How to make sense of a consistently varied, quarter-century-plus accidental career? Simple… alphabetically. Generation Ecch!: The Backlash Starts Here co-authors Michael Krugman and Jason Cohen took to that task with “Flaming Lips Z to A” for their Well Hung At Dawn column on Rollingstone.com (July 15, 2002) and it doubled as an introduction to the Lips’ website created for the release of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Somewhat similar, this past winter Wayne Coyne picked A to Z songs for BBC Radio 1’s Rob da Bank and Friends. Together these lists form an overview of The Flaming Lips’ quirks, accomplishments and tastes. Now Psych Explorations of the Future Heart adds a fan perspective: an alphabetic guide to help enthusiasts decide if they are Flaming Freaks… or just casual acquaintances.
Although the ABCs can organize and simplify The Lips’ long and eccentric career, it wouldn’t fit right for a band this unpredictable and shambolic to be confined to the conventional, arbitrary alphabet sequence. Thus we start as most Lips’ concerts of this decade have, with R and “RACE for the Prize.” If you too begin all you fantastical adventures blasting “Race for the Prize,” you may be a Flaming Freak. Wayne’s R pick was also an exciting call to action, The Beatles’ “REVOLUTION,” and the “Z to A” list made a dismissive reference to RADIOHEAD (this was back in the days when The Flaming Lips were still relatively ignored/unknown outside of critic list circles and longtime fans, some of whom piggybacked their resentment of this onto the Kid A hype-backlash of the period…or perhaps it’s just the authors of the “Z to A” list hated Radiohead. Either way, the Lips themselves didn’t/ don’t agree).
“The Flaming Alphabet” was originally posted in July 2009 at the Psych Explorations of the Future Heart MySpace blog. Above is just the first letter of the randomly alphabetic guide… read the complete post with watchable videos here and watch a companion YouTube playlist featuring many of the songs in “The Flaming Alphabet” and more here.
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