The Flaming Lips Void DVD Review

The Flaming Lips


DVD Review

Most bands hate making videos. It means getting up at 5am to stand around in some freezing disused warehouse covered in make-up miming along to the same track - all day long. Not The Flaming Lips, they seem to relish in the idea of adding film to their music. Each video is their own visual interpretation of the song and weather the budget is big or small the Lips seem to be able to squeeze every last drop of artistic experimentation out of each shoot.

The DVD is also interesting as a chronological visual record of Wayne Coyne's rather questionable fashion sense and crazy haircuts.

Warner Music Vision is to release 'VOID' (Video Overview in Deceleration) by The Flaming Lips on 3 October 2005. Including all 18 of their music videos filmed between 1992 and 2005, the release exclusively features the debut of 'Mr Ambulance Driver' - the highly anticipated new song and Grammy nominated video from their forthcoming album 'At War With The Mystics' which is expected Spring 2006. Some fans will have already heard 'Mr Ambulance Driver' which is featured on the soundtrack to the smash hit film 'The Wedding Crashers'.

'VOID' showcases The Flaming Lips' history with Warner Bros. through an expansive collection of promo videos, which includes their most popular songs, 'Do You Realise', 'Race for the Prize' and 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots'. In true Flaming Lips style, the videos range from catching fevers from kangaroos in 'This Here Giraffe' (also directed by Sofia Coppola), to a red paint-splattered room with a muscle-bound man singing the 'doo wop' ('Everyone Wants To Live Forever'). Stereo mixes and a band commentary are also featured, but the main treat for The Flaming Lips fans will be the inclusion of the not-yet-released track 'Mr Ambulance Driver'. Of Mr. Ambulance Driver, front man Wayne Coyne says, "It's about a guy and a gal, and the gal is dying after a car accident and it's the moment they share as the ambulance approaches."

Their surreally brilliant career began with a series of independent label releases during the 1980s. 'A Priest Driven Ambulance', released in 1990, saw a collaboration of creativity with Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue, and their signing to Warner Bros followed in 1991. Enjoying a degree of chart fame with their debut Warners album 'Hit To Death In The Future Head', they soon returned to cult status, despite two of their songs being featured in the films 'Batman Forever' and Richard Linklater's 'SubUrbia'. Continuing to push musical boundaries with their unique off-kilter sound and darkly sweet melodies, their 1997 album 'Zaireeka' was a massively experimental set of four discs, designed to be played simultaneously. 'Soft Bulletin', released in 1999, impressed the UK music critics and produced the indie classics 'Race for the Prize' and 'She Don't Use Jelly', before the critically acclaimed

'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' LP in 2002 propelled them into the spotlight, earning them a Grammy. This album became their most successful in terms of sales, selling 200,000 copies in the UK, and a massive 1 million copies worldwide. A huge media buzz was created around their live performances, which often saw the band flanked by fans wearing furry animal costumes! The Flaming Lips even teamed up with pop superstar Justin Timberlake for a Top of the Pops appearance in 2003. Now working on their new album 'At War With The Mystics', which Coyne has described as "a sort of progressive Dixieland", their recent projects have included a cover version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and a contribution to an anti-Bush compilation in America.

'VOID' by The Flaming Lips is out on Warner Music Vision on 3 October 2005.

DVD Track listing

Mr Ambulance Driver

(Young guy gets mangled in a car accident, becomes an even more graceful break dancer – the band celebrates his triumph with sputtering edits)

Psychic Wall

(The band re-enacts scenarios that play in the cartoon – tried to find something besides the giant ham costume, but there is no ham on a crabby patty, but it looked so good we conceded)

Fight Test

(Group of teenagers tries to spur the rivals to flight. One refuses to be aggressive until he's pushed into a pile of horse poop – finally he finds a smelly, but non-violent weapon)

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

(Young, beautiful sushi chef/lap dancer has magical powers and forces large vegetables down the throats of the male onlookers – the band plays in the background and a fantastical party ensues)

Do You Realize? (UK Version)

(Four bored farm girls lament about how nothing exciting ever happens to them…they get stoned and an apparition of a glowing singing man appears – he is accompanied by giant rabbits with sparkling spheres)

Race For The Prize

(Olympic runner with technical devices being measured by men in yellow suits…a motorcyclist tried to hurt him – the band plays in a garden auditorium with droopy yellow tuba section)

Waiting For A Superman

(Concerned little boy finds wizardly cape and makes blood return to injured man's head)

This Hear Giraffe

(The band gets bored of being grungy hipsters and decides to take a trip to the local zoo – Wayne catches a fever from a kangaroo)

When You Smile

(Floating smile flies through town causing time to speed up – the band casually sings and dances in a room that changes colour)

Bad Days

(Two kids rebel against their humiliating summer jobs – they dream of riding their sun-beamed psychedelic bicycles – the band sleeps all day only to be disturbed by the cleaning lady)

Christmas At The Zoo

(The band finds a powerful snow blowing machine and tries to kill each other – they roam around the city hallucinating that they are seeing zoo animals)

Be My Head

(The band, not being brave enough to attempt real pyrotechnics use, instead balloons with shaving cream – it's an explosive effect just the same – joyful blue cartoon stars fall through the performance)

She Don't Use Jelly

(Michelle plays around in the bathtub with plates of egg and toast – the band carries around balloons leftover from a birthday party – I have orange hair – like the last verse of the song

Turn It On

(Three college girls have a transcendental experience one night wearing clothes at the Laundromat – the band trips off on Christmas lights)


(Cut up Special Ed films, spliced with Bible and outer space images – the band poses a lot – we see the insides of Wayne's mouth)

Everyone Wants To Live Forever

(Red paint thrown into a fan and a big muscle-bound guy, as if in pain, sings the doo-wop – the band sings and plays while pussycat girls spray away the residue of fat wrestler spasm guy)

Phoebe Battles The Pink Robots

(The band sings as if the closing credits of a miraculous telethon would be scrolling over their faces – its 6.00AM – the sun is just coming through the windows behind them

Are You A Hypnotist??

(George tries to make edits so intense it causes viewers to have headaches or seizures)

Do You Realize? (US Version)

(Mark Pellington originally had me riding a real elephant down a dirt road on the outskirts of Las Vegas – flames would have been lit on either side of the road…at one point he talked of fire shooting out of the end of my fingers)

E Card -


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