Monday, May 02, 2005

Perry Farrell: Bouncing Off the Satellites

What's Perry Farrell up to? knows:

For months now, Farrell's been recording material he characterizes as a hybrid of electronic, rock, experimental house and hip-hop with guitarist Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme — yes, Extreme — and seasoned world-music percussionist Gabriele Corcos, who is married to "Entourage" actress Debi Mazar. But at its heart, Farrell says Satellite Party's much more than a band. In fact, it's not much of a band at all.

"I've basically created a musical, and the musical involves a group of artists who call themselves the Solutionists," Farrell explained. "What they do is create flash mobs, where the dancers and musicians and fashionistas and fine artists all get together and collaborate and do these flash mobs in the city. They become a nuisance to the city, and one of the flash mobs causes a riot. The main guy in the story gets hurt, and he's brought to a hospital where he meets this beautiful night nurse and asks [her] to have his friends bring a radio. They begin to listen to the radio together at night, and one night they are transported up to the heavens through this radio transmission ... there's a vast visitation of energy that takes them up to the heavens, where they are involved in this lovely gala. That's what we call the Satellite Party."

Again, it's a big idea. Nevertheless, Farrell's project has attracted major-label interest, and he's even lured some of music's biggest names to join the Party. The Black Eyed Peas' Fergie will appear on three of the self-titled disc's 13 tracks, which include "The Woman in the Window" and "You Make My Hard Life Easy." He's also recruited Porno guitarist Peter DiStefano, Joy Division/ New Order bassist Peter Hook and Red Hot Chili Peppers John Frusciante and Flea. Jack Irons, the Peppers' original drummer (and Pearl Jam's subsequent one), pounds the kit on a few tracks.

Beyond the Satellite Party album, which Farrell produced and hopes to release in early 2006, there's much more to this project than meets the ear.

"You're not going to just go into this place and watch it like a regular musical," he said. "I want to make it where it's like a dance party and people are participating in the Satellite Party themselves. The places we're going to go to, we're going to have to build a location, just like we're building Lollapalooza this year. We want to make it a very special occasion that people dress up for and participate in. It will take at least four months to render the visuals, to build the sets. I am combining a lot of different elements."

Farrell will debut his Satellite Party during this summer's two-day Lollapalooza event in Chicago but said it will be an abbreviated Satellite show. "An entire Satellite show would be basically a play with sets and everything else," he said. "We will bring the music, the musicians and perhaps the dancers, and then, maybe do just a short set to set a good vibe for people."
I'm starting to think that he is Advanced. My biggest clue that this is true, is that I feel so uncomfortable saying it. But if you think about his career, it's hard to deny that he is a candidate. He was in a unique and influential band, left that band, started a band with an incredibly Advanced name (Porno for Pyros), he embraces international music and technology, he started Lollapalooza, he reunited with Jane's Addiction, and he has done a cover of "Rock and Roll" by the Velvet Underground. I believe he also has said that the ultimate weirdo outfit is khaki pants and a T-shirt. I'll have to see if I can find any pictures of him with dark sunglasses, a black leather jacket and long hair in the back.