Wednesday, June 06, 2007


There's a very good chance I've found the next album I want, but then I just don't know, because one thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, you've used more commas and conjunctions than you can really afford, and you haven't even stopped to explain yourself or make sense even a little.

And this is one of those kinds of stories anyway, so it's best told quickly, like pulling a bandaid. It all started on Myspace at the page of a friend and Hard Knox All Star teammate of Momma's. One of her friend's Myspace name is Plastic Jesus, a song I hadn't heard in quite some time, a song I've always enjoyed.

My first path was of course just to highlight, right click and search Google. I'm sure my first click from there was the almighty Wikipedia. As a side note, there is on our desktop already a Wikipedia window minimized down low with two tabs, one mashed potatoes and the other potato. Big Brother wants to know who first made mashed potatoes. But that isn't the point, look it up yourself and get the whole story, as this is a whole other post.

The song Plastic Jesus is most likely best remembered from the movie Cool Hand Luke, sung admirably by the always lovely Paul Newman. After getting the runaround about people often assumed to have written the song we eventually learn that none other than Bob Dole, yes that Bob Dole, was most certainly the true author. You might also learn at Wikipedia, assuming you don't already know, The Flaming Lips are one of many bands that have covered the song over the years.

Reading those words, whether or not you are a fan of the band, may cause you to want to hear the song, sort of subconscious something, and then you'll remember that with your Comcast internet service, you get the absolute crappiest and draggiest version of Rhapsody ever, but it's good for twenty five free listens a month, and that's sure to be worth something.

While The Flaming Lips are reveling in the relative safety provided by a religious icon brought to life in plastic, perched expediently atop the dash board, you decide to use the track search option for Plastic Jesus and learn that, as you assumed, there are more versions of the song. You could easily waste an entire short while listening to basically the same song over and over, which isn't really what you want, unless you do. I didn't and generally speaking don't.

Of course, I soon forgot about Plastic Jesus sinking myself in the Flaming Lips instead, which should have been expected, and as that was happening, I noticed a trend in their songs being covered by The String Quartet. What's The String Quartet you ask. As far as I can tell, it's some guy or chic or group or pile of people, all of whom play stringed instruments, who get together and play all sorts of songs that you wouldn't expect would lend themselves to a more classical treatment. I don't know if they have ever played Plastic Jesus, but they have done a tribute album covering Flaming Lips songs.

Now, I'm not saying just anybody should be covered with violas and violins and cellos (musically, not physically, but if that's your thing . . . which isn't the point.) There's plenty of shitty bands out there, like Led Zeppelin or Nickleback, that deserve to be taken out back and shot before they ever deserve praise in the form of a musical tribute, and most of The String Quartet's catalogue seems to veer toward the crappier side of music of the last couple of decades or so. But what I've listened to of the Flaming Lips tribute is actually pretty cool. I'm not surprised though because I can honestly imagine a lot of what the Flaming Lips have done covered with strings.

I'm not saying I'm going to rush right out and buy the music, but I'm mildly interested. I've only listened to a couple of songs so far because I'm waiting for Momma to get out of the bath so she can hear too. She'll think it's cool. I don't know if you'll think it's cool, but if you like both the Flaming Lips and string quartets, then you might as well at least check it out. If nothing else you can throw it on at parties and make people stop talking for a moment every few minutes as they start to recognize a song and the realize "Oh yeeeeaaaahhhhh, The String Quartet. Cool! But like I was saying . . ."


Michele said...

Bob Dole?!

God, Paul Newman is sexy.

But that wasn't your point was it? Lately I've been listening to Queen songs played on classical guitar. Very nice.

Michele said...

okay. You're pulling our legs about the Bob Dole thing.

samuel said...

Actually, the Wikipedia page has been changed since yesterday before which point it did mention Bob Dole. Like anyone else, I should have remembered the Wikipedia isn't always the best place for reasonably accurate information, but it does make for some fun.

audrey said...

Hey, I actually kinda KNEW the Lips. They're from OKC and played all over in the days when I was student working my way through (partly) as a bartender.

As a side note, I also knew the Chainsaw Kittens, they're from Norman originally. I even knew them pre-Kittens when Ty Meade and Todd Walker were Defenestration. Now THAT was a cool-ass band!