Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pitchfork Spotlight: Flaming Lips

Straight out of Oklahoma City, Wayne Coyne and company are still finding ways to jostle the standards of genre bending ideas that he originated himself. It was this strange and alternative originality that first peaked my interests way back in high school, with Transmissions from the Satellite Heart it wasn't until later, more mature years that I actually appreciated the creativity this band exudes as my copy of The Soft Bulletin eventually was scraped all to hell as a result of overplay. I was fortunate enough to catch them live on the "Unlimited Sunshine Tour" which supported their hugely breakout hit album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. I could not believe at the time there was a way to respect a band more. It was unfathomable how The Flaming Lips could continually find a refreshing and energetic way to translate the eccentric ideas that float through the psyche of Wayne Coyne. Approaching their 23rd year of existence, fans prepare for the October release of their double album, Embryonic. The frontman has been quoted as to describe the new release as a "freak-out vibe". To be honest with you, it's very difficult to note the band's accolades without presenting it in some sort of lifetime achievement fashion. From what has been either played live this summer or was released online is proving true the next evolving step in the band's over accomplished career.
In his lyrics, Wayne Coyne is able to bridge the trippy, hallucinatory experiences of a lucid dream with the internal conversations in one's mind on a daily basis. Prior to the resurgence of the mind-bending sounds of psychedelic rock; the Flaming Lips were breaking ground in creating an alternate universe without the negative repercussions of an adverse trip. His words are direct and are LSD laced to allow his listeners to sometimes peek at the realities of society that everyone works hard to mask behind their dummy smiles. "Do You Realize" is the official state rock song of Oklahoma. I didn't realize (no pun intended) that states chose those sort of things. I read a recent interview with Coyne where he talked a little about it. "Little by little we discovered that your art isn't sacrificed by the absurd things that happen in your life...So we got the State Rock Song, and we just accept whatever absurdities come with it. Take the good, take the bad, and fuck it, man."
"Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1" is a song that has always stood out to me. Being a literal artist my imagination grasped tightly onto this track and continuously transports me to an anime-like environment following Yoshimi's defeat of her large metallic antagonists. There is a multi-layered facet as the numerous emotions that are intertwined with the struggles of human relations are dissected and investigated under this space rock sci-fi microscope. All this passion and sentiment is emitted throughout this concept driven song .

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