Here’s a fact anyone I’ve ever met (also: everyone, everywhere) almost certainly doesn’t know: “Battle Flag” (or “Battleflag”; Wikipedia is non-committal or, more likely, all-encompassing), the only song you might recognize as Lo Fidelity Allstars, isn’t theirs. Pigeonhed, a Seattle-based, Subpop-signed collaboration between Shawn Smith and Steve Fisk, penned the original, and the duo released its version on 1997′s The Full Sentence. (If you’re so inclined, you can pay Steve Jobs $.99 to confirm what listening to iTunes’ 30-second clip will hint: it sucks. I come at this discussion from a place of experience; I’d suggest saving your money.)
Lo Fidelity Allstars remixed the song for Pigeonhed’s horrendously titled Flash Bulb Emergency Overflow Cavalcade of Remixes (seriously, what?) before including the version on its own wonderfully monikered How to Operate With A Blown Mind. The second iteration of “Battle Flag” peaked at No. 6 on Billboard‘s Modern Rock Tracks and is the only song off Lo Fi’s 1998 debut or, for that matter, in the band’s entire catalogue, worth mentioning. But at least the second group – featuring a lead singer credited in the linear notes of Blown Mind under the name The Wrekked Train – earned some acclaim for its effort, even if that means being relegated to the footnotes of history. Pigeonhed, the creator, finds itself scrubbed even from those.
It took two bands to create one “Battle Flag.” The first built the house. The latter moved in, demoed the existing walls, added its own superior details, and answered the phone when a producer for Cribs came calling.