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Live Blogging the Flaming Lips’ 6-Hour Song ‘I Found a Star on the Ground’


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The Amplifier listened to all six hours (!) of the Flaming Lips' new song "I Found a Star on the Ground" so you don't have to. (We will accept tokens of your appreciation at our Twitter.) Frontman Wayne Coyne has described the track as "like the Velvet Underground meets Super Mario Bros.," noting, "You could listen to a Mario Bros. type video game forever because its kind of just 'do do do do do la ta da ta da.' It's not real intense, and it's not going anywhere." The Amp has played a lot of Mario Bros. in our day. This, sir, was no Mario Bros. If you're feeling bold, listen along!

9:40 a.m.: And we're off! To a pretty irritating start. This is sort of the definition of cacophony, isn't it?

9:41 a.m.: The Lips have settled into an Olivia Tremor Control-esque psych jam.

9:44 a.m.: Our first vocal! A falsetto singing the song's name, "I Found a Star on the Ground." Over and over again.

9:47 a.m: The vocal is gone. Feeling so abandoned. But there's some sort of skronky sax thing happening to keep us company.

9:54 a.m.: Song blending well with the whirl of our paper shredder. Farewell, Crate and Barrel catalog!

10:00 am: AWFUL BUZZING.

10:05 a.m: The voice is back. With the awful buzzing.

10:17 a.m.: Wayne Coyne (we think) is speaking to us.

10:18 a.m.: And ooh, just got Radiohead tickets for next week in New York!

10:38 a.m.: As we approach the ONE-HOUR mark, the Lips have their horn players essentially just blasting scales over the same propulsive beat we've been hearing for the past 58 minutes.

10:58 a.m.: This is still happening. Horns bleating wildly.

11:06 a.m.: A change has finally come -- a bloopy little Trey Anastasio-esque guitar riff is mellowing this clanging mess a bit. SWEET. RELIEF.

11:17 a.m.: The beat is fading! Now 95 minutes into the song, the drums have fully dropped out and the track now consists of a few mesmerizing, repeated tones.

11:18 a.m.: Somebody is intoning a list of names separated by a ringing sound. One of these names is "Birdmouth."

11:40 a.m.: The TWO-HOUR mark comes and goes with blissfully serene strings that are gently lulling the cat to sleep. Sleep while you can, kitty! Danger surely awaits.

11:51 a.m.: Soft, gorgeous strings just gave way to the return of the original propulsive beat and "I found a star" refrain. Nooooooooooo. We'll turn off The View, promise! Just make it stop!


12:10 p.m.: Holy crap, we are not kidding, this is officially torture.

12:20 p.m.: Things have calmed again. There are hand claps.

12:29 p.m.: The reading of the names has recommenced, punctuated once again by heavy gongs of sound. We hear your name, Steven Ford!

12:42 p.m: This is sort of a cop-out, no? Several long minutes of notes on every downbeat with nothing else going on.

12:44 pm.: Spoke too soon. Propulsive drums'n'drones are back.

12:48 p.m.: The Lips try to trick us with the sound of a ringing phone. It's cool, we only picked it up for a second.

1:02 p.m.: The voice has returned. Hello, old friend!

1:14 p.m.: Now a different voice is singing the song's name, in a sort of childlike way.

1:38 p.m.: BAGEL BREAK

1:55 p.m.: In truth, what makes a song a song, anyway? How do you define "song"? Maybe our idea of a song is different from yours.

1:57 p.m.: Voices return. Starting to lose grip on the real world. Did Jill Zarin really get fired from The Real Housewives of New York or was that a fever dream? JUST TELL US, OKAY!?

2:05 p.m.: The final two hours have begun with pleasant enough high-pitched sounds accompanying that propulsive drum beat.

2:13 p.m.: Harmony! Voices in harmony! Music! We are singing along, propelled by the desire for human companionship. Song so long. So lonely.

2:21 p.m.: Something is making cat-like noises in the background. It's cool, we only yelled at the cat for a second.

2:27 p.m.: The orchestra has picked up the vocal melody.

2:36 p.m.: BRITNEY BREAK

2:57 p.m.: With a little over an hour to go, the drums have again faded out, leaving an swell of strings.

3:05 p.m.: The Lips are slowly ramping back up -- the drums have returned, the strings and brass are crescendo-ing, things are HAPPENING.

3:18 pm.: The song has taken another twist -- it's back to the propulsive rhythm that kind of sounds like a breakbeat... and now it's quiet so we can hear the sound of people in the world who aren't listening to a six-hour song going about their regular business.

3:21 p.m.: The digital equivalent of waves lapping at the shore...

3:25 p.m.: ... has been broken by the warped squall of that chaotic moment in "A Day in the Life."

3:35 p.m.: More names! What up, Joshua Hefner.

3:50 p.m.: Xylophone tones! Quiet! Respite!

3:52 p.m.: Well, that lasted two minutes. Now there are squelchy synth noises over a more mellow drum beat. It sounds a little like the Beastie Boys' "Funky Boss."

3:58 p.m.: The storefront the Beastie Boys photographed for the cover of Paul's Boutique suffered a fire earlier this summer. Isn't that depressing?

4:01 p.m.: Not as depressing as the xylophone tones and quiet.

4:02 p.m.: Ooh, more names!

4:09 p.m.: One of those names is longtime Lips publicist Rick Gerson! And now the Lips are intoning, "We love you." You should love us, we just made it through five hours and 48 minutes of your insanely long song.

4:13 p.m.: The voice is repeating, "We will always love you" and has been for several minutes. What once sounded reassuring is now creepy.

4:15 p.m.: Oh my God, it's the last 30 seconds! After a final "we will always love you" IT JUST STOPS!!

4:20 p.m.: Fleeting feeling of regret.

4:26 p.m.: Fleeting feeling of loss.

4:31 p.m: Ultimate feeling of extreme accomplishment. So this is what mountain climbing is all about.

4:43 p.m.: Boss denies us a raise despite proof that we have just listened to a six-hour song.

4:44 p.m.: Rage assuaged by remembering we got those Radiohead tickets.

The End.

[Photo: Jeff Kravitz/]

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