Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Flaming Lips - I Found A Star On The Ground

For several weeks, I’ve been following a plethora of Lip tweets-primarily Wayne and Stephen’s tweets-concerning a song they’d composed that goes on for hours.

If you haven’t heard, the release schedule of the Flaming Lips circa 2011 is riddled with strange packaging and uninspired noodlings and pairings with like-minded psychedelic purveyors that neither inspire or do much justice to the Lips impressively good catalog.

The idea started as a 24 hour song-which I guess is still underway-and then it got whittled down to a 6 hour song for reasons only know to the band.

It was tweeted that they were having a bunch of trouble with the computers used to tweak and store all of this hard drive data, which should have surfaced as a digital warning that the band should just trash the entire idea as a pointless publicity stunt.

I mean, why not just focus another Skeleton walk for Halloween (which was cancelled this year, btw) and call it good?

On the surface, the six hour song-also know as “”Found A Star On The Ground”-sounds like a test of endurance-for both the creator and the listener. The illusion of four musicians sweating and aching over their craft, the shout “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” comes to mind, but can you be really sure that meticulous performances and countless takes are nothing more than the point and click of a mouse-duplicating each rhythmic measure into endless loops?

You cannot, particularly with the Lips’ history of using tapes during live performances.

But I must confess that the song-barely available as a legitimate release and posted in three different segments via Soundcloud, is amazingly listenable.

Sure, “Found A Star On The Ground” is nothing more than a Steven Drozd piece looped ad infinitum for a few hours with a bunch of added bits and pieces added over the continuing patterns. It’s a work tape of meandering weirdness with moments of creative inspiration. It’s probably best under the influence, and there’s nothing that can save it from the weight of it’s own girth. But as far as pointless promotional drivel is concerned, wouldn’t you want to waste an entire day under the direction of the Flaming Lips?

The downside is that this once-a-month project that Wayne Coyne has conjured up is confusing epic motions with lasting worth. An occasional foray into the bizarre record industry is fine and it’s something that makes the case for the Lips place in rock history. But to overdo them only manages to place their impressive catalog into the realm of the ridiculous. It shortchanges what is an otherwise impressive history, with more than a handful of efforts rubbing shoulders with the title “masterpiece.” And by dumping out a quarter-days worth of music just for the sake of doing it, you’re only managing to shortchange the legitimately awesome albums the Lips have created.

Below is the massive release in its entirety thanks to the awesome Lips fan site, Slow Nerve Action.

The Flaming Lips - Found a Star on the Ground [Part One of Three] by Slow•Nerve•Action 3
The Flaming Lips - Found a Star on the Ground [Part Two of Three] by Slow•Nerve•Action 2
The Flaming Lips - Found a Star on the Ground [Part Three of Three] by Slow•Nerve•Action

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