For me, the bizarre career of The Flaming Lips is a perfect example of just how wrong you can be. As a music fan, I'd known about them for years, long before their seminal breakout album The Soft Bulletin, and I'd always considered them born losers. They were an ok band, pretty cool and interesting to noise fans actually, but far too weird for mainstream appeal. She Don't Use Jelly? Come on! But a friend mine was adamant that they were the best band in the world, he even bought Zaireeka, their baffling boombox experimental album that required you play its four discs in four separate players just to listen to the thing. Then in 1999 came The Soft Bulletin. Wow, that lumpy, ugly, punk rock caterpillar had somehow transformed into this gorgeous, multi-layered butterfly. And in 2002 they did it again with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
The 'Lips new album, Embryonic, is another instant classic. This time just dangling on the edge of accessibility, it's a masterpiece of fuzzed out psychedelia and propulsive krautrock rhythms. It's just shocking how good these guys are. I was wrong all along, and I couldn't be happier! So here's the first track off the album to start our playlist.
Also, this episode is dedicated to legendary Lower East Side poet Jim Carroll, who died this summer. His book The Basketball Diaries is the kind of thing you read as a mixed up kid in high school that changes your life forever. I know it did mine. Cheers Jim!
MP3: Disco Volante - Convinced Of The Hex (Right-Click-Save-As)
1. The Flaming Lips - Convinced Of The Hex (3:56)2. Deerhoof - Running Thoughts (3:47)3. Gang Starr - Manifest (4:56)4. William Onyeabor - Better Change Your Mind (8:23)5. Marianne Faithfull - Broken English (4:40)6. Ween - Back To Basom (3:46)7. Yo La Tengo - I'm On My Way (4:36)8. Nellie McKay - Gin Rummy (2:59)9. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (4:19)10. Air - Tropical Disease (6:47)11. Joyce - Feminina (3:48)12. Jim Carroll - "A Peculiar-Looking Girl" (6:22)