You know how the last Flaming Lips video, for “Ashes in the Air,” featured an alien with an eyeball for a head and lots of dead naked people? Well, their latest clip features no aliens or death, but it’s pretty much just one big ol’ nakedfest. It’s for “You Lust,” a 13-minute epic of their latest album, The Terror. Thankfully it’s been edited down to more like four minutes for the video, because four minutes is about as much flaccid penis close-ups as I can stand. Watch and you’ll see what I mean. (Heads-up: NSFW on account of it being a nakedfest and all.)
Holy swampballs: Quintron and Miss Pussycat are gonna play the fucking Kennedy Center. Plus a few other places.
If you’re like me, you probably get sucked every year around Christmas into watching the Kennedy Center Honors, because your aging parents have pumped you so full of leftover turkey and Pinot Grigio that you can’t get off the couch and so you’re stuck watching that boring-ass parade of old actors and ballerinas and cellists and ohmygodisthatLedfuckingZeppelin? OK, so the Kennedy Center Honors aren’t all bad. Especially when you’re on your third bottle of Pinot Grigio.
Hosting the Zep was pretty cool…even though they got that talentless douchebag Kid Rock to massacre “Ramble On”…but the Kennedy Center is about to get even cooler. Because on April 13th, they will play host to none other than Quintron & Miss Pussycat. Yes, the New Orleans ambassadors of down ‘n’ dirty “swamp tech” are on the bill for something called the New Orleans Bingo! Show, which also features the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a jazz cellist, and this guy. Your tax dollars at work, people!
We ran most of these Q & Miss P tour dates back in January, but we’ll run them again here because there have been a few updates…also because they made this awesome “tour commercial” video and we need an excuse to post it. Full dates after the clip.
Here are the dates. Oh and I should’ve mentioned: “The Mystery in Old Bathbath” is a new Miss Pussycat puppet movie. So bring your popcorn.
4-8 – Jacksonville, FL @ Sun Ray Cinema – live show and screening of THE MYSTERY IN OLD BATHBATH
4-9 – TALLAHASSEE, FL @ Downunder Club
4-10 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
4-12 – Purchase, NY @ SUNNY Purchase Culture Shock festival
4-13 – Washington DC @ Kennedy Center (Yes the real Kennedy Center) – more info TBA
4-17 – NEW HAVEN, CT @ Cafe 9
4-18 – NY, NY @ Anthology Film Archive – NYC premier of THE MYSTERY IN OLD BATHBATH – Q and A to follow film
4-20 (dude) – BROOKLYN, NY @ Secret Project Robot with K-Holes, Black Dice – Spring Fever / smoke lots of weed festival
4-21 – Richmond, VA @ STrange Matter with Bermuda Triangles
4-25 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s downstairs
4-26 Dallas, TX @ Doublewide with Darktown Strutters!
4-27 Austin, TX @ Psych Fest – Q and P, King Kahn and Bar-B-Que, Acid Mothers Temple, more trippy bands than ever
4-28 Waxahachie, TX @ Webb Gallery
Even though it features an alien with a giant eyeball for a head, a baby with a man’s face, and lots of blood-soaked naked people huddled around mutilated corpses, the most perverse thing about the new Flaming Lips video might be that it’s for a song that isn’t even on their latest album, The Terror, which comes out this month. Instead, it’s a fan favorite from last year’s collaborative album, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, featuring folkie falsetto hero Bon Iver on vocals. Has no one explained promotion to these people? (I’m kidding, of course: head Lip Wayne Coyne might be the shrewdest self-promoter of any artist we’ve ever covered.)
In another perverse move, the Lips’ label, Warner Bros., has decided to release The Terror in the U.K. on April 1st but delay its Stateside arrival until April 16th. Why, Warner Bros., why? It’s like you’re daring us to illegally download it. (I’m kidding, of course: We here at TWBITW do not condone online piracy or illegal sharing of copyrighted material in any form. Stay in school, kids!)
Anyway, here’s “Ashes in the Air” in all its bizarro glory. I’ll resist the urge to give away the surprise ending, but I will say this: If you’re easily grossed out, you should totally post a video of yourself watching it.
Remember, kids: All good things come to those who Kickstart. Because we kicked down 15 bones to the Polyphonic Spree for their Kickstarter campaign, we get to hear the album we helped to fund before the general public does. They even just sent us an advance download of two tracks! Really, they’re giving more to us than we ever did to them. We feel all warm and fuzzy about it.
We’re not sure when exactly we’ll receive our very own CD copy (old school!) of Yes, It’s True, but the masses get to hear it on May 28. Sometime after that, we’ll all finally get to see the Polyphonic Spree concert film Kickstarter helped fund, too. Basically, 2013 is gonna be The Year of the Spree.
The Yes, It’s True tracklist is below. They sent us a copy of album opener “You Don’t Know Me” and while we can’t share it here (cuz that would be cheating*), we can tell you it’s trippy and anthemic and a shade or two darker than we’ve come to expect from the Spree. In other words, it’s awesome. They also sent us a non-album track called “You Plus Me” that we’re sorely tempted to post so we can put to rest once and for all any lingering debate over whether Tim DeLaughter’s merry band of Texas hippies is really all that “weird.” But we’ll resist. Put it this way: It’s basically nine minutes of abstract whooshes and reverb-soaked horns and kind of sounds like this one time at band camp when I tried to simultaneously huff nitrous and play “When the Saints Go Marching In.” (Kidding! I was never in band camp.)
1) You Don’t Know Me
2) Popular By Design
3) Hold Yourself Up
4) Carefully Try
5) You’re Golden
6) Heart Talk
7) Blurry Up The Lines
8) Let Them Be
9) Raise Your Head
10) What Would You Do?
*Turns out you can listen to it on Consequence of Sound. No cheating required!
Sorry, the Flaming Lips Anatomically Correct Chocolate Heart is sold out. Your Valentine will hate you now.
If you’re like us, you probably have a tendency to procrastinate before Valentine’s Day, then freak the fuck out on Feb. 11th when you realize that every restaurant in town is booked up and you’ll be taking your wife to In-N-Out Burger (again). So it’s no surprise that we totally missed the boat last week on telling you about this crazy anatomically correct, limited-edition chocolate heart the Flaming Lips released via Oklahoma-based gift shop Dwelling Spaces. We’re a little slow sometimes.
Made by a chocolatier from Texas called Dude, Sweet Chocolate, the “Flaming Lips Chocolate Human Heart” is made from “72% South American dark chocolate studded with hazelnut mini whoppers and waffle cone crunch” and contains a USB drive featuring various Flaming Lips love songs, including such baby-making classics as “Love Is Mind Control” and “Moth in the Incubator” (and yes, clearly they’re defining the term “love songs” a bit loosely here).
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, apparently it was so awesome that it sold out almost instantly. Sorry, kids. How about some In-N-Out instead? You have to admit, it’s a pretty romantic name for a burger joint.
In other Lips news, their new album The Terror arrives April 2nd. No word yet on what Wayne Coyne will encase it in, but you can bet it will be something delicious and/or disgusting.
So it looks like Deerhoof‘s Greg Saunier had so much fun shooting a guerrilla-style video on the streets of Hong Kong that he decided to bring the whole band along for a followup. This time the setting is Tokyo and the soundtrack is “We Do Parties,” a lively jam off their most recent album, the excellent Breakup Song. Armed with glowsticks, stickers promoting their Tokyo show and blinky raver glasses that I can’t stop watching, the SF noise-pop heroes make lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s hometown their playground. Watch.
In other good news for Hoofheads, Deerhoof just announced a whole mess of tour dates, including an appearance at something in New York called the Ecstatic Music Festival, where they’ll be collaborating with these guys. Which is nice, because usually the only thing New Yorkers have to look forward to in February is freezing their asses off on a dank subway platform.
Deerhoof 2013 tour dates:
02-20 New York, NY – Merkin Concert Hall (Ecstatic Music Festival)
03-01 Brisbane, Australia – The Zoo
03-02 Sydney, Australia – The Annandale
03-03 Melbourne, Australia – Schoolhouse Stuidos
03-06 Adelaide, Australia – Adelaide Festival
04-04 St. Louis, MO – The Firebird #
04-06 Madison, WI – UW-Madison Music Hall %
04-07 Iowa City, IA – The Mill (Mission Creek Festival)
04-08 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall *
04-09 Grand Rapids, MI – Pyramid Scheme *
04-11 Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Pike Room *
04-12 Pittsburgh, PA – Andy Warhol Theatre *
04-13 Rochester, NY – Water Street Music Hall *
04-14 Albany, NY – Valentine’s *
04-15 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
# with The Breaks
% with Dal Niente
* with People Get Ready
One last Deerhoof tidbit: “We Do Parties” is being released Feb. 26th as part of a digital EP that will also feature Breakup Song bonus track “Just for That,” a remix of “Mario’s Flaming Dessert” by electronic music pioneer Simeon of Silver Apples, and a live cover of the Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties.” Watch this space for your chance to get in on that action. Or, if you’re like us, you can blow a few bucks on those LED raver glasses instead.
Good news for people who like puking in alleyways and/or flashing their tits (not necessarily in that order): Mardi Gras is almost upon us! And what better way to celebrate than with New Orleans’ ambassadors of Crescent City eccentricity, Quintron and Miss Pussycat? (We hear Trombone Shorty’s a good time, too, but does he open his sets with sci-fi puppet shows? No, he does not.)
In addition to playing a few hometown Mardi Gras-related shows, Q & Miss P will also be bringing their puppets and swamp jams to several lucky, lucky cities this spring. See below for full tour dates, and for a little taste of what you’re in for, read our review of Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s last show here in L.A. The venue you see them at will probably less stanky, but we make no guarantees.
Quintron & Miss Pussycat Mardi Gras/spring tour dates:
02-1 New Orleans, LA – Tulane University Mardi Gras Ball
02-02 Lafayette, LA – Blue Moon Saloon w/ T-Kette
02-11 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s w/ K-Holes, Vice Cooler & the one and only STEPHANIE “call the police” MCDEE!
03-01 New Orleans, LA – THE PRYTANIA THEATER – NOLA Premier of “The Mystery In Old BathBath”
04-09 Tallahassee, FL – Downunder Club
04-10 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
04-13 Washington, DC – Kennedy Center New Orleans Bingo Show
04-17 New Haven, CT – Cafe Nine
04-20 Brooklyn, NY – SPRING FEVER @ Secret Project Robot w/ K-Holes, Black Dice
04-21 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter w/ Bermuda Triangles
04-25 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s Downstair’s
04-26 Dallas, TX – Double Wide Bar w/ Darktown Strutters
04-27 Austin, TX – Austin Psych Festival at Carson Creek
04-28 Waxahachie, TX – Webb Gallery
Has it really been five months since we first reported that the Flaming Lips were gearing up to release The Terror, their 13th studio album and first “proper” album (if that even means anything anymore) since 2009′s Embryonic? My how time flies when you’re eating paint chips and going to GWAR concerts.
Anyway, after some overly optimistic speculation from irresponsible music bloggers (us included) that The Terror might see the light of day as early as last December, we now have it on good authority (Warner Bros., the Lips’ label) that the nine-track set will finally arrive on April 2nd. We just previewed the whole album earlier today (“already?” you ask—yep, we’re fancy) and are happy to report that it’s far and away the weirdest, darkest shit Wayne Coyne and co. have recorded since Zaireeka, not counting any of that 24-hour-song nonsense they were churning out awhile back. Here’s the full tracklist:
1. Look…The Sun Is Rising
2. Be Free, A Way
3. Try To Explain
4. You Lust
5. The Terror
6. You Are Alone
7. Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die
8. Turning Violent
9. Always There…In Our Hearts
We’ll have a full review closer to the actual release date. We wouldn’t want to give away too much before then.
P.S. Apparently, if you pre-order The Terror on iTunes, you instantly get a non-album bonus track called “Sun Blows Up Today.” Here’s a lyric video for the track that just debuted today. Warning: Nothing on The Terror is this catchy. Or this apocalyptic. I almost resisted the urge to describe this song as “catchalyptic” but…no, I went ahead and did it.
Is there any band on the planet better-suited to putting on a Christmas concert than The Polyphonic Spree? Do I even have to answer that? This is a band that, even in non-Christmas mode, radiates so much joy to the world that they practically levitate off the stage. Slap a few Santa hats on them, and the joy is so intense you could probably weaponize it and have the entire nation of North Korea doing the “Gangnam Style” dance in the streets. So it’s about time that they finally released a Christmas album, Holidaydream, and took their semi-legendary annual Holiday Extravaganza concert on the road.
The first stop of the Holiday Extravaganza (Holivaganza?) tour was right here in Los Angeles this past Thursday night. Held at the usually dark and clubby Henry Fonda Theatre, it was a kid-friendly affair with unconventional opening acts (a magician, a children’s book author), people in Santa suits and giant snowman and reindeer costumes running around the crowd, printed programs with song lyrics, and a decidedly non-rock concert vibe. One friend of mine brought her seven-year-old daughter, who was happily tear-assing around the venue with another little girl with blinky lights on her shoes. At one point I spotted Spree frontman Tim DeLaughter in the audience, chillaxing and enjoying himself as much as everyone else. It was like being at a church social that just happened to have a full bar with six beers on tap.
The Spree played an early, holiday-themed set for the families and kids; then, after a couple of other musical acts (YouTube-famous folkie Gustafer Yellowgold and the punk-rock-meets-Blue-Man-Group racket of Street Drum Corps), they returned for an extended “rock set” that included old Spree standards like “Soldier Girl” and “Light & Day/Reach for the Sun.” Both sets featured balloon drops, confetti cannons, and loads of rowdy singing along—along maybe not as much singing along as DeLaughter was hoping for when he invited a bunch of the kids up on stage and launched into “Feliz Navidad.” Turns out most little kids whose parents have dragged them to a Polyphonic Spree concert don’t know the words to “Feliz Navidad.” Note to Tim: Try “Jingle Bells” next time. That’s every seven-year-old’s “Sweet Caroline.”
To the Spree’s credit, they didn’t stick to the obvious, feelgood Yuletide classics. Yes, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and “Joy to the World” were practically meant to be played by an 18-piece rock orchestra, and they were suitably grandiose and exuberant. But an eerie, slightly atonal version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” was also one of the highlights of the holiday set, as was the “Town Meeting Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I also loved that they turned “Silent Night” into a harp solo so beautiful, it actually made you forget that “Silent Night” is one of the dreariest, most dirge-like Christmas carols of all time.
The latest incarnation of the Spree has been stripped down to a comparatively lean 18 members—or so my program tells me. Actually, I only counted 17 people onstage, but maybe the second guitarist was out sick or something. Even minus a French horn or two, they still managed to pump out quite the wall of sound.
The highlight of any Spree set, for me, is their electrifying cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium,” and the version on this tour, accompanied by a pink balloon drop, does not disappoint.
The only part of the show that was even better than “Lithium”? The milk and cookies they handed everyone in the lobby on their way out. Can all bands start doing this now, please?
The Polyphonic Spree Holiday Extravaganza is only playing four more cities: Chicago (Dec. 11th), Philadelphia (Dec. 14th), New York (Dec. 15th) and Dallas (Dec. 22nd). If you’re lucky enough to live in one of those places, go. What else are you gonna see this time of year? Mannheim Steamroller?
[Update: Video of the Spree's performance has been added to the end of this post. Scroll for the gold, people!]
Look, we know Jay Leno is the Grinch who stole The Tonight Show. But suck it up, Conan fans, and watch late-night television’s most lantern-jawed host just this once, because he’s got a special treat for you, in the form of a red-and-white robe bedecked orchestral pop ensemble churning out what will no doubt be the most euphoric rendition of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” since the John and Yoko original.
Yes, the Polyphonic Spree are out promoting their new holiday album, Holidaydream, available now wherever fine Yuletide soundtracks are sold. They’re also doing a very limited December tour, which we’ll be covering later this week. The press release for the tour promises a holiday-themed variety show extravaganza that may or may not feature such delights as zoo animals and “tap-dancing grannies.” (No, really, the press release actually says “tap-dancing grannies.”) So stay tuned for our report and grainy Instagram photos, campers! This should be a fun one.
In the meantime, here are some Spree December tour dates:
Dec. 6 – Fonda Theater, Los Angeles, CA
Dec. 8 – Slim’s, San Francisco, CA
Dec. 11 – Logan Square Auditorium, Chicago, IL
Dec. 14 – Trocadero Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
Dec. 15 – Webster Hall, New York, NY
Dec. 22 – Lakewood Theater, Dallas, TX
And here’s a sample of Holidaydream: a lovely animated video for “Let It Snow,” one of 13 videos the band is rolling out Advent Calendar-style on their website. And yes, for once, we’re calling something “lovely” in a totally sincere and non-ironic way. Well done, Spree.
Update: The Spree’s Tonight Show performance is now available via Hulu and embedded below. It’s not quite as over-the-top as we were hoping for—they’ve stripped down to a comparatively lean 18 members—but it still puts us in the Christmas spirit way better than knocking over old ladies to get to the discount racks at JCPenney.