Most Innovative Artist of 2011: The Flaming Lips

Categories: Open Thread
Flaming Lips.jpg
​It's been a very big year for The Flaming Lips.

Big ups to Wayne Coyne and the gang, who took on approximately one project in every month of 2011 and somehow managed to pull it off. They're one of the greatest and weirdest psychedelic bands out there, and you've got to love 'em.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and recap why the band's latest year of interesting accomplishments was the best year ever for the Flaming Lips.

The started off 2011 by creating a version of Zaireeka that was adapted for smart phones, in which tracks have to be played simultaneously on multiple smart phones. In a similar fashion, they pumped out a new track entitled "Two Blobs Fucking," which requires 12 iPhones for it to be played. (We made a consolidated version available for everyone's listening pleasure here so you don't have to round up 11 friends just to hear the damn song.)

They released Heady Nuggs on Record Store Day, and collaborated on tracks with Neon Indian, Teddybears, Prefuse 73 and Lightning Bolt. Plus, they released this partially gross video.

The release of their notably awesome gummy skulls gained a lot of attention, and rightfully so. The Flaming Lips gave the world a series of new songs on USB drives that were buried inside of a seven-pound, life-size edible gummy skull, some of which even featured a marijuana-flavored gummy brain. On top of that, they released a gummy vagina and a bubble gum-flavored gummy fetus version of the same thing. Such are the awesome products and ideas that came about from presumably smoking an awful lot of wacky tobacky. Great or gross? You decide. If you can dig it, a gummy skull or fetus can be yours for $150. If a strobe light toy (appropriately called the Strobo Trip) is more your kind of thing, they made one of those this year too.

They got tapped to play mad music festivals and shared the stage with Weezer for two epic shows. Best of all, they played two shows in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where they performed The Soft Bulletin in its entirety the first night and their full length cover of Dark Side of the Moon the second night.

If you thought Pink Floyd's "Echoes" was long, then the Flaming Lips' six-hour song (yes, you read that right) will blow your mind...or maybe it will bore you to death. Either way, it's one for the books. Coyne and his boys took $100 donations for the Oklahoma Humane Society in exchange for having including your name in their six-hour song, "Found a Star on the Ground." Two other tracks were released around the same time as well, but collectively they're only 10 minutes long so what do they matter?

And if that wasn't enough to make you flip your lid, well BOOM! They released a 24-hour song too! If you've got an entire day to kill, check out the track "7 Skies H3" here.

As usual, the Flaming Lips will be doing their annual New Years Freakout, which will entail two shows this year (one on New Years Eve and one on New Years Day). Neon Indian and Phantogram will be performing, as will The Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band. If you can't get enough of the woman who ruined some of the best British music of the 1960s, you're in luck because the Lips recorded a new track with her, entitled "Atlas Eets Christmas."

If you're still not impressed, I give up, but I'm sure the Flaming Lips will never run out of new tricks to try and wow anyone and everyone that knows their name. If any local artist can top the year that the Flaming Lips have just had, get at me.

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29 comments
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Zacbrower Or
Zacbrower Or

all the music they released this year sucked.  the collabs and extended songs were awful. I saw them perform the bulletin at Sasquatch and my heart sank as I watched them fumble around and fuck up their best album.  Wayne's voice is gone, broken, kaput.  The songs they write these days are bullshit.  Mystics and Embryonic are trash. They've played three shows in Oregon the last three years, the setlists have been almost identical each time.  They aren't innovative at all.  They have run out of good ideas and now rely on gags and gimmicks to stay relevant.  Fuck a 24 hours song, they should make another Clouds Taste Metallic.

Erickancar
Erickancar

the great thing is is that wayne rarely if ever smokes weed so these ideas were born of a clear mind...he definitely doesn't do other drugs.  his road crew on the other hand smokes a lot of weed.  but he none.

Kenneth
Kenneth

Your article has a LOT of errors.

Lenni Rosenblum
Lenni Rosenblum

It doesn't matter if the songs were awful; what I was pointing out here is that they did something nobody else has done before.

Camdan2008
Camdan2008

If you knew anything about the flaming lips you would know that they don't give two shits about fame or "staying relevant".  They do whatever the hell they want regardless of how weird or off putting the sound or ideas may be to other people, and that's what MAKES THEM THE FLAMING LIPS!  Seriously read their book "staring at sound".. You act like they are behind some sort of scheme which is not them at all.. And Wayne's voice sounded great in Vegas, it must have just been a bad night for him, and why should they change their play list if they enjoy it?  No offense but you sound very snobby.

Chuck
Chuck

You obviously don't follow wayne on twitter. Seems like every town he went to he would tweet 'anyone know where I can get some medical marijuana?'

Must've been getting it for his roadies....

Zacbrower Or
Zacbrower Or

Plenty of artists have put out terrible collaborations before. Don't even get me started on your article, I'm surprised you call yourself a journalist.  The amount of errors you've written about the band in a single article is outstanding.  Outstanding to the point that I can't take anything you say seriously about the band because you so obviously don't know anything about them.  The amount of knowledge you lack is only superseded by your lack of caring because the majority of your errors could have been fixed by proper, dare I say, elementary research.

Zacbrower Or
Zacbrower Or

I'm not a snob, I was a huge fan who was nothing but let down by one of his favorite bands this year.  Three shows in one year, not a single good performance.  They sounded like shit in Chicago, didn't even finish the Bulletin at Sasquatch, and played a setlist nearly identical to the ones they'd played the past two years in Oregon.  Enticed by the idea of new songs every month I was let down when they released new songs every -few- months, all of it subpar, the best of which only managed to sound like a Christmas on Mars b-side.  To watch this band get praised for innovation this year seems like a joke.  They went around all year doing shitty renditions of their ten year old album, and Darkside which is nearly fourty years old.  Not only did they rehash and milk old material but they did it poorly.  Listen to the live version of the Soft Bulletin they released a few months ago, nothing on it is innovative or improved over the original.  The Lips aren't capable of releasing as good of music anymore and compensate for this with laser hands, confetti, and marijuana brains.  Watch Fearless Freeks, they've been making up for lack of talent with gags (micing a motorcycle).

Lenni Rosenblum
Lenni Rosenblum

So...he just promotes drug usage by his fans? And yes I've been following Wayne on Twitter for a long time. I've stood next to the guy for goodness sake.

wayne
wayne

he doesn't do any drugs.

Kenneth
Kenneth

The gummy fetuses is cost $35, not $150.

That Teddybears song came out last year. It wasn't released in America until earlier this year, but it's not new at all.

The gummy skulls with the vaginas never came out.

They never "created a version of Zaireeka that was adapted for smart phones."

Kenneth
Kenneth

I know, but the fetuses cost $35.

Your article states: "If you can dig it, a gummy skull or fetus can be yours for $150."

Kenneth
Kenneth

Err... "cost $35," not "is cost $35."

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