Seems these days one or another other indie band from days gone past are finally receiving their due by way of a whole new generation discovering their music anew. A band like The Flaming Lips spent nearly an entire career barely being noticed by anyone besides a very small group of indie whores who understood their unique talents as songwriters and performers, critics who would sing their praises, and the odd adventurous alt rock fan looking for something a bit more eclectic to chew on then the regular alt rock fare usually seen on MTV or heard on your local "new music" FM station. Briefly on the charts in '93 with the quirky single "She Don't Use Jelly" that saw the group riding the crest of the turn of the decade alt rock explosion to some commercial success, and surviving several line up changes throughout the years, The Flaming Lips finally started to receive wider recognition at the turn of the millennium. as it seemed every hip alt/indie artist this and that side of the 'Lips home state of Oklahoma wanted to attach themselves to the group somehow to lend themselves some indie cred. The Flaming Lips finally started to get their due. Long time coming, but better late then never for a band that always made music just for the sake of the music in the first place.
"Live At Austin City Limits Music Festival 2006" is bound to be a treat for old geezers who have been following the group for the past 26 years and for the newly acquainted as well, as this four song, 32 minute EP puts on display the talent, heart, and soul of a band that has been around a good long time and knows its stuff. Always an acclaimed live act but one without an official live recording up until now, this energetic and well performed sampler features rawer but faithful versions of fan favorites such as "Yoshima Battles The Pink Robots Part 1" that stays pretty close to the original while adding some spirited audience participation, a 12 minute version of "The Yeah Yeah Song" that takes on a rootsy sonic flavor and features a five minute intro that suggest the audience is half made up of Austin hicks just happy to be part of something new and different at the weekends festival, as they have to be instructed how to sing the "yeah yeah yeah" part of the song, and a lovely if ordinary reading of the groups orchestral and lilting "Vein Of Stars". Wrapping things up with a grand rendition of "Do You Realize" that once again sticks pretty close the the 2002 original found on the Pink Robots album and its all over, a small taste not quite enough and whetting a music lovers appetite for just a bit more.
With a planned live LP tentatively scheduled for a January release "Live At Austin City Limits Music Festival" will no doubt create a buzz throughout the indie community that will most likely win this band more well deserved acclaim and notice beyond their more recent success that has seen them finally receiving the wider attention and regard they have long deserved. An exciting, diverse, and at times beautiful taste of what is to come, this EP is just the appetizer needed for fans who can't quite wait for the main course this January. Recorded in front of a huge audience and with singer Wayne Coyne soliciting audience participation at every turn, its good to hear this band sounding like the rock stars they've always deserved to be and have now somehow become. In an indie sort of way. Some bands go straight through the door of success, others cheat, and yet others knock it down kicking and screaming. But bands such as The Flaming Lips spend entire careers knocking on it until it cracks open just enough for them to go in sideways, suggesting what happens between the knocking and the entering is what counts most. Nice to see they are finally welcome to the party.