Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Flaming Lips - At War With the Mystics

The Flaming Lips, "The W.A.N.D."

The Flaming Lips, "Pompeii Am Gotterdammerung"

If you can believe it, I am still sick and might actually be getting sicker. I mean, I have pink eye, people, pink fucking eye. This puts to rest the idea that pink is the new black, especially if you try to pair it with snot green. Anyway, in my medicated state, it seemed like as good a time as any to discuss the new Flaming Lips album, At War With The Mystics.

I must confess that I had never really given The Flaming Lips much of a listen before, always considering them a novelty act. But MC turned me onto Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, and I came to realize that they were so much more than a few goofy songs. In fact, I don't think they get enough due for paving the way for a lot of the free folk and experimental shit that has caught on, like Animal Collective and Akron/Family. Their success made experimentation doable again, harkening back to the 70s when stars like Bowie and Pink Floyd would try out different sounds and genres from album to album.

This new one seems to have a little of both worlds for the Lips, the pop tunes and the psychedelic explorations. There's lot of effects, even on Wayne Coyne's already-weird voice. There's a little bit of added funk in a few songs, and a decidely more political edge to the lyrics. I've given it a few listens, and the album doesn't quite do it. There aren't any songs that really stuck out in my head, a necessity for me to love a album. There's a lot of meandering, neither leaping into the unknown nor rocking straightaway. From the reviews on Amazon, it appears to have split fans down the middle as well. I actually think that Pitchfork's review most closely aligns with my own. Something just doesn't work. Buy it here and decide for yourself.

Stereogum has the Lips playing "Bohemian Rhapsody" at a recent concert. Binky the Doormat has the Lips doing Kylie Minogue (!!!) from a XFM session. berkeleyplace has some more live goodness. Silence Is A Rhythm Too, the CAMERA As PEN and All Things Go have some tracks from the new one.

-Philly, calling all weirdos and noise aficinados. It is going to be an amazing next few months for us, as Acid Mothers Temple is playing (April 21) and Boris and Growing are coming back (June 5). Then, the real fireworks. Sonic Youth is playing at the Starlight Ballroom (June 14), as intimate a show as they will ever do now. Best of all, announced today, the Boredoms are playing their only East Coast show in our great city, June 30th. No NYC, no D.C. Fuck yeah! Go to R5 for more information and to buy your tickets.

-"Who let the Jews out?"

1 comment:

bboy said...

ahh, pink-eye sucks! I have a certain respect for the lips' sound (not a huge fan either) ... the drums sound really tight as always ... kinda reminds me of the goodness of the pixies' drumming. so crisp. enjoy your crusty eyeball.