Monday, December 23, 2002

Flaming Lips

I've been listening to Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots lately. Since I don't listen to pop radio, and I don't watch MTV, it's easy to fool myself into thinking I've discovered something counterculture, but that don't make it so. I'd read about the Flaming Lips on various weblogs, and gotten the impression that they were a group known to a bunch of young in-crowd web design types, and decided to give them a try.

Now I don't really watch commercials either, since I've got ReplayTV, but the other night I was 'watching' a show while working a griddler puzzle. When I work puzzles or munge about with my laptop, I sometimes miss that the commercials have started and one or two get past me before I skip the rest. And so it was that night. I'm hearing in the background various babble including the umistakable voice of Penn Gillette, saying "it's 37! 37, okay?"

So I looked up, and there was a scene out of Beetlejuice (the afterlife waiting room, to be specific). A bunch of guys in bunny suits are surrounded by all sort sof oddballs, including Penn. Then a door opens, and a guy calls out, "Flaming Lips, you're up!" The bunnies get up and leave the room, and the next thing I see is them performing a song from the album I recently bought. Okay, I was fooled. They're mass-market, commercials and everything. Ya got me.

But how's the album? Pretty good, overall. The opening song, "Flight Test", is a very good example of putting your best foot forward, and gets the album off to an enchanting start. I'm kinda disappointed in the title song, or anyway, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, pt. 1. Pt. 2 is no-longer-experimental mix-up electronic noodling and sampling, and I like it quite a lot, thanks.

No blow-by-blow on this album. It's pretty homogeneous, so if you like one song, you'll most likely enjoy the others. I'm keeping it in my rotation for the time being. But I'm already itching for something new.

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