Is it art? Music? Who can say?
May 17, 2011 1:45 PM   Subscribe

 
I need to catch up on the Flaming Lips and USB flash storage technology. They can fit four entire MP3s on a thumbdrive now?
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:47 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Really good band. Bad idea.
posted by davebush at 1:47 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


From what I see, it seems to be Kaufman-esque performance art to offer something overpriced and useless to get a rise out of their fans on a prominent review page underneath.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:48 PM on May 17, 2011


Also, there's something arty about having to destroy it to get to the songs. Sure, you could carefully make an incision and pull it out with tweezers or whatever, but there'd still be a slash and a hole afterwards.

And people blogging about how stupid it is will create hype. I didn't even know they had a new album out before this.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:49 PM on May 17, 2011


It's actually just one song, you're supposed to play the four MP3s at the same time.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:50 PM on May 17, 2011 [34 favorites]


I had heard about this before, but had imagined the gummy skull was life-sized. I'm fairly disappointed now.
posted by whitneyarner at 1:53 PM on May 17, 2011


Building exclusivity these days is a complicated thing.
Anyway. Kind of fun, kind of gimmicky.

Wait wait wait, I mean, "Is this something that I need to listen to music to understand?"
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:56 PM on May 17, 2011


$37.50/song. Awesome.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:57 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


You're forgetting the gummy skull. By my estimation, you're getting six pounds of gummy, so there's that, too!
posted by boo_radley at 1:58 PM on May 17, 2011


Meanwhile, Lady Gaga has released another Madonna cover song while wearing a silly outfit, to fawning adulation from the press and fans.

But anyway, what's the theme for the next episode of Glee?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:59 PM on May 17, 2011


I'm a fan and I think it's great. Collector's things are fun. $150 is reasonable; I'm sure they'll sell all of them.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:00 PM on May 17, 2011


Has odd shades of William Gibson's Agrippa, which erased itself as you read it.

I didn't buy a copy of that, either.
posted by hippybear at 2:00 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will I one day be able to bittorrent a 3D object like say, a gummy skull or cup of hot earl grey tea, using some sort of Star Trek-like beaming device? Also, will the skull be edible if it is pirated?

N.b. I will still tell my friends that I pay for all my music and continue to display my vinyl collection prominently.
posted by gagglezoomer at 2:02 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Limit 1 skull per order.

There are people in this world who will buy multiple copies of a $150 Gummi Skull EP?
posted by DiscountDeity at 2:05 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Of course. One to eat, and one to keep.
posted by Uncle Ira at 2:06 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is a terrible idea. Some poor kid's going to choke on that thumbdrive! They should put bubble gum in the skull instead.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:09 PM on May 17, 2011


And the rest to sell for $1500!
posted by xorry at 2:09 PM on May 17, 2011


There are people in this world who will buy multiple copies of a $150 Gummi Skull EP?

Apparently you've never met any collectors with the sickness.

There's people out there that would buy all of these gummy skulls just to corner the market on them and resell them at higher prices, or increase their long term value. Scalpers do this with tickets. Art dealers often do it with art. Even toy collectors do it.
posted by loquacious at 2:09 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, my doctor told me to cut down on my intake of skull-themed novelties, and no way am I giving up my crystal skull vodka.
posted by Copronymus at 2:10 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Even toy collectors do it.

The most brilliant anti-rarity-scamming move I've heard of, recently, in a "holy crap, what a great solution but oh my god they have this problem" sort of way:

To get around people furtively opening/ripping/peeking in boxes to only buy one of a set of different figurines in a series, one maker put them in a starch covering that melts off with water.

Come on, that's crazy
posted by jscott at 2:13 PM on May 17, 2011


Sometimes you have to create a lot of crazy to eventually get a bit of genius. The Flaming Lips have a very high genius-to-crazy ratio, particularly compared to artists like Lady GaGa, who unfortunately cannot tell the difference between a crazy-to-genius ratio and a crazy-to-pandering-crap ratio.
posted by The World Famous at 2:19 PM on May 17, 2011


THERE ARE OTHER MUSICIANS ASIDE FROM LADY GAGA. DO NOT MAKE EVERY THREAD ABOUT HER. FOR INSTANCE, THERE IS THE INSANE CLOWN POSSE. ALSO TYLER THE CREATOR. ALSO THE GUY WHO WROTE THE THEME TO GAME OF THRONES.
posted by Mister_A at 2:21 PM on May 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


"You guys like gummy bears, don't you? yeah, yeah ... AND you like skulls. Exactly." -- Wayne Coyne, tweaking about his concept packaging.

Anyway, why eat off the gummy casing (or buy the kit at all) when you can just wait for someone to upload the tracks to YouTube? (WARNING: STROBING COLORS)

1. Drug Chart
2. In Our Bodies Out of Our Heads
3. Walk With Me
4. Hillary's Time Machine Machine
posted by filthy light thief at 2:24 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


The World Famous: " compared to artists like Lady GaGa, who unfortunately cannot tell the difference between a crazy-to-genius ratio and a crazy-to-pandering-crap ratio."

Somebody got up on the wrong side of the raw-steak-and-muppet-head-bed today!!!
posted by boo_radley at 2:24 PM on May 17, 2011


I love it, especially because I don't imagine there's an easy way to preserve a big gummi blob. You pretty much have to eat it.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:27 PM on May 17, 2011


Or, I suppose you could freeze it for display, à la Marc Quinn.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:28 PM on May 17, 2011


Wayne Coyne, tweaking about his concept packaging.

Yeah, this seems like the product of a tweaker mind. Someone should tell Coyne to lay off the meth.
posted by hippybear at 2:28 PM on May 17, 2011


And apparently, the Flaming Lips will also release a version with a marijuana-flavored brain. And that skull actually looks life-size.


hydrophonic: I love it, especially because I don't imagine there's an easy way to preserve a big gummi blob. You pretty much have to eat it.

Perhaps you'd be surprised how hard old gummy bears get, when left out and not devoured.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:29 PM on May 17, 2011


filthy light thief: WARNING: STROBING COLORS

... and possibly gummy skull-vaginas. I don't know, it's a gummy-something in the back of the skulls.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:37 PM on May 17, 2011


Come on, that's crazy.

At around the peak of the McFarlane toy collecting craze and during the new Star Wars movies I know someone who would regularly sign up to work at Toys R. Us for swing shift or seasonal swing shift stocking work.

He didn't actually need the minimum wage job. He just wanted first pick of the toys being shelved. Apparently getting there when the store opened in the morning wasn't good enough. I know this because I also jumped on some of this swing shift work because I actually needed the job.

He would literally buy two or more of short packs and rarities, and even then he still might NOT open any of them. He just piled them in his closet, or sometimes displayed them still in their boxes or cards. (Reselling them was always the goal, however, and I don't think that ended well. A whole lot of that toy collector's market crashed.)

One of the better nights (mornings) of my life was coming home from that Toys R' Us with what I recall was a fairly rare R2D2 figurine that was electronic and made R2D2 noises. He wanted it but it was mine, and the only one in the store. I kept torturing this guy by slowly folding, spindling and mutilating the bubblecard packaging it came in before *gasp* finally opening it and playing with it.

His discomfort was apparently physical, but he deserved it.
posted by loquacious at 2:52 PM on May 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


I thought this was amusing, until I read the comments. Then I realized it was incredible.

I mean,
c'mon I love the Flaming Lips but this is spitting on the face of your fans Flaming Lips
Yes, that's right. By offering an item for sale that I don't want to buy, you are spitting in my face.
posted by muddgirl at 3:02 PM on May 17, 2011


Collector's things are fun.

I agree, although I don't collect anything anymore. However, how is a huge lump of sugar that will eventually rot away or be eaten by critters a collectible?
posted by Huck500 at 3:03 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like, what is this, 1996? Don't worry lil Ian Albarn. You can listen to those songs for free, right now, without the uncomfortable effects of a gummy-induced tummy ache.
posted by muddgirl at 3:03 PM on May 17, 2011


Collector's things are fun.

An acquaintance of mine in college had a Toyota Camry that had a badge on the back that said "Collector's Edition." I always wondered who, exactly, collects Toyota Camrys.
posted by The World Famous at 3:05 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


...artists like Lady GaGa, who unfortunately cannot tell the difference between a crazy-to-genius ratio and a crazy-to-pandering-crap ratio.

Thanks for reminding me - I haven't had my daily dose of YouTube Gaga yet today!
posted by New England Cultist at 3:06 PM on May 17, 2011


Yes, that's right. By offering an item for sale that I don't want to buy, you are spitting in my face.

Probably a whole discussion in itself, but my GET LAMP documentary was only available for sale as a $40 item with collectible coin. And of course, it was Creative Commons licensed, so I know people passed it around, torrented, etc.

A BUNCH of bounceback came before it was released over the price, but, one person said:

"To someone who is just interested in documentaries about gaming, and not specifically text based adventures and ridiculous swag, this is sort of a slap in the face."
posted by jscott at 3:07 PM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


1. Eat skull, retrieve USB drive and download music.
2. Buy one of these and make new skull. Sell for $300.
3. Profit!
posted by misha at 3:20 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


However, how is a huge lump of sugar that will eventually rot away or be eaten by critters a collectible?

This is exactly why they did it. So it can't be a collectible. They're enforcing artistic transience and impermanence. It's also a statement about modern music distribution. There's not going to be any difference between the files on the flash drive or copies of those files.

Of course, someone is going to try to "collect" the damn thing anyway, and go to great lengths to keep it sealed and in a freezer or something.
posted by loquacious at 3:22 PM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't know why, but the Soft Bulletin live recording inside a marijuana-flavored brain in a gummy skull for $150 sounds way more awesome. It's not the marijuana. I think I just really like the Soft Bulletin, even though I already paid for that album. Huh.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:23 PM on May 17, 2011


Will I one day be able to bittorrent a 3D object like say, a gummy skull or cup of hot earl grey tea, using some sort of Star Trek-like beaming device? Also, will the skull be edible if it is pirated?

Yes, but without the DRM, you will be poisoned and end up having to buy the antidote. Every day. For the rest of your life.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 3:24 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like to take the long game with my investing.

So. Who here knows about archival gummi skull storage?
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:27 PM on May 17, 2011


Actually, wouldn't it be relatively easy to make a 3D gummy printer, since gelatin-based candy melts and sets fairly easily, like plastics? I bet somebody clever with a RepRap or other easily modifiable 3D printer could put together a crude prototype.

One person already build a sugar 3D printer, so I guess this wouldn't be the first candy printer. But I'd like having 3D gummy objects designed and built on a whim.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:28 PM on May 17, 2011


Oh, seems a lab built it. Behind a paywall and in Japanese.

Truthfully, I'd buy this. It's close enough to a replicator for me. I'd eat all gummy food and live in a gummy house, with a gummy wife and a gummy pet.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:37 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: like having 3D gummy objects designed and built on a whim.
posted by hippybear at 3:39 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is a part of me who wants to get this for my husband for our 12th wedding anniversary next month.

Thirteen and some years ago, after an extended and mentally exhilarating period of friends with benefits, my future husband showed up at my place in the middle of the night, the night we refer fondly to as 'the knock,' to tell me he couldn't take it anymore, he had fallen in love, and he was pretty sure I had too, and what we should do is just go for it already, Big Style. Then he told me I was going with him to the Flaming Lips concert the next night, and he was going to make it up on stage as one of the guys holding one of the four boomboxes and he would be doing it all for me.

The next evening, he rolled up in front of my place, and at the very last minute I freaked because of, you know, Big Feelings, and I hid in my basement until he went away, standing him up. The next day, feeling horrible, I met him for a walk, and written across his arm, in sharpie, was "He Really Does Love You--WAYNE." He had managed to get himself onstage as a boombox holder, and told the band it was for love, even though I was being an idiot.

So, you know. Here's one potential customer for this craziness.
posted by rumposinc at 3:55 PM on May 17, 2011 [54 favorites]


That's sweet and I love you and your husband and Wayne.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:06 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think as digital distribution gets popular bands need to do more of these whacky stunts to encourage people to actually buy the 'music'. I'm all for it. This is just so Flaming Lips, too. It fits perfectly with the band.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:14 PM on May 17, 2011


But I don't think this is motivated by really getting people to buy stuff. (I know many people here are maybe going to choke on that thought and spit coffee all over their screen, etc.). But...it seems to me like Wayne thought this would be a cool way to deliver music. And so he did it. And he knows the songs will get out there to people who don't want to pay $150 for it.

And if I had a bag of shrooms and $150 to spare, I would certainly be planning a night around this myself. And you know what? It would be awesome. Sometimes how you sell things is about making money, and sometimes it's actually about liking gummy skulls with treasures inside.

Anyway, there's a movie about the Flaming Lips called The Fearless Freaks, and I highly recommend it. You do not have to like the Lips to enjoy it - it gets into some interesting and frank stuff about heroin addiction and the like that make it interesting in a general sort of way.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:24 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


As opposed to Christmas On Mars, which isn't interesting in even a general sort of way.
posted by hippybear at 4:30 PM on May 17, 2011


Right. The making of Christmas on Mars is way more interesting than the actual film. Though I've been meaning to give it a second viewing. But what an anticlimactic experience that was.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:33 PM on May 17, 2011


But what an anticlimactic experience that was.

I liked it quite a bit more than I thought I would - I guess I spend too much time watching amateur noodly indie movies that I was pleasantly surprised by a semi-professional noodly indie movie.

I mean, it was no Citizen Cane but I thought it was more interesting than, say, Moon.
posted by muddgirl at 5:25 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Going to see them for 2 nights in a row at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery next month; that is the home to the Marijuana flavored/Soft Bulletin live skull. The tickets sold so fast and now some nuts are selling (buying??) the tickets for $500 a piece. Now THAT would upset me as a fan, the $150 skulls? not so much.

Also they are/were doing a 2 day pass + skull for $160 for awhile.
posted by Jaymzifer at 5:53 PM on May 17, 2011


One of the comments on that link:
"How long will one of the gummy skulls last if kept sealed? Will it eventually turn in to a puddle of goo and start leaking or will it just get hard and crusty?"

So back in the college dorm days a friend of mine got a giant gummy rat (6 inches long, pink, bubble gum flavor) as a gift and was not in any way interested in eating it. So she stuck it on the bulletin board on her door. Where it remained for a year. It shrank a bit and became solid. No idea if it'd eventually crumble though, she was disgusted by that point and tossed the thing.
(Yes, I realize that several phrases in this paragraph could be reused in a more humorous way. I'll leave that to the more skilled.)

So this is a collector's item that won't look like much when time passes (as someone else noted, probably the point of it). I wonder what price would be reasonable though - $50? I'd think $25 would be the lowest just for the gummy - except the site doesn't give you the actual dimensions of the gummy. Giant gummy creatures are usually freakishly expensive (and freakish).
posted by batgrlHG at 6:00 PM on May 17, 2011


I thought it was more interesting than, say, Moon.

Wow. I loved Moon. One of the best, quietest, full-on SF movies I've seen in ages. No car chases or exploding helicopters anywhere. One of the very very few movies I've turned to Mr. hippybear after it was over and we both said "wow, that was excellent".

In fact, the ONLY other movie we've both agreed on so strongly in recent memory was The Ghost Writer. Which I probably shouldn't even mention here, given who directed it.
posted by hippybear at 7:06 PM on May 17, 2011


One of the best, quietest, full-on SF movies I've seen in ages.

Yeah, that's pretty much how I felt about Christmas on Mars.
posted by muddgirl at 7:16 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


De gustibus non disputandum est.
posted by hippybear at 7:22 PM on May 17, 2011


Careful--crystal skulls killed Indiana Jones...

At least it's not made out of Vaseline (the only Flaming Lips song I really, really hate. Probably because I find petroleum jelly incredibly disgusting.)
posted by smirkette at 7:52 PM on May 17, 2011


Metafilter: 6 inches long, pink, bubble gum flavor
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:33 PM on May 17, 2011


Christmas On Mars! I forgot all about Christmas On Mars (which I liked)! I will probably forget to watch it again this Christmas because December is a long way away and I don't have a reliable flash drive in my head for my memory making. Damn it.
posted by mmmbacon at 9:10 PM on May 17, 2011


I will probably forget to watch it again this Christmas because December is a long way away and I don't have a reliable flash drive in my head for my memory making. Damn it.

Calendar programs are your friend.

Hell, you can register it as a "birthday" with some online service like Hallmark.com and have them send you a reminder 2 days before the event... Of course, they hope you'll send an e-card, but you can use their email reminder service for whatever you want.

Don't rely on your meat flash memory. Let the silicon take care of it for you!
posted by hippybear at 9:17 PM on May 17, 2011


Don't rely on your meat flash memory. Let the silicon take care of it for you!

I really feel like I should tie this into USB drives in gummy skulls, somehow.
posted by neuromodulator at 9:36 PM on May 17, 2011


Isn't Christmas on Mars that one where Sam Tyler gets hit by a car and wakes up at the north pole?
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:00 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bearsuit released a 7" that was mummified. I really wanted a copy, but I couldn't deal with actually cracking open the case and rendering it mint no longer, so I didn't buy one. Because I am an idiot who didn't think of buying two.
posted by mippy at 4:11 AM on May 18, 2011


I always wondered who, exactly, collects Toyota Camrys.

Are you kidding? People will collect anything. Anything. I'm too lazy to look for a Camry collector's group, but here's the Golf Harlequin registry. My partner and I contemplated buying one of these back in the 90s, but decided not to because of the clown-car aspect, and wondered who would drive one of these things; well, now I know.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:43 AM on May 18, 2011


filthy light thief: "(WARNING: STROBING COLORS)

1. Drug Chart
2. In Our Bodies Out of Our Heads
3. Walk With Me
4. Hillary's Time Machine Machine
"

Man, you forgot to mention the giant drums. ungggh.
posted by boo_radley at 10:32 AM on May 18, 2011


I'm too lazy to look for a Camry collector's group, but here's the Golf Harlequin registry. My partner and I contemplated buying one of these back in the 90s, but decided not to because of the clown-car aspect, and wondered who would drive one of these things; well, now I know.

Holy shit, THAT'S what that was! Back in the day (mid-late 90s, I s'pose) there was one of those in my friend's neighborhood that I'd see all the time. I always just assumed it was a regular car that someone got a goofy paint job on - we called it 'The Crayola Car'.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:01 AM on May 18, 2011


The strategy is obvious: Buy and immediately consume the gummy skull (along with embedded thumb drive), have it removed during emergency surgery, then settle for millions (or tens of thousands) for the pain and distress. ChaChing.

You're welcome.
posted by littlemanclan at 2:57 PM on May 18, 2011


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