Monday, May 19, 2003

Personally, I find Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots irritatingly overrated. But I won’t question the demented genius of Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne, nor the heft of their live performances. The Gazzer and I saw the Lips in Chicago a couple years back, doing a $5 show in the shadow of Wrigley Park, and I had to leave because I couldn’t breathe. Not because of the crush of the crowd, though that was considerable – but because it seemed like between the crowd and the sheer energy of the Lips, all the air was being sucked out of the room.

Yoshimi’s “Do You Realize?” is a bit too much of a candy-colored “Bitter Sweet” symphony for my tastes, but “One More Robot” is a gorgeously sad, sweet pop record. I will never understand how a band so sheerly, delightfully weird as the Lips have remained signed to a major label for as long as they have – but I’m glad they have. Shame about the whole backing-up-Beck thing, though; saw their performance on Austin City Limits, and found myself nodding my head, thinking “Beck doesn’t need an art-pop backing band; he needs the JB’s.” It all seemed to fit with his new material, which just made it more depressing. [Suffice it to say I’m not a big fan of most of his last record. I fall much more on the Odelay/Midnite Vultures side of the Beck fence.]

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