The Flaming Lips (formed 1983)
The Flaming Lips is an American band from Oklahoma. The band is known for its psychedelic music, abstract lyrics and extravagant live shows.
Formation & Early Career: The Flaming Lips' debut gig was at Oklahoma City's Blue Note Lounge, with Mark Coyne (Wayne's brother) on vocals and Michael Ivins on bass guitar. They eventually settled with Richard English on drums and in 1984, released The Flaming Lips. This was their only release to feature Mark Coyne on lead vocals.
After Mark left the band, Wayne took over the vocal duties. The band's first full-length release, Hear It Is, was released in 1986 on Pink Dust Records. This was followed up by Oh My Gawd!!! In 1987 and Telepathic Surgery in 1989.
In 1989, Jonathan Donahue (of Mercury Rev) joined the band and English was replaced on drums by Nathan Roberts.
Progression: In A Priest Driven Ambulance was recorded on a $10,000 budget and saw a development in the band's sound, to include tape loops and effects. It was also around this time that Wayne Coyne's vocal sound developed to a strained sound, similar to that of Neil Young.
In 1990, The Flaming Lips signed to Warner Brothers. Their first major label album, Hit to Death in the Future Head was released in 1992. Following the album's creation, Donahue left the band to concentrate on Mercury Rev and Roberts left the band as well. They were replaced by Ronald Jones and Steve Drozd.
Transmissions from the Satellite Heart was released in 1993. The single 'She Don't Use Jelly' was a huge hit for the band and The Flaming Lips opened tours for bands such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Candlebox.
Clouds Taste Metallic was released in 1995. Although it did not sell as well as Transmissions. the critics loved it. The constant touring proved too much for Ronald Jones, though and he left the band.
The band's next album, Zaireeka, released in 1997, was a dramatic departure, not only from their own style, but also from conventional ways of delivering modern rock music. The album was released as a set of four CDs, which were designed to be played together, simultaneously, on separate CD players.
In a return to more conventional formats, the band released The Soft Bulletin in 1999. The album is often compared to Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, for its layered string arrangements and off-the-wall lyrics. Not ones to shy away from experimentation, The Flaming Lips hosted the 'Headphone Concert', whilst touring The Soft Bulletin. All guests were given a headset to wear at the concert and an FM transmitter allowed them to hear the concert with greater clarity, whilst still feeling the force of a large P.A. system.
In 2002, The Flaming Lips released Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. They earned a Grammy Award for 'Best Rock Instrumental Performance' for 'Approaching Pavonis Mons by Balloon (Utopia Planitia).'
The Flaming Lips appeared as Beck's backing band on his 'Sea Change' tour. The band went on to headline Lollapalooza in 2004, though the tour was eventually cancelled.
The Flaming Lip's 11th album was At War With the Mystics. Two singles were released from the album: 'The W.A.N.D.' and 'The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song'. The latter was the Flaming Lips' highest chart success in the UK, peaking at 16. Later in 2006, they released the four-track It Overtakes Me EP. The band repeated their Grammy win for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for 'The Wizard Turns On. The Giant Flashlight and Puts on His Werewolf Moccasins.'
In December 2006, Oklahoma City acknowledged the band's success by naming an alley in the entertainment district 'Flaming Lips Alley'.
The Flaming Lips latest project makes sense in a slightly perverse way. Following the acid tinged trip of their last full-length album, 2013's The Terror, Wayne Coyne and his merry band have now chosen to tackle a track-by-track reinterpretation of the record that introduced acid to the world, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A continuation of their series of eclectic collaborative albums, With A Little Help From My Fwends, is sadly a rather patchy affair. While ambitious in the same way as the Lips earlier attempt at re-recording Dark Side Of The Moon, the result of listening to one of the crown jewels of rock refracted through a 21st century psychedelic prism is rather disorientating and frustrating.
When this bold approach works, it does so surprisingly well. Songs like 'She's Leaving Home' and 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' showcase a delicate balance between The Beatles' song writing and The Flaming Lips' sonic capabilities. However far too often the record strays into a disorientating aural assault. Take for example 'Within You, Without You'. The original was a subdued slice of otherworldly introspection. Yet here it descends into a technical exercise to squeeze every last piece of feedback out of the amps and strange noises out of the keyboards. While I'm not averse to radical re=workings some of the material here just sounds like a step too far, and detrimental to the source material.
That's not to say I'd be happy with a faithful note-by-note presentation either. When the Flaming Lips approach works, it's usually because they're enhancing what's already there, rather than hijacking it. For many listeners the air of familiarity to the songs will be an important factor, so when the new approach goes completely off-piste, that's when it seems to be most problematic. There are also an impressive number of guests here, but again at times it's difficult to identify their actual contribution through the Lips' acid haze. One such example is on the opening track itself. J.Mascis rips through the guitar parts admirably, but I'm not entirely sure if I could point out My Morning Jacket in the crowd.
Continue reading: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends Album Review
The Flaming Lips and friends take a walk on the psych side
Rock oddballs The Flaming Lips have released more details about their upcoming charity album. It's a track-by-track tribute album to The Beatles' 1967 classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, regarded by many to be the most influential pop record ever released.
The Flaming Lips Credit George Salisbury
Entitled With A Little Help From My Fwends, the Lips bring their unique style to proceedings with assistance from a host of collaborators including members of MGMT, Moby, My Morning Jacket, Foxygen, Tegan & Sara, Phantogram, J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr.) and Miley Cyrus.
Continue reading: The Flaming Lips And Fwends Rework Sgt. Pepper's
Miley Cyrus and Moby appear in The Flaming Lips' latest music video entitled 'Blonde SuperFreak Steals the Magic Brain'. Front man Wayne Coyne has attempted to offer some form of explanation, but its meaning is still not clear. See what you think!
Miley Cyrus appears in The Flaming Lips' latest 'music' video and smokes profusely whilst a naked woman meanders around carrying a large blob of jelly and the band plays in a rainbow costume. The video, entitled Blonde SuperFreak Steals the Magic Brain, also features Moby as a cult leader. Unsurprisingly, the video is meant to reference LSD, but you'd have to be on something fairly strong to find it remotely enjoyable viewing.
Miley Cyrus' performances are nearly as trippy as The Flaming Lips' video.
Head to the continent for a festival experience of a lifetime with Spain's Primavera Sound, Denmark's Roskilde Festival and France's Rock En Seine to name a few.
We've been seriously pushing US and UK music festivals this year but, it has to be said, there's nowhere quite like Europe.
The continent is home to some of the most unique music events in the world and, looking at what's on offer this year, it seems that the festival season is the best time to experience cultural diversity to the nth degree. Whether its sun or snow you're after, rock or dance music, indoor or outdoor, Europe has it all and with the summer quickly approaching, it's time to get on a plane and take the best vacation of your lives as we guide you to the most exciting countries you can hope to visit this year.
- Pukkelpop (August 14th - 16th): This Belgian weekend remains seriously cool having first began in 1985 and always playing host to some of the world's best alternative music with early performers including Ramones, The Jesus And Mary Chain and Iggy Pop. Nearly 30 years on, Pukkelpop maintains its excellence with 2014 seeing the likes of Clean Bandit, Gogol Bordello and Die Antwoord on the bill.
- Tomorrowland (July 18th - 20th and July 25th - 27th): If you want to feel like you've entered a fantasy world for a weekend (or two), Tomorrowland is definitely for you. Taking place in the town of Boom, you'll be rocking out against a backdrop of incredible art installations of gargantuan proportions - it really isn't a sight to be missed.
Continue reading: Head To Europe This Year For The Best Summer Festival Experiences!
Miley Cyrus teamed up with the Flaming Lips in Manchester
Miley Cyrus teamed up with the Flaming Lips for a cover of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (April 18, 2014). However, the unlikely collaboration came via satellite link-up from Manchester Arena in the UK, where Miley is currently touring.
Miley Cyrus and the Flaming Lips? It Works.
Snoop Dogg was given the honour of introducing Cyrus in Manchester, who was dressed as some sort of gold bird. She harmonized with Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, who also went for a pretty epic looking outfit.