So you may have heard that The Flaming Lips recently recorded a 24-hour song. Per Wayne Coyne’s promise of a Halloween release date, that song is now available for listening (assuming you are the lucky 999th listener) at flaminglipstwentyfourhoursong.com/. I can tell you right now that the first six or so minutes are pretty wobbling and eerie, and also that I intend to live-blog this thing, titled “7 Skies H3,” all Halloween workday long.
Check back throughout the day as I attempt to at least carve out a third or so of this thing. Feel free to tweet me your thoughts at @okmattcarney, and we can get a little discussion going.
Also, for those of great fortune looking to blow an extra $5,000 on a collector’s item, you can purchase — via PayPal — The Flaming Lips 24-Hour Song Skull™, which is encased in an ACTUAL HUMAN SKULL, thanks to the services of Oklahoma City’s own Skulls Unlimited. Wayne Coyne has assured the public that this is perfectly legal, and also pretty bizarre.
Also, Wayne recently told Pitchfork that the Lips have a laundry list of artists they’re currently either recording with (via email) or talking about recording with that includes Deerhoof, No Age (No Age!), Stars, Death Cab for Cutie, and Nick Cave (Nick Cave!). I think a No Age-Lips EP would absolutely just split my brains out all over the floor.
Anyhoo, live-blogging begins now:
9:40 a.m.: The track begins with a gentle keyboard and short-circuiting guitar ambling around an overhanging haze of synth aura, with little, muted drums plodding along behind.
10:39 a.m.: It was much of the same for the first hour, each instrument growing steadily louder in volume.
11:11 a.m.: Aaaand my Internet connection was interrupted. I am currently listener #1,000. Balls.
Timberlake + Fallon = another hilarious hip-hop medley.
From here on out, it’s a pretty safe bet that a Justin Timberlake late-night appearance equates to another installment in the “History of Rap” series, which, as of last night, is now up to three. I think “Part I” will always remain the best just because:
1. it was completely unexpected, 2. that two white guys slipped from Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” straight into Missy Elliot’s “Work It,” each with its little nonsense-isms, and 3. they capped it with the crowd spontaneously singing the chorus to Jay-Z’s love letter to New York.
De La Soul, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Young MC, House of Pain, Coolio, The Fugees, OutKast, Snoop, Kanye, Nicki Minaj and “H.O.R.” mainstays Beastie Boys all get the treatment here. Decide which one you like best:
Watch eight beautiful, grainy videos of Girls’ Christopher Owens at an SF gallery.
Stereogum pointed out late Tuesday that a bunch of videos of mushy-gushy bedroom songwriter Christopher Owens of Girls performing songs both released and unheard showed up on the openingceremony.us blog this weekend.
“I wrote this song a coupla days ago, hadn’t played it for anybody yet,” he said before dedicating “Key to My Heart” to his girlfriend. The song (and several others here) didn’t appear on last year’s “Broken Dreams Club” EP, nor on this year’s fantastic “Father, Son, Holy Ghost,” suggesting he’s probably got a wealth of scribbled-in notebooks full of lyrics stashed away somewhere.
The filters on the video (it’s almost exclusively black-and-white, except for “Cold Again,” with splices of sepia color), Owens’ jean jacket and the folkie setup make these performances seem really timeless. Watch for yourself:
Worry not, for OKSee was there taking notes for you.
The quick hits: ACM@UCO head honcho Scott Booker tossed open-ended questions Folds’ way for about an hour, which he spent detailing his start and several of the early business decisions he made. About 500+ sat in rapt attention, cheering and occasionally even gently heckling the two men on stage. Wayne Coyne sat front row, which Folds acknowledged during the interview.
Booker ended his bit, opening the floor to questions from the audience. The line formed long quickly, and OKSee took off for the Ra Ra Riot show a few questions in. However, it was more than enough time to hear some great, enlightening banter from Booker and Folds, particularly the nature and function of the artist within the modern music business. Also, he made a buncha funnies.
I’ve gone through my notes and assembled a highlight reel of sound bites that are below. Enjoy.
On growing up singing in the South, where the stereotype that musically minded boys were all homosexuals:
“My father said I had a terrible voice.”
On breaking his hand while defending his roommate from bullies at the University of Miami, and subsequently flunking a test and losing his music scholarship:
“I threw my drums in the lake.”
On his experience working on a music publishing deal in Nashville:
“I enjoyed it, sort of. I didn’t get any royalty money for three or four years because of the bad contract. ... Ben Folds Five happened because I got so scared of the Nashville thing.”
On the transfer from working on a Nashville hit-making assembly line to his own solo project:
“Suddenly I realized all the things that were getting me rejected were suddenly valued. ... Then I heard Liz Phair’s ‘Exile in Guyville’ ... and that set me off. I knew about The Replacements, but I didn’t really know about indie stuff.”
On the piano he lugged around during those earlier BF5 years:
“I borrowed a lot of money to pay for that first piano. It was in constant danger of getting repossessed.”
On the business end:
“We got a business manager who explained we needed to borrow money to pay taxes.”
On 550 Music’s (a division of Sony Music Entertainment) promotion of the single “Brick”:
“They treated ‘Brick’ like ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’: Release two rockers, then a power ballad. And it worked.”
On signing to a major label:
“It was a relief. It meant I didn’t have to move my piano anymore.”
On working as a producer:
“I like being the producer when I’m brining to life something that wouldn’t be music otherwise. The Nick Hornby collaboration, for instance.”
On certain of his works being considered “novelty” or a joke:
“My biggest frustration is the words ‘novelty song.’ I don’t know what that means.”
On Elliott Smith, with whom he toured (and whom Booker briefly managed):
“He’s such a great songwriter technically. He was trying to write Beatles songs, and people heard him for what he was, which was desperate.”
Odds and ends:
“I was writing waltzes about Howard Cosell and stuff.”
“We got a tour manager who’d worked for Slayer.”
“We spent money on a producer; we liked his name, Stiff Johnson.”
“After ‘Brick,’ I started pulling favors. Like, ‘OK, I want to make a spoken-word record with William Shatner.’”
“Rivers [Cuomo, of Weezer] was off on an island somewhere, laying in the sun. I think that’s where he got the song.”
“[‘Weird Al’ Yankovic] is the most not-weird man I’ve ever met.”