Concluding from the previous post, this is all about the joy of reading and learning what cannot be known; what makes the artist tick…

If you love the Flaming Lips like i do, and you haven’t seen the brilliant documentary “The Fearless Freaks“, then stop reading now and go rent it, but it, steal it, download it, whatever, but you MUST see it! I saw it. It made me cry. It made me happy. It taught me a few things and it inspired me. The film is nearly 2 hours long, but it just wasn’t enough, so I ran out and bought Staring At Sound, another authorized biography. While a great read, the cynicism of the author was a bit much for a band that lacks cynicism more than just about any other. However, it does dig deeper into some of the issues “The Fearless Freaks” touched on and that’s enough to recommend it.

The Flaming Lips have a rich musical history, but this next song is one of the best songs by anybody ever, it’s “Enthusiasm For Life Defeats Existential Fear”…

Ian McCulloch, lead singer for Liverpool legends Echo & The Bunnymen has always been a bit of an enigma. He was very outspoken in the 80’s, so much so in fact that he was dubbed “Mac The Mouth“. Often critical of his peers, and in no short supply of ego or Guinness, he would let readers know exactly what he thought. However, he never let us know who he was and when the 90’s rolled around, he dummied up for good, no doubt in an attempt to loose the “Mac The Mouth” tag. He quit The Bunnymen, cancelled solo tours, made an album with Johnny Marr, the master tapes of which were stolen (maybe) and then disappeared for awhile before restarting The Bunnymen. I was there for all of it, and privy to none of it, so i bought “The King Of Cool“. Some of my questions were answered, but like a lot of these other books, there’s so little out there on their subject that anything is better than nothing. So of course, i recommend it 🙂

Here he is with Echo doing the classic “Never Stop”…

Growing up, i’d always heard about the band Japan. I’d not heard the music or anything, but i’d seen the pictures and at the time, mistakenly thought they were ripping off Duran Duran (it was the other way round, actually). In the early 90’s, I’d heard this fantastic self-titled record by a band called Rain Tree Crow. Turns out, this was a Japan reunion project of sorts, but unfortunately it was short-lived. So I delved into the Japan catalogue, which is uneven and remarkably different to Rain Tree Crow. David Sylvian‘s solo career however, was very similar and i began digging in that mine. After years of listening to these records, I am now a lifelong fan, but these men are not exactly household names so info on them is sadly deficient. Therefore you can forgive my excitement when i spied The Last Romantic, a bio for David Sylvian in The Elliot Bay Book Company! I immediately headed home to crack this particular code. Sadly, it’s a poorly written document about an artist who is reluctant to be written about and who has informed his closest associates of this reticence. Not only that, but to be honest, he seems like a dick. I could be totally off. Maybe it’s his shyness that warrents such a misdiagnosis. I myself have that very problem, but what i read is what i read. Hopefully, there will be more written about him and his colleagues down the road, but until then, this is the book for you!

Here’s the beautiful “Blackwater” by Rain Tree Crow, which was my unofficial theme song for 1995-1996…

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PlayNetwork, Inc.


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