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.


RECORD CRACK: Julianna Barwick to release “Pacing” as a single

Julianna Barwick photo JuliannaBarwick_old_zps66056b0e.jpg
Suicide Squeeze is the label Julianna Barwick will be working with to release her new 7″ called “Pacing” b/w “Call”, the A-side of which you may take a listen to below.

Only 750 copies are being pressed. You may pre-order your copy directly from Suicide Squeeze.

Barwick will be doing a small handful of performances in the next few months, so if you’ve been a fan of her last three albums or would like to hear what she does with “Pacing”, check out these dates:

February 14… Grinnell IA (Grinnell College)
March 1… Madison, WI (University of Wisconsin)
March 23… Portland, ME (Space Gallery)
April 6… Harrisonburg VA (MACROCK Festival)

VIDEO: Chris Cohen’s “Monad”

Kate Dollenmayer has created an excellent video for Chris Cohen, with the song “Monad”. The track is from his new album to be released on Captured Tracks called Overgrown Path. If you like it, you might think “wow, this is pretty good for a new artist”, and that would be complimentary. Truth is that Overgrown Path will be his 11th project. Some of you may recognize him from the work he did with White Magic, Cass McCombs, Haunted Graffiti, Danielson, Curtains, Cryptacize, Deerhoof, and Natural Dreams. Yes, check your records and CD’s, and concert photos. Now do you recognize him?

This is the first time he will be releasing something under his own name, and he is currently on tour for the next week before taking a month off to prepare for a trip to Europe to bring his music to ears, eyes, minds, and rinds:

October 13… Olympia, WA (Eli’s)
October 16… Portland, OR (Holocene)
October 17… Arcata, CA (The Bat Cave House)
October 18… San Francisco, CA (Hemlock Tavern)
October 19… Los Angeles, CA (Perhspace)
November 22… Berlin, Germany (Festsaal Kreuzberg) +
November 23… Copenhagen, Denmark (Stengade)
November 24… Malmo, Sweden (Debaser) *
November 26… Oslo, Norway (Mono)
November 28… Hamburg, Germany (Astra Stube)
November 29… Utrecht, Netherlands (Le Guess Who @ Ekko Festival)
November 30… Brussels, Belgium (Autumn Falls @ AB Support) $
December 1… Cologne, Germany (Week-End Festival)
December 2… Paris, France (Point Ephemere) <
December 6… Genoa, Italy (Teatro Della Tosse)
December 7… Toulon, France (Midi Festival)
December 8… Lyon, France (Grrrd Zero)
December 9… Lille, France (La Peniche)
December 10… Brighton, UK (The Prince Albert)
December 12… Manchester, UK (Trof Fallowfield)
December 13… Bristol, UK (Start the Bus)
December 14… London, UK (The Lexington)
December 15… Amsterdam, Netherlands (De Nieuwe Anita)

+ w/ Deerhoof
* w/ Julianna Barwick
$ w/ Joe Gideon & The Shark
< w/ Mac DeMarco and ARLT