who try to record rock songs. Or punk bands who try to play reggae because The Clash did. Even if performed competently, the actual songs are inevitably bland and non-experimental, because it's the best they can do. The only way around this trap is for the artist to bring in outside players with the background necessary to combine his/her creative melodic ideas with the traditional musicianship of an unfamiliar genre (see Ween's 12 Golden Country Greats, Paul Simon's Graceland, the Beach Boys' entire career). In other words, this EP sucks because The Flaming Lips don't know country-western from a pile of shit in the yard. Maybe this light-hearted crap sounds good in the movie, but it's a pointless, instantly forgettable bore out here in the real world, where movies don't exist.
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots - Warner Bros. 2002.
Oklahoma's Bad Boys of ROKK are back - with a VENGEANCE! Eschewing the word "eschew," the F.lip (wilson)s are announcing "Here Come Da Judge!," and if it's a GRAMMY judge, let's hope he doesn't have boiled pus clogging up his ears like they do every other year!
The Flaming Lips have gotten to the point now where they can actually *AFFORD* to make their records as dense and multiply-layeredish as Woyne Cayne and Stephen Drugz would like. And cripes, are these songs UFLL to STUBIN! Start with your hip-hop drums (hip-hop drums? On a Flaming Lips album! Yes! Indeed the Flaming Lips are that funk soul brother, check it out now), your acoustical guitar, your synths, your more synths, your ugly synths, your pretty synths, your yelling, your violins, your great bass line, your classical embellishment, more strange effects and Radiohead-style spaciness -- take all these elements, add it up as if it were a mathematical equation or disgusting Violent Femmes song and what do you get? Pop music so interesting, you hardly even notice that a few of the melodies are kinda simple and mediocre! There is just SO much to listen to here. A song will start with three simple little elements, and then like fifty-two jillion more will all pile up on top of each other by the end of the song. Lush electronics, light bells, shaky percussion, gongs, horns, light electric piano, flute sounds, harmony vocals - it's as if they got a great deal from an 80-track studio and decided to use all 80 tracks in every song! In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if you don't like this album, then I guess that's YOUR opinion!
I have this friend in South/North Georgia. We'll call him "Dave," even though his name is Christian Smith. So the other day I'm talking to "Dave" about the fact that I got the new Flaming Lips album and I'm not sure how much I like it yet because it's really gentle "FRAGILE" (copyright YES 1972) melodious happy fag pop like their last one, and this "Dave" person says to me, he says - "I just always love Wayne's lyrics." He said something after that too, perhaps qualifying his statement, but I was already gone, man. I was gone home in my mind to read the lyrics sheet to see if his words rang true. And guess what? Against All Odds (copyright Phil "Short Bald Billionaire" Collins), he was RITE!
Which reminds me of a hilarious little joke I just made up: What do you get if you have unprotected sex with an illiterate?
No, I don't really get it either. But one thing I DO get is sad little goosebumps when I hear these songs. I would like to address a few by title if I may:
"Fight Test" = his "coolness" and refusal to fight for the one he loved resulted in him losing this
"One More Robot" = Sometimes when people are lonely and need to feel loved, they pick an inanimate object like a stuffed animal or a robot. And, even though this love isn't REAL, it succeeds in making the person FEEL loved, so in reality, it doesn't MATTER that the love isn't real. All that matters is that the person feels loved.
"Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell" is about losing a chance at love because it didn't come in the exact shape and form he was hoping for.
And then of course the last two vocal songs go entirely out of their way to depress the crap out of me. They're about the finality of DEATH, you see. DEATH. FINAL. Take the "cool" anarchy slogan of The Sex Pistols - "No Future" - and think about what it really means. Everything ends. These two songs made me so goddamned sad, I had to stop eating dinner, get on the floor and hug my little doggy. (Would've hugged the wife but she was in Canada like a Mexican). Like, it's not that it's a NEW idea that we're all going to die, but for Christ's sake, if you're going to make this statement, could you NOT start the song with the line "Do you realize - that you have the most beautiful face?" And then MUST YOU MAKE IT TWICE!?!?!?!??! Check out these fucking lyrics: "As logic stands you couldn't meet a man who's from the future but logic broke as he appeared he spoke about the future 'we're not gonna make it' he explained how the end will come - you and me were never meant to be part of the future - all we have is now."
At this point I want to hug my wifey and my doggy. Wayne Coyne has saddened me with his heartwrenching description of life's finale.
Wonderful pop music. Beautiful vocal melodies, sung with no wrong notes at all. Gorgeous, haunting arrangements. And lyrics to make you think about what's really important in life: love. Loving and being loved and living life to its fullest every day.
And, apparently, stupid Japanese anime crap.
Initially I loved this album. Upon further reflection it occurred to me that I love 'Flight Test', 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots/Part One' and 'Do You Realize' and that the rest all kind of runs together into one blurry, unappealing mass. Maybe I just need to listen to it a little more before I get it. Hell, I just "got" Daydream Nation for the first time yesterday. Up until then Sister had been my favorite. Hah!
Too bad The Labials couldn't come up with a whole album of worthwhile songs.
The opening band Hum, played their farewell performance, and about thirty-three people really gave a shit. Finally, after we pretended that it was 1994 for forty minutes, out pops Wayne & company. Coyne seemed especially jovial, grinning in his little officer fatigues, smashing blood pellets on his head, shredding out a Theremin solo and playing with hand puppets. Steven and Michael smoked a lot, which bothered me because I had quit and I heard Michael had too. Steven chained smoked, but I hear that he kicked heroin, so smoke 'em if you got 'em. That smart-ass Stephen Hawking counted down the new year and then about nine tons of confetti and balloons were dropped on the crowd. I continue to find confetti in the strangest places to this day from that show. It makes me smile when I do: a reminder of a happy time. My wife and I kissed just like they do in the movies. And I thought this new century, this new millenium, was going to be something great. From Wayne's strained voice, I thought everything was going to be alright.
It's funny how nine months later that feeling left me. I could have really used a Lips album around that time to lift my spirits. Tell me everything's going to be alright, Wayne. The wake actually came in the form of a Spiritualized show a little over a month later. And my faith in music was reborn again.
Slow healing has got to be something The Flaming Lips understand. I'd completely forgotten that they know all about "all we have is now." I can't imagine what it must have felt like to see terror firsthand in their own fucking state and then witness it again. From Oklahoma City to New York City, it can happen anywhere. It's not fair sometimes "that everyone you know someday will die."
You guessed it: this album has some heavy shit. Musically, I'm still not completely sold on it. It may be the album of their careers but I'm still saying their masterpiece is The Soft Bulletin. Get back to me in twenty years and ask me again.
I was in boring meetings the day this album was released and I couldn't wait to get out just to buy it. To be honest, I was pretty fucking disappointed when I first played it. Don't tell me that it took almost two years to make this! This is the type of shit I can do by myself on my computer! I felt it was disjointed, recorded in small parts at different points in time, with no real "band" or "rehearsed" feel to it. I was harsh. Everyone kept asking me about it. "What do you think?" "I don't know." I replied. And the "anime crap" bothered me too. I kept thinking of a quote from a friend getting pissy that the Cartoon Network kept airing "fucking Toonami bullshit!" He's been through a lot of shit in his life too, though. And then another friend plainly stated: "You were expecting another Soft Bulletin weren't you?" I understood that line of thinking was wrong and, indeed, The Flaming Lips have made an album unlike any one they have before. Wayne's voice hasn't sounded this good before and neither has his lyrics. It's different, it's deep, It's growing on me...I'm just having trouble adjusting to life in this new millennium. That's my problem, not theirs...
Although for some reason The Soft Bulletin's instrumentation didn't phase me, my first reaction to the album was that it wasn't full band-y enough. However, I've already gotten used to it, and I'm digging the electronic experimentation quite a bit. From the start the Lips were all about mixing a bit of experimental noise in their pop, and this definitely follows that tradition. And the keyboards are all part of the mood. This is one of those records where every time you listen, you notice something different, and I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. I've already uncovered that robot voice in the background saying "I'll get you, Yoshimi!!" in "Yoshimi... Part 1", which in the first few listens I thought was some weird synth noise. Highlights include 'Do You Realize" (yet another song in their catalog no one else could pull off without sounding cheesy), "yoshimi battles the pink robots pt. II" (it's a perfectly pulled off instrumental story song - you can just picture a small japanese woman doing karate moves and kicking a giant robot's ass to this music), and "Are You A Hypnotist". If I hadn't only bought like 3 other new albums this year, I would easily declare it album of the year so far. 9/10.
Oh, and Flaming Lips lyrics are definitely something to pay attention to. Listen to them more carefully next time you put on the soft bulletin and you'll learn to appreciate it a bit more in places. "Waiting For A Superman" is one of the saddest songs I've ever heard, for one. Also notable is "The Spiderbite Song", which is actually based on true experiences. A little before Zaireeka was getting worked on, Stephen Drozd got a giant spiderbite on his hand and very nearly got it amputated, and shortly after fellow member Michael Evins got into a bizarre car accident. A wheel with tire intact flew out of nowhere and hit his car, making the doors unable to be opened, but no three wheeled cars were traced anywhere near the scene of the accident. The song's a quite touching show of empathy for his bandmates on Wayne's part.
i can't really remember hearing a better sounding recording during my 25 years of existance on planet earth - yes, i've noticed that the sun doesnt' go down - it's an illusion caused by the earth spinning round.
i read from yer review (Mark) that you get depressed by these songs and find them sad - well, Coyne's intensions are exactly the opposite! take a big bite of the apple we call life and treasure every moment! i know i will with this CD constantly on my concious. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots might just be my new favorite Lips album - replacing Clouds Taste Metallic... only time will tell.
I'm not against electronics in music in the least - I'm a big fan of Autechre, Mouse on Mars, Cex, DAT Politics, etc. - but here it really doesn't feel right. Almost as if it's an unnecessary crutch, and it quite often hinders the impact of whatever statement the band is trying to make at a given time. Hearing Wayne cry out "Why is it so high, why is it so much?" over a sea of wailing orange synthesizers is beautiful. Hearing Wayne cry out "Will the fight for our sanity be the fight of our lives?" over cut-up gong samples and fake strings is devastating. But hearing him cry out "Look inside, all you'll see is a self-reflected inner sadness" over limp electronic muzak is quite underwhelming.
"It's Summertime" is not the only place on the album 'the message' seems to fall flat on its face. While I admire the desire to be adventurous and try something like the trip/glitch-hop pop of "One More Robot", the song itself is ....well, the kind of thing I might find enjoyable in 10 years as a source of extreme irony. I'm truly sorry, but it simply embarasses me to listen to this song. I have to admit that the intro, bass line, and drum loops are all fresh and very cool, but as soon as Wayne starts to sing, the entire thing sinks into a quicksand of cheeze, stopping briefly during the choruses to vomit up some kind of horrid tribute to generic late 80's techno, with lyrics about a robot trying to "be something more than a machine". It's not tongue-in-cheek enough to be a parody on electropop, and it's not a strong enough melody to survive the chorus. It's as if someone locked a few stoners in a room with a pre-programmed drum machine and told them to write a futuristic dance song. Except nowhere near as bizarre.
"Yoshimi Pt. 2" starts out intense, and very cool, but unfortunately paring a drum solo (even if it is Steven) with a moog playing a simple descending melody over and over again does not make for a very interesting 3-minute track, and certainly not an appealing repeat listen. When I had read that The Lips were finally recording with The Boredoms (whom they had known for years and years) my ears were dripping with anticipation. Would the new album feature rapid-fire astral tribal jam sessions based on Japanese traditional work songs? Or would Yoshimi lend her percussive skills to 15-minute drone-bliss pieces that would drive us to headphone satori? Sadly, it seems as if the best they could do is have her scream at the top of her lungs while this boring shit goes on behind her.
I was going to start off this paragraph by discussing "All We Have Is Now", but the song is the first Flaming Lips song that had actually bored me to the point of me not even bothering to finish it on first listen, any further discussion on the song would sound like I was just being cruel. And the only reason to discuss "Approaching Pavonis Mons" is the title. It has the worst drum sound I have ever heard on a Lips track, and NO melody. "Ego Tripping", which I actually like, is more techno-muzak in the vein of "All We Have" and "Summertime", saved only by a very interesting drum sequence that happens whenever the chorus (which is pretty catchy) comes in. The weak tracks on this record don't just fail musically, but stylistically at the same time. They're the electronic version of AM-radio soft rock/adult contemporary, only without the melodies. It's pathetic.
Still, "Hypnotist" kicks serious ass, "Funeral" should have been on the album (being 10 times better than the majority of the tracks that made it), And "Do You Realize?" is the greatest song of their career. The lyrics are perfect and the guitars sound like the dreams of ancient Grecian deities.
sorry Lucifer Rising distracted me.
Well they covered a Cat Stevens song and stole the melody. Everything hateful in music pumped through their veins. Damn Them. Lips bring it back.
I like the drums, in a hip hop style they suit. Wayne croons sadly about not standing up and fighting for what he yearned. Declaring "it's a mystery" so still acting 'cool'. Okay Wayne admit it, you know exactly what you're doing. As does the drummer because he's apparently the principal musician now. Talented bastard. 'One more Robot is worth finding in it's stripped down piano form, the song becomes acheingly sad as Pink Robot has to decide whether or not to kill Yoshimi. The end piece some how finds a bright ray of light (but the battle is too come).
Yoshimi part One. You know this. The Lips were on Top of The Pops, Wayne sang live (he did look nervous but was into it in his own spirited way), Steven played some mad guitar (beats the shit out of Ronald, though not Mr Donahue.) New drummer too, banged the crap out of the kit and was sycncopated with Justine Timberlake on bass. Michael squelched in a Zebra suit. Crowd were into it.
Yoshimi Part two. Sounds a lot like Squarepusher. Nice Drum attack. Good Battle. Why no 2 hour 5.1 mix? You slack Bastards!
The next few tracks drift by, though that's not being dismissive. They're nice.
Are you a Hypnotist has the best Drums, ever. The lyrics are again shot through with hopelessness, but what I sing to cheer up an owl when it's ready to hang itself. I then collect the testes and market fancy jams to rich knobs living in Buckinghamshire.
It's Summer time is a roaring fire in wintertime.
Do you realise is the best Lips song ever (until the next album then)
" I noticed that he wore a watch and hat that looked familiar, He was me from a dimension torn free of the future."
Bless them, they mean well.
I just had to whack this out as you have to hear the full 5.1 DVD surround sound of Yoshimi. My God! There is no way on earth to explain how mighty this mix is. All I can say is it's as if being inside a huge, pulsating, organic drum. With added schuelch.
Hunt it down. You need it!
It's basically, all of us are a bunch of robots, and we better start loving each other right away, or something really bad is going to happen. The thing is, we humans are necessarily tragic figures. We're supposed to make big mistakes. About all you can really do to address our situation is wink and give a little smirk and say we're all just barely self-concious children. Ya gotta cut us all a little slack. So I rate this 2 of 10, 2 for the melodies.
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Finally The Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid - Restless 2002.
But enough about the albums. I've had them all on vinyl for years and if you don't, well it's not my fault that you're not as alternative as I am. Why don't you go back and listen to your Spice Girls if the Flaming Lips are too difficult for you. Some of us are smart enough to prefer alternative music like the greatest album ever recorded, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Overrated Generic Indie Rock.
So forget the albums. Let's waste our time on the bonus trax. They come in eight different varieties. The first is the "previously unreleased group original." Of these, you'll plenty enjoy the fast tough rocker "Killer On The Radio" and the cool slow bass-harmonic-driven "Groove Room," but might be all that impressed with "Death Tripping At Sunrise" once you notice that it's nothing but a heartbeat run through an echo box for 3 or 4 minutes.
The SECOND variety of bonus track is the "cover tune." In this category, you'll find pathetic, nearly unlistenably off-key early renditions of "Batman Theme" and The Who's "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere," quite enjoyable (but shitty) garage-band attempts at Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown" (including part of "Dazed And Confused" -- played wrong, of course) and the Page/Plant classic "Thank You," which you can find on the double platinum Page/Plant gold hit album Unledded or whatever the hell they called it, a limp, biscuity soft crapass run-through of Sonic Youth's "Death Valley 69," a beautiful take of Neil Young's "After The Gold Rush" (appropriate since many folks compare Wayne's post-1988 upper-register vocals to those of Buffalo Springfield's own Bob Young (Neil)) and finally, after all is said and done and you put disc one back in to listen to the last song on it again, there's some great rocker about the Korean War called "Handsome Johnny." I'm not sure who did the original version, but I'll have sex with a 13-year-old girl if it was Richie Havens or some shit.
The TURD variety of bonus track might be called the "Songs Sung By Original Flaming Lips Vocalist Mark Coyne Before He Left The Band And Wayne Ended Up Singing The Versions On The Album" (or "SSBOFLVMCBHLTBAWEUSTVOTA" for short). Included in the "SSBOFLVMCBHLTBAWEUSTVOTA" category are "Trains, Brains and Rain," "One Million Billionth Of A Millisecond On A Sunday Morning" and a roll-on-the-floor-laughing "evil, scary haunted house guy" version of "Jesus Shootin' Heroin." Mark simply doesn't have anywhere near the vocal range that Wayne has, and it's probably a good thing that he's not in the band anymore.
The final thingamajiggy is "Pointless Inclusions," like a remix of "Can't Stop The Spring" (whatever!), a THIRD version of "Jesus Shootin' Heroin (this one live, interpolating a jokey version of "UFO Story") and a draggy, crapass live version of "My Own Planet" that abruptly smashes into the zestiest of all zestful FAGs songs -- "Staring At The Sound"! I'm "Staring At The Sound"! Can You Dig Me? I'm totally "Staring At The Sound"!
You know what sucks balls? Ice skating sucks balls. My wife and I walked nine hundred miles today to get to the ice skating rank in Harlem, where we skated for 15 minutes before coming to the realization that there is absolutely no fun to be had on ice skates. Check it out next time you go ice skating. Look at all the people there. Feel how much it's making your legs hurt. Think about how hard you have to concentrate to keep from falling down and looking like it's your first day with the new feet. And - most importantly - take careful note of the fact that you are simply going around and around and around and around and around. Where's the fun? Answer: YOU'RE PRETENDING IT'S FUN TO IMPRESS SOME GIRL.
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The Day They Shot A Hole In The Jesus Egg 1989-1991 - Restless 2002.
A short time later, this very same disc jockey man played another great song filled with the same loud guitar feedback and feverish electronic buzzing while somehow maintaining an unexpectedly gentle, beautiful tone similar to that created by The Beatles, who invented rock and roll, which had not existed before. This song was called "Rainin' Babies" and the performers were these same so-called "Flaming Lips." I could resist the temptation no longer. "Hey Matt Terrebonne," I said to my friend Matt Terrebonne. "Buy this Flaming Lips tape called In A Priest-Driven Ambulance ." He did so, discovered that it was - from beginning to end - a masterpiece of acoustic melancholia, majestic feedback noise and pop melodies that could only have come from the mind of a really smart bunch of human beings.
Needless to pinss, we've both been enormous fans ever since, even during Matt's pot-smoking years. We followed the band from artistic triumph to creative victory before they reached unheard-of levels of genius with the audio experiment Zaireeka , which featured four discs meant to be played on four different CD players at the same time. Sounds stupid, but the effect, even of just THREE discs, was absolutely devastating. No other album in the history of the world sounds like Zaireeka . It is in many ways the zenith of 20th century popular music, and that INCLUDES Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)." Though the Lipps, Inc. likely will never again match this apex of goodness, they're STILL one of the most creative and worthwhile bands out there, even after having changed their sound drastically for the more "mature" Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots CDs. See, they're more production-focused and orchestral now, what with leader Wayne Coyne fancying himself some kind of modern-time Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame.
But let's get Back To The Future. So what is The Day They Shot A Hole In The Jesus Egg ? Subtitled "The Priest Driven Ambulance Album, Demos and Outtakes," that is exactly what this delightful double-disc release is are! Beginning with that record in its entirety (which, btw, was actually their FOURTH full-length studio album - they've been around for quite some time!), this set then invites the fan to enjoy early demo versions of most of the songs, plus the rare Unconsciously Screamin' EP in its entirety (although one of the songs, probably for legal reasons, has lost the samples that made it so interesting in the first place), before devolving into covers of songs by the Sonics, Elvis Costello and the Chainsaw Kittens and sprightly but impotent rockin' jams with titles like "Agonizing" and "Jam." Not a one of these lost tracks really NEEDS to be heard, but it's very interesting to hear this band experiencing a miraculous transformation from basic garage rock group with slight pop inflections (which is what they were prior to the Priest Driven album ) into one of the most mindblowing and consistent pop/rock songwriting machines in the entire HISTORY of rock. Folks who don't own In A Priest Driven Ambulance might as well just buy the original single disc if they can find it cheap enough. This double-disc reissue is geared towards people who ALREADY love the record, and can appreciate hearing the band's early, unpolished attempts at the material.
And with an eye always toward the future, the final song on here features a later version of the Flaming Lips presenting their own take on one of the record's most beautiful songs, the countryish "Five Stop Mother Superior Rain." True to what they would become, these later Lips dump the electric guitar feedback of the original recording in favor of a gentle organ line.
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Fight Test - Warner Bros. 2003.
Fight Test would have you believe that it is an EP, but it's 31 minutes long so I'm not going to type "EP" next to its title. Sure it's at a budget price and is just a 7-song collection of cover songs, one lengthy remix and two minor unreleased cuts, but I choose to live in my little fantasy world where a CD can't be called an "EP" if it's over 30 minutes long. Even if it's one song and 29 minutes of a guy saying "I hope you enjoyed this EP!" over and over again, I am an anal retentive man (LITERALLY! I weigh 2850 pounds because I had my anus removed!) and I will insist that it is a full LP. Though not a very good one. As for Fight Test, it's almost a celebration of today's youth music, what with its cover tunes and homages and things. Proof that the universe of the Flaming Lips is wide enough to welcome with open arms the creations of todays' additional hot new acts. First is the album track "Fight Test," which I'm told is a complete ripoff of "Father and Son" by today's youth singer Cat Stevens. I'm a little distressed that I can't remember how that song goes, considering that I used to own Tea For The Tillerman and certainly remember "Wild World," "Where Do The Children Play," "On The Road to Find Out" and "Sad Lisa"; the only excuse I can give is that the song appears to have been replaced in my musical psyche by the Canned Hamm song of the same name: "Father and Soooon! Getting things doooone!!!" This song is accompanied by a video if you're listening to the CD on a computer. Straightforward video probably pulled directly from Wayne's memory banks of the time he should have fought for the girl and didn't. Good things!
Then the REAL (i.e. non-copyright-breaking) cover tunes begin: Kylie Minogue's harrowing "Can't Get You Out Of My Head," Beck's boring "The Golden Age" ("Five Stop Mother Superior Rain" with different lyrics) and Radiohead's genius "Knives Out." It's been quite some time since bands covered hit songs of their OWN era on a regular basis (probably since the 60s with "Louie Louie" and what have you), so this sort of thing comes as a striking affirmative "Yeah!" from music fans who never realized that Kylie Minogue had any good songs. Next on the disc is a pointlessly overlong remix of album track "Do You Realize?(?)," followed by a Stereolab-sounding bachelor pad song of mature sorrow (and greatness) and an underwritten country-western jaunt about a dumb ironic shit gift that White Stripes leader Jack White gave to Wayne backstage at some alternative kitsch Beck show or some crap. I look forward to the day five years from now when a new generation hears this song and wonders, "Who in the hell is Jack White?"
"I mean, certainly I'm familiar with our nation's president, Jack Black, but who is Jack White? Is he a senator from our 51st state, New Iraq?"
So that leaves us with about 15 minutes of good material, which is, um, around the length of a normal ep! If this ep existed, it would probably be a few bucks cheaper, entail less skipping around, and most of all not make people who care about such things (me and apparently Mark for instance) wonder how the hell it's an "EP" and yet that weezer release that's a good 4 minutes shorter than it is an "album". But such a thing only exists in our imaginations, much like unicorns, new soda flavors that actually taste good, and the moon.
The rest of the Cd is risible. You can get the kylie/radiohead and more by going to KCRW.COM and look under 'Morning becomes Eclectic*.' They have video of the session too (and the time they helped raise Beck's game.) The remix is laughable. You could give the elements to any kid with a computer and they'd come up with something, anything more interesting. Fuck, I could. My idea, just play the track backwards! Simple! Or do an Aphex twin and pull the nearest dat from the shelf and throw it to the courier. Job done, money in the bank.
Re: Jack White song. Under written it may be, but why would you want to spend more time on the instrumentation anyway? It's a comedy song. But the 2nd guitar (is it a lead??) plays some lovely, country licks and makes me laugh, (the licks, not the lyrics) every-time. Mr Drozd is a talented fellow and is exempt from my fascist, musical dogma.
On a happier note, the Lips recently played the Glastonbury fete. I don't know if you can still hear a stream, courtesy of John Peel at BBC.CO.UK/Radio1, but I have a quicktime of thirty minutes of their performance. Let me know if you want a copy, (hey, I'm drunk and not usually so generous), for free mind... I don't want to rip off musicians (and get on metalica's hit list.) You'll shit yerself at the reaction they get! Over 80 thousand people singing along to Yoshimi, I shit you not!!!
* KCRW also have a great session by Nick Cave (without the Bad Seeds). Video n'all. At one point he sings 'Pappa won't leave you Henry' to the piano of 'Oh my Lord!' Mercy Seat too! You'll ejaculate 50 miles into the sky, I know I do.
I would like to be the first person on this web site to pay tribute to the Iranian twins who died today. No joking, it's really sad shit. The balls, (metaphorical), that these women had is humbling.
1.) I recommend seeing the Lips live during this phase, but only once or twice. Their live set has become hindered by the video screen and the spontaneity of their earlier tours as well as the off-the-cuff Kylie cover included here, remind me that these guys can dish out clever shit without worrying that they might fall flat on their faces. So what's the deal with seeing the same Jon Stewart intro for "Jelly" for the past fucking six shows I've caught, including the Beck opener?! When do I get to bear witness to a surprise cover in the flesh again? I hope it's coming this New Year's Eve, cuz the better half and I just shelled a few benjies for their White Stripe opening slot (whatever Mark, they rock righteous Detroit slop rock, which in my book is a good thing regardless of the hyperbole) and I will demonstrate furious anger at any video footage of Leonard Bernstein. For my hard earned cash, I expect a little "Atlantis" or some shit from Wayne's Donovan lovin' ass. Where the fuck was I? Oh yeah, number
2.) The remix shit is tired. Stop now. Change the fucking suit.
But hey, that means this turns out to be a nice little product for completist and dorks like us. A high six or seven that was a cheap little way for the W.B. to move out 25,000 units of product to the last 25,000 people who still buy shiny silver things called compact discs. Speaking of, the last post made me update my own Christmas list for this year to include "From Her To Eternity." So fucking cheers to you for helping to keep the recording industry alive another day.
i just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that i really enjoyed reading your flaming lips reviews. they made me wanna go back and pull out all of the older albums for another spin. keep up the great work.
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Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell EP - Warner Bros. 2003
Did you like my story? If not, I also wrote one about a turd that plays craps. It's about a turd named Crshit. This turd gave His cash so that he may play craps. This turd died only so that mankind's hands could be washed free of His stinky brown residue. And all He asked in response was that you retrieve Him, dust him (if he's gotten all crispy and white from baking in the sun), and shove Him - in a garbage Acan.
On that note, let's talk Laming Flips, the formerly great band that is now LAMe and no longer gives a FLIP about putting out quality product.
Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell is an EP that features three remixes of Yoshimi songs (2 of "Ego Tripping" and 1 of "
You know what I just realized? Apparently nobody has reserved the URL "www.aflkdjafkdsjafkldsjaf;kldjfakldfja;dfjajadslflsadf.com." No, seriously! I checked and got this crazy note back from my browser saying "We can't find 'www.aflkdjafkdsjafkldsjaf;kldjfakldfja;dfjajadslflsadf.com' You can try again by typing the URL in the address bar above. Or, search the Web." And then it says, "Check availability or register the domain name 'www.aflkdjafkdsjafkldsjaf;kldjfakldfja;dfjajadslflsadf.com'." I mean, that's totally fucked up. What kind of an asshole do I look like sitting here stuck in a year-long subscription to www.mrakprindel.com or whatever the hell it is I can never remember, when I could be sitting pretty and watching the visitors roll right in at www.aflkdjafkdsjafkldsjaf;kldjfakldfja;dfjajadslflsadf.com? Goddamn it. Goddamn everything. Nothing will ever be good again.
Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell is an EP that features three remixes of Yoshimi songs (2 of "Ego Tripping" and 1 of "Do You Realize?"), three new full-fledged compositions, and one new instrumental. That's my opinion anyway. And don't even get me STARTED about how I feel about the length of each song. Let's just say that "Assassination Of The Sun" is "4:25," and that's all I'm gonna say, I don't want to start any fistfights.
The new tracks are just like Yoshimi, with the slow tempos, electronica-style drums and electronic blip bloop noises. Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music basically. All so relaxed and futuristic! None of the remixes are as good as the originals either, so what's the point? If you're gonna remix something, remix a lousy song and make it better. Don't take beautiful compositions like "Ego T." and "Do You R.?" and replace all the music with hamfisted techno buffoonery. No wonder none of you people have careers. Fuckin' DJ remix assholes. "Oh look at me, look at me! I can take a really great song and make it sound like a bunch of random noises I made on my computer! I must be an 'electronic artist'!" They really said that, those guys. I was in the studio and couldn't believe it. I was just going, "Dude, come on. Nobody wants to hear Wayne saying 'up' a billion times in a row." And they're all like, "Yeah they do. And check out this swishy noise! (*makes swishy noise*)." And it's sad for me because, well you know me - I love everybody. So it really hurts when I have to step completely out of the warmth of my normal character to call somebody a 'talentless little poseur' who should 'come back when (he) learn(s) how to play an instrument.' And that '(he's) adopted' and '(his) real parents vomited on (his) head when (he) was born' and 'I fucked (his) wife.' You know? Nobody likes to do that. I was sad that day.
Two of the new songs are great though: "Assassination Of The Sun" is a super-mellow piano/organ ballad that grows on you to become very emotional without being obvious; and "A Change At Christmas" is a truly great new Christmas song filled with optimistic cheer, Xmasy vibes, and sleigh bells aplenty. The melody is simple, but you don't want a fancy Chykovski (SP?) or Bait-hoe-vin (SP?) piece at the Christmas table; you want a great singable song. And that's exactly what you get with Yorgi Yorgesson's "I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas."
The other two songs run the gamut all the way from Pet Soundsy easy listening fogey music with trumpet all the way to the other end of the musical spectrum, gentle guitar chords with a pretty bridge.
Well, I mean it's not THAT pretty. I guess it would be considered pretty by some people, but it's not really my type at all.
(Sorry, my bridge gets jealous.)
In closing, just let me say that I have been a true blue Flaming Lips fan since 1991 and I won't have you saying negative things about Wayne, the other guy, and the other one.
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At War With The Mystics - Warner Bros. 2006
The Flaming Lips used to be one of my favorite bands in the world, but they just seem to be getting further and further away not only from their original style that attracted me in the first place, but also from good music in general. I long ago acknowledged that they were/are never going to return to the ear-blasting feedback-drenched guitar attack of In A Priest-Driven Ambulance -- not only are they getting older almost by the day, but their lack of interest in guitar music was made evident by their decision not to replace Ronald Jones when he left in a schizophrenic huff in 1996. Though this change in artistic direction was lamentable to me personally, Steve-o and Wayne-i's melodic senses were strong enough to keep me glued to my TV screen even through the symphonic pop of The Soft Bulletin and electronic bloops of Yoshimi Eats The Pink Panther. But now?
Well, there's still some of that genius on here, but the album is a big cluttered mess of "hey, let's see what happens if we do this!" It keeps the proceedings from ever becoming predictable, but unfortunately the chances they take and experiments they try are, to a large extent, pretty grotesque on the ears. Let me be a bit more specific. The album starts off with a really loud choir of voices going "YAHYAHYAHYAHYAHYAHYAHYAHYAH (etc)" followed by a purposely off-key shouted falsetto going "AAAAHHHHH! AHHHAAAHHHAHHAHHAA AAAAHHHHH!" The song then begins: handclaps, acoustic strums, happy bass notes, multi-tracked Wayne singing in a lower register -- interrupted every ten seconds or so by "YAHYAHYAHYAHYAHYAHYAHYAH!" Then we get a wonderfully bombastic, jubilant chorus, followed by 'hilarious' vocoder vocals, 'uproarious' pitch-manipulated "NONONONONONONONO!"s and 'zany' kettle drums spreading their malodorous 'Hello Kitty'-style cutesy goodtimes all over the rest of the loathsomely eye-winking song. Way under all the accoutrements is a decent pop song. BUT WHAT KIND OF MONSTER CAN STOMACH ALL THE BULLSHIT THEY'VE PILED ON TOP OF IT?!?!?!
Now then. Track two. You know that band Ween? You know how sometimes they try to imitate Prince? You know how the Flaming Lips shouldn't try to do that?
Okay then. Track three. Well, I'm not going to go track-by-track like others might enjoy, but let me just say a few more words regarding 'music that I personally don't like.' Okay -- now if you're going to write a Pet Sounds-style relaxed synthorchestrated song without much of a melody, it's probably best not to place it immediately after another Pet Sounds-style relaxed synthorchestrated song with an excellent melody. Furthermore, if your band has a really awesome space-jazz organ/flute/bass/percussion Miles Davis fusion-style thing going on, consider not ruining it with a jokey, mediocre wah-wah guitar solo that drowns out all the other instruments. Say, while we're discussing songwriting, it might also be wise to consider not writing a song with Gwen Stefani in mind, particularly if you're going to fill it with a bunch of annoying, shitty novelty noises. On a related note, if you're going to write a heartbreaking lyric about a man crying for an ambulance as his girlfriend lies dead in his arms, you may want to consider not making the music sound like Jimmy Buffett. And for God's sake, don't end your album with a song that sounds like Todd Rundgren covering Neil Young. Quite frankly, I would have thought that an obvious point.
My initial cynical response was to complain that 'Wayne was too busy off being a genius to bother writing any memorable songs,' but that's completely unfair. This music never screams at you, "Take me seriously as a serious artist!" the way that The Soft Bulletin and (to a lesser extent) Yoshimi did. If anything, At War With The Mystics is too playful. Even the sadder-sounding songs are full of pointless noises, jokey vocoder-voice ugly shit, distorted fart noises, electronic bleeps, coughs, studio chatter and other things that completely detract and distract attention away from whatever it is we're ostensibly supposed to be listening to. Normally I like it when bands pile all sorts of things into the mix so you can hear something new every time you listen, but the Lips (Flaming) seem to have put no thought whatsoever into their unnecessary horsedoo extranea this time around. The mood just seems to be, "Whee! We're having fun! Listen to this ugly noise I can make with my effects processor!"
Another problem is that their musical tastes are clearly entering some subgenres where their songwriting skills aren't equipped to follow. Can they write a beautiful sad pop song? With their entire body tied behind its back. How about an eye-piercingly optimistic zoom through the park? Sure, why not. But I'm not sure they're the right band to be writing soul, country-rock, girl-pop and singer-songwriter AOR. Bully for them for trying, I guess, but it's almost insane how completely removed ANY of this music is from what the Flaming Lips once were. Perfect example: in his heavily circulated album track notes, he says of "The W.A.N.D." (the album's first single, btw) that "I was playing electric guitar, Michael was on fuzzwah bass and Steven was on the drumkit and we stumbled upon this druggy prog-rock riff and stuttery, funky beat. It was like Black Sabbath getting mashed up with Sly and the Family Stone or Stevie Wonder, and it sent us off in a wonderful new direction." Umm, no. What you've stumbled across is a SIMPLE, CATCHY GUITAR RIFF. The kind of thing that you guys used to write in your sleep. Remember "Pilot Can At The Queer Of God"? "The Magician Vs. The Headache"? "Bag Full Of Thoughts"? Dude -- you wrote those!
So that's about six negative paragraphs about a record I gave a 7/10 to. Let's try some positives now. First of all, Wayne is in good voice. Lots of harmony vocals and doubletracking and things. Secondly, his lyrics are typically optimistic and insightful, with a specific focus on rising above the pain and loss that life throws at you, refusing to fall into depression, and thereby defeating defeat itself. Win the war against the mystical forces that would try to kill our spirits. One of my favorite lyrics on the record is from the excellent orchestrated "My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion," when he warns of avoiding the influence of pessimists who "see the sun go down, but they don't see it rise." Which is pretty funny now that I think about it, considering how pessimistic this entire review has been. It's just that I used to be able to count on the Flaming Lips to bring new musical information to my ears and brain that would make me feel enlightened and enlivened. This record manages such a feat in only five tracks. To be fair, I only actively loathe one song ("It Overtakes Me" - the Gwen Stefani one), but with most of the others, I kinda have to listen past the ugly and stupid to get to the bright warm piece of goodness buried beneath. As for the five tracks I mentioned, I'm so pleased with them that I'd like to discuss each one individually, track-by-track like I said I wouldn't a few paragraphs ago.
"The Sound Of Failure" - Perfect title, perfect embodiment of that title. Two minor-key arpeggiated guitars (one acoustic, one electric) intertwine underneath sad vocals hither and thither, as Wayne sings of a young girl who has lost her best friend and can no longer fall for the empty happiness of pop culture. A wonderfully sad, sober song, even though there are some dumb noises in it.
"My Cosmic Autumn Rebellion" - Orchestrated muzak, but warm and wonderful in tone and message. TOTAL Brian Wilson.
"Haven't Got A Clue" - Another perfect title, though probably not in the way they intended. This was apparently the Lips' attempt to build a song on top of a composition created by a friend of the band. But NONE of the elements seem to go together at all! Not even a LITTLE bit! The chord changes are completely fucked up, all the instruments seem to be playing in different keys, none of the piano flourishes make any sense, and in pretty much the only case on the CD, the gallonfuls of weird electronic noises, coughs and racket actually seem to fit!
"The W.A.N.D." - The one with a guitar hook.
"Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung" - Pink Floyd mixed with Yes!!!! Flaming Lips go prog with EXCELLENT results! I absolutely love this song, and can't say enough good things about its galloping beat, sorrowful Floydian chord changes, Watersy gallop-bass-thumping, Yessy high vocal harmonics (by Steven apparently?), gigantic bombastic guitarbursts and recorder (?) countermelodies.
The rest of the album, as diverse and chance-taking as it is, can basically go jump in a hike as far as I'm concerned.
Take a lake, album! You hear me? Take a fuckin' lake!
Make like a leaf and TREE!!!!
Granted his 8/10 reviews for Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi sounded mixed too, and i'd give those 10s along with Zaireeka, and with Wayne and Michael in their mid 40s now expecting a fourth straight classic is probably too much (five if you go back to the almost perfect 10 of Clouds...). So if anything this set my expectations a little lower so that maybe I'll still love what I hear when the release date finally comes. I'll give Mark this... the 5 songs he really likes sound real good, and I'll probably give this album an 8 based on those if I like them as much.
Now that i've wasted my user comment on an album I've only heard part of one song from, go to Amazon.com next month to read my real review of At War With the Mystics when it finally comes out. If Mark only gives it a 7, I can pretty much guarantee I'll be at least an 8 on this, since I always tend to be a point or two higher than him on things like recent Lips. Or maybe I'll like it even less for some unexpected reason! Ah well. till next time off to watch my Soft Bulletin reissue 5.1 DVD...
Wayne really does look more like Barry Gibb every day btw.
Did you know if you play the first four Flaming Lips CDs all at the same time, it sounds better than At War With The Mystics?
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"The W.A.N.D." CD-single - Warner Bros. 2006
I originated in Tucson, Arizona when a woman accidentally dropped a burrito into a deep fryer and was about to shout, "Ay! Chingado!" (Spanish for "Oh, fuck! Fuck my fucking ass! Fuck a pile of fucking twat pussy shit cock ballsacs! Then eat my smelly ass, you pricks! Eat my smelly fucking ass!") but, realizing that children and young people were present, she quickly made up the term "Chimichanga!" and shouted "Chimichanga!" Then they all ate the fried burrito and died.
You know when the - hang on, somebody's picking me up. WHAT THE - AAAUUUGGGG
The Flaming Lips made the right decision when choosing "The W.A.N.D." as the first single off of their good but inconsistent At War With The Mystics CD. You see, "The W.A.N.D." is a very catchy, guitar-driven hook song that sounds more like mid-90s alt-rock Lips than modern-day orchestral pop Lips. And their choice wasn't in vein -- "The W.A.N.D." quickly shot up the Billboard Hot 100 chart where it resided for a record one week in mid-May 2006.
This CD-single features the album version of "The W.A.N.D.," plus non-LP filler tracks "You Got To Hold On" and "Time Travel... Yes!!" The first of these previously unreleased gems is an unremarkable piano chord construction busied up with ridiculously loud drums and an annoying 'boop-boop-boodoo! boop-boop-boo-boodoo!' Jackson Fivey backing vocal/keyboard line. The basswork is great throughout, but the uncomfortable cross between easy listening schmaltz-pop and bubblegum soul leaves a bad taste in my mouth, much like Henry The Dog last night after he ate a pile of human shit in Central Park.
This was kinda funny too, if you're into Henry The Dog and his many exciting experiences in today's world. See, something you should know about Henry The Dog is that he loves to chase raccoons. And Central Park is nothing if not literally filled end-to-end with raccoons covering every single square inch of earth. So last night, after treeing a couple of these 'wascally waccoons' (as we're fairly sure he'd call them if he were capable of saying anything besides "-ibble!"), he suddenly looked across the street at a tiny dog that was a few yards ahead of its owner, off-leash. The wife and I saw the gears of Henry's mind slowly clunking around as he thought to himself, "Small... Furry.... A tail... THAT'S A RACCOON!!!" Without warning, he then took off running as fast he could across the street toward the dog as its owner screamed "NO! NOOOOO!!!!!" and my wife yelled, "Henry! It's a DOG!!!" Luckily, rather than just biting down, Henry stopped short right as he got to the tiny beast, looked at its face and said (in Silent Dog Language), "Oh! You're a dog!" Then he trotted back up to Mommy (my wife) and Daddy (my wife's 7'2 black lover).
Then ten minutes later, he did the same fucking thing again -- to the SAME GODDAMNED DOG.
But enough about God's Genius Critters. It's now time to discuss the third track on the "The W.A.S.P. (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)" CD-single. Entitled "Time Travel... Yes!," this 'song' is a simple dreamy art-psych trumpet/synth line repeated 18,000,000 times in a row as Wayne - voice lowered by fancy machine - relates a confusing philosophy about how we can all 'travel through time' by tapping into our "early existential optimism -- a time even before the ability to reason... a time of glorious superhuman space-time." I'm not sure I get what he's saying, but the PsYcHeDeLiC art tones in the background are certainly a mesmerizing joy to the meditating ear.
In and of itself, it's a good CD-single. However, the album track is so much better than the flawed b-sides (by the way -- isn't it awesome when a critic calls a song or album "flawed," as if the artist made some sort of mistake other than simply FOLLOWING HIS MUSE? You might say that such critics have quite a high opinion of their own shitty musical taste!) that if you already own - or have plans to purchase - At War With The Terrorists, I wouldn't recommend picking this up just for the b-sides. Without the title track, this gets a 5, not a 7.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some serious business matters to attend to.
Hello, I'm a chimichanga. A deep fried burrito, if you will. But chimichangas can swim, and chimichangas can feel, and chimi --- jesus, why do I stink so bad?
(*looks in mirror*)
(*pens best-seller Black Like Me II: Ay! Chingado!*).
And I really should check out that single...
I saw the Lips last month... except for the fact that there was just ONE SONG (right, ONE SONG) from before The Soft Bulletin and it was "She Don't Use Jelly," it was a great show. The War With Mystics stuff sounds better live (they played 6 of those), all the Yoshimi and Bulletin stuff was great (3 songs apiece) and they even played Wesley Willis' song "The Flaming Lips" while they were setting up. Excellent.
Still, only "She Don't Use Jelly" from before The Soft Bulletin? I know they've been ignoring the first 5 albums for a while, but how about "Turn It On"? Or "Christmas At the Zoo" or "Bad Days" from Clouds? Ah well.
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It Overtakes Me EP - Warner Bros. 2006
The first bonus rarity track, "I'm Afraid Of Dying... Aren't You?" simply pulls one of the 'child farting' bass lines from "It Overtakes Me" and adds a late '60s Pink Floyd organ and vocal melody that Coyne intentionally plagiarized from Buckner & Garcia's "Goin' Berzerk" off of the top-selling Pac-Man Fever LP of yesteryear. You know what, Wayne Coyne? Up your nose, for what you did to Buckner & Garcia. It's one thing to hire a guy to murder them, but now you've STOLEN one of their KEY MELODIES and claimed it for YOURSELF!?! Try that shit with Yusuf Islam and see what happens ASsHOLE.
Oh, I'm sorry. "Yusuf Islam" is the Muslim name of the British singer-songwriter who had several hits in the 1970's under the name "Muhammad Ali."
The second non-At War With The Fish Sticks track is a remix of the terrible album track "Free Radicals" that replaces that song's pseudo-Prince funk-pop with a hilariously bland pile of bachelor pad muzak that sounds like Portishead ON ACID trying to play modern r'n'b ON HEROIN! Was remix duo "The Bird And The Bee" ON CRYSTAL METH when they recorded this? It sounds like Tricky ON PCP trying to smoke marijuana ON COCAINE!
And finally, it's yet another version of "Time Travel?? Yes!!," this time pairing the shitlessly boring voice of Blue's Clues' Steven Michael Burns against a playful yet dramatic piece of electronic sci-fi pop. Believe it or not, there's even a third version of this song out there ruining the world with its College Freshman philosophical musings. What, was Wayne ON LIPITOR when he w
In conclusion, if you're eagerly seeking an EP constructed around the two worst songs on the Flaming Lips' worst album, you probably can't do much better than It Overtakes Me.
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The Fearless Freaks 1986-2006 - Warner Bros. 2006
Furthermore, one time a bunch of recovering alcoholic birds brought their BEERLESS BEAKS over to my apartm
I've seen the Flambing Lips preform in the live context three times. All three times were on the Transmissions From The Satellite Heart tour, and every show was mindblowing. As such, I can't for the life of me figure out why Wayne picked these performances to share with the home listening audience. It's almost like he went through all his tapes going, "No, not that one - my voice sounds good. Eww skip that one - Ronald's guitar is in tune. Ugh! What is that? A good SONG!?" Otherwise, why in Christ's butthole would he include a version of "Shine On Sweet Jesus" where he sounds like he has a porcupine inside his throat? Or THREE FULL SONGS where Ronald's slidey guitar wavers horribly in and out of tune with every note he plays? And, while we're on the topic of "What the Hell were you thinking?"s, why does the CD begin with a spoken introduction from Wayne (?) followed by the original studio version of "Free Radicals," a song that (a) is already owned by 95% of the people who would bother to buy this CD, and (b) is certainly not going to sell At War With The Mystics to any former fans who bought this disc for the 80s/90s performances? IT'S A TERRIBLE SONG!!!!!
On the positive strip of grass between a girl's pussy, it also features (a) an intriguing 15-minute excerpt from Wayne's 1996 'Parking Lot Experiment,' (b) a raucous drum-heavy cover of the "Whole Lotta Love" coda (HA HA! FOOLED YOUR ASS -- "WHOLE LOTTA LOVE" ISN'T EVEN ON CODA!!!), (c) a not-bad Flock of Seagulls cover, and (d) best of all, a terrific 2005 orchestral/electronic/banjo home recording called "Enthusiasm For Life Defeats Existential Fear" that's better than 75% of the songs they put on AWWTM. Moody tones, Wayne sounding like he did in 1995, and sweet lyrics about waking from a nightmare to the bliss of real life treasures (his wife's smile, the sun, etc). It's a great song! What kind of dumb ass decided it wasn't good enough to go on an album that has fuckin' "Free Radicals" and "Gwen Stefani Power-Fisting Her Vagina" on it?! And don't tell me 'an African Wild Ass,' because those guys are SMART! Did you know that the adult male defends his territory by marking it with a DUNG HEAP?
In conclusion, Wayne Coyne marked At War With The Mystics with "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song" so that listeners would recognize it as his album and stay away from the estrous females within.
See, it's amazing how it all came together in the end. Like me and your wife!
Err, what I MEANT to write was, "Like me and your STRIFE!" Because when I showed up at your home, I brought STRIFE.
In the form of a Dick Airlines flight coming in for a landing on the positive strip of grass between your wife's pussy.
See, this is why I'm Poet Laureate!
Andrew "Feel My Dick In" Motion
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Once Beyond Hopelessness: The Original Christmas On Mars Film Score - Warner Bros. 2008
What is this, a bunch of "Ahhhhh"s and harp flourishes and synthesizers? Look, here's me: (*takes shit; gives it to somebody*).
Fake horns? Strings, pulses, loud booming drones, chirrupy bell-toned synths? Fine if you're testing out a new hearing aid, but where are the "osngs"? Or, spelled more accurately, "songs"? Better try looking somewhere ELSE if that's what you're after!
Once Beyond Hopelessness? Yeah, more like "ALBUM Beyond Hopelessness" if you ask me what I care to think!
Who takes a celestial piece of harmonic wiggly vocals and names it "In Excelsior Vaginalistic"!? Christ, that's like naming your son "Thing That Came Out Of A Pussy"! Don't do that; kids are mean and will tell jokes.
On a completely different and unrelated matter, what kind of shit-for-cots records a big Teutonic marching theme and then names it "The Gleaming Armament Of Marching Genitalia"!? Jesus, why not just name your daughter "I Made Her With My Dick"? Sure, it seems hilarious at the time, but before you know it the child welfare people are thowin' a hissy flute.
Look, it's nobody's business but their own if Ohio's favorite Oklahoma band The Flaming Lips decides to make some shitty movie I haven't seen. But to FORCE me with FORCE to sit here and LISTEN to their la-de-da instrumental tinker-tanker VOMIT THAT TASTES LIKE SHIT BECAUSE YOU SUCKED IT OUT OF A FAT MAN'S ASS is, in the words of Michael Nesmith, "Tantamount To Treason, Volume One."
But maybe the problem lies with me, Brad Anderson. Is it possible that I've gotten so swept up in creating new and hilarious adventures for Marmaduke and the Winslow family that I can no longer enjoy the subtle charms of a musical soundswell? Perhaps instead of placing so much of my attention on the wild and woolly antics of Dottie and Phil -- not to mention their rapscallion children Barbara and Billy -- I should've spent more time learning to appreciate the sonic tones of the younger generation?
But wait a minute! Didn't I win the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Newspaper Panel Cartoon in 1978? That's hardly a bob to sneeze your snooze to! And what about my George Arents Pioneer Medal for Syracuse University alumni? They don't give THAT to just any old Tom, Dick and Harry, I'll tell you that right now!
Oh, who am I kidding. I've wasted 55 motherfucking years of my life drawing a gigantic dog. At 7 years a stretch, that big red piece of shit is like 400 years old at this point. And don't think I haven't tried to sneak a dick in there a couple times. Oh, I have, believe me. Somehow United Features Syndicate always notices and scratches it out prior to publication. They're at least kind enough not to mention it to me; that would be humiliating for both of us.
But hey? Who am I to complain, eh? At least I'm not George Lichty. Poor guy hung himself with a piano wire after 50 miserable years of Grinning And Bearing It. I'd like to see Mike Peters pull that off. Stupid little fairy would probably need "Grimmy" to tie the noose for him har har!
What the world really needs now is a Marmaduke soundtrack - and a Marmaduke movie to go with it! Come on, Michael Bay -- quit wasting your time on piss-poor horror film remakes and invest your billions in a can't-miss project for once! Who doesn't love Marmaduke? Don't you see!? He's a gigantic dog!! He jumps on people and knocks them down!! Do you even NEED a script!?
I've listened to the soundtrack twice. It's really boring. But there are one or two okay bits, if they come up on your iPod on random, or something like that. Nothing to seek out, though.
Add your thoughts?
Embryonic - Warner Bros. 2009
Heh heh, little "hacky-sack" joke for all the speech impediment folks out there.
I don't like to talk shop here on the old review page, but there's something I have to get off my chest. (*removes 35-pound tick from left nipple*) You know what I'm working on now? Just between you and me? A media alert about a new brand of Kosher Beef Jerky. That's right; you read it right. As you probably know, I'm hummish or goyen or whatever word they use to describe non-Jews. GENTILE! That's it. As you probably know, I'm gentle so it breaks my heart when advertising slogans like these pop uninvited into my mind:
- "So the next time the Rabbi catches you jerkin' off, tell him 'Hey man! It's Kosher!'"
- "Hi, I'm God! Jesus wasn't my son and mmmmm is this good beef jerky!"
- "Put some jerky in your yarmulke! (pronounced 'yar-mul-key' for our purposes here today)"
- "It's tasty, it's beefy and best of all - it's Kosher! Don't eat it with cheese though or you'll go to Hell."
Anyway, that's the bag I'm in. Also, the neighbors down the hall bought this monstrous evil little shit dog who shrieks at the top of his assholish prick lungs whenever he hears a noise in the hall (ie every four seconds) and tries to bite me and Henry The Dog every chance it gets, the son of a whore. I love doggies more than Roman Polanski loves raping little kids, but even I want to step on this little piece of shit's head and grind its skull into the dirt. FUCK YOU, dog down the hall.
Say! You're probably here to read about the new Flaming Lips album, Embryonic. As such, let's talk about Henry The Dog a little bit. Man, does that dog like food. I know what you're thinking: "Mark, that's crazy. Dogs hate food. Usually you have to put a little IV in their arm to get the Kibble in." but it's true! Every day, he walks me to one of two places: (1) The Treat Lady -- a woman on 3rd Avenue who owns a moving company and gives about a billion treats to any dog that stops by to say hello, or (2) McDonald's. He's on this really big cheeseburger kick, which is bad for both of us because I always end up eating half of his cheeseburger to protect his sick kidneys from oversalting, and the next thing you know I've ballooned to 650 pounds! Then it takes forever to get back down to my target weight of 647.
I am overeager and Jubilant Johnny to inform you that the new Flaming Lips album sounds nothing like any album they've released in their 24-year recording history. After three albums of increasingly slick and smug hipster non-rock, they've pulled a 500-eighty and released a DARK PSYCH ROCK album! With an insanely raw mix full of overdistortion and noise, this 70-minute/18-song disc combines dark '60s psych rock with Miles Davis-style '70s fusion to create a wild freakout hippy trip of evil in the desert!
This is by far the least "friendly and welcoming" Flaming Lips album in history, not only due to its insistently menacing bass and keyboard riffs, but because Wayne has removed all hints of humanity from his singing voice. No longer the sweet high-pitched wavery guy next door, he now sounds like the guy from Silver Apples -- emotionless, possessed, reciting his dark words like a cult leader to his flock. Even in the few instances when he uses his old familiar style, his voice is buried under layers of echo/delay, reverb and -- in one hilarious case (hilarious because it's otherwise the sweetest and most approachable song on the record) -- a vocoder effect that makes him sound like a space robot!
The songs are primarily driven by brooding bass lines, with eerie '70s organ filling in the spaces and a bit of light guitar flicker-flackering at the edges. Some songs are nearly drumless; others are drowned in calamitous snare and cymbals. The songs are definitely less fleshed-out and perfected than any Lips album since Telepathic Surgery (leading a pair of my FaceBook Friends to declare "They forgot to write songs with this one" and "A lot of it seems half-baked"), but taken as a full-length artistic statement, it's a tremendously enjoyable trip to the Dark Side Of The Coyne. Yes, the 'modal jam' mood can get a little samey and some of the tracks are just snippets of larger improvisations, but the mood is so relentlessly DARK and the experience so absolutely unlike any ever presented to us by this band that I must give it my highest possible recommendation (8 out of 10) (not sure what those other 2 numbers are for).
And the lyrics suit the music perfectly! "I wish I could go back in time," Wayne sings sadly, "I would have warned you those people were evil." Not to be out-depressinged, Steven laments, "Love is powerful, but not as powerful as evil." Even the record's sole "She Don't Use Jelly"-style novelty song ("I Can Be A Frog") is set to a creepy piece of Halloween music! And look, I'm not saying this is a Swans album or something; it's not literally depressing like that. It's just excessively moody, broody and tattooedy, especially for a band as historically uplifting (musically, anyway) as the Flaming Lips.
So stop playing Yar's Revenge on your Playstation 7 and get your ass over to the link at the bottom of this page! Embryonic is long like my dick and filled with great songs like my dick after I shove a Beatles album up it!
In retrospect, I probably should've just written that instead of actually doing it! You wouldn't have known the difference anyway!
Still, you gotta admit that underneath all the blood, sperm and meaty pulp, there are some great songs up my dick right now!
And WTF am I eating while reading your review???????? Argh!!!!
I don't get the "they forgot to write songs with this one" sentiment a lot of folks have, there's some stuff on here that ranks among their best material yet. Takes a while to sink in though. And it's, well, dark.... like has been mentioned before. cool. i might even give it a 9. but then again I gave Mystics an 8 (a low one though) and Zaireeka, Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi three 10s in a row so whatever. guess I'm still kinda a fanboy. I'm gonna listen to some Telepathic Surgery now once this Bob Mould album ends.
Add your thoughts?
The Dark Side Of The Moon (with Stardeath And White Dwarves, Henry Rollins and Peaches) - Warner Bros. 2009
THE THREE THOUGHTS (12:51)
a) Call attorney; find out how I can get some money out of this.
b) Why The Dark Side Of The Moon!? Did they somehow miss the cover versions by Dream Theater, Out Of Phase, E.S.P., the String Quartet, that a capella group, and Billy Sherwood's band of assholes? Come on, that album's been covered to death and back. Besides, Radio K.A.O.S. is a much more powerful statement.
c) Ask Mark Prindle if I can review it for his site.
Well, look at that! Here we are at #3. I'd like to first make a few general comments about the record, then do a quick track-by-track synopsis to save you the time and trouble of downloading the tired retread of my past glories.
THE GENERAL COMMENTS (9:32)
a) Not enough sound effects. When I think of all the great noises they could've added with today's digital technology (ex. an iron lung in the middle of "Breathe," an actual brain surgery in "Brain Damage," Jimi Hendrix playing in a hot air balloon for "The Great Gig In The Sky"), it literally sickens me, making me violently ill.
b) The idea to cast famous thespian Henry Rollins (Johnny Mnemonic, Heat, Bad Boys II) in the role of "Every Spoken Word On The Record" was an inspired one. Not only is his voice instantly recognizable to moviegoers the world round, but finally my less intelligent listeners (i.e. Americans) will be able to understand such key pieces of dialogue as "I mean, they're not gonna kill you. So if you give 'em a quick short sharp shock, they won't do it again, dig it?"
c) Who is Stardeath And White Dwarves, and why did The Flaming Lips feel incapable of performing the album without the assistance of a second band? You didn't see Pink Floyd teaming up with The Captain And Tennille for Wish You Were Here, did you? And even if we had, I wouldn't have mentioned them in the credits so you wouldn't have known.
d) The keyboardist isn't providing enough creative input. Put him on salary.
e) Although the screaming guitar feedback, distorted bass, vintage keyboards and overmodulated mix all recall Embryonic, this disc lacks the Miles Davis fusion influence that so defined that work. (I wouldn't normally have listened to their previous record, but I figured I could sue them if it sounded too much like my old song "Embryo." Especially since our drummer was named Nick.)
f) Seriously, what's wrong with Radio K.A.O.S.? Henry Rollins would've sounded great through that little robot microphone.
g) The artists take care to approach each track in a different manner, ranging from near-copy to complete rewrite and striking mood alteration to straight parody. Best of all, they don't appear to have learned any of David Gilmour's parts at all. Ha ha ha! Up your ass, Fatty!
THE TRACK-BY-TRACK SYNOPSIS (20:51)
a) "Speak To Me" - Fantastic 'heartbeat' sound effect!
b) "Breathe" - Christ, did anybody bother listening to the song before recording it? Hey monkey band, there's a second chord in there! Pricks. Maybe the second chord is implied, but only if the listener is willing to infer it. And what's with all the energy!? Poor Nick would've had a stroke trying to keep up with this frantic medium pace.
c) "On The Run" - I slave for fifteen hours over an electrical suitcase to create the coolest doodly-doodly noise possible, and you replace it with a funk jam!? Don't make me spit in your face and then write an album about it. I'm told that your version sounds like the Butthole Surfers' "Creep In The Cellar" mixed with The Fall's "Two-Face," but punk rock is rubbish so I wouldn't know.
d) "Time" - Fantastic sound effects! The nuclear meltdown beeping! The buzzing! The syncopated stereo breathing! The bonus track on Hit To Death In The Future Head! (Normally I wouldn't have listened to an earlier Flaming Lips record, but I was hoping to score some courtroom cash if it sounded too much like Amused To Death, especially since I recorded that album "in the future" with my "head.") Honestly, I'm pretty fond of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon, but this is the one case where I think the Flaming Lips might've actually outdone us -- mainly by replacing David Gilmour's bitter vocals and pissy guitarwork with gentle tremeloed strumming and sad little boy vocals. Where did Gilmour get all his bitterness and anger anyway? I tried to keep Pink Floyd a happy lot filled with fun and good times -- heck, I'm sure you've heard "San Tropez" -- but every time that sad sack came around, the whole band turned into a blumberbuss. Thank God I'm on my own now, where I can record hilarious comedy records like Ca Ira.
e) "The Great Gig In The Sky" - Jeepers, this 'Peaches' woman is every bit as ear-stabbingly awful as Clare Torry! I was always irritated by the record company typo here; obviously the song was supposed to be called "The Great Pig In The Sky"; haven't you people seen the Animals album cover? Obviously Capitol Records hadn't, four years earlier, because that typo is ridiculous.
f) "Money" - Pretty lazy sound effects, guys. However, thank you for understanding that this song was always intended to be humorous -- your stiff novelty robot rendition had me laughing up a gentle storm! It's been so difficult to laugh since my father died in the War.
g) "Us And Them" - Such a beautiful organ tone -- a perfect tribute to my dear friend Richard Wright, with whom I shared so many good times (before I fired his cokehead ass). However, by not singing into a delay/repeat pedal, you've ruined the song. Did you intentionally set out to piss biscuits all over my masterpiece when you woke up that morning? Hell, even Dave The Lardass's arpeggios would be a sight for sore ears at this point.
h) "Any Colour You Like" - Funky! You sure that's not me playing bass? I'm a funky man! But you know that; you've heard "Grantchester Meadows."
i) "Brain Damage" - I've never heard Radiohead because punk rock is rubbish, but I'm told that your version of this song is beautifully Radiohead-esque in its fuzzy electronic solitude. Say! Who's that on vocals? It's certainly not Wayne Coyne. Wait! Is it Nick Mason??? If so, I get a cut from that.
j) "Eclipse" - And a fine ending to a passable cover album. I love the way you keep switching the placement of the five-beat emphasis at the start of each verse! First it's at the front, then it's at the back, then it's at the front, then it's (and so forth). One thing though: Henry Rollins may be one of the greatest actors of our time, but he totally flubbed his last line. The actual final phrase on the album is "There is no Dark Side Of The Moon really; as a matter of fact, it's just Meddle with a different album cover."
With Neon Indian EP - Warner Bros./Lovely Sorts of Death 2011
On one of the last vacations I took with my wife before she announced that our marriage was over and left me a decaying wreck of weeping garbage, I happened upon a terrible song on our rental Satellite Car Radio. At the end of this absolutely pathetic excuse for a godawful piece of shit, the DJ announced that it had been "Deadbeat Summer" by Neon Indian. I knew then and there that Neon Indian would go on to stink up a Flaming Lips EP.
Wayne Coyne and his Flaming Lips have correctly surmised that illegal downloading has destroyed the compact disc market, and are reacting to the news in a wonderful and unique way: by experimenting with their music, packaging and distribution, safe in the knowledge that (a) their limited edition releases will sell at any price to obsessive collectors, and (b) all the songs are going to end up the Internet in ten minutes anyway. On the down side, the experimental nature of the work means that half of it is just jammy dickaroundery. But on the upper hand, they plan to put out a crazyass limited edition release every month for the next year!
The first release in this series, "Two Blobs Fucking," is not reviewed here because it's an Internet-only follow-up to Zaireeka that requires about 700 computers to be playing at the same time. This Neon Indian collaboration is number two (in more ways than one), and was released as a limited edition of 1,000 colored vinyl EPs shipped to various independent record stores across our great nation. The music here is a very loose and untutored take on psychedelia, as if a group of children happened upon an electronics playground and gleefully doodled around with the equipment. Everything is distorted, echoey, spacey, squiggly -- and terribly underdeveloped.
Standout track "Is David Bowie Dying?" is a likeable piece of experimental electronic balladry, but the other three tracks are just improvised jams of varying quality: "Alan's Theremin" is certainly pretty, but doesn't deserve to be dragged on for 5,000 goddamned years; "You Don't Respond" would be jazz-pop if the entire band hadn't been asleep while recording it; and "Do You Want New Wave Or Do You Want The Truth, Pt. II" is just a rhythm section rehearsal with a lawnmower overdubbed on top of it. As the great Jimmy Rotten once said, "Ever get the feeling you've been Cheetos?"
This may not be the finest Flaming Lips record in the omniverse, but it got me to thinking: what if ALL our favorite records were limited edition collaborations between great artists and talentless dunces? I think our home collections would look something like this:
Slayer and Lady Gaga: Poker (Through The) Face 7"
Swans w/ Britney Spears: Oops!... We Raped A Slave Again
AC/DC Meets Jennifer Lopez: Goldibutt and the Five Dwarves EP
The Fall and 30 Seconds To Mars in: "29 Too Many, Bleedin' Bloody Half Wits"
Radiohead with Chris Brown: OK Computer, I'm Gonna Whoop Your Ass! (If You're A Girl or A Window)
And that'd be it! We'd each own five records.
Gummy Song Skull EP - Warner Bros./Lovely Sorts of Death 2011
Look at this thing.
Am i right? Who's with me?
The third entry in the Flaming Lips' monthly "Strange Release" extravaganza is an edible gummy skull with a vagina on the top. When you stick your hand into this vagina, you find a USB drive featuring four songs. And by "you," I mean "probably not you at all" because each skull costs $150!
Don't feel bad about your inability to waste good money on artistic eccentricities though, because this is just more loose experimental stuff along the lines of With Neon Indian or the Embryonic instrumentals. Each track is raw and blistering -- full of feedback, line noise, echo/delay effects, '60s electronics, and microphones turned up until they distort. But again, too much jamming and not enough writing is its downfall.
Opener "Drug Chart" is actually quite emotional and memorable, with a worried bass/keyboard motif accompanying overmodulated guitar, harmonized Wayne and catchy left-speaker drumbeat until it turns into a bunch of synth farts and static. Laidback '70s groove "Walk With Me" isn't bad either, though a second part might've helped if they were intent on making it six minutes long. The other two tracks are awful -- modal jam "In Our Bodies, Out Of Our Heads" sounds like Bitches Brew performed by a band of stoned quadruplegics, and nine-minute closer "Hillary's Time Machine Machine" is the most infuriatingly directionless recording in the history of the band -- and considering this is the band who ended one of their CDs with thirty minutes of a single repeating noise, that's saying something.
But you know what's fascinating? The fact that, after a quarter-century of evolution from a druggy psych-garage band to rising indie noisemakers to guitar-driven folk-pop-rock geniuses to symphonic pop statesmen, the Flaming Lips have intentionally returned right back where they began -- churning out loud druggy psych rock. In all honesty, I would not be surprised if Wayne were to reveal that "Walk With Me" was actually an unreleased outtake from The Flaming Lips EP. It even sounds like Mark Coyne on vocals!
What the? Well, look what just came through on the Telefax! It's the Flaming Lips' entire release schedule for the rest of the year! Here, I'll share it with you, out of love:
MAY: GUMMY FETUS EP
JUNE: GUMMY BEAR SITTING IN A CHAIR EP
JULY: DISGUSTING GIANT VAGINA BICYCLE WITH A WOMAN STANDING NEXT TO IT EP
AUGUST: BAG FULL OF THOUGHTS EP
SEPTEMBER: BULL SHIRT EP
OCTOBER: GERBIL YOU SQUISH INTO THE CD PLAYER EP
NOVEMBER: SORRY ABOUT THE GERBIL EP
DECEMBER: VERY BAD EP
Gummy Song Fetus EP - Warner Bros./Lovely Sorts of Death 2011
Their recent experimental tendencies continue here, but in a more firmly melodic and song-oriented form. Plus, any EP that begins with the sound of a doggy barking gets an automatic 8.
"Enthusiasm for Life Defeats Existential Fear Part 2" doesn't sound a whit like its mope-paced predecessor, instead bubbling and bobbling along on a jogger's heartbeat, fizzy drone, gentle Stereolab organ and killer Byrds/Beatles guitar lick. At their best, Yo La Tengo write songs like this. (At their worst, Yo La Tengo write all their other songs.)
"Steven's Moonbrow" just kinda wisps around, but it's tiny so who cares.
Your real concern should be closing track "Squishy Glass," a piece of bachelor pad zone-out music demented by creepy-as-hell discordant electronic tones, like an alternate Pet Sounds by an even more schizophrenic Brian Wilson.
Although most of these limited-edition EPs have left me fearing for the artistic future of the band, the two key tracks here give me hope that there's still some gasoline left in that old Flaming Lips engine. Also, when you mix up the letters in "Flaming Lips," you get "If'n Pigs Mall." And this got me to thinking, "Well, what *IF'N* pigs went to the mall?" I think it'd look something like this:
- Instead of a food court, there'd be a SLOP court!
- Instead of a JC Penney's, there'd be a JC PEN!
- Instead of a bacon store, there'd be a FAT FUCKEN COCK!
Yes, it surely would be a magical, mystical world "If'n Pigs Mall." But sadly, they don't.
And this got me to thinking, "Well, why *DON'T* pigs mall???" I think the answer looks something like this:
- Sanitation problems
- They could bite people
- They're pigs
And this got me to thinking, "Did I have a stroke in the middle of this review?"
With Prefuse 73 EP - Warner Bros./Lovely Sorts of Death 2011
Prefuse 73 is a 35-year-old music producer named Scott Herren. I've never heard a thing by him, but that doesn't mean he doesn't exist. It simply means that his music doesn't exist.
This EP includes four pieces of slow "Anything goes!" electronic druggy experimentation that pit the most fragile of song structures against armies of electronic signals, oscillations, beeps, tones, swoops and swooshes. Krautrockers will toss a Hitler to the manic super-rhythms and modal grooves of "The Super Moon Made Me Wanna Pee!!!" and disoriented smackheads will Velvet their Undergrounds to the molasses clouds of "Heavy Star Moving..." and "Guillermo's Bolero," but nobody in the world will stay in the room during the amateurish line noise and hopeless off-key vocal meanderings of "Be Like That... That... That..." I'm Mark Prindle and I'm here to tell you one thing: if you're making a record with Prefuse 73, you're gonna have to try harder. Because apparently he doesn't do anything.
Look, here's something somebody did:
With Lightning Bolt EP - Warner Bros./Lovely Sorts of Death 2011
F is for FREAK OUT. What the guy does on the drums.
L is for LAZY. Write a fucking song, you bums!
A is for AVANT GARDE. That's what they think they are.
M is for MASTURBATE. All over Wayne's guitar.
I is for INTERESTING. What they hoped it'd be.
N is for NOISES. More so than melody.
G is for GOOKIE. That's good enough for me!
L is for LENGTHY. Somber, cold and placid.
I is for "I'M Working at NASA on Acid."
P is for PSYCHEDELIC. Hippy Druggy Heaven!
S is for SPACEY. By which I don't mean Kevin.
W is for WACKY VOICE! Get his throat a bandage!
I is for "I Want to Get High, But I Don't Want Brain Damage."
T is for TWANG! The bass is bouncing like a Pinto!
H is for HAR HAR! Leave this shit to Dr. Demento.
L is for LOUSY. And I'm trying to be gentle.
I is for IDIOTS. Oh excuse me --"experimental."
G is for GARBAGE. They're just remixing the first song!
H is for HEADACHE. Fuckin' pricks can suck my bing-bong.
T is for TORTURE. Drum explosions; feel their wrath!
N is for "NASA'S Final Acid Bath."
I is for IHHHHHH! Overmodulated racket!
N is for NO THANKS! Shove it back into its jacket!
G is for GENESIS. They sucked, but had Steve Hackett.
B is for BLASTING. This guitar is loud as money!
O is for OBNOXIOUS. Track two's vocals still aren't funny
L is for LETDOWN. Two great bands churned out this dog pee!?
U is for FUCK YOU! 'Cuz you wanted me to write "T."
Add your thoughts?
Strobo Trip - Warner Bros./Lovely Sorts of Death 2011
You know, usually when I accuse a song of dragging on for an inordinate amount of time, I'm just pulling the wool over your eyes and taking the piss on it. Examples include:
- DRI's "Beneath the Wheel," which I bitterly claimed "drags on for about seventy-nine hours"
- Heavenly Ten Stems' "Aaj Ki Raat," which I angrily claimed "drags on for like 400 thousand years"
- Miles Davis' "Footprints," which for some reason caused me to reference an early '80s Moody Blues track and state that it "drags on for 22,000 days"
- Kiss' "100,000 Years (Live)," which influenced me to be clever and witty for a moment, during which I wrote that it "drags on for 100,000 years, if I may be so clever and witty for a moment"
- Suicidal Tendencies' "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today (Heavy Emotion Version)," which, according to MarkPrindle.com, "drags on for nine thousand years. No wait - eight thousand."
But this is no joke. The Flaming Lips deliberately sat down and recorded a six-hour song. And how does one write a six-hour song? Well, essentially you write a six-minute song and then drag each thirty-second section out for half an hour. And that's pretty much what the Fucking Lips have done here! Every thirty minutes, almost on the dot, whatever they're playing suddenly wafts away to be replaced by something different. So you get a 30-minute psychedelic drug jamfest followed by a 30-minute fuzzy bass/guitar peace explosion followed by a 30-minute annoying ringy guitar noise over blues-rock bass line, and on and on an on through lengthy hypnotic passages that range from the beautiful and harmonious to the dark and rhythmic, and from the silly and acidic to the modal and noisy. There is an awful lot of music to absorb here -- some so lovely it hurts, some so amateurish it's painful -- but don't worry: it'll only take you a quarter-day to get through it!
The funniest thing about it is that, aside from several refrains of the hooky title lyric, the only vocals on the song are four lengthy passages of Sean Lennon reciting names over a phone. "What the!?" you're wondering. "Whose names ARE these of which you speak!?" Well, before recording the song, The Flaming Lips announced that any fans who donated $100 to the band's favorite charity would have their name included in the song -- and a LOT of people took them up on it! Can you imagine!? Why, that would be like ME announcing that anybody who donated $1 to my PayPal account would get to hear their name in my review of the song!
I can't imagine that I will ever get the urge to hear the song again -- at least not in its entirety -- but I'm glad I heard it once. It's actually not bad at all! It also completely alters the way that you listen to music -- repetitive passages that would seem far too long at eight minutes somehow make sense when extended to half an hour. Man alive will that title melody get stuck in your head though.
Now here are a bunch of my recent Facebook updates (warning: they get pretty sad near the end):
Mark Prindle has a strict rule that every album must be listened to in its entirety at least twice -- and preferably thrice -- before being reviewed. This rule will be broken for the Flaming Lips' six-hour song.
Mark Prindle is seven minutes into the Flaming Lips' six-hour song. You know, I liked "Embryonic" a lot, but they really need to get past this "pump everything so loud that it distorts" obsession. It's already worn really thin.
Mark Prindle is now five hours and seven minutes into the Flaming Lips' six-hour song! It's kind of disappointing that it's just an extended dance mix of "She Don't Use Jelly" though.
Just donate $1 to The Mark Prindle Animals Fund For Children And The Starving Diseases (PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll speak your name aloud in a video embedded in my review of The Flaming Lips' six-hour song! It'll be like you paid $100 to have them speak your name in their song, but much cheaper and less exciting!
It's official: The Flaming Lips really are working on a 24-hour song. So your choice is clear: you can either listen to one Flaming Lips song, or listen to the Dwarves' "Blood Guts & Pussy" LP 110 times in a row.
Mark Prindle hasn't had a drop of alcohol in five months. Luckily I'm still drunk from that enormous glass of vodka I had on April 10th! Whee!!!!!!!!!
At work, whenever I email two people at once, I use the greeting "Hope you both are well." It is then nearly IMPOSSIBLE to resist typing, "Please come see me in the citadel."
So what's the concensus on this new Mastodon album? I have it, but haven't listened to it yet. Also, I'm not sure if that's how you spell "concensus."
So what's the consinsis on this new Misfits album? I have it, and it doesn't have any good songs on it. Also, I'm 110% positive that that's how you spell "consinsis."
I don't know what Internet radio station the guy next to me at work listens to, but they play "Blister in the Sun" EVERY SINGLE DAY. Aside from the entire Billy Joel songbook, there may be no song I despise quite as much as that one.
Mark Prindle and his girlfriend spent nearly half an hour the other night looking up offensive and anatomical words on Dictionary.com just for the joy of clicking on the "Audio" button and hearing them said aloud. HEE HEEEEEEE!!!!! We're nine years old.
My girlfriend found it hilarious when I woke her up the other morning by screaming in my sleep, "GO F*CK YOURSELF!" while throwing punches in her direction. Yes, that's what I'll keep telling myself. She found it "hilarious."
Mark Prindle can't seem to get Freddie and the Dreamers' "I'm Telling You Now" out of his head. Except his head is singing it as "I'm eating your cow," rendering it 400 times more annoying.
Mark Prindle just watched "Bend It Like Beckham" for the second time. Kiera Knightley is weird-
Mark Prindle just saw 50/50. It was 95/5!
TODAY'S DARE: This one's for you guys. I dare you to stand up right now, walk around your workplace, and say very loudly, "Man, my sperm hurts today!" I'm curious whether a nonsensical comment like that counts as sexual harrassment or not. Please let me know.
I can't wait until Ray Manzarek dies, so I can say "It's a shame about Ray." Actually, I suppose that's not a very compelling argument for wishing somebody dead.
Do you use various pet names when speaking to your dog? Lately I've caught myself calling mine "Wooferton B. Gooferton" and "Goose'n'gander Salamander." I wonder if they sound as asinine to him as they do to me.
Mark Prindle feels that what the world needs now more than ever is that "Well you can call me Ray, and you can call me Jay" guy.
I'm so upset about Steve Jobs' passing that my only option is to eat at Pizza Uno for the third night in a row.
The only thing that matters is Steve Jobs. If you're typing something right now and it's not about Steve Jobs, SHUT UP.
Dear Facebook: Your latest changes are great! Keep 'em coming! You're doing a great job!Best, Google
Mark Prindle just watched "Year of the Dog." It was among the worst movies I've ever seen in my life. It was so slow and pointless, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.
Silly me. I'm sittin' here thinking Tom G. Warrior is shouting "And piss me off!" when he's clearly, and obviously, saying "Abysmi os!" I'm such the fool.
Mark Prindle just got home from the "Bodies" exhibition. WARNING: It has very little to do with the Sex Pistols song.
Mark Prindle is totes listening the HELL out of this ASS-KICKING new HARDCORE SMASH-YOUR-FACE-IN Tori Amos album.
It is now September 11th, 2011 -- 10 years since the release of my least favorite Slayer album.
Mark Prindle for some reason just got the idea of a Killing Joke tribute band led by a Billy Joel impersonator. I'd call it "Billing Joelke."
Mark Prindle just watched the Spanish horror film "To let." Notice there's no "i" in it!
Mark Prindle just watched "Milk." It was even better than the stuff that comes out of a cow! (manure)
Henry The Dog is barking in his sleep right now. I hear the secrets that he keeps.
First the West Memphis Three and now Amanda Knox!? It's a great year to be a wrongly imprisoned white person!
Mark Prindle just spent about an hour on YouTube watching Def Leppard videos with his girlfriend. Here were my takeaways: 1) it IS true that they started off as a NWOBHM band, but they were a lousy one. And Joe Elliott used to sing in a boring low register!; 2) "Photograph" is an astonishingly catchy song; 3) "Rocket" has the dumbest lyrics I've ever heard; 4) the drummer always wears Union Jack panties onstage; and 5) "Let's Get Rocked" ALSO has the dumbest lyrics I've ever heard.
Mark Prindle just watched the "Dance of the Dead" and "The 'V' Word" episodes of "Masters of Horror." The latter was a decent enough vampire tale (particularly its small but creepy Michael Ironside performance), but the former is just further evidence that Tobe Hooper's brain has turned into a cabbage over the past two decades.
Does Alice Coltrane's "Journey in Satchidananda" actually count as jazz!? If so, I guess I'm a jazz fan! Thanks, whoever recommended it!
Does Miles Davis's "Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet" actually count as jazz!? If so, I guess I hate jazz again! It's getting a 3/10.
Picture in your head the sounds of generic early '50s jazz music. Hear it? That's Miles Davis's "Blue Haze" album! Like it? Good for you! I don't! It's getting a 1/10!
Wikipedia reports that "Miles Davis's 'Round About Midnight is widely recognized by jazz critics as a landmark album in hard bop and one of the greatest jazz albums of all time." I'm giving it a 2 out of 10.
Mark Prindle is shocked to learn that he doesn't much care for the 1958 "Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants" LP. I pray that my heart will survive this massive, massive shock.
Mark Prindle just listened to Miles Davis' "Moods of Miles" for review. I don't want to tell you what grade I'm giving it, but I'll give you three hints (out of ten).
Mark Prindle plans to award Miles Davis All Stars' 1954 "Walkin'" LP a... umm.... You know what, why don't I just let you know if I run across any that I *like*?
It's now been SIX MONTHS since I drank my last drop of alcohol!!!! (Because all my drink money is now going towards my $5000/day meth habit)
Mark Prindle was disheartened to learn from today's x-ray that Henry The Dog has a gigantic mass in his chest cavity -- the size of his heart. :7( Here's hoping it's not malignant.
Henry has cancer.
I appreciate all of your kind thoughts about Henry. But the tumor is huge and I don't want him to have to suffer through chemotherapy at his age, so I'm just going to give him lots of treats and hugs until he lets me know he is in too much pain, and then I'll let him go.
He's not doing well.
Henry's not doing well today. He's been having coughing fits every 15 minutes, sometimes coughing up blood. I'm picking him up a strong cough suppressant/painkiller from the vet tomorrow, but the fact that this is happening is probably evidence that the cancer has spread even further.
My sweet Henry dog is gone. I loved him so much. I feel like I'll never stop crying.
Thank you all so much for your kind words about Henry. It makes me feel great to know that he was loved by so many people, most of whom never even had the chance to meet him in person! (Or in "dog," rather) I'm still mourning, but am past crying and just remembering all the great times we had.
My new office colleagues just brought me a cupcake and pet condolence card signed by the whole team. That's just downright nice.
Every time I say "I miss my dog," somebody says "You should foster!" I understand their thinking, but it's faulty. I don't miss "a dog". I miss MY dog. If somebody says they miss their recently-deceased wife, do you respond "You should date!"?
I'm Agnostic, but I now understand why so many people find religion as they age -- because I've discovered that I really, really hope there's a Doggy Heaven. I want to believe that my little friend is still running around wagging somewhere.
Add your thoughts?
This is what we computer people call a "link" back to the "index page" of the "web site." If you "click" on this text with your "mouse," you will have an "aneurysm" and "diarrhea all over your chair."