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Staring at Sound, the true story of…
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Staring at Sound, the true story of Oklahoma's fabulous Flaming Lips.

by Jim DeRogatis

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Ah, a band biography of one of my favourite bands, The Flaming Lips. Fortunately they're not the sort of band to attract a cheap press-clipping based cash in. There's nothing essentially remarkable about their story, bar their persistence, but when a remarkable character like Wayne Coyne's at the heart of the tale, it can't help but be interesting. Like the Lips music it feels like a mix of wide eyed cosmic optimism of with garage and punk, it's like tracking someone with a great deal of enthusiasm and determination trying to build a spaceship from the principle of trial and error. It's often close to crashing and burning in flames, but as much by luck as judgement, they eventually manage to successfully shoot for the stars. Author Jim DeRogitas often makes a classic rock critic mistake of telling you exactly what's good, and oh look, it's received orthodoxy. Trying to build a consensus, which seems extraordinarily appropriate for a band like the Lips. Although he's right when he says that the magnificent atheistic hymn 'Do You Realize??' should have been one of the biggest hits of all time. It's a reminder of how, in a ruthless bastard of an industry, there's still room for a bunch of hardworking nutters to make it on their own terms. The world would be a shittier place indeed without the cheeringly indomitable presence of the Lips, the purveyors of the finest, most joyous and inclusive rock 'n' roll show I've ever seen. ( )
  JonArnold | Feb 11, 2010 |
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Epigraph
The United States has a habit of making heroes out of anything and anybody. You could do anything here. Or do nothing. But I always think you should do something. Fight for it, Fight, Fight.
Andy Warhol
If you want to be successful, know what you are doing.
Love what you are doing, and believe in what you are doing.
Will Rogers
(Oklahoma Philosopher)
Dedication
For Carmèl
Usted es mi verdadera amor
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When Led Zeppelin performed at New York City's legendary Madison Square Garden in 1973, the band members arrived in stretch limos moments before walking onstage as conquering heroes and self-proclaimed golden gods, as seen in their famous concert film "The song remains the same".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767921402, Paperback)

An engrossing and intimate portrait of the Oklahoma-based psychedelic pop band the Flaming Lips, cult heroes to millions of indie-rock fans.

In July 2002, the Flaming Lips released an ambitious album called Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, which merged elements of orchestral pop, electronic dance music, and old-fashioned psychedelic rock with lyrical themes that were simultaneously poignant and philosophical and supremely silly. The album sold a million copies worldwide, introduced the Flaming Lips to a mass audience, and made them one of the best-known cult bands in rock history.

Staring at Sound is the tale of the Flaming Lips’s fascinating career (which, in reality, began in 1983) and the many colorful personalities in their orbit, especially Wayne Coyne, their charismatic and visionary founder. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with the band, it follows the Flaming Lips through the thriving indie-rock underground of the 1980s and the alternative-rock movement of the early ’90s, during which they found fans in such rock legends as Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, and Devo, and respected peers in such acts as the White Stripes, Radiohead, and Beck. It concludes with exclusive coverage of the creation of the group’s latest album, At War with the Mystics.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:50 -0400)

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