Chronic Cover Songs for 420: Sophie Sputnik Launches Into Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize"

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Editor's note: If you grew up in South Florida, you've lived a delightfully half-baked existence. You've definitely smoked the stickiest crippy and the worst Jamaican schwag. County Grind got all  stoned and thought, why not ask these toasty South Florida musicians to give us a taste of their favorite pot-inspired songs in preparation for 420? This Chronic Cover series introduces you to both songs about weed and local talents. For the full list, click here.

So, "Do You Realize," our favorite tune off of the Flaming Lips' tenth album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, might not deal directly with marijuana matters, but we felt it an apt entry into our Chronic series for a multitude of reasons. We'll tell you why. First and foremost, candidly (as we would never lie to you, faithful reader) New Times was desperately in need and want of a contribution from a female musician, so when we received word from spunky and wistful Deerfield Beach singer/songwriter Sophie Sputnik at the 12th hour that she had completed a song for us, we were more than flexible.

Besides, Sputnik's undertaking of recording her debut album, The Chase, live before an audience at Radio-Active Records last October enamored us with its guts and gusto. This is a woman who commands respect but at the same time doesn't take herself too seriously. We dig that. Second, Sputnik's rendition of "Do You Realize" is captivating in its lo-fi intimacy. This woman takes a song that was drenched in Flaming Lips' neo-psychedelic symphony, strips away all the squelches, bleeps, and bloops, and truly probes at the song's primal introspective core. It works magically. Sputnik needs only her raw-yet-angelic vocals and gentle acoustic strums to engage listeners and succeed in pulling off one of the Flaming Lips' most heartfelt moments. We never would have pegged this postprog song as an acoustic pot-smoking-session doozy, but Sputnik lays it out as such. Home run.

Third, Flaming Lips' oft-suited frontman, Wayne Coyne, is a staunch advocate for the legalization of marijuana. That's bound to earn him kudos from those of you in our readership with Zig-Zag rolling papers in your back pocket.

And finally, "Do You Realize" is exactly the kind of heady subject matter that comes to mind when finishing off a robust bowl of hydroponic nugs. Deep, meditative, self-actualizing questions often arise. "Do You Realize -- that happiness makes you cry?" nonsequentially might lead into "Do You Realize -- that everyone you know someday will die/And instead of saying all of your goodbyes/Let them know/You realize that life goes fast."

Deep thoughts, man. Those are the Chronic Cover Songs that really work.


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