Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lips Non-Disco Addendum

As promised, here's some bonus Flaming Lips stuff outside the traditional discography.

There are only a couple of books to mention. Mainly, Staring At Sound (2006) by Jim DeRogatis, Chicago Sun-Times music critic. An early champion in the press, he got to witness personally the Clouds Taste Metallic recording sessions. Well researched and interesting throughout, it's a good history of the people and the band.

Placebo Headwound
For the super-fan, there's Waking Up with a Placebo Headwound 1987-2004 (2004), a coffee-table art book of band-related photos, mostly by Wayne's wife Michelle. Plenty of behind-the-scenes and live concert photos, it's a real nice 'n' hefty package.

I won't go into the endless array of maxi-single EP's released in the wake of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' success. But that's kind of the kind of thing I'm talking about.

For the early stuff, you can't go wrong with the Restless collections. Finally The Punk Rockers Are Taking Acid (2002) is a 3xCD box-set from the very beginning through Telepathic Surgery (1989). That's all 3 albums and the EP, plus outtakes, Wayne singing EP songs, live stuff, covers of The Who, Led Zep, Neil Young, Sonic Youth, and the Batman tv theme. But for some reason, only the [edit] version of the experimental epic "Hell's Angels Cracker Factory."

Unconsciously Screamin' EP
The Day They Shot a Hole in the Jesus Egg (2002) is just 2 cd's, containing In A Priest Driven Ambulance, 3 other great songs from the Unconsciously Screamin' EP ("Lucifer Rising!!"), the "Drug Machine in Heaven" Sub Pop single (with Sonics/Elvis Costello medley b-side), and a 2nd cd of The Mushroom Tapes demos and other miscellany.

The first Warner Brothers single was titled for a River's Edge quote: "Yeah, I Know It’s A Drag... Wastin’ Pigs Is Still Radical." Wherein the b-sides blew away anything else from the main album, being a double-shot of Echo & The Bunnymen and a beautiful 2-track demo called "Jets (Cupid's Kiss vs. The Psyche of Death)."

The Day Andy Gibb Died
The Day Andy Gibb Died, a 1995 bootleg, pairs a noisy recording of a noisy 1990 show in Norman, OK, with some awesome covers 'n' stuff. The Sonics/Elvis Costello b-side, a Led Zep/Sonic Youth combo, one each from T. Rex and Bowie, a warped medley of Bee Gees, Syd Barrett, Dark Side of the Moon Floyd, and Chainsaw Kittens. They always had really excellent taste in cover songs!

The Soft Bulletin Companion is a bootleg internet compilation of unreleased material, some of which has since been put out officially. There's stereo mixes of Zaireeka tunes, the Lips' own original mix of "Buggin'," great outtakes like "The Captain," "1,000 Ft. Hands," and "Satellite of You." Plus an instrumental Rough Mix demo of Skip Spence's "Little Hands!"

The promo-only Southern Oklahoma Cosmic Trigger Contest (2001) contains the Flaming Lips music from Bradley Beesley's documentary Okie Noodling. It's fun and country-ish, "but not too swampy."

Late Night Tales
In 2005, the Lips did one of the Late Night Tales series of mix-CD's. It's well worth checking out if you like Miles Davis, Roxy Music, Nick Drake, The Psychedelic Furs, Radiohead, Brian Eno, etc... It also contains the Flaming Lips cover of the White Stripes "Seven Nation Army" with lyrics from Butthole Surfers' "Moving to Florida," if that appeals.

I suggest owning all of these...

Black Easter (1987) - Late '80s live concert on VHS! OOP!!

The Fearless Freaks (2005) - A great documentary that focuses on the band members and their lives, as opposed to just the history of the band as an entity.

The Fearless Freaks
VOID: Video Overview In Deceleration (2005) - Collection of official videos from the entire Warner Bros era. Unfortunately contains no indie vids.

U.F.O.s at the Zoo: The Legendary Concert In Oklahoma City (2007) - Good 2006 concert DVD/CD set, includes the return of "Love Yer Brain." Which is nearly ruined by inappropriate audience clap-along...

Christmas on Mars (2008) - Well... Seven years in the making, it's a bit of a mess. But it's a Flaming Lips sci-fi holiday classic! Kind of.

The Legendary Concert in Oklahoma City
Also, this guy's awesome collection of Flaming Lips videos!!

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