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The Flaming Lips announce ‘The Soft Bulletin’ 20th anniversary UK tour

Tom Skinner Mar 6, 2019 4:02 pm

It includes a show at London's Brixton Academy

The Flaming Lips will mark the 20th anniversary of ‘The Soft Bulletin’ by performing the classic album in full during a special UK tour. See the dates below.

Released in 1999, the critically acclaimed ninth record from the band features the singles ‘Race for the Prize’ and ‘Waitin’ for a Superman’. Following its arrival, the LP was named NME‘s album of the year.

Two decades later, it’s been announced that ‘The Soft Bulletin’ will be showcased in its entirety at shows in Edinburgh, Manchester, and London in Autumn this year. The three-day stint will conclude with a performance at Brixton Academy on September 7.

Tickets go on general sale this Friday (March 8) at 10 am.

The Flaming Lips play:

September 5 – Usher Hall, Edinburgh
September 6 – Manchester Academy, Manchester
September 7 – Brixton Academy, London

Back in 2011, The Flaming Lips performed the album in full at London’s Alexandra Palace as part of ATP’s Don’t Look Back series of shows.

Last year, the band released a Greatest Hits compilation – featuring material released between 1993 and 2017. B-sides, outtakes, and some more left-field cuts were also included.

Looking forward to new material, the US group’s fifteenth album ‘King’s Mouth’ – narrated by The Clash’s Mick Jones – is set for release next month. The follow-up to 2017’s ‘Oczy Mlody’ will arrive on April 13 via Warner Bros.

In other news, The Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne married his longtime partner Katy Weaver earlier this year. The ceremony was held at an Oklahoma rooftop venue, where the couple later posed inside the band’s plastic bubble prop. Coyne famously crowdsurfs inside the ball at live gigs.

posted by derek brown - Mar 6, 2019 - 0 comments


Flaming Lips to Release New Album ‘King’s Mouth’ on Record Store Day

Band’s 15th LP will feature narration from the Clash’s Mick Jones

Jon Blistein February 28, 2019 3:19PM ET

The Flaming Lips 15th studio album 'King's Mouth' will feature the Clash's Mick Jones and arrive exclusively on Record Store Day.

The Flaming Lips will release their 15th studio album, King’s Mouth, on Record Store Day, April 13th.

The band will issue just 4,000 copies of the LP, which will be pressed on gold vinyl and will only be available at participating independent record stores. Another version of the album won’t hit the marketplace until July.

King’s Mouth follows the Flaming Lips’ 2017 album, Oczy Mlody. The record will feature 12 new tracks and the music will be connected by narration provided by the Clash’s Mick Jones.

The album is also just one aspect of a much larger project from the Flaming Lips and frontman Wayne Coyne. The music on King’s Mouth parallels that in Coyne’s immersive art installation of the same name, in which viewers crawl into a large metallic head to experience a music-driven LED light show. The new album will also be accompanied by a book, King’s Mouth: Immerse Heap Trip Fantasy Experience, which Coyne wrote and illustrated.

“The King’s Mouth immersive/child-like qualities are born from the same spark and womb as The Flaming Lips live performances,” Coyne said of the overall project. “The King’s Mouth adventure was made for humans of all sizes, ages, cultures, and religions.”

Along with prepping their new album, the Flaming Lips continue to release episodes of their retrospective podcast, The Sorcerer’s Orphan: A Song by Song History of the Flaming Lips. The latest episode is centered around the group’s 1994 alt-rock staple, “She Don’t Use Jelly.” Last year, the band released a massive greatest hits collection as well.

posted by derek brown - Mar 1, 2019 - 0 comments


Chris Walker
February 23, 2019

“There’s a fun part of the show tonight where it doesn’t have to go exactly how we said it would go,” declared Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne.

The band was only a couple songs into performing its 1999 album The Soft Bulletin with the Colorado Symphony at Boettcher Concert Hall on Friday night, and Coyne already seemed to sense how unique and special the evening was going to be, his declaration a sort of one-line manifesto promising that the show would be a capital “E” Experience.

It was.

While performing the entire track list of The Soft Bulletin, the Flaming Lips and the Colorado Symphony wove a musical tapestry in Boettcher Concert Hall. That tapestry was playful at times — such as when fifty-plus choral singers immersed themselves in the crowd, or when Coyne had everyone in the concert hall imitate the sounds of insects for the Lips’ song “Buggin" — and at other times incredibly moving to the point of making the musicians emotional...despite this being music the Flaming Lips have been playing for twenty years.

The Colorado Symphony deserves much of the credit, filling the room with lush accompaniment to the band’s psychedelic sound, with the percussionists and scores of string and brass players — not to mention the choir — making everything sound about ten times more epic.

And as Coyne pointed out during the show, “We’ve also got a conductor with the coolest fucking name: Christopher Dragon.”

Indeed, Dragon was fun to watch as he helmed the orchestral component of the evening's musical madness, appearing to have a strong rapport with the Colorado Symphony players in his fourth season as its associate conductor.

It also helped that Friday night was not the first time the Flaming Lips have performed The Soft Bulletin with the Colorado Symphony; the collaboration goes back to 2016, when the band teamed up with the orchestra to perform the album at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

The Flaming Lips Performance With the Colorado Symphony Felt EpicEXPAND
As Westword learned at the time from the symphony’s chief artistic officer, Anthony Pierce, the idea came together after a chance encounter Pierce had with the Lips’ longtime manager, Scott Booker, at a music-industry conference in Denver years ago. That day, the two exchanged business cards on the off chance that they would ever want to work together.

Later, Pierce – who is part of an ongoing effort at the Colorado Symphony to broaden the organization’s audience through collaboration with contemporary musicians outside of the classical-music sphere – called the number on that business card to see how serious the Flaming Lips were about teaming up on a project.

The two groups decided on reimagining The Soft Bulletin in a live setting using their combined forces.

“And one of the things that [Flaming Lips bandmember] Steven Drozd told me was that if they had had an orchestra when recording the album, they would have used it," Pierce told us in 2016.

Of course, performing The Soft Bulletin at Red Rocks with the symphony would require entirely new sheet music and orchestral arrangements, because the album’s original string sounds were recorded using synthesizers and samples. So Pierce turned to another collaborator: Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa, who offered to write the orchestral charts.

“And Tom [Hagerman] and I were in and out of Oklahoma City," Pierce recalled. “We spent a couple hours with [the Flaming Lips] before we were back on the plane and [Hagerman] started writing."

After that, the band and Hagerman exchanged sheet music and notes with each other using Dropbox, culminating in some mad-dash rehearsals and their performance at Red Rocks on May 26, 2016.

That outdoor show at the amphitheater may have had more spectacle, including a blow-up hamster ball and an octopus-like suit Coyne wore with LED tentacles, but this past Saturday’s show at Boettcher Hall certainly topped 2016’s show musically; with the well-balanced acoustics and more intimate setting at Boettcher, the band sounded more confident than it had during its previous outing with the Colorado Symphony.

The arrangements and execution on songs like “Waitin’ for a Superman,” “Feel Yourself Disintegrate” and (in the encore) “Do you Realize??” were tight and powerful to the point of inducing goosebumps.

The Flaming Lips Performance With the Colorado Symphony Felt EpicEXPAND
True to the Flaming Lips’ M.O., there was plenty of fun, too, including a blown-up robot that swayed from side to side during the other encore song, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1.”

But even the contrast between the band, whose bassist, Michael Ivins, was wearing an orange robe and LED glasses like some futuristic Shaolin monk, and the members of the symphony in their formal concert attire, somehow seemed perfectly natural.

Coyne repeatedly told the crowd how lucky he felt to be there and to perform with his fellow musicians on stage.

The crowd, giving at least a half-dozen standing ovations during the evening, felt similarly.

And for those who weren’t lucky enough to be there on Friday, the concert may end up being released as a DVD; Coyne told Westword’s Jon Solomon that the Flaming Lips hoped to edit together footage from the Boettcher Concert Hall show with footage that was taken during the 2016 Red Rocks show. If that film captures a fraction of the magic that was Friday's concert and the 2016 show at Red Rocks, it will be well worth viewing.

posted by derek brown - Feb 25, 2019 - 0 comments


READ MORE: Pitchfork

They perform Bowie and Bing Crosby’s “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” medley in a new music video

by Matthew Strauss
Associate Editor
December 20, 2018

The Flaming Lips have shared a new music video in which they cover David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s Christmas medley “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.” The Lips recorded and filmed their version at Wayne Coyne’s Pink Floor Studios in Oklahoma City. Watch the trippy visuals, directed by Coyne and George Salisbury, below.


posted by derek brown - Dec 20, 2018 - 0 comments


READ MORE: Jambands

Known as the home of PBS’s Bluegrass Underground, The Caverns in Pelham, Tenn. will host The Flaming Lips for a subterranean New Year’s celebration on Dec. 31. The underground venue dates back millions of years and sits below the base of Montagle Mountain.

The Flaming Lips will be joined by opening act Uni for their one-off New Year’s celebration, and VIP/Hotel packages will be available starting on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9:00 a.m. CT.

General onsale will start on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 11:00 a.m. CT.

posted by derek brown - Dec 14, 2018 - 0 comments


READ MORE: The City Sentinel

By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The 2018 Wrap Up Homelessness Campaign is now underway giving Oklahoma City residents an oppotunity to help those who are transitioning through homelessness.

For the third year in a row, the Curbside Chronicle has partnered with local artists to design holiday wrapping paper for sale to the public. The wrapping paper is sold by vendors for The Curbside Chronicle, a program of the Oklahoma City Homeless Alliance.
The Curbside Chronicle is the state’s first and only “street paper” created to provide both a voice and employment opportunities for people who are homeless. Sales of the Chronicle enables people to earn enough money to get into housing and end their homelessness.

The holiday wrapping paper has been created by professional Oklahoma artists with designs ranging from traditional to funky holiday themes. Each package includes five 24″x36″ sheets of wrapping paper and is sold for prices ranging from $8 to $20.
Local artists include Kris Kanaly, Katelynn Knick, Aditi Panchal, JUURI, Marissa Raglin, Betty Refour, Emily Hamm, Tony Thunder, Arjan Jager and Mark, a Curbside vendor.

“I wanted to make sure my design didn’t resemble any of the other artists,” Tony posted on Facebook. “That’s when I decided to illustrate something so original and off the wall that there would be no way of that ever happening. I called in E.T. and dressed him in iconic Christmas movie costumes. The rest is history.

In addition, this year a special package design will feature custom artwork by Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips. Known for his eccentric art, Coyne’s wrapping paper will be sold separately.

Packages of wrapping paper can be purchased directly from Curbside vendors who are transitioning out of homelessness. Individuals selling the wrapping paper will be easily recognizable wearing their green Curbside Chronicle vests. They can be found selling the Chronicle at intersections, sidewalks, public spaces and events throughout Oklahoma City.

Packages will be available at local retailers throughout the metro area like DNA Galleries and various holiday events such as the Indie Trunk Show. This year, wrapping paper will also be sold each weekend at the Holiday Pop-Up Shops in the Midtown OKC area.
“The wrapping paper is a great way to make your gifts extra special this year,” said Ranya Forgotson, program director of The Curbside Chronicle at the Homeless Alliance. 

”It features unique, local art and directly supports people who are working their way out of homelessness. You’ll not only be giving a gift to your friend or family member, but you’ll be giving the gift of empowerment to someone in Oklahoma City who is working to make their situation better.

“Because of creative campaigns like this, Curbside was able to help 41 vendors end their homelessness last year — overcoming over 215 years of combined homelessness,” Ranya added.

The Wrap Up Homelessness initiative is sponsored by Fowler Automotive, Citizens Bank of Edmond, and Orthodontic Arts.

“This is a great campaign, not only because of the people that it’s helping, but it introduces local artists to a broader community,” said Kristen Vails, arts advocate and director of community outreach with Fowler Automotive. “It’s pretty special that people will have custom Oklahoma art under their tree.”
All proceeds from packages purchased from individuals will go directly to that individual who is working their way out of homelessness. Proceeds from store purchases will benefit The Curbside Chronicle and its mission to employ and empower men and women transitioning out of homelessness in Oklahoma City.

To purchase wrapping paper online or for more details about Wrap Up Homelessness, visit

posted by derek brown - Dec 11, 2018 - 0 comments



Wayne Coyne said the collaboration was "quite unbelievable"

Rhian Daly
Dec 5, 2018 5:58 pm

The Flaming Lips have announced details of their new album, ‘King’s Mouth’, which will be narrated by The Clash’s Mick Jones.

The record, which succeeds 2017’s ‘Oczy Mlody’, will be released on April 13, via Warner Bros.

Frontman Wayne Coyne shared the news on his Instagram page yesterday (December 4). “…ok.. so… our King’s Mouth album that will be coming out on @recordstoredayus in April has Mick Jones on it,” he wrote.

“yeah Mick Jones from The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite.. he’s doing the narration… he’s on almost every song… it really it quite unbelievable.. ill post a little video clip so you can hear him … but yeah!!!!! Man!!! Sooooo cool.”

He also tagged the likes of Nile Rodgers, Miley Cyrus, Dan Deacon, and Post Malone in the post. It is currently unclear whether those artists will also appear on the record or not.

Earlier this year, Coyne told NME he would be interested in working with Malone. “I would love to do something with him, he’s got a great melodic thing about him,” he said. “Even though it appears like he’s a rapper, he’s also a good singer and has a cool style and a good way of blending rap with some melodic stuff. His name and tattoos are great.”
The frontman also revealed his desire to release a vinyl record with Cyrus’ pee in it, following the Flaming Lips’ releases with beer and blood in. “We’d get a good amount of Miley’s pee and mix it with some glitter and put that in,” he explained. “I think that would up the ante. Don’t you?”

posted by derek brown - Dec 5, 2018 - 0 comments


READ MORE: Austin360

By Peter Blackstock

Posted Nov 16, 2018 at 3:50 PM
Updated Nov 16, 2018 at 4:27 PM

Flaming Lips, Yo La Tengo, Built to Spill, the Moth & the Flame and more will play the second annual Hi, How Are You Day, a celebration of heralded Texas songwriter Daniel Johnston’s birthday, at ACL Live on Jan. 22, 2019.

It’s a big step up for the mental health awareness event and fundraiser, which made its debut in January 2018 at the Mohawk. That night was a grand success, with local acts including Kathy McCarty & Brian Beattie, Moving Panoramas, Jane Ellen Bryant and Will Courtney performing Johnston’s songs and Johnston himself making a brief but memorable appearance.

Tickets, $49-$79, go on sale at noon Monday, Nov. 19, via the venue’s website. Other participating artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

Hi, How Are You Project co-founders Tom Gimbel and Courtney Blanton created the event “to educate people worldwide about the importance of mental health and well-being while promoting a culture of inclusion,” according to a press statement announcing the show.

Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne said in the statement that his band is taking part “because we love Daniel’s music, and being part of a thing that celebrates his music with a bunch of other artists is always fun...and we love Austin...any excuse to play there is cool with us.”

Dick Johnston, Daniel’s brother and a co-founder of the project, added: “The mission of Hi, How Are You Day is to get the word out about Daniel’s art and music AND to make it routine that we recognize the worth of people struggling with depression, anxiety, learning disabilities or mental illness.”

posted by derek brown - Nov 16, 2018 - 0 comments


READ MORE: Jambands

Known as the home of PBS’s Bluegrass Underground, The Caverns in Pelham, Tenn. will host The Flaming Lips for a subterranean New Year’s celebration on Dec. 31. The underground venue dates back millions of years and sits below the base of Montagle Mountain.

The Flaming Lips will be joined by opening act Uni for their one-off New Year’s celebration, and VIP/Hotel packages will be available starting on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9:00 a.m. CT.

General onsale will start on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 11:00 a.m. CT.

posted by derek brown - Sep 18, 2018 - 0 comments


READ MORE: PopMatters

08 Aug 2018

It can be difficult to fathom the fact that the Flaming Lips have been together in some form or another for 35 years. And while the consistent thread throughout the band's discography has been a unique strain of "weirdness", it's also breathtaking to take in their evolution over the course of 14 studio albums and various projects and collaborations.

But before the band of oddballs from Norman, Oklahoma became the de facto indie experimental freaks the world knows and loves, there was an early, rawer, more direct sound to their music. That's where Seeing the Unseeable: The Complete Studio Recordings of the Flaming Lips, 1986-1990 comes in. A collection of their first four full-length studio albums in addition to two discs of rarities from that period, Seeing the Unseeable is the Flaming Lips in all their nascent, punk rock, salad-day glory. Before the freak pop hit that landed them on Beverly Hills, 90210, before singer/guitarist Wayne Coyne's rumpled white suit, before the boom-box experimentalism of Zaireeka, before the head-scratching Miley Cyrus collaborations, the Lips were signed to Restless Records and recorded a string of rough, strange, aggressive music at the tail end of the 1980s.

Released in 1986 - two years after their self-titled debut EP and following the departure of Wayne's brother Mark - Hear It Is shows relatively little of the sound that the Flaming Lips would pursue on later albums. At this point, the band consists of Coyne, bassist Michael Ivins, and drummer Richard English. Opening track "With You" alternates between the acoustic folk of the verses and the pummeling electric crush of the choruses. Elsewhere, the band seems to adopt a sound that is freakishly close to that of the Replacements, largely because Coyne's vocals were a dead ringer for Paul Westerberg.

The 'Mats comparison carries over to the music as well, to some degree. While rough-hewn guitars and a bash-it-out, DIY aesthetic hovers over all ten tracks on Hear It Is, there are glimpses of greater ambition. "Jesus Shootin' Heroin" doesn't just kick off the band's penchant for knocking over the sacred cows of Christianity; musically, it owes more to Black Sabbath than Bob Stinson with its doom-metal guitar chords and almost Gothic tone. Additionally, "Godzilla Flick" combines a whimsical pop culture touchstone with breezy acoustic guitar and an almost anthemic sense of musical richness. Hear It Is has plenty of punk elements, but the Lips were already looking further over the horizon.

The pieces continue falling into place on the follow-up, 1987's Oh My Gawd!!! Sure, the hyperactive "Everything's Exploding" follows the standard guitar-heavy college rock playbook, but the psychedelics soon kick in with "One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning", arguably their first "epic" track, where rambling electric guitar-led balladry collapses into slashing rock riffage, sounding like an early Pink Floyd jam session. There's also the impossible-to-grasp utter insanity of songs like "Maximum Dream for Evil Knievel", where Coyne's acid trips seem to take on a life of their own as stop-start guitar figures suggest a penchant for progressive rock. Oh My Gawd, indeed.

Photo: George Salisbury / Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records

As Seeing the Unseeable progresses, the Flaming Lips begin inching closer and closer to the sound they were to perfect in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and Telepathic Surgery seems to bear this out to a fairly excessive degree. Initially conceived as a 30-minute sound collage, a "standard" (relatively speaking, of course) album was eventually created, with a somewhat rough concept at play, spread across 14 tracks. These tracks include everything from tiny snippets like "Michael, Time to Wake Up" (an atonal electric guitar freakout) and "The Spontaneous Combustion of John" (a brief blip of dark folk) to the epic, 23-minute experimentalism of "Hell's Angels Cracker Factory", which includes twin-attack distorted guitar riffs, odd , Zappa-esque horn outbursts, manic, thundering drum fills and bits of operatic vocalizing. "Chrome Plated Suicide" is one of Telepathic Surgery's high points and also an important step in the band's evolution as the cracked power ballad – melodically cribbed from "Sweet Child o'Mine" – introduces Coyne's now-famous strained, Neil-Young-on-acid vocal style.

In a Priest Driven Ambulance, released in 1990, is the final album the Flaming Lips made for Restless Records, and it also marks the first major line-up shifts since Mark Coyne's departure. Drummer English is out, replaced by Nathan Roberts, and guitarist Jonathan Donahue – who would also helm indie darlings Mercury Rev – gives the band additional texture. At this point, Coyne is totally committed to that out-of-tune nasal holler, and on "Shine on Sweet Jesus", the band uses standard power pop chord structures as a foundation for a noisy, distorted sonic mess. It's as if they realize that nobody cares how unhinged they sound, so they go for it. But there's nothing really "forbidden" about the sound. It's a celebration, and everyone's invited. Donahue's presence underscores the heavier sounds of "Unconsciously Screamin'" and the spacey guitar fills of "Five Stop Mother Superior Rain". For good measure, they even close the album with a typically trippy take on "(What a) Wonderful World".

Seeing the Unseeable is rounded out by two additional discs of recordings from the same era. Restless Rarities includes an interesting collection of covers: an occasionally tender, occasionally head-banging take on Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush", a live version of Sonic Youth's "Death Valley '69", and a medley of the Sonics' garage band nugget and Nick Lowe's "Peace, Love and Understanding". The choice of covers ranges from bold to somewhat predictable, but the gusto with which the Flaming Lips attack these songs is remarkably consistent. Alternate versions of "Stand in Line" and "Five Stop Mother Superior Rain" and a Sub-Pop 7" version of "Drug Machine in Heaven" are some other highlights of Restless Rarities.

The sixth disc in the collection isn't really an unearthed treasure unknown to hardcore Lips enthusiasts – in fact, The Mushroom Tapes was first released in 2002 as the second disc of the deluxe reissue of In a Priest Driven Ambulance (then titled The Day They Shot a Hole in the Jesus Egg), essentially a collection of Priest-era demos. It's a treat to hear some of these songs in their early stages, and additional songs that didn't make the final cut are also included, like the brief, self-explanatory "Jam" and "God's a Wheeler Dealer", a truly bizarre number in which noise effects and guitar feedback compete for attention with Coyne's vocals.

Soon after the release of In a Priest Driven Ambulance, the Flaming Lips caught the attention of Warner Brothers, who signed them and released their major-label debut, Hit to Death in the Future Head. Then came Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, which included the ubiquitous freak hit "She Don't Use Jelly". Once multi-instrumentalist and resident musical wizard Steven Drozd joined the lineup, it was only a matter of time before they cranked out albums like Zaireeka (a four-disc set meant to be played simultaneously on four CD players) and the Pet-Sounds-on-harder-drugs masterpiece The Soft Bulletin, gaining fame and notoriety by simply making strange music completely on their own terms. Seeing the Unseeable is an expansive look into the early days of the Flaming Lips, when they left it all on the field, and it all paid off.

posted by derek brown - Aug 8, 2018 - 0 comments
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