photo by Dan Muller
It was a crazy weekend for KEXP sponsored events, starting on Thursday with The Flaming Lips at The Paramount. The Oklahoma City trio of Wayne Coyne, Michael Ivins, and Steven Drozd, aided by drummer Kliph Scurlock and an army of audience participants dressed in Santa suits and Martian miniskirts, treated the sold out Paramount audience to the the most explosive birthday party they could have wished for. Rockets of confetti, dazzling light displays, a microphone mounted camera, and a ten foot blowup alien barely account for the festive excess that is a Flaming Lips show. Coyne began the set in his now-trademark inflatable sphere and rolled over the audience like a suited gerbil in a Run-About ball.
Among audience sing-alongs and political polemic, the Lips spanned their major label career with songs from ranging from 1993’s Transmissions from the Satellite Heart to this year’s At War with the Mystics. They even included the challenging “Riding to Work in the Year 2025 (Your Invisible Now)” from the four-disc Zaireeka set. You can pretend you were there or relive the memory with this nostril-gazing audience-shot video of “Yoshimi”:
If you skipped out of the two-hour performance early enough, you could still catch Simian Mobile Disco at the kickoff to the 2007 Decibel Festival over at Neumos, one of the nine venues hosting showcases festival showcases. There, a full capacity crowd bumped along to SMD and producers Switch and Diplo, both known for, among other things, working on M.I.A.’s latest release.
On Friday night at the Decibel Festival, KEXP presented the showcase Rage with a Machine. Unfortunately, the British techno duo Motor was unable to secure visas to enter the United States, but still holding down the crowds were Seattle’s own astounding Truckasaurus, Chicago’s industrial-leaning Kill Memory Crash, and Los Angeles’ Guns’N’Bombs club kid Johnny Love (GnB’s other half, Filip Turbotito, doesn’t typically join the DJ sets).
On Saturday night, the weekend came to a head with the John in the Morning at Night event, featuring Maps, Vampire Weekend, Jamie T, Das Llamas, and Joy Wants Eternity.
The night began with two local Morning Show favorites: the ethereal space-rockers Joy Wants Eternity and the harder post-punks Das Lllamas. Then, to a packed band room, Mercury Prize nominee Jamie T sang of drinking, running from the cops, and taking girls out for “pretty much free,” often from amid the crowd. Vampire Weekend followed with their African rhythm-tinged pop and incited the enthusiastic crowd to a top-of-the-lungs bout of call and response. For those with enough stamina to last the 7 hours or so of live music, headliners Maps, another Mercury Prize nominee, provoked the most fervent response. Combining the beauty of Joy Wants Eternity, the intensity of Das Llamas, the cheekiness of Jamie T, and the likability of Vampire Weekend, Maps served as the perfect end to the night.
Check out these photos from our photographer Dan Muller: