Well, we sat out Comic-Con again this year. I haven’t been too heavily into nerd culture since the ’80s and Jake’s afraid of crowds (although when he heard there was a Breaking Bad panel, he almost downed half a bottle of Xanax and went anyway). But it turns out we missed out on more than just a chance to conquer Jake’s agoraphobia and ogle cute nerd girls in Catwoman suits. We also missed out on a chance to buy Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne’s first-ever comic book! (Except we didn’t, because it’s still available online. But it debuted at Comic-Con, so anyone who bought it there definitely has nerd bragging rights over the rest of us.)
Wayne’s been on a bit of a naked kick lately, so it should come as no surprise that The Sun Is Sick gets the nudity (and giant eyeballs, another running theme of his of late) rolling right on the cover. Inside, readers can expect to find 40 psychedelic pages illustrated by Coyne himself, telling the trippy tale of a blind princess who gives birth to, well, a giant eyeball. Hilarity ensues!
Lest the cover art and Coyne’s boundary-pushing reputation not be enough to clue you in, the press release helpfully notes: “WARNING!! The Sun Is Sick may be a comic book but make no mistake; this is not suitable for children and depending on what sort of person you are, it may not be suitable for some of you non-children either. If you have doubts at this moment then The Sun Is Sick is not for you.” Okay, press release writer person, you’ve convinced us. We’ll go back to our Nancy Drew mags.
If you want to learn more about The Sun Is Sick, may we direct your attention to this interview Coyne recently gave with The Huffington Post, which also includes a peek at some of Coyne’s child-like yet evocative drawings, which feature aliens tripping balls on some kind of blue goo called Virgo 2151. (Now sure to be the nickname of at least some of the LSD circulating at Bonnaroo 2014.)
That Wayne Coyne’s a busy guy; in addition to releasing comic books, he’s still on an extended tour with the Lips, promoting their latest album, The Terror. Dates after the jump; meanwhile, here’s the latest video from The Terror, for the harrowing (or patience-testing, depending on your point of view) track, “Turning Violent,” on which Coyne takes a much-deserved breather and hands over most of the vocal duties to Steven Drozd.
Flaming Lips summer/fall tour dates:
07/25 Salt Lake City, UT – Twilight Concert Series, Pioneer Park
07/27 Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield
07/28 Seattle, WA – Capitol Hill Block Party
07/30 Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Resort & Casino
07/31 Costa Mesa, CA – The Pacific Amphitheatre
08/01 Las Vegas, NV – Bud Light Music First, House of Blues
08/17 Omaha, NE – Maha Maha Festival
09/06 Isle Of Wight, UK – Bestival
09/07 Stekene, Belgium – Crammerock Festival
09/30 Boston, MA – Agganis Arena (w/ Tame Impala)
10/01 New York, NY – Terminal 5 (w/ Tame Impala)
10/02 New York, NY – Terminal 5 (w/ Tame Impala)
10/03 Philadelphia, PA – Penn’s Landing, Festival Pier (w/ Tame Impala)
10/04 Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion (w/ Tame Impala)
10/21 Tokyo, Japan – Blitz
10/22 Tokyo, Japan – Blitz
10/23 Osaka, Japan – Hatch
10/24 Nagoya, Japan – Club Diamond Hall
You know how the last Flaming Lips video, for “Ashes in the Air,” featured an alien with an eyeball for a head and lots of dead naked people? Well, their latest clip features no aliens or death, but it’s pretty much just one big ol’ nakedfest. It’s for “You Lust,” a 13-minute epic of their latest album, The Terror. Thankfully it’s been edited down to more like four minutes for the video, because four minutes is about as much flaccid penis close-ups as I can stand. Watch and you’ll see what I mean. (Heads-up: NSFW on account of it being a nakedfest and all.)
Even though it features an alien with a giant eyeball for a head, a baby with a man’s face, and lots of blood-soaked naked people huddled around mutilated corpses, the most perverse thing about the new Flaming Lips video might be that it’s for a song that isn’t even on their latest album, The Terror, which comes out this month. Instead, it’s a fan favorite from last year’s collaborative album, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, featuring folkie falsetto hero Bon Iver on vocals. Has no one explained promotion to these people? (I’m kidding, of course: head Lip Wayne Coyne might be the shrewdest self-promoter of any artist we’ve ever covered.)
In another perverse move, the Lips’ label, Warner Bros., has decided to release The Terror in the U.K. on April 1st but delay its Stateside arrival until April 16th. Why, Warner Bros., why? It’s like you’re daring us to illegally download it. (I’m kidding, of course: We here at TWBITW do not condone online piracy or illegal sharing of copyrighted material in any form. Stay in school, kids!)
Anyway, here’s “Ashes in the Air” in all its bizarro glory. I’ll resist the urge to give away the surprise ending, but I will say this: If you’re easily grossed out, you should totally post a video of yourself watching it.
Sorry, the Flaming Lips Anatomically Correct Chocolate Heart is sold out. Your Valentine will hate you now.
If you’re like us, you probably have a tendency to procrastinate before Valentine’s Day, then freak the fuck out on Feb. 11th when you realize that every restaurant in town is booked up and you’ll be taking your wife to In-N-Out Burger (again). So it’s no surprise that we totally missed the boat last week on telling you about this crazy anatomically correct, limited-edition chocolate heart the Flaming Lips released via Oklahoma-based gift shop Dwelling Spaces. We’re a little slow sometimes.
Made by a chocolatier from Texas called Dude, Sweet Chocolate, the “Flaming Lips Chocolate Human Heart” is made from “72% South American dark chocolate studded with hazelnut mini whoppers and waffle cone crunch” and contains a USB drive featuring various Flaming Lips love songs, including such baby-making classics as “Love Is Mind Control” and “Moth in the Incubator” (and yes, clearly they’re defining the term “love songs” a bit loosely here).
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, apparently it was so awesome that it sold out almost instantly. Sorry, kids. How about some In-N-Out instead? You have to admit, it’s a pretty romantic name for a burger joint.
In other Lips news, their new album The Terror arrives April 2nd. No word yet on what Wayne Coyne will encase it in, but you can bet it will be something delicious and/or disgusting.
Has it really been five months since we first reported that the Flaming Lips were gearing up to release The Terror, their 13th studio album and first “proper” album (if that even means anything anymore) since 2009′s Embryonic? My how time flies when you’re eating paint chips and going to GWAR concerts.
Anyway, after some overly optimistic speculation from irresponsible music bloggers (us included) that The Terror might see the light of day as early as last December, we now have it on good authority (Warner Bros., the Lips’ label) that the nine-track set will finally arrive on April 2nd. We just previewed the whole album earlier today (“already?” you ask—yep, we’re fancy) and are happy to report that it’s far and away the weirdest, darkest shit Wayne Coyne and co. have recorded since Zaireeka, not counting any of that 24-hour-song nonsense they were churning out awhile back. Here’s the full tracklist:
1. Look…The Sun Is Rising
2. Be Free, A Way
3. Try To Explain
4. You Lust
5. The Terror
6. You Are Alone
7. Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die
8. Turning Violent
9. Always There…In Our Hearts
We’ll have a full review closer to the actual release date. We wouldn’t want to give away too much before then.
P.S. Apparently, if you pre-order The Terror on iTunes, you instantly get a non-album bonus track called “Sun Blows Up Today.” Here’s a lyric video for the track that just debuted today. Warning: Nothing on The Terror is this catchy. Or this apocalyptic. I almost resisted the urge to describe this song as “catchalyptic” but…no, I went ahead and did it.
As if the Flaming Lips haven’t had a busy enough 2012: Next week, the five-years-in-the-making stage musical adaptation of their classic 2002 album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, is finally set to debut at La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. It’s being directed and co-written (along with Wayne Coyne) by Des McAnuff, the guy who brought The Who’s Tommy to life at La Jolla back in 1992. McAnuff’s Tommy eventually ran for two years on Broadway, so a Flaming Lips musical on the Great White Way isn’t as crazy as it sounds. It might even be pretty good, given McAnuff’s track record. Then again, he also directed Jersey Boys.
In other Lips news: The band’s next studio album, The Terror, is now tentatively set to come out in January of 2013. Originally, it sounded like Wayne and co. really wanted out the album out before Christmas, but maybe they finally decided they’ve done enough for one calendar year.
Yoshimi runs Nov. 6 through Dec. 16; tickets and more info available here. Judging from this behind-the-scenes video, it should feature at least one awesome 14-foot-tall robot and a few not-quite-so-awesome flying ones.
Between appearing at Stephen Colbert’s StePhest Colbchella ’012 festival, setting Guinness world records for most shows in 24 hours, releasing 24-hour songs encased in human skulls, and pissing off Erykah Badu, the Flaming Lips have been just about the hardest-working rock band on the planet for the past 12 months. So it should come as no surprise that they apparently have a brand-new studio LP, tentatively titled The Terror, set for release before year’s end. The surprising part is that they’ve managed to do all this despite the fact that, according to frontman Wayne Coyne, drummer/multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd has been battling drug addiction for at least some of this incredibly prolific period.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Coyne revealed that Drozd was “in a bad way” for much of the recording of The Terror as well as the band’s most recent, collaborative album, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. The article doesn’t specify what drug(s) Drozd was hooked on, but portrays the troubled Lips member as spending much of his time holed up in a separate recording studio, writing what Coyne describes as “horribly creepy” songs, some of which will find their way onto the new album.
Coyne tells Rolling Stone that his bandmate has fully recuperated and is “better now than ever.” Hopefully he’ll soon be able to tell his own version of what went down—because, although we’re assuming Coyne talked to Rolling Stone with Drozd’s full permission, there’s still something a bit creepy about using your friend and bandmate’s addiction problems to, in essence, talk up how intense your next record is going be.
There’s no music from The Terror available yet as far as we know. But in the meantime, here’s a video of Wayne Coyne and Stephen Colbert crowd-surfing in matching giant hamster balls. Enjoy.
If we wrote a new post every time The Flaming Lips pulled a new publicity stunt, we’d have to quit our day jobs. Twenty-four hour songs, Record Store Day releases embedded with actual blood of famous people, unauthorized NBA basketball theme music, semi-naked videos with Erykah Badu—these guys have been churning out Pitchfork link bait like the world’s about to end. And hey, maybe it is, right? So The Lips might be on to something. At the very least, it might help them sell a few more records, since the NPR crowd basically stopped paying attention to them after Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
For their latest headline-grabbing ploy, Wayne Coyne and co. will attempt to break the Guinness World Record® for most concerts in different cities in a 24-hour period. It turns out they only need to play eight shows to break the record, which makes the whole thing seem slightly less impressive—but hey, a record is a record, right? Still, if any bands reading this want to try for nine concerts in 24 hours, let us know. It can’t be that hard, can it?
Here are the eight record-breaking shows, along with opening acts. Bonus points to The Lips for managing to book both Neon Trees and Neon Indian for this stunt.
June 27 Memphis, TN Handy Park (Doors 3:30pm)
New Fumes & The Flaming Lips
June 27 Clarksdale, MS Ground Zero Blues Club (Doors at 6:30pm)
Gary Clark Jr & The Flaming Lips
June 27 Oxford, MS The Lyric (Doors 8:30pm)
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals & The Flaming Lips
June 28 Jackson, MS Duling Hall (1:00am)
Neon Indian & The Flaming Lips
June 28 Hattiesburg, MS Benny’s Boom Boom Room (6:30am)
Hunter Hayes & The Flaming Lips
June 28 Biloxi, MS Hard Rock Casino (9:45am)
Neon Trees & The Flaming Lips
June 28 Baton Rouge, LA Varsity (12:30pm)
GIVERS & The Flaming Lips
June 28 New Orleans, LA House Of Blues (4:00pm)
Grimes & The Flaming Lips
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Hattiesburg is getting the short end of this whole thing. Lips fans there gotta show up at 6:30 and sit through an opening set by this guy? There ain’t enough trucker speed in Mississippi to get us out of bed for that shit.
In other Lips news, their Record Store Day “exclusive,” The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends, is coming out next week on CD and digital formats. In honor of that momentous occasion, which won’t break any Guinness World Records that we’re aware of (unless there’s a category called Most Head-Scratching Collaborations on a Single Album), we’ll play this post out with the apocalyptic (hey, the world’s ending soon, right?) animated video for the Heady Fwends track, “The Supermoon Made Me Want to Pee.” Enjoy.
We’re a little worried about Wayne Coyne. The man hasn’t started drinking tiger blood yet as far as we know, but lately he’s been pulling publicity-whore stunts at such a breakneck clip, we’re seriously considering changing the name of this site to Weirdest Thing Flaming Lips Did Today in the World.
So here’s the latest headline-grabbing curveball from Coyne and co., who in just the past year have 1.) released a 24-hour song encased in an actual human skull; 2.) collaborated with Ke$ha; 3.) tweeted naked photos of Erykah Badu; and 4.) pressed the actual blood of their collaborators into 10 copies of the limited-edition vinyl release Heady Fwends, which they then sold for $2,500 apiece. Compared to all that, this sound relatively tame: They’ve recorded a theme song for the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, who as I write this are duking it out in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals with the heavily favored San Antonio Spurs.
The song itself is a remake of the old Lips song “Race for the Prize,” rewritten with a schoolyard-like “Thunder up!” chant and lyrics that were apparently crowd-sourced from Twitter and include the immortal line, “Thunder came thundering,” which might be the best lyric in rock history since America’s “The heat was hot.” And wait! If the Thunder can defeat the Spurs and advance to the NBA Finals, there’s a good chance they’ll be facing…wait for it…the Miami Heat! The Heat will be Hot and the Thunder will come Thundering. It will be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Koan face-off of epic proportions.
Anyway, here’s the Lips’ basketball fight song, “Thunder Up: Racing for the Prize,” which is just so gosh-darned adorable that I can’t really imagine NBA fans embracing it. Then again, “Super Bowl Shuffle” happened. So who knows? And hey, maybe a little sunny psychedelic rock is just what Thunder fans need. After all, you probably have to be high to think they have a prayer against the Spurs. (He shoots! He scores! Sorry, OKC fans, couldn’t pass that one up.) [Update: OK, OKC fans. You were right, I was wrong. Can we still be friends?]