BLACK LIPS – Still The Greatest Band

Black Lips – the mere mention of those two words has gotten KIDS LIKE YOU AND ME excited, stoked, etc. Whatever you wanna call it – our fandom has been anything but passive. We created this very website dedicated to passionate rock ‘n roll music because of BLACK LIPS. We are the dudes that have Google’d and YouTube’d the shit out of the band over the past 9 years (which is really only about half of their existence [formed in 1999]), traveled a handful of times to New York to catch them, and played Mr. Driver on the jukebox at an Irish dive downtown.

Now we can go on and on about why Ain’t Comin’ Back should be as regular a staple in the set as O Katrina, why we obsess about the Gaye Blades and why no one is going to touch the Old King Cole Younger solo album with a ten foot pole.

Plain and simple we are the Black Lips ultimate fans. Now, that’s not to say we take everything they have ever done and just gush and bow down to it. Underneath the Rainbow is pretty much just an average album and hey, I heard they’ve got a new one out. Their discography from the very first cuts through Arabia Mountain stands on its own for pushing ‘garage’ into noisier and more experimental directions. Where other bands play it safe or just plain fuzzy, the Lips always seem to have a genuine sense of humor and an amateur vibe of not caring. This is the kind of stuff that got me to pick up the guitar, drums, and sing, and not worry about doing it ‘right’.

My 13th time seeing the Lips last night at Brighton Music Hall reminded just how giddy I am thinking about and living the experience. This is just FUN. For most bands a short set is decent, but with the Lips I just want it to never end. And life goes on, too. The members have changed so probably certain songs will never be played again and what not. But at the heart of it is a band that still has heart and puts on the best time for those that care.

Review: Black Lips – “Underneath The Rainbow”

Release: 3/2014

Black Lips, my friends, the godfathers of this website, the band that started it all for us. And for thousands of others that have partaken in the pleasure of the Black Lips experience over the course of the last fifteen years. That’s no easy feat for any band; though there have been many a stimulating garage/punk band in rock ‘n roll’s history, Black Lips have gone from DIY Atlanta naughty boys to Vice’s most prized musical possession. And this wasn’t over night. They toured the world relentlessly for years, maybe a couple times over, before getting any ‘legitimate’ attention from the press. Once that came, some of their old time fanatics abandoned their former favorite sons on the basis of their new found hip major label, but in came so many more others, who like us, never heard or seen anyone like ’em.  Call that musical naivety, if you will, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere. That brings us to Underneath The Rainbow or not really.

I’ll call this their eighth album – for those unfamiliar with these guys, I’ll recap real quick: ’03, ’04, ’05, one album per year, each one funner than the previous. Then came the ultimate live/studio LP (they fooled us for years, maybe never fooled Jay Reatard, though) Los Valientes Del Mundo Nuevo. That was ’07. Later that year came their Vice debut, Good Bad Not Evil, an introduction for the masses. Their gunky, excitable style still very much in tact, they popped out 200 Million Thousand in 2009. Two years later they got Mark Ronson to work with them in the studio and eat some raw meat. That was 2011’s Arabia Mountain. We really enjoy that one like the rest before it. Stained and pristine. Black Lips just doing their thing as they’ve always done.

Sure, it’s a little early to be writing about a Black Lips album before it’s released. This ain’t nothin new for nuts like us that make the trip to NY to see these guys every time Boston’s not on the itinerary. For the best live band in the world – there I said it and I’m not alone in my view – a blase record is not gonna stop us from appreciating these dudes. Underneath The Rainbow is quite Black Lips. No one’s going to be confusing the voices of Cole, Jared, Joe, and Ian for anyone else. The instrumentation is trademark BL as well: distorted, fuzzy, dying guitars, big bass sound some of the time, Joe’s drumming. You know. As I listen over and over again to this new batch of songs, I find myself searching for something that the Lips have previously always stuffed deep into my ear drums. Maybe I have always taken for granted the immediacy of Black Lips songwriting. For the first time I feel almost as if a decent number of ’em were crafted while the band was on a creative vacation.

“Waiting” is just like Arabia‘s “The Lie,” with its skeleton guitar lead, “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” is a genericy synthesis of the bells and whistles of Side B of that same album. Then there’s “Do the Vibrate” and “Dog Years,” that revisit some of the band’s rougher/punk inclinations, yet just don’t have that ole rawness that might freak out some arena attendin’ Black Keys fans. The bluesier, southern rock that the Lips have spoken of as inspiration for this record shows through most notably on the fine first taster “Boys in the Wood” and album opener “Drive By Buddy”. Both tunes have really catchy choruses, not sounding rushed or put together in any noticeable way. My jam for this record is “Funny,” the Mr. Driver of 20-14. Cole’s always had a crazy way about him, the way he sings, plays guitar, acts, etc. I’ve met him a few times now, he’s the man…a catalyst that gets the juices flowing in the dullest of spirits. So ya, “Funny” is exactly that – eccentric, a “banger for the club” as Ian might say, with some real real lines, maybe the most accessible song on the album in its irreverence i.e. COME SUCK SOME MILK FROM MY TITTIES.

Where do I go from here? I love Black Lips and you know it, I’m not counting this album out just yet. I’m still longing for a propa “Italian Sexual Frustation” in a post “Hippys” society. But hey it’s only March 3rd and all them Spin / Pitchfork ‘writers’ are gonna miss the mark in some way shape or form. Go see Lips and buy all their records, ya nerds! I don’t know what I’m talking about either, ask me more soon. Or I’ll just tell ya right here on Kids Like You and Me. Bad Kids.

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BL Website: http://black-lips.com/
Stream of Underneath The Rainbowhttp://noisey.vice.com/blog/stream-the-first-black-lips-lp-in-three-years-two-weeks-before-release

Black Lips’ New Album: Underneath the Rainbow! / “Boys in the Wood”

black lips rs
Photo by Mick Rock from Rolling Stone

Damn, it isn’t every day that you hear your favorite band is releasing a new album! Our favorite dudes Black Lips are releasing a new country/southern rock droolin’ LP on March 18th entitled Underneath the Rainbow. Oh and if you haven’t heard (where the fuck have you been?) Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney produced some of the thang. Check out the track list below:

1. “Drive By Buddy”
2. “Smiling”
3. “Make You Mine”
4. “Funny”
5. “Dorner Party”
6. “Justice After All”
7. “Boys in the Wood”
8. “Waiting”
9. “Do the Vibrate”
10. “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”
11. “Dandelion Dust”
12. “Dog Years”

Now, we just need to get Cole, Jared, Joe, and Ian to come back to Boston!

Things I’m Excited For In 2013

Atlantic Thrills LP?! – YA! Rhode Island’s premier punk slimers have already recorded an outstanding batch of songs and have showcased several new ones over the past year. An LP is on the horizon, no doubt; I can only imagine dropping the needle on such 12 inches of greatness. As everyone knows, this band is a monster live. But imagine rocking out to the Dutroncy “On My Mind,” the shouts of OOOHHH OOHHHH and stunning guitars in “Light Shines,” AND the best of all worlds, the one and only “Acid Rain”. All on one LP!

The Return of Black Lips to Boston – Nothing has been announced yet regarding this, but it seems inevitable. It has been over a year and a half since they played here (and several other cities in the US that they regularly swung by)…far too long for rabid fans like us. Pretty much all of their shows that I’ve been to rank really high up in the ‘best live experience’ category so yeah, I’m not nuts, they are incredible.

Seeing The Fagettes As The Fagettes – It’s kind of sad that a night like this has not come sooner. I’ve seen The Fagettes as Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, but now its time for the real deal. And with a new lineup and sound that’s better than ever (the words of Ryan Fagette), I can’t wait for this!

Fat Creeps Split 12″ On Feeding Tube – Seeing as they released the best EP I heard in 2012 and were among the most entertaining live bands that I saw, there should be no surprises regarding my excitement about this. “Daydreaming,” released via music video earlier this month, is the Creeps hardest hitting tune to date. I wonder if the other tunes on this upcoming 12″ will be faster like that or more of a variety like the EP. Whatever way, I have a feeling this will be awesome.

The Growlers @ Middle East Upstairs/New Album – The Growlers stood out more than a lot of bands do when I got the chance to hear them for the first time, a little more than three years ago. At that time, they had released their mega Are You In Or Out?, which is loaded top to bottom with their reverby take on psychedelic rock and roll. I was like damn, I’ve got to see these guys live. And waddaya know – February 2010 @ TTs – they came through on their big ole school bus. I remember that show quite well, for there were more band members than people in attendance. It was a snowy Tuesday night. Nevertheless, it was really fun. I eagerly await their MidEast Upstairs show and their new album due out in a few weeks!

Better Than Something: Jay Reatard Package – It was unfortunately just announced that this was being delayed until February 2013. I’m pumped to watch the film again, but what I’m even more psyched on is the LP and the booklet.

The King Khan & BBQ Show – It is a great thing to see Mark Sultan and King Khan back together playing as The King Khan & BBQ Show. Whether 2013 brings new material, more touring, or what have you, it is simply nice to see them back together in one of my long-time favorite bands.

The Migs – This is another sort of general one, but The Migs are one of the funnest bands I’ve seen and heard. It goes without saying that they will be playing some amazing gigs this upcoming year and their ultra strong recorded output keeps growing and growing. I don’t know what to look specifically forward to, greatness itself, OK!

New Nobunny LP On Goner – ‘Course there’s not much info available regarding this, but the fact that this is a thing is beyond awesome.

The Orwells Touring – I imagine they’ll be coming here! As far as new bands doing the garage/punk thing nationally, The Orwells deserve the wave of attention they’ve been getting. They are real good.