Friday, May 19, 2006

A Kiss on the Cheek

Ok, the Flaming Lips are a great band. And I mean great in the true historical sense. They will end up on desert island lists for the foreseeable future.

I started with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, still their best. At the time, I thought it was a one-time kinda thing. A rarity. That weird once in an artist's lifetime where everything just comes together and it's magic.

The other day one of the guys at work admitted to being a convert, thanks to me. I'd lent him a copy months ago, but he'd gotten busy, forgotten about it, and happed across it in your typical "what's this again?" fashion, and got totally hooked. He played it with "what's wrong with me?" dismay to his bemused wife - a scene I went through with my SO. And it's like that with the Flaming Lips, you find yourself liking them entirely in spite of yourself.

So I bought their latest At War with the Mystics blindly, not expecting it to be anywhere near as good as "Yoshimi," but was happily surprised.

Ok, so two good ones in a row made me wonder if their pre-Yoshimi CD, The Soft Bulletin, was good, too. It was a critic's darling, but the samples on Amazon didn't move me. Well, silly me, hearing any 30 seconds of Yoshimi wouldn't have either, but that didn't occur to me.

So, I just decided to try the real thing, and I ended up playing it as much as the other two. And that's when I realized, they had three total winners in a row. Open the pantheon. Alert the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, and Bono will end up jamming with Wayne and the boys. That will be a sight.

Besides the fact that they're eclectic, weird, and funny, I had wondered why their sound appeals to me so much. Groovin' along the other day, it dawned on me it was the drums. The drumming is universally fantastic and unlike most other rhythm sections you've heard.

I do NOT expect you to take my word for it. Actually, I'd rather you listen to them before you shell out because you will either love them (and not be able to get them out of your head for days) or hate them with a passion typically reserved for "You Light Up My Life" by Debbie Boone.

So, go to their excellent site where they have complete versions of many of their songs available. Get the good speakers on, turn it up, because they sound better when allowed as much range as possible.

To listen: select the "Audio" tab, then "Select Track" and move your mouse over the squares. Song titles will pop up. Try "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song", "Fight Test", "Race for the Prize", and their old hit "She Don't Use Jelly."

Rock. On.

No comments: