The Flaming Lips – Neo-Psychedelia

The Flaming Lips…These guys are either completely nuts or musical geniuses! Either way, I’m ok with whatever way they sway! Because once you see these musical pranksters live! Your attitude about going to live concerts will completely change. Why? Because these guys are here to entertain you! Yes, you read it correctly, they are here to give you an over the top performance! Even more, They’re really good at it!


You never know what to expect at their shows, balloons, confetti, puppets, or the band, or fans are dressed in costumes. Along with large video screens with all kinds of entertaining visuals and more! For some, their shows are an emotional experience in a good way. For others, they’re scratching their heads going ‘I just don’t get it? Well, they’re doing something right because they’ve been together for 40 years! 


Starting out – The Early Years

The Flaming Lips forms in Oklahoma City 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. Afterwards they hire Dave Kotska as the drummer, Richard English joins the band in 1984. That same year they record The Flaming Lips EP, their only release with Mark singing lead vocals. Over the years like most bands, members come and go. It’s no different here either. Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, Nicholas Ley, Michael Ivins as well as Matt Duckworth, Jake Ingalls and Derek Brown are a part of the current line-up. 


The group records several albums and EPs for Restless Records in the 1980s and early 1990s. After signing to Warner Brothers, they score a #9 hit on the Billboard Alternative charts in 1994 with “She Don’t Use Jelly”. The band’s music is appears on four popular television series at the time: Beverly Hills, 90210, Late Show with David Letterman, Charmed and Beavis and Butt-head.


The success of their music being on these shows leads to long stints of touring. Being the opening band for a variety of other bands such as,  Red Hot Chili Peppers and Candlebox. They go on to release Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, Clouds Taste Metallic didn’t do as well. Later, in December, a 20th anniversary box set called Heady Nuggs: 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994–1997, is released.



 The Soft Bulletin

Although they’re successful, it’s not until they release “The Soft Bulletin” and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (between 1999 – 2002) that they really get notoriety that they deserve! Starting off with “The Soft Bulletin!” This is the album that pushes the limits to extreme! A lush piece of symphonic pop that represents the band at the peak of their powers. The Soft Bulletin is a treasure containing original treatments of country-folk, blues, surf rock, symphonic rock, choral music, psychedelia, and other types of music.


At the same time, the songs are highly melodic, harmonically dense, catchy, and even danceable at times. The fusion between artistry, musicianship, and pop sensibility and Coyne’s lyrics and vocals is what makes this particular album special. For those of you that are into prog rock, symphonic rock and more. You would probably like this band. Listening to Coyne’s snarky and ironic lyrics, after a while, you just connect. They’re deep and It’s a truly a symphonic masterpiece.  


The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, The Flaming Lips’ long-awaited follow-up to 1999’s The Soft Bulletin, which was on a lot of year-end “best of” lists and helped rank the psychedelic-noise-popsters among the most influential bands in the world #15 according to NME. “It’s storytelling acid rock,” say The Flaming Lips, “and will render its listeners powerless to study or analyze it and enable them to sit back and–hopefully for a couple of minutes at a time–just simply be…entertained.” As for me, the album is great! It’s like a concept album that really should be played in order the whole way through. It’s quirky and different. 


The Pandemic And The Bubble Concerts!

For most of us, when the pandemic hit, it pretty much left the world at a standstill. We all were stuck inside trying to protect ourselves from getting sick. All kinds of crazy things went down. For those of us that are used to being active in the world, it was hell! But we managed to get through it while watching our favorite bands doing live streams, on social media, attending socially distanced performances and other things to entertain our days. For the Flaming Lips, they decide to do “Bubble Concerts” in Oklahoma City! While is sounds like a truly absurd thing to do, I also find it quite brilliant at the same time! It was also the perfect time to consider this because we all were home going stir crazy!


The Flaming Lips decide to stage a series of concerts in their home town of Oklahoma City with each band member in their own inflatable “space bubble.” But wait there’s more! The Audience will also be in plastic giant bubbles as well! Even better, it can be one, two or even three people! Even though it’s not anything new for Coyne, he also decides as a gesture of defiance, the letter-shaped silver balloons can been seen floating above the band, spelling out the words “F*** off Covid” along with a strict rule of wearing a mask as well. They worked out the logistics back in 2012 when they were on the Stephen Colbert Show. Check out the video above to see how well it really went. Performing Assassins’ of Youth. And while you’re at it check out one of the songs that got the band’s career going!


Keep up to date on everything Flaming Lips on their Social Media pages!

Video Credits:

Live at Sydney Opera House – The Flaming Lips – “Do You Realise??”, badtracking – The Flaming Lips – Waitin’ For A Superman (live on Later with Jools in 1999), Eden Sessions – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt 1,  flaminglipsAssassins of Youth [Live Video], Bob Rock – Flaming lips – She don’t use jelly live HD