Friday, August 25, 2006

Pretty good 'Sound'

If you've read my columns in Weekend enough, you know I'm a big fan of the Flaming Lips. If forced to name a favorite band, I might choose the Oklahoma indie popsters. I would never be able to choose, but if forced ....

Anyway, I know quite a bit about this group, from reading a lot about it and even from doing a couple interviews with frontman Wayne Coyne. But I still learned a good amount about the trio through reading Jim DeRogatis' "Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips." The Chicago Sun Times music writer, DeRo is one of the most respected rock journalists in the biz. He may have a tendency to be a little too overblown, but Jim's a great guy and a good writer.

If you're into the Lips, I can't recommend this book enough.

DeRo inserts himself into the story too much and states a couple too many opinions as verified facts, but the amount of research done is impressive. DeRo's knack for storytelling also makes this book a quick read.

"Staring at Sound" is one of the better rock biographies I've read recently, and it reads like any good book should: like a story, not like a collection of interviews. It's clear Jim has a lot of affection for the chances the Lips take and for the good music the band makes.

Read more about this in my column next week, when I'll include some quotes from a talk I had with DeRo. I just wish he could have talked to Ronald Jones.

If you got a few hours, pick it up here.

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