REVIEW: The Flaming Lips’ “With A Little Help From My Fwends”

 photo FlamingLips14_cover_zpsd41ccabf.jpg The last time we heard from The Flaming Lips, they made a fantastic album called The Trial (my review of which can be read by clicking here.) After having a bit of surprise success with their cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon in full, the Oklahoma gentlemen decided to get into their mushroom storage shed again to cover another classic rock album, this time The Beatles’ highly cherished Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The new album is called With A Little Help From My Fwends (Warner Bros.), called this because the Lips are joined by a number of special guests, some welcomed, some unwelcomed, some surprises, others not so much. Overall, it is a split effort. Some songs work fairly well while others fail miserably, even within the context of The Flaming Lips. Some of the more demented stuff is quite good, including versions of “With A Little Help From My Friends” with Black Pus and Autumn Defense), “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” (with Maynard James Keenan, Puscifer and Sunbears), “Lovely Rita” (featuring Tegan and Sara, Stardeath and White Dwarfs), and “When I’m Sixty-Four” (with Def Rain & Pitchwafuzz). Surprisingly, it is Miley Cyrus’ two contributions (yes, two) to the album are some of the best songs here, playing roles in “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (which also features Moby) and “A Day In The Life” (featuring New Fumes). If Cyrus ever steers towards making more serious music, she may become a huge influence on a generation or two of many young singers. That’s not a joke.

The absolute best track is “With A Little Help From My Friends” not only because it has Black Pus but because it’s the noisiest on here. Would I listen to this on a regular basis, not really. I prefer other Flaming Lips albums and EP’s and I like The Beatles’ album a bit too much, even though I do enjoy the way they’ve always reinterpreted other people’s works. It may work very well for other listeners so if your mind is open up to this, definitely plug it in. Despite the fact that a good part of it sounds like a total failure (and definitely feel freel to define “failure” in your own way), the good thing about this is that all proceeds from record sales will go to The Bella Foundation, an organization in Oklahoma City that helps provide veterinary care to needy pet owners. Buy it for that reason.

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VIDEO: Jonathan Rado’s “Faces”


With his album Law And Order (Woodsist) now available for listening and munching (NOTE: do not munch on his music. Munching along with it would be okay), Jonathan Rado has made public a video for one of its songs. Directed by Austin Kearn, “Faces” involves an underground/basement boxing match with sweaty men and bricks. It looks cinematic and serious but then it leads to some unique boxing techniques.

Rado will be appearing at the Woodsist Festival in Big Sur, California later this month, and also has some other festival dates lined up. Newly added dates are listed in bold:

September 18… Brooklyn, NY (Glasslands) *
September 22… Big Sur, CA (Woodsist Festival @ Henry Miller Library)
September 27… Champaign-Urbana, IL (Pygmalion Music Festival)
September 28… Cincinnati, OH (Midpoint Music Fest)
October 4-13… Austin, TX (Austin City Limits Festival)
October 15-19… New York, NY (CMJ)

* w/ White Fence

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SOME STUFFS: Jonathan Rado ready to get “Law And Order” out to people

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As reported in early June, Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado was ready to unleash his solo album. We’re now getting closer to that happening as Law And Order is set for release by Woodsist on September 3rd. If you’d like to have a little spoonful, have a listen to a song called “Seven Horses”.

Rado will also be appearing at this weekends FYF Fest, and still has some shows left in his tour:
August 24… Los Angeles, CA (FYF Fest)
September 5… Salt Lake City, UT (Twilight Concert Series @ Pioneer Park)
September 22… Big Sur, CA (Woodsist Festival @ Henry Miller Library)
September 27… Champaign-Urbana, IL (Pygmalion Music Festival)
September 28… Cincinnati, OH (Midpoint Music Fest)
October 4-13… Austin, TX (Austin City Limits Festival)

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SOME STUFFS: Actor Shaun Fleming becomes Diane Coffee with new album

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A few of you may be familiar with Shaun Fleming as an actor in a number of works for Disney, going as far back as the late 1990’s, or being the drummer for Foxygen. He has done his share of voice-overs for Disney cartoons, but Fleming knew that a true, more genuine love was music. While his time in California was fruitful, the move to New York City developed into something unexpected: the artist known as Diane Coffee.

His set-up was said to consist of him “using a pseudo drum kit consisting of a snare, one broken cymbal, and a metal pot, recording parts with an iPhone’s voice memo app, playing a detuned guitar rather than a real bass”, so while the coastal move was beneficial for Fleming, it seemed it influenced him to create something even he didn’t expect. Thus, Fleming became Coffee and is jamming on pots and thrift store guitars, which is perfectly okay with me, for it resulted in an album Coffee is calling My Friend Fish (Western Vinyl), which will make itself known on October 29th. Also on that way: the beginning of his national tour in New York City, so consider that his album release party.

October 29… New York, NY (Pianos)
November 2… Austin, TX (Red 7) *
November 5… Phoenix, AZ (The Rhythm Room) *
November 7… Los Angeles, CA (The Echo) *
November 8… Santa Ana, CA (The Constellation Room) *
November 13… San Francisco, CA (The Chapel) *
November 15… Seattle, WA (Barboza) *
November 16… Portland, OR (Bunk Bar) *
November 19… Denver, CO (Hi-Dive) *
November 21… Kansas City, MO (The Record Bar) *
November 22… Carbondale, IL (Hangar 9) *
November 23… Louisville, KY (The Zanzabar) *

* = w/ Those Darlins

You may now stream & listen and/or download “Hymn” below via Soundcloud.

SOME STUFFS: Jonathan Rado has solo album ready

 photo JonathanRado_cover_zps2ffe3897.jpg
Jonathan Rado had taken a break with his Foxygen duties and decided that an album under his own name was necessary. Welcome Jonathan Rado the solo artist, and his forthcoming album, Law and Order (Woodsist). It’s a bit of a new dimension and direction for Rado, but listen to “Faces” for yourself and hear what one of his facets sound like.

On a good note. Foxygen will be heading on tour and it’s safe to say that Rado will be including his solo tracks within their sets. Set yourself up:
June 21… Dover, DE (Firefly Music Festival)
June 22… North Adams, MA (Solid Sound Festival)
July 13… Louisville, KY (Forecastle Festival)
July 21… Chicago, IL (Pitchfork Music Festival)
July 25… New York, NY (River Rocks Series at Pier 84)
July 28… Milwaukee, WI (Turner Hall)
July 29… Minneapolis, MN (First Avenue)
August 1… Vancouver, BC (Biltmore Cabaret)
August 2… Seattle, WA (Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room)
August 3-4… Happy Valley, OR (Pickathon)
August 24… Los Angeles, CA (FYF Fest)
September 5… Salt Lake City, UT (Twilight Concert Series @ Pioneer Park)
September 22… Big Sur, CA (Woodsist Festival @ Henry Miller Library)
September 27… Champaign-Urbana, IL (Pygmalion Music Festival)
September 28… Cincinnati, OH (Midpoint Music Fest)
October 4-13… Austin, TX (Austin City Limits Festival)

SOME STUFFS: Woodsist Festival to be held at two venues this year

Woodsist Festival 2013 photo WoodsistFest2013_zps6bfb9166.jpg
With help from the good people at Folk Yeah, the Woodsist Festival will be returning this year to the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California but as an added treat, a third day has been added at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown, California. The venues are about seven to eight hours away from one another, but it will give people in each area to catch some great music. If you are able to make the drive or flight from one city to the other, awesome.

The Big Sur shows (tickets will be available here) will have six bands per day, while the Pioneertown show (tickets to be sold here) will have a total of seven. The festival begins just after the first day of fall, here is the list of scheduled performers for each show:

Sunday, September 22 – Big Sur
Woods
White Fence
Foxygen
Michael Hurley
Skygreen Leopards
Jessica Pratt

Monday, September 23 – Big Sur
Real Estate
The Fresh and Onlys
Peaking Lights
Little Wings
MV & EE
Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

Saturday, September 28 – Pioneertown
Real Estate
Woods
Fresh and Onlys
White Fence
The Babies
Jessica Pratt
Alex Bleeker and the Freaks
& more TBA


While you are able to do your research for lodging options, here are a few that Woodsist and Folk Yeah are suggesting for tentative attendees of the festival:

Fernwood Resort (Big Sur)
47200 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
(831) 667-2422

Big Sur Camping
Glen Oaks (Big Sur)
Big Sur River Inn

Bottchers Gap Campground
Camping Big Sur
805-434-1996

Andrew Molera State Park
Hwy 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
(831) 667-2315

Kirk Creek Campground
Hwy 1
Big Sur, CA 93920
(805) 434-1996

===
For those planning on attending in Pioneertown:
Travel Lodge
54850 Twentynine Palms Hwy
Yucca Valley, CA 92284
(760) 365-3311

SOME STUFFS: Wampire offer preview of forthcoming album


The Wampire kids (shown above) of Portland, Oregon had been in the studio, and are about to release their debut album on May 14th via Polyvinyl called Curiosity. You may listen to one of the tracks from it, this one is called “Spirit Forest”.

With SXSW in their sights, the group have created a tour doughnut surrounding it, and you get to taste its flavor:

March 6… Holland, MI (Hope College) +%
March 7… Chicago, IL (Lincoln Hall) % – SOLD OUT
March 8… Bloomington, IN (Bluebird Nightclub) +%
March 9… St. Louis, MO (Firebird) +%
March 11… Norman, OK (Opolis) +%
March 12… Dallas, TX (Club Dada) +%

March 13… Consequence of Sound Party @ The Parish (214 E 6th St) – 1 PM
March 13… Life or Death PR Party @ Scoot Inn (1308 E 4th St) – 8 PM
March 14… Austin Psych Fest Party @ Hotel Vegas (1500 E 6th St) – 1:30 PM
March 14… Polyvinyl Records Showcase @ Red Eyed Fly (715 Red River St) – 12 AM
March 15… Boost Case Party @ Malverde (400-B W 2nd St) – 3:15 PM
March 15… Bust Magazine Party @ The Pussy Palace (4407 Ave C) – 6 PM
March 16… Blundertown/Sailor Jerry Party @ Gypsy Lounge (1504 E 6th St) – 5 PM

March 18… Denver, CO (Larimer Lounge) +%
March 19… Salt Lake City, UT (Urban Lounge) +%
March 22… Seattle, WA (The Crocodile) +% – SOLD OUT
March 23… Vancouver, BC (The Media Club) +%
April 5… Portland, OR (Aladdin Theater) %

% = w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
+ = w/ Foxygen

Their single for “The Hearse” (as presented here) will be released tomorrow (March 5th).

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SOME STUFFS: Unknown Mortal Orchestra come equipped with new video and tour dates

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Portland’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra are off to a good start in a new year, with a video on the way for their single “So Good At Being In Trouble” (listen to audio by clicking to YouTube), to be released February 5th on their second album appropriately titled II (Jagjaguwar). You will be able to locate it at your favorite record shindigs by spotting this cover art:
Unknown Mortal Orchestra

As the group go on tour, they will make a stop in New York City on February 25th for an appearance on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Here is where they’ll be before and after:
February 2… Tokyo, Japan (Zepp Divercity)
February 5… London, United Kingdom (Cargo) # SOLD OUT
February 6… Antwerp, Belgium (Trix) #
February 7… Amsterdam, Netherlands (Paradiso)
February 8… Berlin, Germany (Prince Charles) #
February 13… San Franciso, CA (Great American Music Hall) +%
February 14… Santa Ana, CA (Constellation Room)
February 15… Los Angeles, CA (Echoplex) +%
February 16… Las Vegas, NV (Beauty Bar) +%
February 18… El Paso, TX (Lowbrow Palace) +%
February 19… San Antonio, TX (The Korova) +%
February 20… Austin, TX (The Mohawk) +%
February 21… Houston, TX (Fitzgerald’s) +%
February 22… New Orleans, LA (One Eyed Jacks) +%
February 23… Atlanta, GA (529) +%
February 25… Late Night with Jimmy Fallon appearance
February 27… Washington, DC (Rock and Roll Hotel) +%
February 28… New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom) +%
March 1… Philadelphia, PA (First Unitarian Church) +%
March 2… Boston, MA (Brighton Music Hall) +%
March 3… Montreal, Canada (il Motore) +%
March 4… Toronto, Canada (Wrong Bar) +%
March 6… Holland, MI (Hope College) +%
March 7… Chicago, IL (Lincoln Hall) %
March 8… Bloomington, IN (Bluebird Nightclub) +%
March 9… St. Louis, MI (Firebird) +%
March 11… Norman, OK (Opolis) +%
March 12… Dallas, TX (Club Dada) +%
March 18… Denver, CO (Larimer Lounge) +%
March 19… Salt Lake City, UT (Urban Lounge) +%
March 21… Boise, ID (Treefort Music Fest)
March 22… Seattle, WA (The Crocodile) +%
March 23… Vancouver, BC (The Media Club) +%
April 5… Portland, OR (Aladdin Theater) %
May 10-12… Camber Sands, UK (ATP Festival curated by TV on the Radio)

# with Spectral Park
+ with Foxygen
% with Wampire

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