April 18, 2010
Yesterday marked the third momentous Record Store Day, and for those scratching your heads trying to remember what a record store even is, it’s one of those long-standing places of business being destroyed by this internet thing (no, not those places). Many people have gotten touchy about the demise of local record stores and for three years running have reserved April 17th to do the unthinkable: going out to buy music they could easily get for free from their computer. Because sometimes to keep something you love, you have to do irrational things like getting married or respecting copyright laws.
Since many musicians grew up in such boutiques and, not to mention, appreciate the idea of people paying for their music, tons of big names help out with the festivities by issuing special vinyl records; this year is no exception, and there is a ton of great wax to collect. A few of the highlights include: a double LP of Pavement’s recent Quarantine the Past compilation that even has a different track listing (now Pavement psychos can argue which is better), a sea foam green vinyl of the Flaming Lips cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, a vinyl reissue of Modest Mouse’s The Moon and Antarctica, the Hold Steady’s new LP Heaven is Whenever, a 12” of LCD Soundsystem’s new single “Pow Wow,” and get this, a 7” of Blur’s new single “Fool’s Day.”
All of this is pretty cool stuff, but Blur’s choice to premier “Fool’s Day” as a vinyl on Record Day is a hell of a gesture. This is the first song that the full band (including the brilliant Graham Coxon) has made in seven years, and it happens to not suck. A gritty little minor-chord chugger, it has that Blur charm of being simultaneously melancholy, a bit ragged, and damn catchy. Sure, the melody sounds a bit like the Cutting Crew’s “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight,” but hearing Coxon kick out a sweet riff at the end will make any Blur fan happy. Sadly for us Yanks, the single is only being sold in record stores in the UK, so you will have to stick to the loads of other special records made available yesterday. But if really want to hear ‘Fool’s Day’ you could always find it on, well, the internet. Yeah… that’s a little awkward…. Happy Record Day everybody!
For a list of even more special releases here’s Pitchfork’s list.
by Geoff Anstey
Watch Flaming Lips Video For Embryonic Cut, “Watching the Planets,” In Which Wayne Coyne Gets Completely Naked, and a Giant Fur Monster Gives Birth to a Ton of Naked Adults…Flaming Lips, You’ve Gotten So Predictable (Uh, this is Most NSFW Thing Since This) [NME]
Stream Joy Orbison’s Remix of Four Tet’s Single “Love Cry” (Which Sounds Almost Nothing Like the Original Track…Which May or May Not Be a Good Thing); Elsewhere, the Original Version “Love Cry” is On the Upcoming There Is Love In You, Due Out January 26 [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Hey, You Like the Hold Steady? (Yes, You Do). Then You Should Probably Be Psyched For Craig Finn’s Former Band, Lifter Puller, Re-releasing All Their Music, Along With a Commemorative Lifter Puller Book. (You Will Be Excited, Or I’ll Make You Excited); Elsewhere, I Am Unhealthily In Love With the Hold Steady [Pitchfork]
Stream Hot Chip’s “Take It In” off the Upcoming (And Announced Yesterday) One Life Stand; Elsewhere, I Beg the Question: Who Likes Hot Chip? I Have Heard They Are Huge, But Have Never Met a Single Person Who Would Call Themselves a Hot Chip Fan. Prove Me Wrong, Readers [Prefix]
compiled by Max Sebela
Keyboardist From the Now-Defunct Harlem Shakes (Two News Stories at Once!) Records Entirety of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Fever to Tell, Using Only a Beat-Up Piano, a Drum Machine, and a Case of Sparks; Dude From Harlem Shakes Is Unquestionably The Fucking Man (Download It Here) [Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch New Flaming Lips Video For Embryonic Cut, “I Can Be a Frog” Featuring Karen O (It’s Pretty Standard Lips – Girl In Bikini, Girl Laughs, Girl Gets Animals Drawn Over Her With the John Madden Pen); Embryonic Released October 13 [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Jay Z Says No One Is Afraid Of 50 Cent; Jay Doesn’t Speak For Me, Or My Gangly, Indie Rock Brethren, As Mr. Cent Is Significantly Bigger Than Us [Prefix]
Fucked Up Wins Polaris Music Prize For Chemistry of Common Life (You Made the Right Choice, Canada); Read Frontman Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham’s Provactive and Heartfelt Response in the Torontoist [Brooklyn Vegan]
Grizzly Bear Multi-Instrumentalist Chris Taylor Launches Record Label, Terrible Records; Pitchfork Runs Headline: “Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor Launches Terrible Record Label (No, Really)” – I Steal Pitchfork’s Joke, As No Other Joke Immediately Available [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
IN THE TUBE
A lot has been said about the Flaming Lips’ live shows. Q Magazine named them one of the 50 bands to see before you die. People follow them across the country like they followed the Dead in the 70s, hitting every festival date on their summer tours. Videos of Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, running through the audience in a bubble, get thousands of plays on YouTube. Hundreds of people dressed up as sunflowers and Santa Clauses prance around on stage – the show has gone from being an elaborate live show (an anomaly in indie rock) to a something of a legend.
I hadn’t seen the Lips before, but always kept some level of doubt in the back of my mind that the show could be that great. It’s incredibly frustrating that the band’s perception tends to be focused more on mushroom trips and giant laser bubbles than music. You pay money to hear songs live, and experience a different side of a band – when this gets obstructed by theatrics, it’s as if the band is compensating for a lack of live abilities (note: Arcade Fire’s 2007 Black Mirror tour, with fish-eyed cameras projecting every member of the band…what is this, stadium chamber folk?), or confidence in their music standing on its own. And after 2006’s lackluster At War With the Mystics, it’s plausible that this is exactly what happened to the Flaming Lips; their songs and fans have always been drugged out, and anyone who has taken drugs knows it’s pretty easy to get distracted by lots of colors, lights, and generally shiny shit.
The Flaming Lips headlined night three of the 2009 Pitchfork Music Festival, and by the end of their frustratingly short set, the point of their live show finally made sense to me. The entire band (sans Coyne) emerged from the birth canal of a projected dancing woman. Every other song incrementally bigger balloons were dropped on the audience, until the balloons were so big that it required four to five people to bounce them away. Coyne began the set blitzing through the audience in his famous bubble. And most of the Lips’ bangers were played in a stripped down, forced sing-along, Coyne demanding that the audience sing louder, have more fun. Coyne said stuff like that repeatedly throughout the night: get louder, dance more, move more, have more fun. At some points, it was as if he was obsessed with the audience enjoying themselves. And, maybe it’s because, for the Lips, the quality of the show is purely a cooperative effort – it matters just as much that you don’t suck as it does them. So when “Yoshimi Part 1” was played in this bare bones way, everyone better sing, or else it’ll be ruined. Luckily that night, everyone sang. As is hopefully translated by the video below, it was as awesome as any story I’d ever heard about the band. Video after the jump.
More on The Flaming Lips | “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Part 1”
Boadrum 9 Not As Cool as 88 Boadrum (Or 77 Boadrum) [Brooklyn Vegan]
Timbaland and Nelly Furtado Sued For Plagiarism [NME]
Buy a Little Good Stuff From Polyvinyl, Get a Lot of Free, Okay Stuff [Idolator]
Battles’ Tycondai Braxton Readies Solo Album, Solo Market [Pitchfork]
Taylor Swift Performing With T-Pain Not as Funny as It Should’ve Been [Idolator]
Pinback Announce Fall Tour [Brooklyn Vegan]
New Flaming Lips Album Gets Named Embryonic [Prefix]
A Place to Bury Strangers and Thee Oh Sees Added to Siren Music Festival [Brooklyn Vegan]
The Dodos Announce New Album, Time to Die (Biggie Reference?) [NME]
Damn Good Rock in Twin Peaks: David Lynch Writes Rock Album [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
Hardly Art Signs Brooklyn‘s Golden Triangle [Brooklyn Vegan]
Neutral Milk Hotel, Carousels, and Now a School Play [Idolator]
Daft Punk Forays Again into Film [The Tripwire]
Animal Collective Appears Live on Letterman [Prefix]
Van Halen the Video Game! [Billboard]
Flaming Lips Frontman Gets Back to the Books [The Tripwire]
Coldplay Comments on Copyright Case (and a Funny Video) [Idolator]
The Dodos Are Ready To Do It Again [Pitchfork]
compiled by Elana Jacobs