It’s a rarity for rock bands to last as long as The Flaming Lips have, and practically unheard of to remain as artistically relevant. But over a constantly shapeshifting, nearly 30-year lifespan, Lips’ frontman and spiritual guide Wayne Coyne and company have proven time and again they’re not your typical rock band. Case in point: While The Terror — the iconoclast Oklahoma City band’s 13th record — is technically its first “proper” album in roughly four years, The Lips have been as productive and creatively curious as ever.
If you were one of the millions to tune into the Super Bowl Sunday night, it’s likely you saw a musical performance that caught your eye. No no, not Beyonce’s halftime show (though, wow, that performance was pretty incredible, and I’d say, the best halftime show I’ve ever seen). No, I’m actually talking about The Flaming Lips, who pop up in a 60-second Super Bowl commercial for Hyundai, set to its brand new song, “Sun Blows Up Today,” a collaboration with pop duo Phantogram.
All year The Flaming Lips have been releasing special edition, hard to find collaborative EPs with like-minded artists like Neon Indian, Prefuse 73 and now Lightning Bolt. Songs have mostly surfaced in the form of YouTube rips because the physical copies get gobbled up pretty fast by some lucky so and so’s. Hopefully at some point the band will release these in a wider release or even digital form for us non-vinyl collector types who just want to hear the music.
In the meantime, the band has released another video with Lightning Bolt for their song “I’m Working At NASA On Acid.”
(parts 792 in a 1001 part series)
Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I love a great cover song. One that’s not only a great performance, but one that makes you hear the original in a new light. One of my favorites from this year so far is The Flaming Lips’ cover of Madonna’s “Borderline.”
I first heard The Lips play this song at that pretty mediocre Earth Day concert earlier this year and it was fun to hear, but much like the rest of the set, underwhelming.
What I didn’t know was that the band not only has incorporated the song into their live set, but recorded it for a Warner compilation, Covered, A Revolution in Sound: Warner Bros Records with members of Stardeath and White Dwarfs. But judging from the rest of the music included, “Borderline” looks to be the standout.
The Flaming Lips’ version starts as a mellower approach to the song, dreamy and full of computerized glitches and chiming tones. But soon that epic noise rock side of the band really explodes, transforming it into a fantastic shoegazey stadium anthem. What I love about it is that it truly reinvents the song, peeling away the sheen and gauzey production of Madonna’s original and finding the nugget of a great pop song. Like most Madonna songs, this one is fully of great melodic hooks and really makes you appreciate the songcraft with fresh ears.
Take a listen here, and watch the great video that they made for it:
Well, this is certainly awesome. I read there is a Who concert coming up. But a Who concert where The Flaming Lips intend to cover a Who-medley of songs from Tommy.
How do I know this? Because they posted a rehearsal video of them rocking through it. Granted its sloppy as hell, and there aren’t any people in furry animal costumes, but well, its the Flaming Lips covering The Who.
Watch for yourself: