Flaming Lips book a Hollywood Forever plot for June concerts
The Flaming Lips didn't really perform a proper Los Angeles date for late 2009 double-album "Embryonic," but this summer the Oklahoma City weirdos will give L.A. denizens two nights of music, essentially taking over the Hollywood Forever Cemetary on June 15 and 16. The first night will see the Lips tackling their 1999 album "The Soft Bulletin," which essentially redefined the psychedelic rockers as a more orchestral-friendly band.
The news was revealed via a tweet from Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne. The mid-June dates are confirmed, but on-sale information and further details have not been released. For instance, the poster teases some kind of all-day or all-night Flaming Lips activity, noting the event is "two nights, one morning." The second night of the Flaming Lips' cemetery stay will be a cover of "The Dark Side of the Moon," which the Lips have regularly taken on the festival circuit of late (the band will also perform it at a three-day Chicago festival in May).
A Flaming Lips gig tends to be something of an event, with flying saucers, dancing Santas, fake blood, hand puppets and confetti machines. It's the rock 'n' roll show as a constant New Year's Eve party, and no doubt the Flaming Lips will use the cemetery setting to their advantage. For those who don't doubt that the band can do creepy, Pop & Hiss directs your attention to low-budget sci-fi flick "Christmas on Mars."
Around the time of "The Soft Bulletin" the Flaming Lips were engaging in some of their most inventive live sets. Two years before its release, the act had issued the four-disc "Zaireeka," with each CD meant to be played simultaneously. The album was inspired by the band's "Parking Lot Experiments," in which about 40 car radios would play cassettes in synchronization.
During touring for "The Soft Bulletin," the band created what it called "The Headphone Concert." Audience members could pick up a small FM transmitter and hear, in theory, a clearer audio feed straight from the P.A. while watching the band in a small club.
So while a seeing the Flaming Lips cover "The Dark Side of the Moon" is nice and all, it feels a little too predictable for such a unique setting. Therefore, here's hoping there's some synchronized tapes affixed to those gravestones.
— Todd Martens
Photo: Wayne Coyne, left, and Steven Drozd. Credit: J. Michelle Martin-Coyne / Warner Bros. Records