Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips have released 11 albums since forming in Oklahoma City in 1983, when they were influenced equally by punk and psychedelia, art and performance and especially the Butthole Surfers.

Signed at a relatively early stage in their career to Warner Bros, the Lips were, unusually, nurtured by Warners and given the opportunity to develop their own musical style, which has progressed from their earliest efforts to simply be as loud as possible, through to their alt-psychedelic sound and the 1995 surprise alt-novelty pop hit “She Don’t Use Jelly”, which enabled the band a slot on Lollapalooza's second stage, a number-one hit, heavy rotation on MTV and an infamous spot on Beverly Hills 90210.

The band moved on to larger scale experiments such as the BOOMBOX parking lot experiments, which have involved up to many hundreds of cassettes being played simultaneously and culminated in 1997’s Zaireeka, a four-CD album which must be played on four CD players simultaneously.

Special guest stars in the soap opera that is The Flaming Lips have included Jonathon Donahue who left to concentrate on his own band, Mercury Rev and regular extra special guest star Dave Fridmann.

Their more recent psychedelic, orchestral pop masterpieces, which led to much acclaim, began with “The Soft Bulletin”, considered by many music critics to be the best album of 1999, and 2002’s “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots”, which was similarly received.

The band also make interesting subjects for a documentary, as seen in The Fearless Freaks. Wayne Coyne has also been writing and directing his feature film Christmas On Mars for over 5 years. The film has had announcements of “being released this christmas” for the last few years, but has been delayed due to touring and recording commitments. Even the band’s own web page states that the film should be released for Christmas 2003.

At War with the Mystics is the tentative title of the forthcoming album by The Flaming Lips, due to be released in January 2006, and it is reported to be more guitar-oriented and weirder than Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi.

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