I Found A Star On The Ground

So the Flaming Lips made a 6 hour song.

As a longtime fan I am horrified, annoyed, and yet..  far too curious not to listen.  I’m over halfway through the first hour and thinking this hasn’t been any more a waste of time than any other new music from a great band I could be hearing.  In other words, I’m glad I dove in.  In all likelihood you will be too.  It’s the only sort of trippy space adventure you’d expect to last so long.  Listen below.

The Flaming Lips – I Found A Star On The Ground

Part 1 / 3

Part 2 / 3

Part 3 / 3

The story goes that band leader Wayne Coyne was playing with some psychedelic toy and thought, if this one device can provide hours of entertainment, why can’t a song?  Hence the astounding, ridiculous length of this piece.  For the increasingly preposterous band – already known for their gummy skulls, fetuses, and assorted collaborative gimmicks this year – it’s not such a leap toward releasing a quarter-day song.  Let’s face it, if you’re already on their weird train, you’re psyched about this.

The USB stick containing the music is in there somewhere.

Having heard almost a third of this I can report that it’s basically a version of their Embryonic-era dirty ambient krautrock jams, stretching ever deeper into a black hole.  It stretches as it goes on and folds in a few new wrinkles along the way.  I won’t speculate as to where it goes in the next two segments but I can imagine if you enjoy the first 10 minutes, consider it a keeper.  Fucked up way to get our attention aside, this is actually fun.  Let me know if any of you have purchased the hallucinogen accessory kit pictured above.

Atlas Sound – Quarantined


I am waiting to be…  changed

Bradford Cox is one of the only musicians working today who I feel, despite fronting a popular band and receiving wide acclaim, is less than fully recognized for his true genius.  My snobbier friends write off Deerhunter as indie/pitchfork ‘core’ while casual fans aren’t often bothered to delve into his often exquisite solo work as Atlas Sound, both on record and (more importantly) in the cornucopia of material he’s released free of charge over the years.

Debut Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, source of Quarantined.

My favorite pieces often combine a sharp nostalgic eye for the detail of pop songcraft with an otherworldly timbre.  On paper they’d make any head nod while in practice they alternately embrace and repel through a veiled fog.  Some display a truly off-kilter sense of place and time, pairing Phil Spector rhythms and shoegaze instrumentaion with lyrics about the inner terror of isolation and the damaged longing for freedom through metamorphosis.  For instance.

He’s covered Unchained Melody (seriously, listen) and recorded drone epics about tripping nuts all weekend with equal devotion and care. Cox most recently dropped a three hour, four volume slab of unreleased treasure on fans just because. Because he was neglecting his freebie-filled blog while touring and releasing multiple items with his main band? We certainly weren’t owed more; he is simply that prodigious and generous an artist.

After the dreamy debut masterpiece Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (from which Quarantined sprang) and slightly more straightforward follow up Logos, and a two year break, Atlas Sound is about to treat us all to another official LP of celestial pop on November 8 with Parallax. Check the artwork below for a bit of weird fun and to listen to advance single Terra Incognita. While you’re there, click on a window in the far right building to hear a bonus ditty I won’t spoil here. You’ll know it when you find it.

Also, another special pre-release “leak” of which I’ve grown fond: Te Amo (right-click and ‘save as’ to keep the mp3).

[while you wait get the Let The Blind… 2LP at Insound, or Amazon – there’s a full bonus EP of equally worthy music included and like other 4ad releases the packaging is gorgeous]

The Durutti Column – Otis


Another sleepless night for me…

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Julian Lynch – Terra

Julian Lynch crafted the chillest album I’ve heard all year.

First off, watch the video. Starting off innocuously and traveling through the same dreamy territory as the song itself, it’s a perfect realization of Lynch’s fractured hazy diamond of a single. It should also induce an urge to go bicycling, now.

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Flying Saucer Attack – Further

I’m here to tell you about Further, by Flying Saucer Attack. Because it needed to be discussed.

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I haven’t posted on here in ages and I feel terrible about this.

I’ve been busy, sure, but that’s no excuse; there is always something going on and I’ve made time in the past.  I woke up today with the resolve to change this.  I woke up with the notion of not only resuming writing about albums I want to share with the world, but changing the way I share on here.

So you’ll be seeing a few new things in the upcoming days and weeks.  You’ll be seeing a barrage of some of my favorite music discoveries this year along with new avenues of expressing myself and casting a light on worthy topics.

You’ll also see some HARD CORE NUDITY.

Okay, probably not.  Optimistic Underground has always been SFW and I imagine it should stay that way.  So, if you’re still here:  thank you for reading, thank you for your patience, and thank you in advance for coming back soon.