The Weekly once dubbed Flying Lotus the "Godfather of Spiritual Electronica." He's convinced Thom Yorke to perform at Low End Theory. A recent headline performance at the Eagle Rock Music Festival drew over ten thousand people.
Oh, and he also DJed my friend's apartment party earlier this year. And I missed it.
The story goes like this: In January, FlyLo played an intimate on-campus concert for UCLA students that I helped organize. After the show -- which was quite good -- I figured that was that. Most artists usually bounce promptly when these things are over. So, stupidly, I decided to head out early on a ski trip I had planned.
But little did I know that as I barreled up highway 395 toward Mammoth, Flying Lotus was playing my friend's living room. And he wasn't just cruising through his iTunes playlist -- he was composing tracks on the spot. This was never-before-heard Flying Lotus.
The apartment belonged to one of my pals from the concert staff; earlier she had mentioned to FlyLo that they were throwing an impromptu soiree. But no one could believe it when he actually showed up.
"He was just standing in the kitchen and four or five guys were all competing to be the one who passed the blunt to Flylo," recalls another of my friends, who asked to remain confidential. (Apparently he doesn't want his name mentioned in the same sentence as marijuana.)
The party went to the next level when somebody -- I'm not sure who, but he was surely fortified by liquid courage -- asked if the DJ would be willing to do a set. "When he left to go get his laptop out of his car, people were like 'holy shit' and started frantically making space in the living room," continues my friend. FlyLo didn't disappoint. When he returned, he began improvising raw beats straight off Abelton.
Unfortunately, folks couldn't keep a lid on this tell-your-grandkids performance. A series of tweets and mass texts drew the masses, causing Flying Lotus to leave because it was too crowded.
His next stop? The local Christian frat, of course. He followed my friends there to score some "Jesus Burgers" -- as they're sarcastically called by the drunk infidels who crash the AGO fraternity's weekly attempt to proselytize by means of free hamburgers.
But while they waited in the burger line, a sorority girl began pestering them. What were they studying at UCLA? "I'm a physics major," said FlyLo, adding that he was especially "fascinated by how black holes work."
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The only problem was that the girl was a physics major herself, and quickly called his bluff. (He had no idea what 'spaghettification' meant, it turns out, although he said he just might compose a track with that name some day.)
But the gal proceeded to stick her foot in her mouth when she not only admitted that she was unfamiliar with his music, but that no normal person could claim to be a fan of "a Flying Lotus."
Although I have to say, even if she was later informed of FlyLo's reputation, she still wouldn't have felt half as stupid as I did the next morning, upon learning what I'd missed.