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Roll Call: the Flaming Lips @ the Phoenix 4/4/06


TimmyB
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Hello Everybody,

Who else will be coming with me to see the most fun band on the entire planet at this moment in time?

By that I mean who is also going to see the Flaming Lips at the Phoenix Concert Theatre on Tuesday April 4, 2006?

BTW it is the same day their new album 'At War with the Mystics' comes out.

I hope to see you all there.

Tim

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TimmyB I think this will be the most sought after show this year. So may people wanted to get tickets and so many were left out. I'll be the dude (among the several hundred others) hanging outside asking anyone who walks by if they have an extra.

Well deranger I hope you find that extra. And I hope all others on here that are looking for a ticket for this gig find one tomorrow.

Though I believe the most sought after show(s) this year is the David Gilmour tour and that will be happening this upcoming weekend at Massey Hall. So you should likely find a ticket for the Flaming Lips at a far more reasonable price than Gilmour a few days later.

But if you and others don't get in don't fret, I'm sure with the Flaming Lips releasing their first full length album since 2002 tomorrow, so there will be many more opportunities to see them in the months and possibly years to come.

Tim

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Review of the Flaming Lips: "At War with the Mystics"

by: William Schiestel

"At War with the Mystics" ramps up to be an epic. Following the ambitious and successful "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots", the Lips attempt to continue the trend of writing vast soundscapes with an emphasis on the album as a whole, and to not shy away from a little pop/funk/disco/rock/smooth/classical or whatever. Whereas a band like Radiohead seemed content to avoid writing another album like "OK Computer" atleast for now, and using that to spurn off an significant evolution in their sound and ultimately the effect on their albums, the Lips by contrast were satisfied with their previous attempt, and seem content in employing a similar method, choosing to fill the album with new and tasty ear flavors they've mixed up in the lab. The album isn't a carbon copy by any means... it still uses a similar flow and some compositional tricks to help the listener take an audible journey giving it that Movie Score quality.

First impressions are that the Lips were attempting to be a little Rockier. There is definitely a Rock and Roll flavor to this disc, which bumps them a few steps closer to Pink Floyd on the Pink Floyd <–> Beatles Psychedelic Rock Axis, as compared to Yoshimi. The first three tracks effectively get the album out of the gate... "Free Radical (A Hallucination Of The Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)" is a particular stand out. The next few tracks slow the pace down considerably, but still remains quite musically engaging. The instrumental track: "The Wizard Turns on (The Giant Silver Flashlight And Puts On His Werewolf Moccasins)" predicts an up-tempo change for things to come.

The tracks sway and mesh, introducing possible recurring characters, who grow and change from track to track. There is also some effectively implicit political commentary running throughout the disc. Another common theme that seems to arise in Wayne Coynes lyrics seems to be death, and the finite nature of life. "Do You Realize?", was quite effective and unique use of the vastness of death and how important it is to live for today. For Mystics, "Mr. Ambulance Driver" picks up the theme, taking it into even newer and less explored lyrical territory. It's too bad the following track "Haven't Got a clue" sucks the life out of it... all is good though "The W.A.N.D. (The Will Always Negates Defeat)" has The Who meets Ween vibe which quickly resurrects the album... perhaps this tracking was done by design?!

To me, there is no doubt that the Song "Pompeii Am Gotterdammerun" is in someway a tribute to Pink Floyd. I could swear that's Roger Waters playing Bass... but it's defiantly not Wright on the Keys... maybe John Bonham... but I digress.

The compositions are effective so that the magnitude of the multi-tracking doesn't become too overbearing, though I can understand at times overbearing is what they are going for, so expect to be overborn for some of the album. These episodes are balanced quite well by including some very raw and natural soundscapes weather it be a naked acoustic guitar, the sounds of song birds in the trees, or the cry of an Ambulance, which for some reason brings some comfort in it's song placement.

The lips never shy away from audio "enginuity", and Mystics is no exception. BIG BASS, Heavy layering, and quadraphonic landscapes help highlight the vastness of this album. Where the lips have sometimes challenged the limits in their explorations in the past, their growth and mastery of the craft has now become quite refined.

Overall, a triumphant effort... it's hard and a little unfair to say right away if this album is better or worse than Yoshimi, so I'll leave it at that... Perhaps seeing them perform sections from this album tonight, which I couldn't imagine being very boring, will help solidify the strength of this album in my mind, but for me I'm content in saying that this album contains lots of great music, and that the Lips have continued to grow and develop their craft for the better, in as much as they continue to make new, fun and interesting music that works on many levels.

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I've given the new album a few listens and its growing on me at a rapid pace. I don't know if any album has ever had me absolutely hooked as a whole after the very first listen, but this one is off to a great start. Have fun at the show, lucky bastards!

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They obviously have a record that will be tough to compete with, let alone keep up to par, but I'll tell ya what though, anyone seen their ACL performance?

I've always held the SRV ones up to stuff but last Saturday night I watched one of the best ACL's I have ever seen.

I cant offer a setlist, but I knew the first tune (guessing it is from The Soft Machine) and caught

Yoshimi

War Pigs ( with Chan Marshall of Cat Power)

Somewhere over the Rainbow (with Steven’s Dad)

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