Tag Archive for 'the-Flaming-Lips'

Top 10 Favorite Flaming Lips Songs

Wow. The Flaming Lips. What a strange journey they have had. It’s kind of weird to see their fame and growth. Thank you Roberta Patersen, for signing them to Warner in ’91. Remember the 90210 cameo? I sort of feel like how I did when the Smashing Pumpkins exploded in ’93. But I guess when you are indie royalty it’s different or something. Can you be indie royalty on a major label? Oh I get it. Alternative became mainstream in the 90s and indie became major in the new millennium. I get the flow.

What’s sad is that since the Lips exploded they haven’t put out anything I’ve liked. And it has nothing to do with their popularity. At least I don’t think. I couldn’t care less about that. In fact I am happy for them. And happy to hear people talking about them. Most notably, I am happy their old horrid website finally got updated. I believe their last completely breathtaking album was in 1999. Since then, they have reinvented themselves a few times. Sadly, going in no direction that spoke to me. Maybe they need to go back to their roots. But wait, the critics all seem to think they do that each record they put out. Go figure.

What’s Interesting, as I just talked about the Smashing Pumpkins, I figured out a parallel. And I’ll do it as an equation.

Siamese Dream = Transmissions From The Satellite Heart (Success)

Mellon Collie and Infinite Sadness = The Soft Bulletin (Huge success)

And after The Soft Bulletin (and Mellon Collie) there wasn’t one song I played more than a few times. Sadly. I even would try the records again every few months, just to check to see if I was missing something all the critics were talking about. In fact, since then, I’ve sold my Yoshimi record and singles and I never even bought the disaster that followed. Yuck.

Here are my Top 10 songs:

  1. Kim’s Watermelon Gun (Clouds Taste Metallic) – I remember drawing a picture of this song for an ex-girlfriend. Can one distort their guitar anymore than on this record?
  2. Buggin’ (The Soft Bulletin) – The bass is stellar – that’s all that can be said.
  3. Superhumans (Transmissions From The Satellite Heart) – This was my theme song and shower singing song in college. Sometimes I cry a little when I hear this song. Out of joy, mainly and from singing so loud. There’s something about the lyrics that really speak to me.
  4. The Big Ol’ Bug Is The New Baby Now (Zaireeka) – I guess after a band comes out with a 4 disc set where all the discs are supposed to be played at the same time on different machines you are instantly dubbed an “art band” – Whatever. It’s simple and it’s genius, to me. PS. If you own this you must do yourself a public service and try it. If it’s not perfect, you’ve done it right.
  5. Unconsciously Screamin’ (In A Priest Driven Ambulance) – The earlier days seemed to be riddled with hit or misses. This was a hit.
  6. Talkin’ ‘Bout the Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues [Everyone Wants to Live Forever] (Hit to Death in the Future Head) – What’s up with the Lips and their long titles?
  7. Lightning Strikes The Policeman (Clouds Taste Metallic) – Always a great narrative from Wayne.
  8. Be My Head (Transmissions from the Satellite Heart) – “Be my head, and I’ll be yours” – Genius.
  9. Okay, I’ll Admit That I Really Don’t Understand (Zaireeka) – Mainly drums, bass and vox. Really, what else does one need? Did I mention the drums?
  10. The Gash [Battle Hymn for the Wounded Mathematician] (The Soft Bulletin) – The vocal doublers. The vocal doublers. It took me about 4 years to find this song. I admit it.

I still think Wayne is inspirational and I love how he doesn’t take life so seriously. It’s a laudable trait to have in the biz. In fact I think he should be a motivational speaker. He’d be successful. What I do have are many records from the Lips that I love and cherish, so I’ll focus on that for now.

At War With The Mystics

I guess, if you ask you shall receive. Sometimes. So, I still have some friends and colleagues with whom I keep in touch with who are still in the music industry. This is always a good thing when you are looking for an advance copy of a record. I have been anticipating this new Flaming Lips record since their last record came out in 2002 and was mildly disappointed. Yes, the songs were good on Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, but the sonics were lacking and that is, a lot of the time, 50% of it for me. I was hoping for a re-birth again from this innovative and ground breaking rock band.

But to tell you the truth, after just one listen of At War With The Mystics there’s maybe one song I can actually listen through the whole way. It all just sounds like a half-assed throwback to 70s classic rock (a la Bowie circa 1975, Sweet & a tad bit of Zappa from the early 70s – yeah, no shit.) with that stereotypical indie feel and a drop of cheap acid on the tongue. It’s just a shame that they went backwards to the same vibe they had with Yoshimi. Maybe I need to wait one more record for them to reinvent themselves again. Maybe I need to give it another try. It’s not to say this record is crap, they’ve just done it before. And I expected more from a band like the Flaming Lips. And better. And different. I do have to say that the cut Free Radicals sounds just like Wayne listened to Prince’s first two records and regurgitated them in to a song. It might be worth it to some people simply for that.

I do still have the records I love from them and nothing will ever change that.

Oh yeah, and Happy Valentine’s Day. Smooches for everyone.

christmas at the zoo

if only everyone understood the ways of the flaming lips, we would be living in a much more happy worldTheir wasn’t any snow on Christmas eve and I knew what I
should do, I thought I’d free the animals all locked up at the zoo
I opened up the fence where the peacocks were, the lamas were
unleashed the snakes and seals could all get out, but they
Refused to leave….
All of the animals agreed they’re not happy at the zoos
But they preferred to save themselves, they seemed to think
they could…

The elephants, orangutans, all the birds and kangaroos all said
thanks but no thanks man, but to be concerned is good…

It started to snow on Christmas Eve in the middle of the night
walkin through the state park zoo and everything is white…

-W. Coyne (1995)

MyLipsAreSealed0: hi
mat: who’s this?
MyLipsAreSealed0: sara…i saw you on makeoutclub
MyLipsAreSealed0: i love prince
mat: i love prince too