The Flaming Lips this weekend. Recorded in concert at Off Festival 2010, Katowice Poland on August 8, 2010.
Proclaimed in Q Magazine to be one “the 50 bands you need to see before you die”, The Flaming Lips are as much of an experience in concert as they are on record.
The Flaming Lips formed in Norman, Oklahoma in 1983 with Wayne Coyne on guitar, his brother Mark singing lead vocals, Michael Ivins on bass and Dave Kotska on drums. The band debuted at Oklahoma City’s Blue Note Lounge. After they got Dave Kotska as the drummer, Richard English joined the band in 1984. That same year they recorded their only release with Mark Coyne singing lead vocals–The Flaming Lips.
After his brother’s departure, Wayne assumed the vocal duties and the band released their first full-length album, Hear It Is, on Pink Dust Records (the psychedelic-rock imprint of Enigma Records) in 1986. This line-up recorded two more albums: 1987’s Oh My Gawd!!! and 1989’s Telepathic Surgery, the latter originally planned to be a 30-minute sound collage.
Drummer Nathan Roberts replaced English and guitarist Jonathan Donahue (also a member of the alternative rock band Mercury Rev) joined in 1989. In a Priest Driven Ambulance, their first album with producer Dave Fridmann, was recorded at the State University of New York in Fredonia for $5 an hour on a $10,000 budget. The album was host to a marked expansion in the band’s sound and their previous experiments in tape loops and effects were given a more prominent role. During this period, Coyne made his transition to a higher, more strained vocal style akin to Neil Young, which he first used on Telepathic Surgery’s “Chrome Plated Suicide” and has employed ever since.
In 1990 the band caught the attention of Warner Bros. Records and were signed promptly after a representative of the label witnessed a show at which the band almost burned down the venue (American Legion Hall in Norman, Oklahoma) with the use of pyrotechnics. There are several ideas as to where the band got their name and one possible answer might be from a film called Geraldine in which comedian Stan Freeberg sings several songs including one called “Flaming Lips”.
According to the Tarbox Roads Studio’s website, the Flaming Lips began recording a new album with Dave Fridmann on January 27, 2016. In a June interview with Danish music blog Regnsky, Wayne Coyne said that a new album would come out in January 2017, even though they had originally planned for it to be released in October 2016.Wayne Coyne later confirmed in a September interview with Consequence of Sound, that they would release a new album at the beginning of 2017. On October 20, the band confirmed the January 2017 release date for the album. The band embarked on a tour in support that was described as “rock’s greatest acid punch party” with “balloons, confetti cannons and rainbow visuals”. On January 13, 2017 the fourteenth Flaming Lips album Oczy Mlody was released, and featured a guest appearance by Miley Cyrus. The album charted in both the UK and US.
On Record Store Day, April 22, 2017, the Flaming Lips released Onboard the International Space Station Concert for Peace, a re-recording of seven tracks from Oczy Mlody in a faux live setting.
Nothing more need be said, other than click on the Play button and let the weekend happen.