9 p.m. Saturday
Blue Note Lounge
2408 N. Robinson Ave.
By all accounts, The Flaming Lips’ all-star Record Store Day release, The Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends, was not intended for general release until fans demanded otherwise. Given all the trouble of rounding up that talent for guest stints, why not go big?
Without consulting the track listing, I tried to associate any of its 13 songs with the visitors. Not counting the needlessly 10-minute cover of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” with Erykah Badu’s vocals, I was able to place one.
My point? This is not a collaborative album in the true sense; this is a Lips record with the company bending to Wayne Coyne’s will, so those wondering what a team-up between the band and My Morning Jacket might sound like, keep wondering.
When the invitation reads “costume required for attendance,” dammit, you’re going to don a costume, even if you are Nick Cave.
Whether this is a good thing depends on your opinion of Embryonic, the Lips’ last original LP, which found them abandoning the dream-pop melodies of their Soft Bulletin breakthrough for more experimental, uneasy-listening pastures. Fwends boasts those touches in droves, from buzz-saw riffs to psychedelic static.
To me, only two tracks felt like full-fledged songs versus jacking-around outtakes: the downtempo “Tasered and Maced,” where Ghostland Observatory’s electro-spooky touch is tangible, and the unfortunately titled “Helping the Retarded to Know God.”
As for the remainder, I quote the opening of song six: “You always want to shave my balls / That ain’t my trip.” —Rod Lott