Part of Jun 2011 by

The Cool Weirdness that is Black Lips and “Arabian Mountain”

If the late 70’s punk scene had been born decades later, in Atlanta, Georgia, and decided to play jangly, loose in the pocket, experimental indie rock then one of those bands would have probably called themselves Black Lips.  Black Lips describe themselves as “Flower Punk” which I’m pretty sure is a Zappa song so Black Lips are either doing a music history lesson with that title or they have created another weird and muddying sub-genre of music.  Either way it’s cool because their tunes are worth your ears effort.   This is where I address your mental ping of criticism that comparing these guys to the likes of the Sex Pistols was a way too-bit much.  Okay, Black Lips in their performance history have included (per Wikipedia):  “vomiting (Cole’s medical condition), urination, nudity, electric R.C. car races, fireworks, a chicken, and flaming guitars. “  However they want everyone to know that those antics were in their earlier career.  Sort of.

Their website might look like graffiti on some striped pants that were discarded from an extra of a John Waters film but…yeah there’s no “but” here.  It’s basically a forgotten internet step child of weirdness.  Which sort of shows that these guys could care less about marketing themselves which is sort of awesome in itself.  However they do have  a NME interview on the homepage where they talk about turning a human skull they bought on the black market into a recording prop: “”We’re going to turn it into an echo chamber,” grins Black Lips’ Cole Alexander.”We’re going to drop an Echoplex mic inside it and sing. We’re hoping to tap into the spirit world.”  Interview theatrics at its finest.

Black Lips latest album Arabia Mountain (Their sixth)which dropped on June 7th to mostly positive reviews with Spin touting it as one of their “Must-Hear Albums of 2011” and was produced by Mark Ronson who is best known for his work with Amy Winehouse.  However when he was working with Black Lips he almost died of some horrifically syllabled condition he got from eating  bad liver sashimi at a sushi restaurant in preparation to record the band’s song “Raw Meat”.  Despite his near death experience Ronson definitely didn’t try to rein in Black Lips on this recording if anything it sounds like he pushed them into some new territories and the results are one darn good album.

The BLs are currently on tour with Cerebral Ballzy (I don’t make this stuff up.) and the next few dates are as follows but for the full schedule just do the webby thing:

6/21/11 – Tucson, AZ – Plush

6/22/11 – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room

6/23/11 – Costa Mesa, CA – The Detroit Bar

6/24/11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Music Box

6/25/11 – Pomona, CA – The Glass House



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