Back when I first created this site, prior to taking everything down and focusing on an Ugly ‘n’ Weird book instead, I used to post the odd bit of ‘news’. I put that in inverted commas because I know I’m not a journalist.
Not that I have anything against journalism; it’s out of respect for the profession that I would never call myself one, because I don’t have the instinct for a story or the willingness to chase a lead. And while I’m more interested in the unknown and the irrational than any sort of objective reality, I’m sure as hell glad that there are people who are passionate about getting to the truth.
Having said that, when weird new things do make it through my radar, I should probably say something about them. So, I’ve decided to do these semi-regular news roundups to collect those titbits of weird musical news that come my way.
New Flaming Lips album released 13 January
It’s been four years since The Flaming Lips released a proper studio album, the icy and bleak breakup album The Terror, which came out in 2013. Since then, band leader and neo-psychedelic dandy Wayne Coyne has been exhibiting some odd midlife-crisis-like behaviour.
Whatever’s going on in the dude’s life is of no real interest to me. What is of interest is that a new Flaming Lips album just landed. Titled Oczy Mlody (see Coyne’s explanation of the title in the video above), it’s a continuation of The Terror’s synth-led sound, but with a nod to the more accessible psych-pop of 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. The band has created enough strange and enjoyably horrendous music to ensure their inclusion on Ugly ‘n’ Weird, and with Oczy Mlody‘s manipulated vocals and frog sounds, it seems that’s not about to change any time soon.
Have a listen below…
The story of the Melvins explored in new documentary: The Colossus of Destiny
I’d heard that there was a documentary about the Melvins in the works (something I never followed up on – see not a journalist), and now it appears to be finished and doing the rounds in the U.S. It features interviews with Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers), Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Fantômas), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas), Kevin Rutmanis (Cows), and David Yow (The Jesus Lizard). That’s a lot of ugly weirdos.
I’m not sure if and when The Colossus of Destiny: A Melvins Tale will make it to Australia, but I’m intent on seeing this. For more details, check the movie’s website.
Zappa reissued on vinyl
The price of vinyl is getting so high that I’m not sure I can continue buying records. But these Frank Zappa reissues look pretty damn tasty. Lumpy Gravy (1967), Cruising with Ruben & the Jets (1968), Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970), Joe’s Garage (1979) and, most excitingly for me 1968’s We’re Only in It for the Money, have all been reissued on 180gram vinyl and it’s about bloody time.
Frank’s early work with the Mothers of Invention and his solo material is seminal, and I’m not just saying that because the guy had a thing for bodily fluids. Zappa was instrumental in introducing avant-garde ideas to pop audiences, and in carving out a space for those freaks and creeps who were too weird for the hippies, establishing an alternative to the ‘alternative’ music scene at the time. I’ll be covering Zappa here on Ugly ‘n’ Weird eventually, but for now I’ll be studiously resisting the urge to buy all of these.
Find out more from the Zappa website.
Yoko Ono responds to election of Donald Trump
On January 20, the same date that my cat is next due for his flea and heartworm drops, reality TV host and professional wrestling personality Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America.
On hearing this news late last year on November 12, avant-garde artists and activist Yoko Ono tweeted the following response to Trump’s election win.
Sums it all up really.