Blastula: The Making of Embryonic

“The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine is done!”

-George Salisbury at 6:43 PM May 19th via Twitter for iPhone


If you read this blog back in the beginning of April you may remember a post called “You Have to Be Joking.”  It’s deleted now due to technical problems (its content has been replaced by more recent posts).  Among other things it reported:

“Blastula: The Making of Embryonic, (presumably) a documentary about The Flaming Lips’ last album, is apparently close to finished.  Not much information has been made public yet, but The Internet Movie Database lists the plot as The Flaming Lips make a cool record and go insane” and George Salisbury, co-director (with Wayne), tweeted at the beginning of last month, “It’s out of editing and in color correction” on March 6.  No news on whether these are connected to two new music videos he has also tweeted about: “The Powerless music video is almost done and The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine is next!!!” (April 2); “The Lips have 2 more videos in the pipeline!” (April 8).  The last came with this picture (speculatively a still from the “Powerless” video – or maybe another, outside of The Lips, who knows?

Well, now we do know…

“Powerless”, the first of those two videos, premiered on Pitchfork on April 14 (shortly after the above mentioned blog post).  “The Sparrow Looks Up at the Machine” hasn’t premiered yet, but as reported here last week, it is finished (see picture and quote above).

And as for the film…

Blastula: The Making of Embryonic is a short documentary (21 minutes) directed by George Salisbury and Wayne Coyne.  Four pictures from it – including one with Wayne playing keyboards and Michael in the background wearing his controversial shirt – are posted at, which describes it as “The Flaming Lips make a cool record and go insane. Someone caught it on video.”  (Those last five words make the description that much sweeter…)

Those of you in Oklahoma who can’t make it to Bonnaroo: Blastula: The Making of Embryonic will première Friday June 11 at 10:00 PM at Kerr Auditorium as part of the deadCENTER’s 10th Annual Film Festival (encore Sat, Jun 12 IAO Gallery, 5:30 PM).     
But one mystery from that first report at this blog on Blastula and the two new videos still remains.  That post included two pictures from irreversibility‘s twitter.  When they were posted in early April, it seemed that the pictures were from the new music videos… but when “Powerless” premiered shortly after, that was clearly not the case: neither of them resemble anything in that video.  The first of the two pictures was Wayne with Stardeath and White Dwarfs’ “Jesus Freak” guitar and was linked to the above mentioned April 8 tweet about “2 more videos in the pipeline” (implying that the picture was from one of those videos):

click to zoom

The second of the pictures was the furry birth canal space bubble from the “Watching the Planets” video, tweeted with the simple message “It’s back!“(11:12 AM Apr 10th)  


Based on the fact irreversibility mentioned the “Powerless” video from March 2 (when it was decided it would be next) to April 14 (the day it was released), its video was almost certainly filmed in March (as it was reportedly done April 2).  “Sparrow” on the other hand must have been filmed within the same time range as the two above pictures were tweeted – based on George’s April 14 tweetJust so you know, we shot The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine last week!” (and the April 2 announcement that it would be next).  Likewise Kliph tweeted on April 7, “Shooting a video outside in 38 degree weather is every bit as fun as it sounds.”  These would both suggest that these two pictures were taken from “The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine” video… except that the one image that’s been specifically identified as being from “Sparrow” (at the top of this post), looks more like “Powerless” than it does these two images.

So what’s up with these two pictures from early April?  Are they part of the “Sparrow” video? Blastula? Something else? And does somebody in the Lips’ camp have a pet monkey?

…outside of The Lips, who knows?

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