Sun Blows Up Today

There are Flaming Lips songs and albums I love with all my heart and Flaming Lips songs and records that I don’t. The last album, Embryonic, didn’t appeal to me at all. Previous one, At War With The Mystics, had two or three out-and-out winning songs. Yoshima and the Soft Bulletin are superb from start to finish. Wayne Coyne is interviewed in this month’s Mojo and seems to be in the midst of some 50-something crisis but he always comes across as honest, a wide-eyed believer and a man who wants to keep doing something different. Which is good.

There’s a new album, The Terror, out in April. Unlike Embryonic it’s a concise nine song job, not a seventy-odd minute slog. If you pre-order it you get a bonus song as a download straight away- Sun Blows Up Today. Wayne has described the forthcoming lp as ‘bleak and terrifying’ but this bonus song sounds like the work of indie-punk chimpanzees on happy pills. Listen at Soundcloud. It’s chuffing great. Apparently they performed it at the Superbowl (?) and gave it for use on a car (?).

Their 2006 song The W.A.N.D. was a George Bush baiting, Black Sabbath channeling, up, up and away thing of brilliance. Until this week I had never seen the video. Here it is.

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The Flaming Lips ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’

Some wonderful indie-rock nonsense from Oklahoma’s Flaming Lips for your Sunday enjoyment, concerning a girl who spreads vaseline on toast, a guy who sneezes into magazines and a woman who washes her hair using tangerines. The band’s own website says ‘It’s a happy little ditty about strange people and their individual idiosynchrasies… with crunching but still harmonious noise’, and I can’t describe it any better than that.

Tonights World Cup final? I’m not sure I care that much. The Netherlands are effective and not in the habit of losing. Van Bommel seems to be setting some kind of record for committing fouls and getting away with it, while the undoubtedly talented Robben draws as many fouls as possible and rolls over a lot. Espagna play lots of very nice little passing triangles, have the most talented strikers in Europe, and struggle to win every game One-Nil. Neither are exactly setting my heart racing with anticipation. Who knows, maybe we’ll get a Four-Three classic.

She Don’t Use Jelly.mp3

The Flaming Lips ‘The W.A.N.D.’

I saw some of Glastonbury on the TV last weekend, most of the Gorillaz and some other bits and bobs. The reviews have all been pretty negative about Gorillaz. It looked fantastic on the telly, but apparently the Top Shop/Hollyoaks Glastonbury massive wanted a band with more hits and couldn’t maintain interest in a band featuring the frontman from Blur, half of The Clash, Mos Def, Bobby Womack,Shaun Ryder, Mark E. Smith, Lou Reed and anyone else who was wandering past and fancied a bash at vocals. Does sound a bit rubbish when what you really wanted was U2 doesn’t it? Young people today eh?

At some point I saw the end of The Flaming Lips set, where they played a mind-blowingly great version of their greatest song Do You Realise? and I finally got round to watching the rest of The Flaming Lips’ set on the BBC’s Glastonbury website last night. For a bunch of drug-crazed, leftwing, middle-aged acid-hippies they may be just about the most entertaining band on the planet. Apart from the sheer quality of the songs (Do You Realise?, She Don’t Use Jelly, The Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Song, Yoshimi Battles The Giant Robots etc) they have charisma and presence in spades. Wayne Coyne’s gigantic beach ball entrance, confetti, projections and films, random dancers wearing orange, aliens, the lot. I can appreciate that they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but it was very impressive stuff. The W.A.N.D. was a 2006 download single, that later turned up on their slightly disappointing At War With The Mystics album. It’s an anti George W. Bush, anti-war lyric set to a huge riff and crashing drums, like Black Sabbath if they’d actually been any good and had a sense of humour.

10 The W.A.N.D.wma