Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“Tasered and Maced” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The  Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

The final song of the album features Chris Martin from Coldplay on the vinyl release.  But it’s something else entirely on digital releases.  This is the digital song.

This song is a slow echoing piano-based song that opens with some very familiar lyrics:

Imagine there’s no Heaven, it’s easy if you try

Despite the lyrics, the melody is nothing like “Imagine”  In fact he changes it to his own very Lips-ian idea:

No hell below us, you don’t go anywhere when you die
(I don’t want you to die and I don’t want me to die)

A new melody is added between verses.

Then after the second verse Chris Martin from Coldplay starts singing.  his voice is distant and echoed

And after all we’re only roses when we die, oh, I don’t want to say goodbye
After all we’re only roses in the sky, oh, I don’t want to say goodbye

He sings for all of twenty seconds before Wayne comes back.

I rather wish Chris martin was more prominent , but it is an amusing cameo.

This is such a better album-ender than “Maced and Tasered,”  I can’t imagine why they replaced it (I’ll assume it has something to do with Coldplay lawyers).

[READ: August 20, 2019] “Thyroid Diary”

I have a soft spot for Lydia Davis.  I like her sense of humor and how she works with the mundanity of existence.

But sometimes her stories are too much diary entry and not enough story.  This one is called a diary, but the New Yorker claims it is fiction.  So which is it?  It’s a mildly interesting diary entry (but not focused enough).  However, it’s not very interesting as fiction at all.

I did enjoy the first part.  They are going to a party at their dentists’s house.  The dentist’s his just earned enough credits at the local college to have graduated.  She has been taking tutorials with the narrator’s husband. (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“Tasered and Maced” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The  Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

The final song of the album features Chris Martin from Coldplay on the vinyl release.  But it’s something else entirely on digital releases.  This is the digital song.

This starts as a buzzy feedback wall of noise.  Then comes a simple synth riff over which Aaron Behrens tells a story about cops busting into a party and macing everyone.

He was drunk and decided to fight the cop.  The cop turned around and maced him in the face.  So he ran.

He says Friends will stop chasing you after a while, but copes don’t stop.  They caught him and tasered him.  Hence maced and tasered.

Musically thus piece is interesting to listen to, but the story doesn’t really hold up to repeated listens.

[READ: August 20, 2019] “No Life”

This story concerns parents looking to adopt.  But it is handled in a unique (to me) way.

As the story opens we meet Edward and Alison.  Once happily married (having sex everywhere) they were soon desperate to get pregnant (sex became a chore).  Now they have given up on getting pregnant. But neither one will ever refuse sex (even if they don’t want to have it) because it means they have given up.

So they are looking to adopt.

I’ve never heard of a setup like this, but maybe it happens all the time:

Prospective adoptive parents are invited to a picnic where all of the potential adopted children are playing.  The adults are told to act natural and speak to the children casually.  Never say things like would you like to come home with us and try to keep things as upbeat as possible. (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“Girl, You’re So Weird” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

This song is around 3 and a half minutes.  It starts out crashingly loud with a catchy synth melody that will later be used for the vocal line.  Then it quiets down to a sneaky/spooky synth melody.  The vocals fit into the spooky sound in as it seems like Wayne is singing in a kind of strangled way.  It’s possible that the lyrics weren’t made up on the spot.  But who knows:

Girl, you’re so weird, your pain and your fear
Has paralyzed your mind, I wish you’d get high
You’re so tight, you’re always thinking right
Tonight, when it’s late, you should smile, masturbate
So, girl, you and me can watch each other pee
With holographic shirts we’ll shine under blacklights
Lights, lights, lights, lights, lights, lights

The guest on this is New Fumes.  I don’t know anything about him except that he has played with the Lips in the past.  This song feels like filler except that the sounds between verses are really cool.

It also feels pretty much like the end of a record.  But there’s one more song to come

[READ: August 20, 2019] “The Story of Mats Israelson”

This story was enjoyable but sad.  I had read the first six or so pages and then had to put it down for the night.  I was looking forward to finishing it because the first few pages were so good.  But the last couple pages really emphasized a sadness I did not expect.

The story is written as if it is from a long time ago.  In this small Swedish village, people earned their spots–in church pews, or where to keep their horses.  If you took that spot you were shunned.

This village is full of gossip. The gossip is my favorite part of the story. (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

This is, indeed a cover of Roberta Flack’s song.

It’s not often that a cover is so willfully defiant of the original without actually trying to mess with it.

This is a ponderous, ten-minute version of the song, punctuated by loud, echoing drumbeats keeping a slow pace.  The music is essentially distorted electronic chord changes on the beats and occasional twinkling keyboard notes throughout.

The song is sung in the audio equivalent of soft-focus by Erykah Badu.

It is a hard song to parse. Badu’s voice sounds great.  The contrast to the original music is stark and yet it is sonically more interesting than the treacly original.  On the other hand, it is long and, if the mood is wrong, slow and boring.

It’s a song I thought I would likely skip were I listening to the whole disc, and yet listening to it right now, the 10 minutes went by like nothing.  So maybe it is pretty great after all.

[READ: June 15, 2019] “Interesting Women”

Interesting women–are we ever going to be free of them?

So starts this story of an interesting woman.

She is concerned because all new acquaintances

seem to be gorgeous lesbians or bisexuals whose intoxicating charm fed straight into hot wet tumbles between rented sheets.

The narrator is on holiday with her daughter, Basia, in Thailand.  Their hotel is swimming with interesting women.

The narrator and Basia are kayaking when an interesting woman approaches them.  She is in her fifties, looking good without pushing it.  The woman asks how hard it is and then says that kayaking is on her list of things to do that scare her,  The woman’s name is Silver, well, its one of her real names. (more…)

Read Full Post »

download - 2020-05-20T121917.708SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“Is David Bowie Dying” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

This six minute track starts with scraping and electronic sounds and a two note guitar melody that rise sand falls. Neon Indian, an electronic chillwave band, is the guest on this song

Around 2 minutes the music turns optimistic and soaring and then it  mellows out with trippy sounds. The lyrics change to

At the mountain, you scream
Now the fountain reveals
As you do want and make you whole
Goodbye, goodbye

The mellowness lasts for about a minute then the angular guitars returns.  This second half feels less harsh and more trippy, although the wild effects are still in place.  This sequence runs through to the end as they repeat

Take your legs and run
Into the death-rays of the sun

[READ: August 1, 2019] Strangers in Paradise XXV #10

This limited series ends with this issue.

Katchoo is the voice over as she worries about the five years the earth has left to exist–she will have this hanging over her head as she returns home.

Francine reports that her mother is doing fine–she has the will to be alive to watch her grandchildren grow up.  This, of course, makes Katchoo even sadder.

Back home, the girls are up in the air vent wondering why Aunt Libby is crying.  But she’s not.  It turns out that there is a heavily tattooed man with a gun telling her that he plans to kidnap the two little girls because the dykes who live there have a lot of money and he intends to get the ransom for them. (more…)

Read Full Post »

download - 2020-05-20T121901.285SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“Do It!” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

This three-minute interlude is mostly thumping drums and percussive noises with a repeated sample of someone (I assume Yoko Ono) saying “Do It!”

There’ a grooving bass line.  With all of the attention paid to Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, it’s easy to overlook how good a bassist Michael Ivins (and has been with Wayne from the beginning).  I assume that’s him playing on this song.

The samples are tinkered with as the bass propels the song forward.  It’s a nifty little transition piece.

[READ: August 1, 2019] Strangers in Paradise XXV #9

The cover image of this issue has nothing whatever to do with the contents.  That is true for many of the issues, but it’s disturbing for this one because it suggest something is going to happen but it’s actually something similar but ultimately very different.

In New England, Katchoo doesn’t want to believe that the woman walking across the snow is Lilith.  She doesn’t want to believe any of this.

They go inside and there’s a cookie jar.  Zoe goes to take one but Lilith says that they are for the raccoon who likes to sneak in at night and pillage my kitchen.
Zoe: “You have a raccoon?”
Lilith: “Not anymore.”

They look at the scroll  Rachel reads it “This is how he did it and this is how you undo it”  Then she looks at Lilith and snarls, “Why did you write this?”

Zoe asks He who?  Jet say they’re talking about God an how to blow us all kingdom come. (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“I’m working at NASA on Acid” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

This song starts out with NASA voices and beeps.   The beeps turn into a rhythm and after a cool echoing guitar the song takes on almost a spaghetti western feel.  even with the bowed cello

The song features Lightning Bolt, a noise rock duo, and I assume they join in the fun in the middle of the song.

After three minutes, a pretty guitar melody leads to a sped up voice saying 1, 2,3, 4 as it soars into the next chaotic and wild section.  The riff speeds up, the drums and distortion increase and the song feels like an epic take off into outer space.

It runs for about two minutes and then slows down.  Way down.  After a backwards countdown 4,3,2,1, the song resumes as a gentle folk song kind of like “Space Oddity.”  It’s pretty cool.

[READ: August 1, 2019] Strangers in Paradise XXV #8

Katchoo is flying to Boston.  The voice over has a nice moment where we see just how much she loves Francine.

She lands and heads to Jet’s garage.  She tells Jet that she has something to give her.

They get into Katchoo’s car which is surrounded by ravens.  They seem to be following her.  I love Terry Moore’s art throughout this series.  He does realistic portrayals of women perfectly (even if sometimes I can’t tell some of the women apart).  I love the way he draws Jet so distinctively as well.  But those ravens, um, not so much.

Jet has no idea what the container is and when Katchoo explains the contents she thinks Katchoo is joking. Why did Stephanie send her to Jet if Jet doesn’t know what it is? (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“You Man? Human???” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

Nick Cave’s most recent music has been quiet pretty and tender.  It’s easy to forget that he has often been a wild man of Australian punk.  His Grinderman albums emphasized that noisy history of his and this song seems perfect for Cave.

In fact, this track seems like a song he could have released with the Birthday Party forty years ago. It’s abrasive and kind of rambling–although with more modern production and sounds. It also has a slow pummeling bass notes with lots of chaotic drumming.

Unlike most of the songs on the record which have falsetto vocals, Cave’s deep voice really stands out.  He is reciting a fairly crazy story of pools and chlorine and how you can touch him if you want.

Quintessential Cave mixed with a few Lips.

[READ: August 1, 2019] Strangers in Paradise XXV #7

Katchoo was falling off a cliff.  In the wide shot we see there is water down below (and a small boat).

She lands in the water and rockets down pretty far (some creepy eels greet her before she takes off back up to the surface).

The man on the boat tries to fend her off with a long pike, but he’s no match for Katchoo who avoids the gun shots until the boat takes off.

Back home, we see Francine and her (cool) Aunt Libby in some relative domestic happiness–Katchoo hasn’t warned her about he gunman yet.

Koo resists taking out the garbage. Francine asks, “when do you want to do it”  “Later when I grow up.”

When she puts the trash in the bin, she smells…something.  Which we see is a pile of cigarette butts and a shoe.  But she is called in before she sees what it is.

Katchoo goes to a small hotel.  There’s a man sleeping in the tub.  I’m unclear what that is meant to signify, but Katchoo leaves before he wakes up.

The book ends back home with Koo unable to sleep (she is reading I Hate Fairyland, by Skottie Young).  She heads downstairs (at 3AM) and sees a male shadow looking in their glass windows. Yipes!

Don’t mess with these cute kids, you hear me!

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“Children of the Moon” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

Lately, Jim James has been going in a more mellow direction after the pretty heavy psychedelia of Circuital in 2011.  But this song stays in that heavy psychedelic vein with a big distorted guitar riff and distorted vocals from James (and Coyne, I assume).

It’s that weird mix of creepy and catchy that the Lips do so well.  You can clearly hear James on the lead vocals, but who knows who is contributing vocals to the rest (the oh oh ohs).  The guitar solo is all distorted and reversed–a noisy explosion of sound.

This song is barely four minutes and it’s followed by another noisy short one before the album segues back into quieter terrain.

[READ: August 1, 2019] Strangers in Paradise XXV #6

Katchoo was given coordinates to meet Stephanie.  The coordinates put her way off the grid in Colombia.  As she waits, a guy on a moped drives up and a monkey hops off and delivers a package (that’s pretty adorable, honestly).

Katchoo can only assume things are bad since Stephanie didn’t show.  She can’t imagine what is in the satchel (she hopes it’s not Francine’s head).

But no, it is a tube and in the tube is an ancient piece of papyrus–Cleopatra’s mathematical ideas. (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY FWENDS-“Children of the Moon” (2012).

2012 saw the release of this very strange collaborative album.  Whether The Flaming Lips had entered the mainstream or if people who’d always liked them were now big stars or maybe they all just liked doing acid.  Whatever the case, The Lips worked with a vast array of famous (and less famous) people for this bizarre album.  Here it is 8 years later. Time to check in.

I’m not exactly sure when Tame Impala became huge.  I actually didn’t even realize they were huge until this past summer when I saw them. I’d always just liked their modern psychedelia.  I gather they’ve been huge for a while.  But I don’t think they were huge in 2012 when this album came out.  So really, Tame Impala was just another cool indie rocker singing along with the Flaming Lips.

None of the songs on this album are particularly “poppy” what with all the distortion and noise on them.  But this song is certainly one of the catchiest.  The guitar melody (which is very Flaming Lips) is simple and instantly grabbing.  The vocals are high falsetto–which are probably Wayne and Kevin Parker together.

After a trippy middle instrumental, the song resumes with acoustic guitar an a nice sing along.  It feels like a solid combination of The Lips and Tame Impala.

[READ: August 1, 2019] Strangers in Paradise XXV #5

The island that Katchoo woke up on is called Bonbi, a private island in the Riviera.  The person waiting for her is Tambi.

Tambi proceeds to give Katchoo a history lesson about Cleopatra and the history of Base Phi Mathematics.

I don’t know that much about Cleopatra, so I’m going to assume that the history here is true.  I don’t know a thing about Base Phi Mathematics, so I don’t know whether Cleopatra knew anything about it. I’ll assume Moore did his research.

Anyhow, Base Phi Mathematics is also the foundation for he Alaskan Collider that exploded and caused all the trouble for Katchoo.  (Yup, I’m skimming the hard science). (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »