The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Black Lips lick it up in 2007

Chinese horoscopes designated 2007 as the year of the pig, but don’t be fooled. With an appearance on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” tours spanning the globe and the release of the album “Good Bad Not Evil,” it was the year of The Black Lips.

“For the most part it’s just all about getting out there and playing shows,” confesses Lips drummer Joe Bradley. “So people can put the face with the music, you know? That’s what it’s really all about. Music works a lot like politics, you’ve got to get out there and shake hands, make a personal connection with people.”

It’s just this sort of connection that’s transformed these Atlanta natives from southern punk obscurity into blog-worthy buzz words. This should come as no surprise to anyone who’s attended a concert. With a reputation for the raucous that often precedes them, somehow the cliché “expect the unexpected” doesn’t quite do these boys justice.

Deemed “hardest working band” by The New York Times after playing 14 concerts in four days at Austin’s 2007 SXSW festival, it isn’t hard to see that The Black Lips take the DIY spirit of rock ‘n’ roll personally. And while that might just sound like a strategy to get a high-profile record deal so the next single can drop on “TRL” instead of onto a 7-inch record, it isn’t. It’s a philosophy. From tunes entrenched in acid washes of jangly guitar grooves to the group’s admittedly southern sensibilities, it seems the Lips have got a novel idea: making memorable music while still having fun.

“We love listening to good, traditional American roots music,” admits Bradley, “and all that stuff comes out of the south. All of us being from the south makes us proud to be able to play it. And hopefully honor it in a respectful way.”

But The Black Lips do more than just pay homage to these classic genres: They reinvigorate them. Songs such as the playfully dark “Lock & Key” embrace southern twang in a hallucinogenic fog of psychedelic funeral dirge guitars and a refrain every bit as scary as it is catchy. This seems to be much of the magic behind this four-piece: crafting irreverent yet infectious spooky jams about everything from the Ku Klux Klan to growing up a latchkey kid.

However, these boys’ ideals and music still couldn’t save them from something as inevitable in punk as the stage dive: backlash if you sign to a bigger label.

“We caught a little bit of flack, but there’s always going to be haters out there,” says Bradley of fans’ reactions to the band signing to Vice Records. “But you know we don’t hold it against them or anything. We’re still doing everything as we’ve always done before.”

The Black Lips will attempt to prove just that Sunday night at Dallas’ The Loft. But as the little worker bees that they are, the boys from Hot-lanta will also be playing a free acoustic show at 4:30 p.m. at Good Records. And if talk of unhinged and sweaty live performances sends you running for the door, remember: These kids just wanna have fun.

“We’re psychedelic people. I mean [our music] isn’t overtly… but we invite people to join us for an intergalactic journey. If they want to listen to our album on psychedelics, we encourage it… and we don’t discourage it.”

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