The Flaming Lips. The Worlds Most Frustrating Band?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Gavman, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Gavman

    Gavman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Like many Lips fans; i became familiar with them via 'The Soft Bulletin' and it's 5/5, 10 out of 10, album of the year etc accolades back in 1999. However I only started to listen to the pre 'Soft Bulletin' and post 'At War With The Mystics' albums 3 years ago. I now have all their regular albums and the recent 'Scratching The Door 'compilation, some older CD singles and the 'Due to high expectations...' Ep. I would like to class myself as a big fan, however...

    What I don't own:

    The Dark Side Of The Moon/Sgt Pepper/Stone Roses albums covered in their entirety whilst collaborating with other artists.

    Zaireeka. (Don't have four stereos systems or the lightning fast reflexes needed to get four systems to start at precisely the same time)

    The numerous vinyl Eps, many of which are further collaboration releases.

    The very limited vinyl single releases that have fruit flavoured beer mixed in with the vinyl.

    The EXTREMELY limited edition :
    A: USB sticks hidden in edible candy brains in edible candy skulls.

    B: USB sticks in edible candy foetus'.

    C: USB sticks in strobe light boxes.

    D: USB sticks featuring one 24 hour song placed in real human skills limited to 10 copies.

    E: A whole new album limited to only ONE commercially released copy. Released only on 8 track cartridge hidden in a banana hidden in a watermelon hidden in a cannoe which has been hand painted by those mysterious 2 new lips members who wear green wigs which is then dropped at random in the Pacific by a helicopter piloted by Michael Ivins. (I may have made this one up!)

    So my question is: Are The Flaming Lips the most reassuringly imaginative band ever?


    The most frustratingly elitist band ever who dilute their 'core' catalogue with TOO much 'other stuff ' including material exclusive to releases so limited that it's almost impossible to become a Flaming Lips completist?
  2. profholt82

    profholt82 Resident Blowhard

    West Michigan
    I remember seeing the video for "She Don't Use Jelly" on MTV all the time back when it was new in the early 90s. Then I didn't hear about them at all until the Soft Bulletin/Yoshimi years when they blew up. I didn't even put it together that it was the same band at the time.
  3. Diamond Star Halo

    Diamond Star Halo Forum Resident

    Err, yeah, the Flaming Lips is sort of one of those bands that I like in theory, but when it comes right down to it they are missing that certain “something” that would make them more interesting to me. I can’t quite articulate what is lacking.
    Dorian75, enro99, weef and 16 others like this.
  4. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Please label the photos you post

    Austin, TX
  5. rancher

    rancher Unmade Bed

    I love a lot of their stuff, tolerate some other, and then forget about a bunch. Not into their very early stuff at all. I absolutely love Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi. Then, Clouds Taste Metallic, At War With the Mystics and Embryonic are fine ...
  6. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Some of those things are 'deep-in-the-heart-of-the-internet'.......
    Quite a lot of 'odds & sodds', PLUS Steve's album with Steve Burns!
    Foreverywhere, by StevenSteven's REALLY GOOD!
    So...even go 'deep-diving' (that's if you're REALLY gonna listen to the 6 hr. AND the 24hr. song(s)), and enjoy!
    Meanwhile, Steve has made a podcast about some of the Lips songs!
    Gavman likes this.
  7. Echoes71

    Echoes71 Forum Resident

    Now THAT is a fantastic post! And it perfectly sums up my increasing frustration with the band. I first heard them in the early 90s when I picked up Telepathic Surgery after someone recommended them. I was sort of ambivalent about that release and never had the desire to investigate further. Then I heard "She Don't Use Jelly" when it was a minor hit, and that song didn't really help the cause. And THEN I heard Soft Bulletin and everything changed. That album just blew my mind (I still deem it a near masterpiece) and so began my brief flirtation with Lips-mania...which only lasted three more records. Once the Dark Side and "Heady Fwends" and Miley Cyrus and limited skull baby nonsense started, I completely lost interest. It all just seemed so forced and pretentious and goofy that I just couldn't take it any more, and now my feelings for them almost border on out-and-out dislike. They are playing here live next month and I'm really not sure if I can make myself attend (even though they were amazing when I saw them on the Yoshimi tour).

    So, as to your final question: I go with answer B.
    Greg Gee, enro99 and Man at C&A like this.
  8. Gavman

    Gavman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Those 1993 and 1999 versions of the Flaming Lips sound like 2 wholly different bands. The drastic change of image of Mr Coyne and Mr Ivins and the departure of Mr Jones would have many thinking the 2 eras showed 2 different bands if looking at photos.
  9. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    I had heard the first EP, back in the day, and dismissed them as just another 'paisley underground' band....
    I kept seeing their album, but, never gave them the time of day....
    THEN, I heard "Shine On.." quite often on WTUL (in New Orleans)... didn't even know it was THEM, until I bought the "ACID/EGG" comps.!
    InStepWithTheStars likes this.
  10. dumangl

    dumangl Senior Member

    I avoid frustration by getting The Flaming Lips releases I like (most of them) and not getting the releases I don't like and the silly and/or overpriced stuff. It's pretty simple.

    The Lips do weird stuff to get attention. I don't think it's that unusual.

    One thing that everyone will want is the new LP with Miley Cyrus's pee! :nyah:
    Greenalishi likes this.
  11. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    What I take from the band is that they can be listened to on many different levels:

    There's the main albums, and there's only about 14 or 15 of those. For the 2000s, there's Yoshimi, Mystics, Embryonic, The Terror, and Oczy Mlody. Sometimes they have fun with these, but the festival-headliner colorful party band usually keeps out of these: this category is their "artistic" side. It's part of the reason I like them so much - their "commercial studio albums" are so wildly experimental and (usually) very serious about it.

    Beyond that, there's the more experimental stuff like Christmas On Mars, Peace Sword, Dark Side Of The Moon, Heady Fwends, Concert For Peace, whatever the horrifying Sgt. Pepper cover album was called, etc. It's stuff that's easy to obtain (at least, in print on CD) but it feels like a completely different band a lot of the time.

    Then there's the more obscure stuff: the Stone Roses cover album (limited run LP), the 2011 collaboration LPs, the downloadable 24 hour song (which you can get on in full, MP3 only though), etc.

    And then if you really hate having money, there's gummy skulls and fetuses and hard drives in skulls and urine filled records and Wayne's attempts to out-Jack White Jack White.

    I definitely belong to the first two categories, and at times I've been tempted to dip my toes into the third. I will never belong to the fourth. That's where I draw the line.

    I definitely think that the first category is completely essential, and the bigger names in the second one are worth at least checking out. Beyond that I will probably want to keep my distance from you. (And you'll want to do the same with me.)
  12. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Wait!...there's a NEW LP!!!!!:yikes::laugh:
    Stencil and dumangl like this.
  13. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    You forgot the secret Christmas album!!!
  14. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    The best era for me was Priest Driven Ambulance and Hit to Death. Beyond those two, I find a lot of their stuff to be either just okay or annoying. I've been told that some of their recent non-cover album gimmick stuff is good, but there are too many other things taking priority for me to bother with it. I never liked the Soft Bulletin or Yoshimi either.
  15. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo Sheik Madeir

    Hampshire, UK
    I didn't get this band for years and still don't like Bulletin, Yoshimi or Mystics. It finally clicked with Embryonic and I've loved everything since [other than the Sgt Pepper album :shake:].

    Oh, they are very frustrating live as Wayne never shuts up talking :realmad:
    DigitalDave74 likes this.
  16. profholt82

    profholt82 Resident Blowhard

    West Michigan
    This thread is making me thirsty.
    RoryMcBride and dumangl like this.
  17. Eddy Baggins

    Eddy Baggins Member

    SF Bay Area
    I really like zaireeka, so I recommend finding a way to listen to it. If you read the liner notes, part of the point is to listen to it on different, even crappy systems, not necessarily in sync.
    I've heard it on 4 almost simultaneous TTs and via CD as well.
    If you want to cheat, there are synced fan mixes floating around out there.
    I also recommend Christmas on Mars. My family watches it every year for Christmas. Quite weird, but we love it. It has an accompanying audio album, but not sure if it has the same title.
    Gavman and vince like this.
  18. Gavman

    Gavman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The Christmas on Mars soundtrack album is called 'Once beyond hopelessness ' in the UK it's available as a CD/DVD package in a 2 disc jewel case with the film.

    I may buy it on your recommendation.
    vince and Eddy Baggins like this.
  19. Eddy Baggins

    Eddy Baggins Member

    SF Bay Area
    I guess somebody should mention their surround sound output?
    Technically, Zaireeka is multichannel.

    Then there is in official 5.1:
    At War with the Mystics
    The Soft Bulletin

    Never released 5.1:

    The video collection (can't remember the title... VOID?)

    Christmas on Mars movie.

    Anyone else love their surround output as much as I do (which is a lot)?
  20. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    How about band with the best music but worst possible mastering and sound.
  21. Eddy Baggins

    Eddy Baggins Member

    SF Bay Area
    If you're generally a fan of their work, get their low-budget vibe and can handle very weird (think Eraserhead), then by all means.
  22. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Resident

    new york city
    I like the band but don't in any way feel compelled to buy (into) the crazy stuff.

    I don't even care about owning Zaireeka. And if I ever wanted to hear it (or any of this stuff) there's Youtube.
  23. Gavman

    Gavman Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I just wish a standard 'Stereo Mix' from the Zaireeka multitracks was made then given an official commercial release. I don't want to buy even 4 cheap boomboxes and then locate 4 power outlets (or start unplugging other equipment) just to listen to an album. I also wish the obscure stuff was available as downloads/streams on Amazon/Apple/Spotify etc and not limited to flash drives inside bizarre objects or only on vinyl as limited 'Record Store Day releases (despite my having a turntable).
  24. graveyardboots

    graveyardboots Resident Patient

    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Clouds Taste Metallic is my favorite Flaming Lips album closely followed by The Soft Bulletin. Transmissions from the Satellite Heart, In a Priest Driven Ambulance, and Hit to Death in the Future Head are nearly as good, as is the hilariously titled EP from that era, The Flaming Lips Are Providing Needles for Your Balloons. I first caught them live on the Clouds tour when they played Atlanta's Masquerade. That was around Christmas of '95 and they blew me away. I've seen them a bunch of times over the years and while they've been great nearly every time, very little of their output since the turn of the century has moved me the way Clouds and Soft Bulletin did.
    Trbnado and fourfeathers like this.
  25. Tanx

    Tanx Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    "Telepathic Surgery" is still one of my favorite albums. After that...I can't put my finger on it, but the weirdness just seemed a little manufactured.

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