In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.
In his fascinating book about Zaireeka—for the 33 1/3 series—Mark Richardson posits that The Flaming Lips’ 1992 album Hit To Death In The Future Head is basically nobody’s favorite. I’m not sure it’s mine—though it might be—but it’s definitely the album that made me fall in love with the band. It’s a better gateway to what would come than In A Priest Driven Ambulance, since it gets a little silly while remaining pretty damn heavy and weird at times (including a never-ending noise fest as a bonus track). “Frogs” isn’t even the album’s best song, but it’s a monumentally fun trifle that always reminds me of another favorite: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. In both the movie and the song (and in historical plagues), frogs fall from the sky. It doesn’t make any sense, but it doesn’t really have to: “Frogs” could just as easily have been the novelty hit that introduced The Flaming Lips to the mainstream, instead of “She Don’t Use Jelly” on the band’s next album, Transmissions From The Satellite Heart. But this song probably hasn’t been overplayed for most people, so if you long for a time when Oklahoma’s only band (apologies, Chainsaw Kittens) was still a bit wacky, “Frogs”—and Hit To Death—is great to visit.