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The Flaming Lips The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (2012)

The Flaming Lips — The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (2012)

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Genres: Neo-psychedelia, experimental rock, space rock, dream pop, alternative rock, noise pop (early)
Album released: April 21, 2012 
Recorded: 2011–2012
Record Label: Warner Bros, Lovely Sorts of Death, Bella Union
Duration:     71:03
Tracks:
Side 1
01. "2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)" (featuring Ke$ha and Biz Markie) – 4:10
02. "Ashes in the Air" (featuring Bon Iver) – 6:12
03. "Helping the Retarded to Find God" (featuring Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros) – 7:02
Side 2
04. "Supermoon Made Me Want to Pee" (featuring Prefuse 73) – 3:17
05. "Children of the Moon" (featuring Tame Impala) – 5:31
06. "That Ain't My Trip" (featuring Jim James) – 3:50
07. "You, Man? Human???" (featuring Nick Cave) – 3:31
Side 3
08. "I'm Working at NASA on Acid" (featuring Lightning Bolt) – 7:57
09. "Do It!" (featuring Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band) – 3:28
10. "Is David Bowie Dying?" (featuring Neon Indian) – 6:38
Side 4
11. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (featuring Erykah Badu) (written by Ewan MacColl) – 10:04
12. "Girl, You're So Weird" (featuring New Fumes) – 3:24
13. "I Don't Want You to Die" (featuring Chris Martin of Coldplay) – 4:13
Producer: The Flaming Lips, Dave Fridman
Band members:
Wayne Coyne – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards (1983–present)
Michael Ivins – bass, keyboards, backing vocals (1983–present)
Steven Drozd – lead vocals, drums, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (1991–present)
Kliph Scurlock – drums, percussion (2002–present)
Derek Brown – guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2009–present)
Former members:
Mark Coyne – lead vocals (1983–1985)
Dave Kostka – drums (1983)
Richard English – drums, keyboards, backing vocals (1983–1989)
Nathan Roberts – drums (1989–1991)
Jonathan Donahue – guitar, backing vocals (1989–1991)
Jon Mooneyham – guitar (1991)
Mary Beth Leigh – cello (1991)
Ronald Jones – guitar, backing vocals (1991–1996)
Website: www.flaminglips.comThe Flaming Lips — The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (2012)
Background:
Following their last full-length album, 2009's Embryonic, the band produced several EPs with other artists including Neon Indian, Lightning Bolt, Prefuse 73, and Yoko Ono. Four tracks from these sessions appear on the album. The remaining seven songs were recorded at different times and locations, and are exclusive to the LP. The CD and digital releases of the album omit the track "I Don't Want You to Die" featuring Chris Martin, but feature an exclusive track with Aaron Behrens of Ghostland Observatory, "Tasered and Maced".
The Erykah Badu version of Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", was a result of Lips frontman Wayne Coyne's unsolicited calls to the singer. Badu was initially opposed to covering the well-known 1957 song, but Coyne was able to convince her.
Other pairings resulted from the iniative of other artists, such as the Kesha track. Kesha had expressed interest in working with the Flaming Lips while visiting the band's hometown, Oklahoma City. She contacted Coyne by text message on his birthday. Her track, "2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)", was recorded in Kesha's home studio in Nashville.The Flaming Lips — The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (2012)
Reception:
Pitchfork Media commented on the wide variety of collaborators; mainstream artists such as Kesha and Coldplay's Chris Martin share space with more experimental artists such as Lightning Bolt and Prefuse 73. Despite the disparate artists involved, Pitchfork stated "[t]his piecemeal patchwork of tracks hangs together amazingly well as a front-to-back album." The website rated the album 8.2 out of 10. Entertainment Weekly gave the album an A rating (http://www.ew.com/ew). Spin was less positive; giving a 6 out of 10 rating, they quipped that the other artists were "globetrotters on Gilligan's Acid Island". Clash commented that the numerous guests tempered the band's usual outlandish workouts but did note that "Whilst that suppressed weirdness may be a detraction to the diehard fans, it makes for the band's most accessible work since Yoshimi...."
The music video for "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" provoked controversy between the band and guest vocalist Erykah Badu when a rough cut was leaked online that misrepresented Badu.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PITCHFORK MEDIA: http://pitchfork.com
By Stuart Berman; April 20, 2012; 8.2
Bono may be the archetype for the do-gooder rock star who wants to heal the world, but if any musician is going to broker peace in the Middle East, convince North Korea to deep-six its nukes, and get the original line-up of Guns N' Roses back together, it's Wayne Coyne. With the possible exception of Arcade Fire, everyone loves Wayne-- from the executives who've let the Flaming Lips follow their madcap muse on Warner Brothers' dime for 20 years now, to the Oklahoma legislators who named "Do You Realize??" the official state rock song, to Kevin Durant and the tall one from LMFAO.
On paper, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends-- a Record Store Day round-up of various collaborations conducted over the past year-- doesn't appear to be the next official chapter in the band's ever-evolving history so much as a tribute to Coyne's skills of diplomacy, like his hyperactive Twitter feed brought to life. The internet may have splintered the pop monoculture into myriad musical streams, but Heady Fwends provides as inclusive a congregation of the entire, circa-2012 under-to-overground spectrum as you can muster in a single album, with a guest list that spans top-40 stars (Ke$ha, Chris Martin) and noise-rock extremists (Lightning Bolt), anarchic avant guardians (Nick Cave, Yoko Ono) and chilled-out indie new-schoolers (Bon Iver, Neon Indian), electronic experimentalists (Prefuse 73) and hip-hop heroes-cum-children's-television hosts (Biz Markie). Really, all you need to complete the picture is a Pauly D remix.
When the Lips started plotting these collaborations last year, they seemed like the latest in a growing line of guinea-pig projects that have kept the band busy since 2009's Embryonic, click-bait novelties to be filed alongside the six-hour songs and gummy-skull-encased USB sticks. And while the first of these pairings to surface-- EPs with Neon Indian, Lightning Bolt, Prefuse 73, and Yoko Ono, each represented here with a single track-- yielded interesting moments of aesthetic intersection, their free-form nature didn't exactly demand repeat listens. The songs on Heady Fwends are likewise rife with indicators of their hastily cobbled-together origins: flubbed vocal cues, songs obviously constructed via email file swaps (Ono's "Do It!"), goofy lyrics that sound like they were written seconds before recording ("You always want/ To shave my balls/ That ain't my trip"). But here's the craziest thing about the whole project: This piecemeal patchwork of tracks hangs together amazingly well as a front-to-back album-- to the point where, if the band had released this as the official follow-up to Embryonic, without the public stunt-casting campaign and Record Store Day tie-in, no Flaming Lips fan would feel short-changed.
If anything, Heady Fwends is arguably an even more wiggy experience than Embryonic, an album that marked the Lips' return to brain-bending, fuzz-covered psychedelia, but was still very much beholden to the record-collector canon of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Can. Heady Fwends immediately adopts a more sacrilegious tack. Not only do the Lips lead with their most unlikely and unapologetically obnoxious collaborator, Ke$ha, they let her run roughshod on a classic Stooges song: "2012" presents a mutant, robot-rock rewrite of "1969" that cranks up the original's Bo Diddley beat into an industrial-strength stomp and sees Ke$ha appropriating Iggy's "oh my and boo hoo" sneer as her own. But as chaotic and scatterbrained as the track is, it effectively sets the all-bets-are-off tenor of the record, and actually serves to introduce the predominant themes of science fiction and global apocalypse that run through many of the tracks here. And therein lies the key to approaching Heady Fwends: What at first seems rather silly actually proves to be quite purposeful.
The subsequent synth-smeared ballad "Ashes in the Air" further reinforces this logic, with Coyne offering an almost comically grave account of being chased by "robot dogs" through some post-war wasteland, while Justin Vernon echoes each line with his best Rick Moranis-doing-Michael McDonald. But then the song blossoms into a disarmingly elegiac chorus that makes the scorched-earth scene suddenly feel very real and despairing. Taken back-to-back, "2012" and "Ashes in the Air" provide a handy microcosm of the emotional extremes between which the Flaming Lips vacillate on Heady Fwends. Fortunately, the album's expert sequencing makes the shifts between the two poles feel natural, and puts tracks that wouldn't necessarily stand on their own to effective transitional use. The Prefuse 73 collab "Supermoon Made Me Want to Pee" doesn't amount to much more than three minutes of manic, percussive propulsion, but, coming between the epic, Edward Sharpe-assisted folk reverie "Helping the Retarded to Know God" and the sun-kissed Tame Impala tryst "Children of the Moon" (the purest pop song in the batch), it serves an adrenalizing role akin to the one "On the Run" plays on the Lips' favorite Pink Floyd album.
And you can thank Nick Cave for casting some of the Lips' previously released collaborations in a more favorable light: in the aftermath of the delightfully gonzo, Grinderman-in-space splatter of "You, Man? Human???", the Lightning Bolt-bolstered epic "I'm Working at NASA on Acid" assumes the mantle of Fwends' centerpiece track, with ominous acoustic-driven passages bookending an ecstatic, blast-off guitar jam that hearkens back to the Lips' In a Priest Driven Ambulance days. (The squelching, slow-motion Neon Indian entry "Is David Bowie Dying?" also feels much more dramatic in the context of Heady Fwends' more somber second act, rather than as the lead-off track to an EP.) But where most of the Heady Fwends collaborations up to this point have yielded outcomes where you can easily parse out what each party's bringing to the table, the late-game Erykah Badu appearance counts as the real revelation here. On their droning, distended 10-minute cover of the Ewan MacColl/Roberta Flack standard "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face", the two entities blur into something nigh unrecognizable: The Lips' bombast is tempered into soothing gusts of distant distortion, while Badu's commanding presence is refashioned into that of a ghost communicating through a shortwave radio frequency.
This stunner is unfortunately answered by Fwends' one out-and-out dud, "Thunder Drops", a piece of spaced-out Bowie karaoke (courtesy of Polyphonic Spree/Lips sideman Daniel Huffman, aka New Fumes) that never achieves the lift-off its grandiose intro suggests. But Heady Fwends' comes to a peaceful conclusion with "I Don't Want You to Die", a mournful piano ballad boasting a liberal quote of John Lennon's "Imagine" and a tasteful, middle-eight assist from Chris Martin. With Coyne reverting back to the creaky, Neil Youngian croon he hasn't really adopted since the 90s, the song presents a fearful rumination of death that feels like the more vulnerable flipside to the life-affirming gospel of "Do You Realize??" But it's also a welcome reminder that, stripped of all their spectacle and high-concept strategies, the Flaming Lips can still win you over the same way they did 20 years ago, with a sweet, sad melody and simple, affecting sentiment. "I love the Flaming Lips," Martin blurts out in the recording's dying seconds-- and, really, that's the only thing on this surprisingly substantial album that feels obvious.
Discography:
Hear It Is (1986)
Oh My Gawd!!!...The Flaming Lips (1987)
Telepathic Surgery (1989)
In a Priest Driven Ambulance (with Silver Sunshine Stares) (1990)
Hit to Death in the Future Head (1992)
Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (1993)
Clouds Taste Metallic (1995)
Zaireeka (1997)
The Soft Bulletin (1999)
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
At War with the Mystics (2006)
Embryonic (2009)
The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon (2009)
The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (2012)
The Terror (2013)

File:Flaming Lips smog Coyne Scurlock.jpg © The Flaming Lips at Fox and Hound/Date: 16 March 2006/Author: MrMatt  © The Flaming Lips performing at Jodrell Bank Live at Jodrell Bank Observatory
Date: 2 July 2011/Author: Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net).   © Mina called me up saying that she was right behind of Wayne in the checkout line in Wal*Mart. I screamed for her to talk to him and ask if he'd stay up there and wait up for me.
Well, she talked with him, then I talked with Wayne personally on the phone!!!
My conversation with Wayne is now on Vimeo.
Date: 9 August 2006, 21:56
Author: Morgan Tepsic from Mokpo, South Korea. Color-corrected and cropped by Daniel Case 2008-07-16

WAYNE COYNE:
Birth name: Wayne Michael Coyne
Born: January 13, 1961, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Origin: Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.
Occupations: Musician, songwriter, actor, director
Instruments: Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, theremin
Coyne formed the Flaming Lips in 1983 with brother Mark singing lead and Michael Ivins on bass guitar. Mark later left the band and Coyne assumed vocal duties. Both Wayne and Michael have been the only two consistent members of the band since its founding.
During large-crowd festival performances, Coyne makes his entrance by descending from an alien mother ship (a nod to Parliament-Funkadelic) in a bubble and floats across the audience. Coyne has also been known to pour fake blood down his face via a hidden tube during live shows. Coyne does this to pay homage to a famous picture of Miles Davis who, after a performance, had blood on his suit because a police officer had beaten him during the show.
Flaming Lips concerts also feature confetti cannons, lasers, laser pointers, images projected on to a screen, dozens of large balloons, a stage filled with dancers dressed as aliens, yetis, etc. Before performing, Coyne can be seen helping the stage crew. Their performances have been likened to psychedelic experiences rather than something so benign as music shows, a tradition that goes back to the band's formation.
Personal life:
Coyne lives on a compound of four houses in the same neighborhood he grew up in. Each Halloween, Wayne dresses up to scare trick-or-treaters who come to his home. He feels that it is good to scare children, because when they grow older, there are things "that are horribly scary...you can't just run away from them or turn on a light and it runs away." Though an atheist, Coyne says "I wish I did believe in God. It would be a great relief to think, 'God'll take care of it. God'll put gas in the car tomorrow.'"
Other projects/appearances:
Bradley Beesley directed a 2005 film about Coyne and the Flaming Lips, The Fearless Freaks, which features much footage of Coyne's early life, as well as his narration about his experiences in the band.
In 2003, Coyne provided vocals on "The Golden Path" by The Chemical Brothers. This track was released on the Singles 93-03 album (CD1, Track 13).
In 2005, Coyne recorded "Marching the Hate Machines (Into the Sun)" with the electronic-duo Thievery Corporation on their album The Cosmic Game.
On May 24, 2006, a video of Coyne was shown at the graduation ceremony at his old high school, the Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In the video he spoke of not being a high school graduate, working at Long John Silver's, selling marijuana out of his apartment, and the value of life experience.
In 2006, Coyne appeared in a Swedish music program called 'Musikministeriet'.  ('The Ministry Of Music'). He was featured in every episode, beginning and ending each one with a few eloquent words about that particular episode's theme, and his opinions about it.
On January 1, 2007, Coyne appeared in Pasadena, California's annual Rose Parade on the "Oklahoma Rising" float with members of the Flaming Lips, and other celebrities who claim Oklahoma as their native state, including astronaut John Herrington, 2006 Miss America Jennifer Berry, creator of "Desperate Housewives", Marc Cherry. It was the state's centennial birthday.
Coyne and The Flaming Lips guest starred in an episode of the television show Charmed.
Coyne and The Flaming Lips appeared on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, playing at the Peach Pit. They sometimes show the clip at live concerts.
Coyne sings on the opening track, "Revenge", of Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse's album with David Lynch, "Dark Night of the Soul".
Coyne sings on the track Colossal Gray Sunshine of Faultline's album Your Love Means Everything
Coyne has contributed several tracks to Kesha's upcoming sophomore album, "Warrior", including tracks titled "You Control My Heart" and "Past Life."
On August 16, 2012, Coyne appeared on The Colbert Report for an interview by Stephen Colbert and a performance with the Flaming Lips on the deck of the USS Intrepid as part of "Stephest Colbchella '012: Rocktaugustfest".
STEVEN DROZD:
Birth name: Steven Gregory Drozd
Born: June 11, 1969
Origin: Houston, Texas, United States
Genres: Alternative rock
Occupations: Musician, actor
Instruments: Guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, vocals
He joined The Flaming Lips in 1991 as a drummer. While his style is deeply influenced by the big drum sounds of the 1970s, his time spent with his father's polka band helped him develop a sense of taste and syncopation, allowing for transitions through an articulate and dynamic touch. His thick grooves, with episodes of odd-time funk, are interspersed with straight ahead rock, mixing and jumping between various genres.
Drozd uses a melody writing technique he and Wayne Coyne call "forced random" composing, wherein a piece of manuscript paper is turned upside down and drawn on with as little thought as possible, then turned back correctly with the dots on the staves given rhythmic values and the scale defined. He employed this method on the solo project, "Headphones Theme From Seemingly Infinity" and a few Flaming Lips songs, most notably the melancholy instrumental tag on "35,000 feet of despair" from Zaireeka.
Noted influences include Czech polka, John Bonham, Ringo Starr, Nigel Olsson, Mac McNeilly, Dale Crover and Stevie Wonder.
During live performances, Drozd typically plays lead guitar and keyboards, often alternating between the two during the same song. He also sings background vocals, often in falsetto.

The Flaming Lips The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (2012)


 

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