The Flaming Lips

Over the Weekend (Sept. 21 Edition)

New music, videos, and news to kick off your week…

Eagles of Death Metal are set to release their first album in seven years, and the duo sat down for an interview with Rolling Stone that was in equal parts hilarious and eloquent, which should not be a surprise to anyone with a passing familiarity with their particular exploits.

Another fun interview worth checking out is the one SPIN conducted with Wayne Coyne about the twentieth anniversary of Clouds Taste Metallic, which touched on such topics as to how The Flaming Lips ended up on the Batman Forever soundtrack and the circumstances of the departure of guitarist Ronald Jones from the group.

Ought just came out with their second album last week, and Sun Coming Down has been greeted with rave reviews so far.  For those looking for a taste as to how the new album sounds, the band shared the video to the almost-title track “Sun’s Coming Down” last week.

With the breakthrough success of their album Sunbather still fresh in the minds of critics and fans, Deafheaven’s New Bermuda is set to be one of the most highly anticipated releases of the fall.  They should be highly pleased with the release of the song “Come Back”, as it incorporates many of the elements that people loved about Sunbather with some additional metal touches thrown in for good measure.

New Bermuda is not the only big album being released next Friday, as V from Wavves is also coming out on October 2nd.  The band shared the wrestling-themed video for the single “Way Too Much” last week, and it should get you pumped.

DIIV released the single “Dopamine” last week from their upcoming album Is The Is Are, and you can take a listen to the driving and infectious jangle-pop track through the band’s SoundCloud page.

Diffuser provides a look at the history of the photograph that Rage Against the Machine used for the self-titled debut, providing a bit of context to the unforgettable image of  Quảng Đức’s self-immolation.  Elsewhere on the site, you can find a pretty good list of the 25 Most Underrated Albums of the Past 25 Years, which we can say because we agree with many of the choices.

And finally, in not-unexpected news, the band Viet Cong has announced that they have decided to change their name.  The group still has a few shows left on its tour, including a date in Portland, but have not settled on a new name yet.

Advertisements

Over the Weekend (July 27 Edition)

News and other fun stuff to help you make it through the week…

If you have a half hour to spare this week, we recommend you check out this brief documentary on the history of Krautrock, courtesy of Noisey.  In half an hour, you will learn the origins of this distinctive style and gain a new appreciation for its influence on modern music.  And when you finish, be sure to check out this list from FACT magazine for a list of Krautrock records that go beyond the basics.

The Foo Fighters have been making it pretty easy for music content aggregators these days, and this story is no exception.  After making headlines for performing with a broken leg, Dave Grohl invited his surgeon to join the band on stage to sing on a cover of The White Stripes’s “Seven Nation Army”.

A tribute album to singer/songwriter Donovan has attracted a lineup of indie rock heavy-hitters, including contributions from The Flaming Lips, Sharon Van Etten, and Hamilton Leithauser.  The charity album will be out on October 16.

Who doesn’t love a good rap beef?  Quickly get caught up on the Ghostface Killah/Action Bronson beef here.  Then you will be prepared to be the talk of the party this weekend.

Catching Up On The Week (Feb. 27 Edition)

Some #longreads as you contemplate what happened to February

Not a lot happened this week, but this Pitchfork exploration of the little-known connection between M.I.A. and 90’s punk rockers Elastica was an interesting piece and a highlight of the week.

The music press community has been buzzing these past few weeks about the release of legendary critic Robert Christgau’s memoir, on which Deadspin provides some commentary while Rolling Stone interviews the “Dean” himself.  Personally, I understand his importance to the field of music criticism, and appreciate the fact that he championed some worthy acts over the years, but I often found his writing itself as too clever by half.

Consequence of Sound interviews Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips frontman focuses their discussion on love.  I would assume that the site’s editor was disappointed that they ran this piece two weeks after Valentine’s Day.

The AV Club takes a look at Nas’s follow-up to his legendary Illmatic, which gave him his first taste of commercial success even if it didn’t measure up artistically to his debut, as well as providing its readers with a Primer on 80’s UK Synth-Pop for some reason.  One of these pieces is more essential than the other.

And finally, for those of you who are the sort of people who plan things, Consequence of Sound ranks the summer festivals so you can adjust your schedules accordingly.

Over the Weekend (Nov. 3 Edition)

News and new videos as you adjust to the terrifying new era of reverting back from daylight savings…

The Decemberists have announced that they will release a new album early next year, entitled What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World.  And so we don’t come away with only this announcement, the band also provided us with a new song, “Make You Better”, complete with a “visualizer” video.

Prince performed on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, eschewing the normal two song/~four minute blocks for one eight-minute mega-jam.  It was a memorable performance, and not just for Prince’s third-eye sunglasses or his backing 3rdEyeGirl group.  At the very least, we learned that Prince has spent some time listening to Pantera.

Cymbals Eat Guitars recently uploaded the music video for “Warning”, off their excellent new album LOSE, featuring a very young band (Crosshair) playing the part of CEG.  If you never got the chance to pick up their stellar debut Why There Are Mountains, wait another week for the reissue.

Spoon helped end The Daily Show’s run in Austin in style, playing multiple tracks off their latest excellent album, They Want My Soul.  We would embed the videos here, but Comedy Central uses a screwy system, so either go to The Daily Show website or find all three performances on Pitchfork, since they did the legwork to get the correct plug-in.

Nirvana fans may be intrigued by the recent discovery of a “sound collage” that Kurt Cobain created, illustrating more of a connection with a band like The Olivia Tremor Control than one would have suspected.  Note: this sounds nothing like Nirvana, but have fun with it anyway.  Update: An interview with Cobain’s girlfriend at the time, Tracy Marander, sheds some light on the recording, including that there are two versions of “Montage of Heck” and that Nirvana diehards had known of this for years, and in fact a copy had been circulating for some time.

Wilco had some fun on The Tonight Show last week, though not all the footage was aired during the show.  Check out this acoustic version of the classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot track “I’m the Man That Loves You”.

And finally, to wrap up our coverage of bands that played on late night last week, there’s The Flaming Lips in full costume performing “With A Little Help From My Friends” (with their “fwends”), and Run The Jewels blasting “Early” with a Halloween-appropriate performance on Letterman.

Catching Up On The Week (Oct. 31 Edition)

Some #longreads as you deal with the candy hangover this weekend…

The recent release of The Best Day is allowing Thurston Moore to talk to a range of news outlets over the past couple of weeks.  This week, there are interviews with SPIN and Esquire to check out.

Pitchfork has an in-depth cover story on Run The Jewels, and considering they just released one of the best albums of the year, you should probably give it a look.  And just in time for the holiday, elsewhere on the site they have Jason Heller talking to Peter Berbegal about the connection between the “occult” and rock and roll.

David Lovering, the drummer for the Pixies, talks to Diffuser about touring for the new album, and also touches upon his work as a magician.

Wayne Coyne has been making the rounds discussing With A Little Help From My Fwends, the tribute album to Sgt. Pepper’s that The Flaming Lips and various colleagues put together, including this interview with Newsweek where he discusses favorite and least-favorite Beatles tracks.

If you read any takedown on how brotastic bastardizations are ruining country music, it should be this review of a recent Jason Aldean/Florida-Georgia Line concert.

FADER talks to female music producers about the lack of gender diversity among producers, and asks them what can be done to fix the issue.

And finally, The Black Keys are arriving in town tonight, so we’ll link to an interview that Patrick Carney did with The Oregonian.  We’re looking forward to a great show, and we’ll be back with a review next week.

Over the Weekend (Oct. 27 Edition)

News and new videos that have nothing to do with Halloween…

It’s always worth checking out the music videos that OK Go produces, and today’s release of “I Won’t Let You Down” is no exception.  Check out the band as they construct an elaborate routine with the help of a few (hundred) friends.

This weekend was the annual Bridge School Benefit, and I’m sure additional videos will be trickling out over the next few days, but so far there have been two featuring Pearl Jam that are definitely worth viewing.  First, there’s the band hanging out with “Uncle Neil” as they perform “Throw Your Hatred Down”, a track from the Pearl Jam-backed Neil Young album Mirror Ball.

Then there was the Temple of the Dog “reunion” as Chris Cornell joined in to sing “Hunger Strike”:

Speaking of Chris Cornell, his regular gig Soundgarden today released a brand new song, “Storm”, which you can stream here.  It’s got a nice, dark groove driven by Ben Shepherd’s bass, and might be deemed a spookier cousin to “Superunknown”.  It will appear on the band’s upcoming rarities compilation, Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path, whose tracklist can be viewed here.  The three disc set is scheduled to be released on November 24.

Wayne Coyne talks to NPR about the upcoming With A Little Help From My Fwends, the Sgt. Pepper cover album that The Flaming Lips recorded with several of their colleagues, ranging from J Mascis and Maynard James Keenan to Dr. Dog and My Morning Jacket to Tegan & Sara and Miley Cyrus.

My Morning Jacket also announced today a charity single cover of Woody Guthrie’s classic “This Land Is Your Land”, which is now available on iTunes.

Finally, Wilco is set to perform three songs this evening on The Tonight Show (though not all of them will probably be broadcast), featuring tracks from their upcoming rarities compilation.  In addition, Herbie Hancock will be sitting in with The Roots, so tonight might be the time to try to stomach Jimmy Fallon.

Over the Weekend (Aug. 11 Edition)

Videos, rare tracks, and lists to help get your week started…

We here at Rust Is Just Right love Red Fang, aka Portland’s Greatest Metal Band, and especially enjoy their goofy music videos.  Their latest for “The Meadows”, which is found on a free new EP, is pretty simple: the band dresses up in some of their best suits and spends the budget for their video on a big feast, often shooting in slow motion.  The video ends at what is probably my favorite pizzeria in Portland, so at least it has that going for it.

Speaking of favorite Portland bands, The Thermals posted a video this morning from their KEXP performance a few years back, playing a B-Side I hadn’t heard before called “I Can’t Let Go”.  Judging from the time of the video and the style, it sounds like it’s from the Personal Life era.

The Flaming Lips side-project Electric Würms (where Steven Drozd takes over frontman duties and Wayne Coyne moves to the background) released two new songs today from their upcoming EP, Musik Die Shwer zu Twerk.  You can find “The Bat” over on Bilboard, while NPR has “I Could Only See Clouds”.  If you want a quick summation of their sound, it’s along the lines of their recent album The Terror, but even trippier.

Foo Fighters uploaded a quick teaser video last week for their upcoming album, and this morning released the full details about the release of Sonic Highways.  The number “8” is prominently featured in the materials (even adding up the digits of the running time of 44 minutes).  The coolest bit of news is that the LP version includes nine covers, including one for each city in which the album is recording (biting an idea that I had for my own band, but considering we never toured, I’m okay with giving Dave Grohl the credit).

Rolling Stone has a fun list with the Buzzfeedian title of “20 Insanely Great David Bowie Songs Only Hardcore Fans Know”; personally, I’m quite a big fan of most of Bowie’s catalog, but I know just how deep some people’s obsession with the man can be, so I’m taking this to be a learning experience.

And finally, The New Pornographers stopped by The Current Studio in Minneapolis and played a handful of songs, which you can check out right here.

“That One Part”: “I’ll Believe In Anything”

We’re going to take things a little easy today; the weather has just been too nice outside to spend time typing away on laptops, even if it’s about something that we love like music.  So we’re going to do a quick piece that isn’t a true “Feats of Strength”, but we’re just going to talk about a moment in a song that we really really really like.

Almost a year ago to the day, Pitchfork ran a feature in which they asked their writers to give stories about particular moments in their favorite songs.  I felt that this was a really well-executed piece, and enjoyed reading each of their stories.  The anecdote about a unique performance of The Flaming Lips’ “The Abandoned Hospital Ship” was an especially memorable one, and it is definitely worth reading so you get the backstory behind this electrifying moment.

There is no reason why Pitchfork should have all the fun, so I am picking up on their cue and writing about a specific moment in one of my favorite songs, “I’ll Believe In Anything”.  It should be no surprise that we here at Rust Is Just Right are big fans of Wolf Parade, considering we were inspired to name our site after one of their lyrics.  Their debut Apologies to the Queen Mary is one of the greatest albums of the 00’s, and the climactic run of the trio of “Shine a Light”, “Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts”, and “I’ll Believe In Anything” in the middle of the record matches that the peak of any record since then.

“I’ll Believe In Anything” has a nice stately feel that comes across as almost like a gentle gallop, a sensation that’s matched by the Barry Lyndon-esque setting for the video.  The song is punctuated by huge snare hits that accentuate each beat, constantly pushing the music forward as Spencer Krug sings elliptical lyrics about “taking you where nobody knows you and nobody gives a damn.”  After a couple of rounds of verses and choruses, the song truly begins to develop with the bridge at about the 2 minute mark, as Spencer begins to list the various things that he can take or give away.  At 2:10, the bassline on the keyboard jumps down an octave, giving an added weight to the next set of lines as Spencer doesn’t let up in his singing, continuing to build momentum.  It is at this point where there is a subtle shift, a moment where Spencer demands the listener’s attention: “Look at the trees, look at my face, look at a place far away from here.”  He lets that moment hang in the air for a second, and then the band explodes behind him.

I’ve listened to this song hundreds of times, and this specific moment has never failed to give me chills.  Depending on the circumstances, it can have an even greater impact–I regularly jog to this album, and often this song will come on just as I’m reaching the top of a hill, and I can take a quick moment to actually act out the lyrics and survey the scene around me.  There is something to Krug’s particular directions given in the lyrics, which shifts the focus of the audience’s eyes from nature, to humanity, and then beyond, possibly to the future that helps enhance the effect of the song’s climax.  Eyes are actually an important motif in the song: the line “give me your eyes, I need sunshine” is repeated throughout as a sort of mantra, which is a wonderfully eloquent way of asking for someone for the necessary help to brighten up your day.  This early repeated line helps establish an image in the listener’s mind and gives the latter lyrics of the bridge an added significance.  The result is a truly memorable moment whose power never fades, even after hundreds and hundreds of listens.