Though they’re clearly still going strong, ten years ago yesterday Oklahoma’s favorite sons released their ninth and generally speaking most beloved album The Soft Bulletin. It was the Flaming Lips’ moody, poppy, deeply atmospheric followup to 1997’s quadruple turntable adventure Zaireeka and it was followed by another critical and commercial success, 2002’s Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, but The Soft Bulletin found the Lips (and producer Dave Fridmann) nailing something especially magical. It’s somehow welcoming, chilly, lonesome, communal, psychedelic, and down home at the same time. The collection crystallized the Lips’ step into less experimental directions, found them a larger audience, and provided a template for future releases. To celebrate The Soft Bulletin‘s 10-year mark we’ve collected seven assorted covers — from the worlds of indie, jazz, pop, folk, even a cappella — to give an idea of the album’s far-reaching impact. And, while you’re at it, you should listen to the original again. It still sounds like it was recorded entirely at sunset.
Ben Folds & Neil Hammon – “Race for the Prize” (Jonathan Ross Show 9/12/02)
Ben Folds & Neil Hammon – “Race For The Prize” (MP3)
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – “The Spark That Bled” (Live In NYC 10/22/05)
Brown Jabberwocks – “Buggin'” (Live At Brown University 9/07)
Nobody – “What Is The Light?”
Nobody – “What Is The Light” (MP3)
Iron & Wine – “Waitin’ For A Superman” (Live In LA 5/8/09)
Postal Service – “Suddenly Everything Has Changed”
The Bad Plus – “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate”
The Bad Plus – “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” (MP3)
The Flaming Lips’ double LP Embryonic is coming this September.