It might have passed without too much fanfare, but a few months back, a semi-rare (only 5000 physical copies at first) experimental record was released which saw the odd combination of Flaming Lips, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Henry Rollins and Peaches performing a dramatic and sometimes twisted version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’s available via iTunes but, like the original, may become just as difficult to find in its original packaging within the year. Unlike the original, however, it’s enjoyed a very limited fan appeal and not much seems to have been said of it.
In light of the recent economic melt-down and continued coverage of collusion between the Fed and private industry, it only seems right that we revisit Dark Side and the themes it addresses, notably greed, conflict and the mental stress an increasingly complex world can cause. If you find yourself wanting to escape to someplace distant, such as the far side of the moon, this updated version of Floyd’s perennial classic might just help you get there.
Looking at the list of collaborators its not hard to guess that this album might have value beyond its role as a playful stepping stone between projects for everyone involved. Fans of DC music icon Henry Rollins might enjoy his spoken word segments, especially on the first track, a chaotic combination of “Speak To Me” and “Breathe” and again on the closing track, “Eclipse” when he dutifully reminds us that there is no dark side of the moon, really. The Coyne led clan comes through solidly with a series of audio samples and guitar-work that is arguably affronting at first but calls for a deeper listen, especially the intro on “Time / Breathe (Reprise)” which consists of little more than a looped human cough giving way to a wall of noise one might expect to hear while dying.
As any good Dark Side album cover must have, “Money” is arguably the anchor track and the Lips’ dreamy and whimsical influence easily compliments the grimy and licentious nature of the original. A tinny, electronic voice whispers the lyrics more as a warning this time, relating it to the modern concerns of the role of money in the digital age, giving Roger Waters’ original message new meaning and certainly new relevance.
Have a listen to two cuts and be sure to pick it up if you’re lucky enough to find it.