The Lunatic Is On The Grass: Rollins Does Floyd with the Lips

Given that the Flaming Lips just released a new album (Embryonic) a few months ago, you’d think they’d either be taking it easy or, at best, prepping to tour behind that album. Leave it to them, however, to take a left turn and do something different….like, say, release another new album.

Well, sort of, anyway.

Prepare yourself for the Lips’ take on Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, which was made available today as an iTunes exclusive. It’s a strange little release (like you’d expect anything less), with some tracks credited to the Lips, some listed as collaborations with Norman, Oklahoma’s pride and joy, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, and a couple credited solely to those guys without the Lips. What’s arguably most interesting about the album, however, is that it also features vocal contributions from Peaches and Henry Rollins.

Rollins? Really…?!?

Yes, really…and I know this because I checked in with him to ask him about it. My questions were simple and so were his answers, but at least it’s straight from the horse’s mouth:

How did you come to team up with the Flaming Lips for this project?

They asked me.

What’s your Pink Floyd background?

Not a fan.

What was your favorite track on the record to tackle?

The general laughing, it was difficult to make it feel real.

If pressed, are there any other albums you’d be interesting in revisiting like that? Not necessarily classic rock, of course…

No. I don’t think about things like that. Seems like too much work when you could be moving forward on something new. You could say that about the Lips, but they have a new album out, so it’s not like they’re sleeping on the job.

True enough, Mr. Rollins. True enough.


Stardeath and White Dwarfs: The Birth

Can nepotism be a genre? Seriously, these guys are the Flaming Lips Jr. Supposedly frontman Dennis Coyne is Wayne Cone’s nephew, but maybe that’s a cover story (kind of like how Jack Nicholson was led to believe his mother was his sister) and there’s some deep-seated family secrets hiding the truth and he’s actually Wayne’s secret son. Whatever the case, these guys don’t only sound like the Flaming Lips, they even seemed to have employed the same design team, as the cover art and liner notes ofThe Birth look like rejects from the the Yoshimi cover design sessions. Dennis worked as a roadie for his uncle’s band for a few years, so maybe the Flaming Lips are the only band he’s ever heard. It would make sense. Stop me if any of this sounds familiar; Beach Boys-style vocal harmonies, occasional psychedelic freak-outs, oblique lyrics about space, lasers and even a Superman reference. Really? Musically there is nothing wrong with this record, there is even one stand-out track, the bass-heavy “Those Who Are from the Sun Return to the Sun” but…it sounds just like the Flaming Lips! What’s the point? If I wanted to hear the Flaming Lips, I’d listen to The Flaming Lips, not their junior varsity squad. (Warner Bros 2009)

Stardeath and White Dwarfs MySpace Page


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