Outside the Dial

Hard or Soft Bulletin

Wolfarelli July 15, 2011 3 Comments on Hard or Soft Bulletin

Flaming Lips Email Discussion between Pitchshifter, Gerk, Hirsch and Wolfarelli.

PITCHSHIFTER:So Gerk, What did you think of the show?

GERK: Awesome. It was very awesome. A little disappointed that they only played 3 songs for the encore and 2 of them were plugging their upcoming show. Soft Bulletin is a little slow for me but they made it cool. Waiting for Superman was great. They are a great show live no doubt. No other band can pull that off. They could of played a normal set list or The Soft Bulletin in its entirety, you are going to have a great time.

HIRSCH: We must’ve went to different shows… were you at the aragon?

GERK: We were all the way up front on the left (Stage Right). If you were up a step then you might of had a different opinion. The sound is different. Where were you guys standing?

HIRSCH: Next to the soundboard on the right side (stage left).

WOLFARELLI: I just want to preface this, that I saw them on New Year’s Eve back in 2003 and the NYE show blew this one away! It was too choppy. I would have never thought that Wayne would tell the roadies to pop the balloons. Even he wasn’t feeling it. Highlights: Encore, Race for the Prize, What is the Light?


• If you take 45 minutes to get setup and soundchecked, the sound better be good. Last night it was not good.
• If you are going to turn this into a VH1 Storytellers show, print it on the ticket. Talking for 5 minutes between songs killed the mood last night and because the sound was so bad, I could understand every other word at best.
• Quit begging for energy between songs too. Once in a while is fine, but I don’t think you understood. The show wasn’t getting people in the mood to party.
• If your sound guy MUST bring his infant/toddler to the show, don’t have him carrying the child around in 1 arm while working. Looks half ass, what if I did my job one handed? Get the kid a nanny or a pack and play… I hate to be insensitive about this but really something else could have been done here.
• I think you’ve out grown places like the Aragon. Your sound was cramped and so was the stage. The characters and milkmaids/cheerleaders/dancers were not really visible and could barely move

Highlights – Race for the Prize, Waitin’ for a Superman, those laser hands into the disco ball

PITCHSHIFTER: Having not seen them before (missed them when they played SARS Stock in 2003 but I heard they only played three songs and they were on at 2pm) and hearing the hype of their shows, I was reading for a spectacle. Started off great. Lots of action and it was just a wall of sound. Then I got bored in the middle. The Darkside tune was great though.

HIRSCH: The wall of sound was what I call ‘fatiguing’. There was no space in the music it was just shrilly and loud. I understand distortion is their sound but what makes them so good (and why I love them) is that it is so well defined… this was just a wall of sound. Even Brain Damage/Eclipse lacked IMO…

GERK: Were you guys up or on the floor? I had a different experience. Sound was clear.

HIRSCH: On the floor next to the soundboard…

GERK: How many times have you listened to Soft Bulletin?

HIRSCH: More than 10.

GERK: Then what were you expecting? That album is mellow. If you were expecting Yoshimi or a concert with the hits then I get what you mean.

HIRSCH: Not a wall of sound… I could not make out any of the intricacies of this album… the beauty of the album did not translate AT ALL from where I was standing. The encore wasn’t good either from where I was.

GERK: The encore wasn’t long enough. He did talk a lot that is for sure. What show have you enjoyed at the Aragon where you didn’t know every word to every song?

HIRSCH: To name 1 – The Pixies (same scenario where they played Doolittle in its entirety last yr)… that show was FANTASTIC and sounded great and people were into it. Pitch can attest to that one… And we stood in the same place on the floor.

Have you ever seen a bad show?

You’re not going to change my mind or point out a reason why the show was better for you. I am glad you liked it… but it goes on the bottom with Garbage and Seven Mary Three.

PITCHSHIFTER: I agree with Hirsch. The album did not translate well. I was not expecting a greatest hits set list but something that would keep me entertained. Going to a Lips show, there are certain things to expect which happened in the first three songs but it lost something in the middle.

PITCHSHIFTER (replying to himself) Wayne did make it sound like they were going to play much longer after they were done with the Soft Bulletin. Would have been nice to hear some early Lips in the encore just to hear how they have progressed as a band over the last 15+ years.

GERK: (to Hirsch) I am totally sorry you felt that way. That is too bad, because they do put on amazing shows. I can understand your point of view about the album carrying over as it is more of a lyrical album.

When I saw them at the AllState I was so envious of the people on the floor. But I can see your perspective. I hope that you guys give them another chance because they are an amazing concert.

HIRSCH: Never see them again… ever. Stole $43 from me! Listening to Soft Bulletin right now… it is so good and dreamy and just intricate. Shame. Curious to see any kind of media review on this.

I remember when Spoon played the Aragon and Kot or DeRo killed them because of the sound being so bad… Well, I thought it sounded fine and it was a decent show.

PITCHSHIFTER: Wolf is in the same boat, he said the NYE show was way better. I would see them again just to give them that 2nd chance since there were glimmers of what they are capable of doing which is an awesome rock spectacle. When the first song was over, I thought this show could bump into my top 5 but it slid down the charts. It was still better than the Vines at the Vic though.

PITCHSHIFTER: Hell Hath no Fury like Hirsch Scorned!

WOLFARELLI: Eww. The Vines at the Vic. That was erased from my memory, but thanks for bringing that back up.

I know it’s agree to disagree time, but Gerk how can you call us out on “listening” to the album. If I never heard the album or loved the album I wouldn’t have purchased a ticket to see a concert that has one of my favorite bands doing that album in it’s entirety track by track. If the sound was mixed right, it would have translated throughout the entire ballroom. The thing about the NYE show is that it wasn’t only a spectacle, but they sounded spectacular. They upstaged the White Stripes….they owned that show. Soft Bulletin is a great album, but at this point I would rather listened to the album in my man cave than see the Lips do that show again.


HIRSCH: I don’t know if I will see them again in all seriousness. They had their chance. My entertainment dollar is very important to me… There’s so many other options out there…

Another Aragon show that I did not know ALL the lyrics to was the LCD/Hot Chip Show I saw… that was the best show I EVER attended.

GERK: You cannot compare LCD to the Lips.

HIRSCH: Tell Wayne at the next family gathering that I don’t like the microphone camera. If you see Thom Yorke, tell him the same thing… we’ve gotta get rid of that. Adds nothing and wreaks of self importance.

……and scene

Outside the Dial every Saturday night on 98.3 WVLP Valparaiso.

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  1. hirsch July 18, 2011 at 12:50 am

    haha! This is great. I think I dominated Gerk. Now I am a G+ person, so instead of #Like, I will go with a #+.

  2. hirsch July 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    this is too funny… i read it once a week

  3. Wolfarelli July 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I love the fact that you tell Gerk if he has ever seen a bad show. That is pure Gerk. In retrospect, I kind of wish we were up. Maybe we were distracted by the baby.

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