The Flaming Lips and Plastic Ono Band’s recently re-recorded “Atlas Eets Christmas” debuted today at The Lips’ ”Infinite Christmas Sounds” website – AtlasEetsChristmas.com. The song, which originally appeared on their 2007 secret Christmas album of the same name, is one one of several recordings from recent recording sessions with The Plastic Ono Band – (info on the other songs they recorded and more is here). The two bands are playing side-by-side sets at New Year Freak Out #5, December 31- January 1st (full details here). Watch their recent collaborative recording session below:
“This change feels like a change that’s real/ but then it passes along with the season…”
-The Flaming Lips, “A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)”.
“I’m sometimes surprised that the world doesn’t think of Christmas as being this wonderful moment that humans have created for ourselves.”
-Wayne Coyne to ShockHound
“I remember my brothers telling me Santa Claus wasn’t real. I was relieved. I’d always worried about Santa Claus coming all the way from the north pole or not getting my notes, he seemed very busy and he’s only got the one night. The idea that anyone can be Santa, that’s still with me now. We don’t have to wait for Christmas, we don’t have to wait for a magical guy to show up and make everything all right, you put on the suit and you become it.”
-Wayne Coyne to The Guardian
“I think we should live like it could be Christmas every day. We don’t really have to wait for Santa to come and say, ‘Let’s be kind, let’s care about each other, let’s care about the world, let’s try to make the world a happier place –there’s a lot of suffering out there and we could help alleviate- and when you think about it, it is a really simple thing –you can always be kind- it’s a simple way of living.”
– Wayne Coyne to ShockHound
From using Christmas lights in the mid-‘90s to illuminate their stage (all year long!) to their more recent use of dancing Santas in concerts and as part of their annual Halloween parade and to – most obviously – their film Christmas on Mars, The Flaming Lips have never hid their enthusiasm for Christmas. But what’s most significant is how Wayne Coyne’s fixation with the holiday has overflowed into much of The Flaming Lips’ music. They sing about Christmas regardless of the month and the sounds of “the most wonderful time of the year” have shaped their vision of how to produce records for all seasons (the bells in “Do You Realize” is just one obvious example).
In Wayne’s world, the Christmas “season” never ends – as can be heard in the “happy holidays” feel that threads through two-plus decades of their work. Technically they’ve only written one straight-up Christmas song (“A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)”) but they also composed a sci-fi score for a film involving Christmas (Once Beyond Hopelessness/ Christmas on Mars) and have taken stabs at several seasonal standards (“Little Drummer Boy,” “White Christmas,” “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “Silent Night” and even a reading of “The Night Before Christmas”). They started work on a proper Christmas album (planned to feature guest vocals by Tom Waits, David Bowie, Björk, Bono, Garbage singer Shirley Manson and others) in 2000 but never finished the project. They did however unofficially released a secret Christmas album – read all about that and listen to it here. Most beloved of all may be their one regular album track based around the season, “Christmas at the Zoo”.