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.


AUDIO: Zorch’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)”

There’s a tribute album coming out for The Beatles’ 1967 classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and it happens to be the new album by The Flaming Lips. Titled With a Little Help from My Fwends, every song on the album features the group’s aforementioned friends, including Zorch who did a cover of “Good Morning, Good Morning”. They were also asked to do another song, the nice reprise for the album, and they did. However, when they submitted their version, another cover had already been selected for the album. Coyne liked it so much that he decided to use it, but release it as a B-side for a 45. Or something, and I say that because it is uncertain on how it will actually be released so if it does not, here it is encoded for your convenience.

As for the final version of With a Little Help from My Fwends, Warner Bros. will be releasing it on October 28th.

SOME STUFFS: Shmu covers Lorde’s “Royals”

Shmu just wrapped up a U.S. tour and will be planning out his release schedule for the year, with a number of EP’s due out in 2014. Now he’s allowing himself to get musically friendly, in this case by covering Lorde’s hit song “Royals”. How does Shmu transfer to personal feel of what Lorde tried to convey? Find out for yourself.

This cover version is based on the remix Shmu did of Lorde’s original, in fact they both share the same instrumental. All Shmu did was remove Lorde’s original acapella track and place it with his own, which you can hear here.

SOME STUFFS: Shmu begins 2014 with tour in support of new EP

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Shmu is one half of the duo known as Zorch, and after making it on my list of Best Albums Of 2013… okay, maybe this isn’t the reason, but it’s a way for you (the reader) to hop on over to my Best Albums Of 2013 list, and since we made it this far without talking about why this post exists, let’s start again.

Shmu, the man you see in the above photo, will be releasing an EP in two weeks on Grand Theft Zamboni Records called Chroma Key and to get people into what he’s creating, he will be going on tour. Here are the dates:

January 3, 2014… Austin, TX (Scoot Inn) (Austin Free Week EP sampler release party)
January 8, 2014… Austin, TX (Empire)
January 11, 2014… Austin, TX (Spiderhouse Ballroom) ʄ
January 15, 2014… Denton, TX (Mac Island)
January 16, 2014… Ft Worth, TX (Grotto’s)
January 17, 2014… Dallas, TX (Club Dada)
January 18, 2014… Oklahoma City, OK (Blue Note)
January 19, 2014… Shreveport, LA (Fatty’s)
January 20, 2014… Texarkana, AR (Silver Dollar)
January 21, 2014… Hattiesburg, MS (Thirsty Hippo) *
January 22, 2014… Baton Rouge, LA (Mud + Water) * #
January 23, 2014… New Orleans, LA (Gasa Gasa) #
January 24, 2014… Lafayette, LA (Artmosphere) * #
January 25, 2014… Houston, TX (House of Creeps) *
January 26, 2014… San Antonio, TX (VHS 1138)

ʄ = w/ Feuding Fathers, Boyfrndz
* = w/ Caddywhompus
# = w/ Imaginelam

Chroma Key is said to be the first of a series of EP’s to be released in 2014, which will lead to all of it being compiled for a double album (!!) by the end of the year. There will no doubt be more concert dates throughout the year, so be prepared for Shmu-ness.

SOME STUFFS: Halloween-themed album released by Tera Melos’ Nick Reinhart

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As Tera Melos headline a tour that brings on the folks in Zorch, one of its members has released a Halloween album of sorts. I speak of vocalist/guitarist Nick Reinhart, who just came out with a free piece of work called Nick Reinhart’s Scary Sounds. He didn’t call his album Mary Mounds, for that would be a completely different set of music altogether, but this one, you may stream and listen to courtesy of Bandcamp.

As for that Tera Melos/Zorch tour featuring Cult Jam and Full Force… wait, no Cult Jam and Full Force, but instead, Fang Island will be opening for a few shows? Got it, it’s Tera Melos and Zorch, with a bit of help from Fang Island at the top, including a show tonight:

October 28… Hamden, CT (The Space) *
October 29… Northampton, MA (Pearl Street) *
October 30… New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom) *
October 31… Allston, MA (Brighton Music Hall) *
November 1… Philadelphia, PA (First Unitarian Church) *
November 2… Washington DC (Rock and Roll Hotel) *
November 3… Richmond, VA (Strange Matter)
November 4… Greenville, NC (Tipsy Teapot)
November 5… Charlotte, NC (Visulite Theatre)
November 6… Asheville, NC (Isis Music Hall)
November 7… Athens, GA (New Earth Music Hall)
November 8… Birmingham, AL (Bottletree)
November 9… Broussard, LA (The Station)
November 12… Albuquerque, NM (Launchpad)
November 13… Tucson, AZ (Club Congress)
November 14… La Jolla, CA (Che Cafe Collective)
November 15… Los Angeles, CA (Troubadour)
November 16… San Francisco, CA (Rickshaw Stop)
November 17… Santa Cruz, CA (The Crepe Place)
November 20… Bellingham, WA (The Shakedown)
November 21… Spokane, WA (The Center)
November 22… Eugene, OR (WOW Hall)
November 23… Reno, NV (Holland Project Space)

* w/ Fang Island

SOME STUFFS: Tera Melos get “X’ed Out” with a brand new EP of remixes

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There are a lot of remix projects out as of late, and it’s not in the usual genres either. Then again, what is a genre? Anyway, Tera Melos may fit in within a few genres but for their latest project, they’re opening up the box to allow others to throw paint on genre specifications to create some brand new remixes with the X’ed Out Remixes EP EP (Sargent House). The people contributing their remixing talents are Nick Reinhart, Busdriver, one from each member of Zorch, and a nice remix of “Weird Circles” by Jason bartell of Fang Island, which you may listen to below.

The EP will be layered onto our planet on October 8th and record freaks, do not fear. The X’ed Out Remixes EP EP will be released as a 10″ EP on “rainbow sparkle” vinyl. This is available for pre-order from

Speaking of Zorch, the dynamic duo will be joining the dynamic trio in Tera Melos for a tour in October, which will also bring them together with Fang Island for shows in late October/early November:

October 15… Boise, ID (The Crux)
October 17… Denver, CO (Larimer Lounge)
October 19… Columbia, MO (MOJO)
October 20… St. Louis, MO (The Demo)
October 22… Columbus, OH (The Basement)
October 23… Chicago, IL (Subterranean)
October 24… Ann Arbor, MI (Blind Pig)
October 25… Cleveland, OH (Grog Shop)
October 26… Buffalo, NY (Tralf) *
October 27… Ithaca, NY (The Haunt) *
October 28… Hamden, CT (The Spacev *
October 29… Northampton, MA (Pearl Street) *
October 30… New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom) *
October 31… Allston, MA (Brighton Music Hall) *
November 1… Philadelphia, PA (First Unitarian Church) *
November 2… Washington DC (Rock and Roll Hotel) *
November 3… Richmond, VA (Strange Matter)
November 5… Charlotte, NC (Visulite Theatre)
November 6… Asheville, NC (Isis Music Hall)
November 7… Athens, GA (New Earth Music Hall)
November 8… Birmingham, AL (Bottletree)
November 9… Broussard, LA (The Station)
November 13… Tucson, AZ (Club Congress)
November 15… Los Angeles, CA (Troubadour)
November 16… San Francisco, CA (Rickshaw Stop)
November 17… Santa Cruz, CA (The Crepe Place)
November 20… Spokane, WA (The Center)
November 21… Bellingham, WA (The Shakedown)
November 22… Eugene, OR (WOW Hall)

* w/ Fang Island

REVIEW: Zorch’s “Zzoorrcchh”

 photo ZorchZ_cover_zps64682a3a.jpg There was a time not too long ago where people were talking about making music for the apocalypse, the inevitable collapse of the world, the illuminati, immersing ones self in pre-millennium tension. Well, we’re far from being at the verge of the end of the world, but if Zorch had a means of describing their own music, it would be they are innovators of post-apocalyptic fun. Zzoorrcchh (Sargent House) seems to be thrilling music for those who just want to let go and celebrate life for the here and now, and the songs here are meant to be heard for the now, as a means to take off ones clothes, climb up a hill or mountain and let it all jiggle in a tribal fashion. Imagine what The Flaming Lips would sound like if they were not growing their own psychedelic mushrooms and this is what this album by Zorch sounds like, at least on the surface. As the album gets deeper and it reaches “Mutwa”, that’s when things start getting trippy. The instrumental comes off quite funky but then it seems to be going on some progressive rock/Miami bass-type thing that seems unconventional but it works. Then add in some 8-bit/Atari 2600-type keyboard lines and it’s as if someone entered the best shopping mall in the world and you just discovered $100 worth of quarters. Except before you place the first coin in the slot in the game room, you want to dance and privately want to go nude. If there is a song that stands out as a possible pop hit, it would be “Cosmic Gloss”, equipped with Daryl Hall-styled falsetto voices and the charm that is sure to make everyone feel as if their lives are a jubilee. As it reaches “Oceans Dawn”, we then realize that Zorch has moved the nudist parties from the mountain tops down to the ocean shore, and everyone is still making weird hip motions to the music.

Bottom line, Zzoorrcchh is a very fun and thrilling pop album who understand that one doesn’t have to stick with traditional pop conventions in order to create music that sounds good for one and all. Then again, maybe this is not meant for one and all, but for those who want an adventure in sound. Free your mind, Zorch is saying, your ass is already getting down, up, and rotating in figure eights.

(Zzoorrcchh will be released this Tuesday {July 23rd.)

SOME STUFFS: Zorch pass along a new song from “Zzoorrcchh”

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Zzoorrcchh may be a zesty title, and that’s why the guys in Zorch are using it for their forthcoming Sargent House album. It will be released on the 23rd of July, and they’re sharing a song from it called “This Is The Way It Goes”. It may be a way of hooking people to remember it, leading some to ask, “what’s that song?” Someone will reply “oh, this is the way it goes” and…

Well okay, maybe not, but it is indeed a zesty song from this Austin, Texas duo, which begins almost in a tribal and industrial manner before it sets itself to drill into the minds of those who listen. It is wild.

(You may pre-order Zzoorrcchh on vinyl or CD below via Amazon.)

BANDCAMP SUGGESTIONS: Zorch’s “Cosmic Gloss/E.M.F.” (EP)

Photobucket Zorch are back with new music and are about to hit the road in a quality fashion. They have a new 2-song EP called Cosmic Gloss/E.M.F. and while it will be formally released in July, you can download it for free right now via Bandcamp, or listen to it before you download the FLAC’s, MP3’s, or OGG’s, click the player below.

As you listen, also plan your summer around these guys coming to or near your abode.

06/30 Phoenix, AZ @ The Rogue Bar
07/01 San Diego, CA @ Tin Can Ale House
07/02 Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell
07/03 Oakland, CA @ Gamma Gallery *
07/04 Sacramento, CA @ The Townhouse *
07/05 San Francisco, CA @ The Hemlock *
07/06 Eugene, OR @ TBA
07/07 Portland, OR @ Holocene ^
07/08 Seattle, WA @ Ground Zero
07/09 Seattle, WA @ The Inn (daytime/house party)
07/09 Seattle, WA @ Healthy Times Fun Club
08/10 Austin, TX @ TBA %
08/11 Houston, TX @ TBA %
08/12 Lafayette, LA @ TBA %
08/13 Baton Rouge, LA @ The Spanish Moon %
08/14 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks %
08/15 Birmingham, AL @ Magic City Wholesale
08/16 Murfreesboro, TN @ Trash Mountain (pool party)
08/17 Atlanta, GA @ 529
08/18 Greensboro, NC @ The Blind Tiger
08/19 Baltimore, MD @ The Annex
08/20 Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger Gallery (anniversary party) $
08/21 Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn #
08/22 New York, NY @ Pianos
08/23 Providence, RI @ Local 121
08/24 Boston, MA @ TBA
08/25 Montreal, QC @ Torn Curtain #
08/26 Kingston, ON @ The Grad Club #
08/27 Waterloo, ON @ TBA (day show)
08/27 Toronto, ON @ The Silver Dollar
08/28 Sudbury, ON @ Myths and Mirrors Festival +
08/29 Ithaca, NY @ The Space at Greenstar
08/30 Dayton, OH @ South Park Tavern
08/31 Bloomington, IN @ House Party
09/01 Chicago, IL @ Ball Hall
09/02 Milwaukee, WI @ The Cactus Club
09/03 Madison, WI @ TBA

* with Religious Girls
^ with White Hinterland, Wampire
% with Twin Killers, Caddywhompus
$ with Grandchildren
# with Doldrums
+ with DD/MM/YYYY

SOME STUFFS: Zorch to perform 19 shows in 10 days

Hand in hand, meat to crab, the men of Zorch commit harakiri for your ears. In this case, they also help to slash your eyes in this intense video for “Zut Alore”. On YouTube, the video has a warning and I share it here:
WARNING: video contains lots of flashing images:seizure people beware.

It’s not a joke. Now that you have been warned, you can either click away or begin the intensity.

The magic also begins in a live setting when Zorch are scheduled to to perform 19 shows in 10 days. Can they do it? Will you follow them on their adventures? Start turning in those empties now.

03/11 New Orleans, LA @ Dragon’s Den (Foburg Fest)
03/13 Denton, TX @ 1006 Alice St. House Party (3pm)
03/13 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves (w/ Dan Deacon)
03/14 Austin, TX @ Club 1808 (Escapes V “Maiden Voyage”)
03/15 Austin, TX @ Wurhaus – 5305 Bolm Rd. #2 (5pm)
03/15 Austin, TX @ Beauty Bar (w/ Peelander-Z) (9pm)
03/16 Austin, TX @ Second House – 1102 E. 2nd St. (Slip’n’Slide SXSW Party – 3pm)
03/16 Austin, TX @ Epoch Coffee (8pm)
03/16 Austin, TX @ Club 1808 (Escapes VII – 11pm)
03/17 Austin, TX @ Domy Books (w/ Japanther) (noon)
03/17 Austin, TX @ The Carousel Lounge (3pm)
03/17 Austin, TX @ The Blue Theater (w/ Joan of Arc, My Education) (9pm)
03/18 Austin, TX @ The Side Bar (w/ Liturgy) (1:30pm)
03/18 Austin, TX @ Fado’s (Rethink Pop Music Showcase) (5pm)
03/18 Austin, TX @ Pearl St. Co-Op (w/ Free Moral Agents, My Education) (late night)
03/19 Austin, TX @ Old Skool BBQ Bus (Escapes X w/ Baths vs. Maps and Atlases) (1pm)
03/19 Austin, TX @ Club Deville (Parking Lot Dodgeball Tournament) (4pm)
03/19 Austin, TX @ MALAIA Upstairs (Official SXSW Showcase) (8pm)
03/20 Austin, TX @ The Salvage Vanguard Theatre – Zorch w/ live puppeteers!