Monday, February 15, 2010

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots


Her name is Yoshimi/ She's a black belt in karate...

If you know the song, I'm betting you're smiling right about now.  Wayne and the Lips gave the most far-out performance (and truly deserving of that term) I've ever seen.  Made even more special after the fact, when I learned that they were sharing a stage with Drew Barrymore in an animal suit (she was dating Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti at the time and they were playing the same festival).

These guys are fun and far-out and happy and sad and just gosh-darn GOOD to listen to.  I know I've mentioned funeral songs before, and I guess Do You Realise? would be a really good one to add to the list. (YourZ sez: yeah, thanks, I'll have that one too, babe)   But I'm trying to keep it short, geez, no-one wants to hang around for hours at a memorial!,

This is definitely on the list of CDs to replace right away if disaster strikes.  It doesn't come out often enough these days and I'm glad the pointy stick made me re-listen.

It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round



She uses va-a-a-a-aseline...

I thought I'd take a leaf out of Mine's book and start with a Flaming Lips lyric.  Oh sure, this lyric isn't from a song on Yoshimi but it was the first song of theirs I heard and loved, way back in the dim dark early 90s.  I remember is was accompanied by a wigged out, nutso video.  The song epitomised every thing great about DIY and slacker rock of the time.  I absolutely loved it.  But a lot of the world didn't.  In fact, I remember Beavis and Butthead slagging it off good and proper.

Fast forward to 2002 and the release of Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots and all of a sudden, The Flaming Lips found their place in the hot light of international fame.  As Mine mentions, we were blown away when we saw them at a Big Day Out a number of years ago.  They were the last band on the bill, and a perfect way to end a wonderful day of music.  Their blissed out, effects-laden live show was simply wonderful. 

In a lot of ways, I think festivals saved this band from slipping into obscurity as they perfectly suit the communal atmosphere often found there.  That they also definitely enhance any, erm, chemical experiences the audience might be having works very well in their favour.

While every track on the album is a winner for me, I don't quite know how to put into words what I feel about Do You Realise?  Aside from its simple profundity and the beauty of its melody, Wayne Coyne's vocals and lyrics resonate with me like very few artists do (I can count 'em on one hand).  It's a beautiful, melancholic inspired piece and definitely one of the tracks in my Top Ten favourite songs of all time.

VERDICT: TURN IT UP, turn off the lights, turn on the lava lamps and float away on purple clouds of pleasure, man.

For more information:

In our collection we also have At War With the Mystics, Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell, The Soft Bulletin and Fight Test


  1. Yes! The Lips! I think I ranked Yoshimi as the 5th best album of the decade over on my blog. It's absolutely genius. Even better is listening to the DVD-A 5.1 version.

    When I went to the Virgin Music Festival a few years back I had the choice of watching the Chili Peppers on the main stage or the Lips on the second stage. I chose the Lips and all of my friends thought I was nuts, but after watching them I knew there was absolutely NO WAY that RHCP could have put on a better show than Coyne and company. The concert was as much of an insane party as a concert. I need to see them again ASAP!

  2. We missed the opportunity to see the Lips late last year due to various factors beyond our control, dammit all. Thankfully, they make regular forays to the land Down Under, so we will get to see them again.

    Did you realise that Do You Realise is the official rock song of the state of Oklahoma, winning with a 51 percent margin of the ten song ballot. How cool is that?


  3. I saw the Lips OPEN for a really bad grunge band called Candlebox. They were touring for Transmissions From the Satellite Heart..where Yourz'z beloved She Don't Use Jelly got propelled from....there were no large plastic Beach Balls for Wayne to roam in at this point, but they absolutely blew me away...haven't seen them live since(that was 1993)...then came Clouds Taste Metallic...the Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi.....a brilliant band.

  4. Ah, man, Seano, I woulda loved to see them back then. They Don't Use Jelly is still part of their live set, or at least it was when I last saw them. They have so much fun its infectious.

    I'm keen to hear their interpretation of Dark Side Of The Moon, particularly the live version.