In the fall of 1996, as a high school senior at Colorado's Lakewood High School, I stripped off my shirt, donned a coconut bra and a hula skirt (for reasons that I can't remember or have perhaps willfully forgotten), and helped lead a pep rally in the school's gym. This week, pop star Katy Perry will take the stage in that same gymnasium -- likely wearing something similar -- and reward the Lakewood Tigers of 2013 for their mastery of the art of the lip dub.
Bad Lip Reading is one of the best channels on YouTube. For real. If the name didn't give it away, it takes existing footage and then posits what the people in that footage could be saying just by reading their lips.
After five months of nothing from the channel, it's just dropped it's newest bomb: "Medieval Land Fun-Time World." It tells the deeply dramatic tale of theme-park owner Eddie Stark, whose employees aren't performing up to scratch. … Read more
Are record labels ready to help rock bands stay at the forefront of fans' minds in the age of social media overload? Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of the Flaming Lips, isn't so sure.
There's no doubt that the group plays inside the traditional label system: it has been signed to Warner Bros. Records since the '90s. But Coyne thinks that tech-savvy musicians may well be better able to attract fans to their brand-new work than the record companies. And while he expects that labels like Warner may well set the tone for innovative artist promotion in the … Read more
Adding to all the cover versions of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" that are out there--the recent one by the Flaming Lips and guests, the dub version by The Easy Star All-Stars, the brilliant parody by The Squirrels--comes this.
Video game programmer Brad Smith has taken the Pink Floyd classic and reworked it as a bunch of sound files for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Nintendo's classic 8-bit video console. And he has posted the whole album as a YouTube playlist. (YouTube seems to be having some technical issues as I write this, … Read more
Justin is sick today, so Demetrius Wren and Christina Ghubril join the show to talk about their new film "Streetball." It's the story of a group of homeless South African kids who try to break out of the cycle of poverty by competing in the Homeless World Cup. After some calls about "1984" and convergence, we talk a bit about some unusual uses of bacon flavor.
The most amazing part of "Streetball" was that it was entirely written, shot, edited, directed, and produced by two people! It's a full-length transcontinental movie made possible with only a couple of laptops and some prosumer cameras that have really leaped toward professional film cameras. Demetrius points out that it would not have been possible to shoot their film with a huge camera crew and big pieces of equipment.
The movie is a really fascinating look at how South Africa has changed and not changed since the end of apartheid. The pair says the film is on track for a June-July 2010 release, so be sure to check it out. (Side note: "Streetball" is sponsored by the From Us with Love charity. Be sure to donate!)
After the break, we get to some voice mails about how George Orwell's dystopian future may already be here. That means it may be a normal thing this time next year for Big Brother to know exactly what you purchased at Wal-Mart and that you spend way too much time at the bar down the street.
Last story of the day is about bacon--oh, that delicious food of the gods! Jeff the Hypochondriac thinks bacon-flavored envelopes just might be enough to get him to lick his envelopes closed again. Meanwhile, an intrepid live listener of the show shows us some bacon-flavored chapstick along with some bacon-flavored...personal...lubricant. Yeah, the show ends on that note today.
Side note: We changed the way we're naming our shows in the blog. This is probably going to result in some confusion and backlash. It was done to please the Internet gods.EPISODE 470 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
For several years now, musical artists have been experimenting with selling flash drives of concert recordings immediately after the show, but the Flaming Lips--whose latest tour starts this Saturday in Del Mar, Calif.--are taking it to the obvious next level.
Buy a ticket, and they'll send you a download code for six songs--three new ones from their upcoming album "Embryonic" (nice album cover!) and three B sides from old singles. After the show, they'll send you another link to download a recording of the show you attended. It's a great way to build on … Read more
Watch what you say. Scientists in England have developed a computer that can not only read lips, but can tell the difference between languages.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia's School of Computing Sciences developed the technology by statistically modeling the lip motions of 23 bilingual and trilingual speakers. The resulting system is able to identify the language spoken by an individual with "very high accuracy," according to the university. Identifiable languages included English, French, German, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, Polish, and Russian.
What gives you away? The movement of your articulators--when you wag your tongue, … Read more
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how Seattle company Melodeo had created an iPhone application for the band Presidents of the United States of America, which delivers the band's music in a direct stream, rather than forcing users to download (and pay for) each song individually.
On Thursday at South by Southwest (SXSW), digital-marketing and distribution specialist The Orchard announced that it's adding iPhone applications to its arsenal of tools.
In 1997, when the Flaming Lips released Zaireeka, I'd been following the antics of their leader Wayne Coyne pretty closely.
His Boombox Experiment, which involved 40 boomboxes and an equal number of nearly identical cassettes, was a great demonstration of how music is an actual physical presence in a room. As an audience member walked among the boomboxes, the sound changed. That's the power of acoustics, which is often ignored by gear freaks but is absolutely critical in everything from recording to live performance to setting up your home stereo correctly.
Zaireeka--the word is a combination of "… Read more
I've never really gotten into Rock Band or Guitar Hero--I'd much rather play my guitar. But since I can't sing anyway, and karaoke goes great with beer, Lips sounds like a great party game.
Announced yesterday during Microsoft's E3 press conference after a few days of rumors, Lips is a karaoke game with a twist: in addition to the 40 songs that ship with the game, you can connect your MP3 player to the Xbox 360's USB port and Lips will take any (non-DRM-protected) song, strip the vocal tracks out, and let you sing along … Read more