Friday, June 29, 2012

everyone's favorite band


The Flaming Lips stop in Baton Rouge.

I left my good camera right next to the earplugs on my desk so I iPhoned it in. You are welcome! This is how we do it at the forefront of nu-media. I did make that 3 o'clock meeting, if you are curious. And the whole this was a lot of fun despite what might below seem to a be a lot of grousing.

The Flaming Lips, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends and Embryonic and At War With The Mystics
The Flaming Lips and GIVERS, live at the Varsity, Baton Rouge, LA

Thursday was the day that the good ol' Flaming Lips became everyone's favorite band, bringing their love parade into Baton Rouge for sixteen minutes as a part of a Guinness book bid for most shows in 24 hours.  I heard the press was jettisoned from the bus in Biloxi to streamline their record-setting. "No press, no stress," said the hair gelled announcer from the live stream presented by whatever the O Music Awards are.

I thought that to be a curious tack to take on something that is nakedly a publicity stunt. I mean, the Guinness book is in itself a publicity engine. It's not named for some dude named Guinness who was OCD about record holders

With this link, I Storfy the experience.

Alex Rawls and I talked about the Baton Rouge reaction to the show in the Facebook for his splendid new web venture You should fwend him.

    • Alex V. Cook ‎"Milk Run" : nice one.
      5 hours ago · 

    • My Spilt Milk Thanks. Was that version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" as heavy as it sounded on the stream? Was the girl singer better than she sounded on the stream?
      5 hours ago · 

    • Alex V. Cook 
      It was sufficiently weedy and crunchy. Wayne was already sounding a little worn but I think it worked in the context of the song and situation. I don't really remember her contribution to the song except that she contributed. I appreciated that their set had a heaviness to it after the charm onslaught that is Givers. I think the NASA/Acid song is kinda phoned in on the record but was rendered as an exquisite bummer live, repeating "When he dies" like a Death Valley peyote vision.

      Then the did Race fro the Price over a taped orchestra anthem which was ridiculous and beautiful.

      Also I dig how they brought out Givers' space rock side on a couple of numbers. I'd like to hear more of that from them, but then I always want more space rock from every situation in life. Givers really had to do a lot the heavy lifting for the mood of the show since Wayne did a lot of talking to pad out their 16 minutes. It was a really good match. Lips should take them on on tour and get them in some trouble.

      4 hours ago · 

    • My Spilt Milk What was the mood like after the show? Were people bummed by its length? They were genuinely worried about traffic jamming up the BR to NO leg, so Wayne explained what was going on between songs rather than beforehand when the clock hadn't started to speed up the stop.

      On the stream, the girl's vocals were too animated for my taste.

      3 hours ago via mobile · 

    • Alex V. Cook 
      BR traffic is a very genuine concern. From my vantage point, everyone knew the score and were just excited to be in a bar and in the A/C mid-afternoon and part of the whole effort. I work in the same department as KLSU and all the DJ's were super stoked. I'm a little surprised they all knew who Flaming Lips were, besides one of those dinosaurs that Pitchfork curiously holds onto.

      The Varsity should do more afternoon indie rock shows and leave the evening slots to DJ nights and the second-tier nu-rock holdovers that pack the house.

      2 hours ago · 

I am of the thinking that the Flaming Lips' album The Soft Bulletin is among the finest sonic artifact of the 1990's, a shimmering hopeful-while-doleful gateway to contemporary Millennialism, but it is reasonable to see the Flaming Lips now as a flaming bag of gimmicks - as does Matt Sigur at the Advertiser -  what with the 24-hour song ensconced in a USB drive wedged in a real human skull and all.

I'll say this: I think the quality of their songs dropped in proportion to their experimentation. Yoshimi has two or three Perfect Songs, but I'm hard pressed to remember any of the others on that or subsequent releases, with the exception of Embryonic's "Convinced of the Hex" and "Silver Trembling Hands." They are loosey-goosey things cut from winner material.

BUT, I feel that way about a lot of contemporary indie rock type music. I don't know what it is "indie" of. I know that is a tired argument; its like bellyaching about there being no jazz at JazzFest, but I work with the campus radio station. I walked by and heard that cursed Gotye song and the announcer said it was a request. I remarked that I request that we remove that song from all playlists. We've gleaned all we can glean from this group, and got a "why you wanna be like that?" look. I try to avoid nostalgia but when I roamed those very halls twenty years ago and a little song by a little band called Nirvana hit it big, we dropped it like a bad habit. Not because it was suddenly a bad song, but because we had a post-adolescent, Quixotic mission to be different.

The Flaming Lips aim their lances those same windmills in the Corporatized Now. Sure VH1 and a list of companies were behind this thing, and sure some of their endeavors seem more Jackass than Jimi Hendrix, but they are weird! I like weird! Please, somebody be weird! Mark Leyner said in Et Tu, Brute that "All acts of creativity are acts of patricide. You must always kill the father." and even though I am now a father, I still think that's true. I can take it. Eighties music wasn't even that good in the actual Eighties. Blaze a trail, you lazy bums. Do something that has me stumped.

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