Monday, June 25, 2012

The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends

If you nabbed the vinyl on Record Store Day then this record isn't news to you. For everyone else, the physical and digital cd release will be on June 26th. The Flaming Lips long ago secured their place in the heirarchy of music, allowing them a distinct opportunity that many artists never achieve, the ability to pursue any direction that amuses and entertains them. This collection is eclectic and uneven, but quite purposely so. The list of collaborators are so varied as to invite concern that they would never work together on one album, and unfortunately they don't, other than to invite fascination over the fact that Warner Brothers allowed them to release this. It kinda goes to show the power Wayne and his crew have developed over the years.

There are spots where this album really works. The standout track being the collaboration with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Despite the unfortunate name of the track, there is an oddly entrancing spaciness to the song. The Tame Impala track has a similarly enjoyable spaciness vibe, that, however, seems like it would have been a better song without the electronic overlays that towards the end of the track are so noisy and disjointed as to drown the vocals.There are unfortunately many more tracks that had me scratching my head and wondering why,  foremost of which are the Yoko Ono and Ghostland Observatory pieces.However, that actually may have been the point. The Flaming Lips have taken many odd turns over the years, so it is not unfathomable that the purpose may have been to make you wonder why.

As they embark on the lastest in a long line of quirky stunts this Tuesday, to perform the most concerts in a 24 hour period (besting Jay Z as the current record holder at 7), you have to admit that, love them or hate them, they fly their freak flag high and blaze their own trail, which never seems anything less than authentic. You can't say that about a lot of bands these days. 

The track listing for THE FLAMING LIPS AND HEADY  FWENDS is as follows:

1.  “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded) “(w/ Ke$ha, Biz Markie & Hour Of The Time Majesty 12)

2. “Ashes In The Air” (Featuring Bon Iver)

3. “Helping The Retarded To Know God” (Featuring Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros)
4. “Supermoon Made Me Want To Pee” (Featuring Prefuse 73)
5. “Children Of The Moon” (Featuring Tame Impala)
6. “That Ain’t My Trip” (Featuring Jim James of My Morning Jacket)
7. “You, Man? Human???” (Featuring Nick Cave)
8. “I’m Working At NASA On Acid” (Featuring Lightning Bolt)
9. “Do It!” (Featuring Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band)
10. “Is David Bowie Dying?” (Featuring Neon Indian)
11. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (Featuring Erykah Badu)
12. “Girl, You’re So Weird” (Featuring New Fumes)
13. “Tasered And Maced” (Featuring Aaron Behrens of Ghostland Observatory)

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