The Great Gig in Oklahoma
Whether it’s synched to Judy Garland musicals or re-released in quadraphonic sound, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon seems to resurface time and time again amidst a music world seeking album solidarity. Officially titled The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon, The Flaming Lips collaborate with a collection of undoubtedly talented artists for an interesting trip and review of today’s pop music; they touch the generally untouchable.
The over-distorted bass line of “Speak To Me/Breath” combined with tribal-esque pounding create a somewhat raw introduction to the album. Henry Rollins, hardcore punk’s very own renaissance man, lends his voice to the spoken word portion of the album. Rollins’ urgent, but somewhat cool demeanor takes the madness away from the original British babbling leading up to the wild scream that ends the introduction. Wayne Coyne’s odd, but slightly accurate David Gilmour imitation seems counterintuitive with the rest of the track. Why imitate when no one else seems to be?
With even more distortion, “The Great Gig in the Sky” proves to be the album’s most solid track, considering the lack of actual words besides Rollins’ monologue. Electro queen Peaches belts at surprising octaves instead of her usual trashy Lil’ Kim impression. It makes sense she decides to belt these days considering everyone from Uffie to Ke$ha have claimed the party-rap style as their own.
The “moneyshot,” the song that cued Dorothy into the land of Oz, and the original album’s famous single, “Money,” seems rather uninspired in The Flaming Lips’ take. Gone are the intensely paranoia-inducing ka-chings and blings. Say hello to a rather wonky, vocoder-filled step into boredom. The track mirrors the monotone, machine-powered digital world in which our currency barely flourishes. The mood and message is delivered, but gone is the greed and beer-induced slack of a rock ‘n’ roll band.
One thing this album does seem to handle right is its ability to combine the ideas of four different acts into a pretty seamless recording. The Flaming Flips, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Henry Rollins, and Peaches, all contributing factors in today’s pop music, dared to dream. And they don’t do too bad of a job. Tracks like “Brain Damage” and “Us and Them” require a little more care. Perhaps, maybe a post-rock group’s attention to the moving scenes and moments? Of course, such a group didn’t attempt this feat and The Flaming Lips et al. did.