Monday, October 31, 2011

Live Blogging the Flaming Lips' 24-Hour Song... For 145 Minutes

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 2:46 PM

What I dont want for Christmas
  • What I don't want for Christmas
Because they can, I guess, The Flaming Lips made a 24-hour-long song, which is exactly 22 hours and 30 minutes longer than I suspect most of us ever want to listen to The Flaming Lips in one sitting, but that's besides the point. They made it, it's called "7 Skies H3," and as of midnight, it's been streaming for free at for a maximum of 999 listeners at any one time. If you have money pouring out of your eyeballs (awesome Halloween costume!), you could forget waiting your turn and buy the song on one of the five limited-edition physical releases encased in an actual human skull dipped in chrome and fixed with an USB cable for easy uploading for just $5,000 (relax, shipping is included). Makes a perfect wedding gift!

As for us poor folk stuck with the web-based version, keep in mind there's no rewind option, no fast forward button, just a one-time listening take, so we figured we'd keep a log going for a while in case you have a grown-up important job and can't get yourself to a computer to wait in line to hear a snippet of a 24-hour-long song. Now you can just read about it later.

12pm - Unable to play; on "hold" until one of the 999 current listeners surrenders and resumes listening to Dead Man's Bones or Trash Talk, who's even scarier.

12:30pm - Minimal witching-hour droning; no drums, no guitar, no vocals, just the vague feeling that someone is casting a spell on you.

12:43pm - Oh, thank goodness. Something new happens. Out of nowhere, drums roar in to a galloping marching-band rhythm (lots of toms) while the whirring of a tornado skids along low in the mix.

12:56pm - The same drum pattern is on repeat just with different effects streaming in the background — more wizardry, sci-fi stuff now — falling into various folds of the mix so you hear different things in different ears. The Lips' proficiency in psychedelia is really staring to shine.

1:01pm - Same drums, but now some kind of gargled vocals enter the picture; random shouts presumably from Wayne?

1:03pm - Shouts/gargles seem to be over.

1:07pm - Gargling again! He sounds mad. No discernible words.

1:13pm - I think that's a xylophone? The drums are starting to make me go crazy (same warpath drum pattern, same speed, same volume), just now there are xylophone scales being played, though I'm starting to think that might've been a harp.

1:18pm - Startling effects jumping out from the chaos; just random, jarring noises giving the sensation of whiplash. My mind is starting to feel like a garbage disposal.

1:22pm - Either technical difficulties or it was supposed to cut out on purpose, not sure.

1:23pm - Resumes; forgot to mention, there's a fire alarm going off in the background during all this drumming stuff.

1:27pm - High-pitched lunatic screaming to accentuate the warped ghostly effects that now sound as they're coming at you. This is unsettling.

1:30pm - This is getting freaking weird. Periodic screams and zooming noises complicate the already complicated, blaring drumming upheaval.

1:36pm - The sounds of jets taking off. Drums, yes, still.

1:46pm Latest addition to the drumming anarchy: metallic scraping. I'm just now remembering reading about a fraternity who forced their rushees to listen to the song "Sabotage" for 24-hours straight as part of their hazing process. Am beginning to understand...

2pm - Some tweaked-out bass ushers in the 2 o'clock hour.

2:09pm - Screams. One extended for a good six or seven seconds.

2:13pm - Drums picking up steam, seem to be building to something. What sounds like fairy princess dust is being sprinkled in the distance.

2:14pm - Oh, god. Drums slowing down. New drum pattern. Oh, man. DRUMS STOP. Or I'm deaf.

2:15pm - Not deaf! Getting all Fantasia/Star Wars-y up in here. Beams of sound stretching across a barren wasteland.

2:21 Transcendent synths, man.

2:23pm - Just cut out again. On purpose?

2:25pm Still silence. Maybe I got kicked off? Can't seem to get back in on the coveted listener pool. I am at peace with this. My mind is gone and ears are bleeding, at least metaphorically. Gonna go listen to the just-released Halloween treat from Superchunk now...

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