The Flaming Lips

A Selection of the Most Insanely Long Live Performances in Music

You may have heard that The National, bless them, will be at P.S. 1 in New York this weekend, performing the same song — “Sorrow,” from their album High Violet — for six hours straight, as part of a collaboration with artist Ragnar Kjartansson. According to the gallery, the show “continues [Kjartansson’s] explorations into the potential of repetitive performance to produce sculptural presence within sound.” That’s all very well, but where does this fit into the hierarchy of insanely long shows? Read on to find out. … Read More

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A Selection of 4:20 Songs to Soundtrack 4/20

Last week, we amused ourselves with a thought experiment that was doing the rounds on Tumblr — marking 4/11 by picking out the best songs in our iTunes library that were precisely four minutes and 11 seconds long. It turned out that there were heaps, and the idea got us thinking: when better to do something similar than 4/20? So we thought we’d limit ourselves to making our annual stoner mixtape for today out of songs that are precisely four minutes and 20 seconds long. (Disclaimer: these songs are all 4:20 on our iTunes — your mileage may vary, and all that, but let’s not split hairs, eh?) … Read More

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Will ‘The Terror’ Make Us Care About The Flaming Lips’ Music Again?

The Flaming Lips’ new album The Terror is out today, and… well, it’s pretty good, to be honest. Does anyone care? We hope so, but then, you couldn’t blame them for not paying a great deal of attention, given that making actual music seems to be rather low on The Flaming Lips’ list of priorities these days. As has been well documented, over the last couple of years the band has devolved into something of a traveling sideshow, a sort of ongoing publicity stunt for the titillation of the music press. Is their latest album good enough to make us take them seriously again? … Read More

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The Fascinating Untold Stories Behind Some of Our Favorite Songs

Sure, everyone knows that Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” is about about his son falling from a window, Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” may or may not be about Warren Beatty, and “In the Air Tonight” is not about watching someone drown. But there are plenty of other less well-documented backstories behind popular songs — like the one that surfaced over the weekend about The Beatles’ “Get Back” starting its life as a dubious satire called “No Pakistanis.” Wisely, the band rewrote the lyrics before releasing the song, but it remains a pretty fascinating piece of history, and our cue to discuss the less-documented stories lurking behind some of the songs in our iTunes collection. … Read More

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The 10 Albums You Need to Hear in April

Another month, another packed release schedule — and, as ever, we’ve picked out the ten best albums in the month ahead. On the whole, April is shaping up as a pretty excellent month for new records. Among other things, there’s the return of The Flaming Lips and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, beautiful new music from The Besnard Lakes and Iron & Wine, weird dance-floor-friendly horrorcore from Xander Harris, the continuing renaissance of James Williamson-era Iggy and the Stooges, and at least one album of the year contender. (Spoiler: The… Read More

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The 10 Best New Songs We Heard This Week: Savages, John Vanderslice

It’s Friday afternoon, which means that we’re counting down to beer o’clock, and amusing ourselves during these long beerless hours by recapping all the best music we heard during the past week. Happily, there’s plenty of good stuff to stream — most notably, there’s the new Savages song, which is many many kinds of awesome and augurs very well indeed for their debut album. There’s also the John Vanderslice “Diamond Dogs” cover that we premiered earlier this week, most excellent remixes of Kendrick Lamar and Phoenix, new songs from Cold Cave and Stephin Merritt, the entire new Flaming Lips album (live!), and more. Get streaming, peoples! … Read More

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Great Bands That Made (Relatively) Forgettable Debut Records

In an interesting cosmic coincidence, this week marks notable anniversaries for two of the more significant debut albums in the world of rock ‘n’ roll: 25 years ago yesterday, the Pixies released Surfer Rosa, while 50 years ago today, the Beatles released Please Please Me. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is the contrast between the quality of the records — Surfer Rosa was a fully realized artistic vision, while Please Please Me only hinted at what the Beatles would go on to achieve. Still, the Fab Four are in pretty good company as far as bands who overcame relatively unimpressive debut albums go. As these ten records prove, there’s hope for everyone! … Read More

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The Most Hilariously Bizarre Commercials Starring Musicians

If you’re a brand seeking some measure of credibility with the kidz, the concept of getting a musician to flog your product for you makes perfect sense — the only problem is how you go about doing so without making it look like a crass commercial cash grab that will arouse only contempt in your target audience. This dilemma has led to some pretty bizarre advertisements over the years, some successful, some rather less so. Anyway, in light of the glut of such adverts recently (in the last month or so, there have been recent ads starting Billy Corgan, Wayne Coyne, and Tyler, the Creator) we thought we’d round up some of the weirdest we could find, both past and present. … Read More

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The Year in Memorable Musical Controversies

2012 has been a crazy year in many ways, and the music industry hasn’t exactly been immune to its air of pervading insanity. (In fairness, the music industry is rarely immune to any sort of insanity, but still, humor us here.) This year has given us a particularly rich vein of memorable controversies, conflicts, and contretemps, and as part of our ongoing end-of-year wrap-up, we’re looking back at some of the most significant. Some of these are hilarious, some of them depressing, some of them hilariously depressing, and some just plain old bewildering — but from the resurrection of dead rappers through homeless people functioning as wifi hotspots to a record company suing an entire country, all of them have been worth remembering. … Read More

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10 Amusing TV Theme Song Covers by Famous Musicians

If you were watching Late Night With Jimmy Fallon the other night, you might have been rather taken aback and amused by special musical guest Alicia Keys’ choice of song. Instead of performing one of her hits, she broke out a cover of the theme song to 1980s Disney TV series Adventures of the Gummi Bears. The bizarre spectacle got us thinking about some of the other covers of TV themes that have surfaced over the years — surprisingly enough, there aren’t that many to choose from, especially once you set aside the inexplicable ’90s/’00s trend of dire punk bands doing self-consciously goofy TV covers for reasons only they can explain. Still, there have been some to buck the trend, so here’s a New Found Glory-less roundup of famous bands doing TV theme songs for your listening pleasure. Did we miss any? … Read More

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