The Flaming Lips seem to be working at a Stanley Kubrick pace on their never-ending cinematic opus Christmas on Mars, which has something to do with Santa Claus and Martians. (They went together so well the first time.) No worry: the Lips are now represented on film by The Fearless Freaks, a feature-length documentary that covers their two decades as Oklahoma's premier neo-psychedelicists. Directed by Bradley Beesley, whose strikingly odd fishing documentary Okie Noodling made him the man for the job, the movie features concert footage as well as dramatic "reenactments"including, we hear, a group of Vietnamese Max Fischer Players restaging a Long John Silver's robbery.
In advance of the DVD's release Tuesday, Grimey's hosts a free screening 8 p.m. Monday at The Basement, with the 2-disc set for sale after the film. There'll also be give-aways, free posters and other goodiesand what's this talk we hear about a performance by Nashville's first Flaming Lips tribute band? Listen for soft bulletins.
♦ If your taste runs more to Burning Spear than the Flaming Lips, opt instead for the Belcourt's special screening of the new Live from Bonnaroo 2004 DVD. This record of the three-day outdoor festival features selected highlights from 30 different artists; you'll be shocked to learn they include Dave Matthews & Friends, Trey Anastasio andbetter sit down for this oneThe Dead. Overall, though, the roster is pleasingly diverse: hometown heroes Gillian Welch and Kings of Leon, Los Lonely Boys, The Black Keys, Taj Mahal, X-Ecutioners, Ween, Beth Orton, Doc Watson & Jack Lawrence, Femi Kuti and more. The screening's 9:30 p.m. Monday, for anyone ambitious enough to try seeing both this and the Lips.
♦ There's not much left to say that hasn't been said about the current state of Detroit rock. In the last decade, probably no city has birthed a music scene more directly reflecting that city's characterWhite Stripes, Paybacks, Von Bondies, Detroit Cobras...the list goes on. Perhaps more than any of these bands, The Dirtbombs hone in on the gritty intersection of MC5-style garage-rock fury and Motor City soul, thanks in large part to charismatic front man Mick Collins, who in several reviews has been referred to as Detroit's Shaft. Live, the 'Bombslike their name suggestsare explosive and leave a smoking heap of rubble in their wake. They play The End Friday night with buzz teen-rockers Be Your Own Pet and Lucky Guns, another retro bandthough instead of the garage, they worship in the arena, at the altar of deities like AC/DC, Zep and Guns N' Roses.