Follow music news and the latest Flaming Lips updates at twitter/FutureHeartDay.
Previews of every track on The Flaming Lips with Heady Fwends – including collaborations with Nick Cave, Jim James, Edward Sharpe, Ke$ha, Chris Martin and others – have or soon will be posted at facebook/TheFutureHeart. UPDATE Check out the world premeire of their track with Bon Iver, “Ashes in the Air”:
Back in February Wayne Coyne tweeted details – including a handwritten tracklist (pictured below) – for a forthcoming collaborations album out Record Store Day, The Flaming Lips with Heady Fwends. The double LP was soon after discussed on various message boards. On slow-nerve-action.com – The Flaming Lips’ unofficial message board – fans speculated some of the (four) previously released collabs on Fwends may be new mixes (“I’m Working at NASA on Acid” in particular) and the vinyl may come with a CD, or see some sort of digital release after the initial run. Though neither of these have been confirmed, another recent rumor is now official: Wayne has not only been collaborating with various artist, but also collecting their blood in his refrigerator to make a few copies of the record entirely out of blood…
20,ooo limited edition vinyl have recently been handmade made by New Fumes (and documented on his twitter feed daily), but a few special picture disc copies will be made out of the above mentioned famous musicians’ blood. Wayne further explained today to mtvhive.com: I don’t have everybody’s blood just yet, but I collected quite a few vials of blood and it’s actually sitting in my refrigerator as we speak… You don’t really realize how many people are afraid of needles until you say, ‘Hey, I’m going to send someone by the show tonight to get some of your blood.’”
Followers of the band will recall Wayne has used blood in past Lips projects. In 2010 Coyne printed a copy of his poster art for The Flaming Lips appearance at Austin City Limits on Sunday 10/10/10 with his own blood. On October 12, 2010 the Flaming Lips uploaded on YouTube the below video of Wayne making said poster with a short description “There’s only 1… let the bidding begin!”
At the time it was not clear whether the “bidding” reference was a joke or if there was actually going to be an auction. Then, in December 2010, the poster was auctioned via eBay for $10,000.00. All proceeds went to The Flaming Lips associated music college and the Central Oklahoma Humane Society (self-described “nonprofit animal welfare organization; promotes adoption, trap/neuter/return and spay/neuter programs to help end pet overpopulation in the OKC metro area“). It’s possible that the new records with Ke$ha’s et al’s blood will also be for charity…
When news first hit the internet that Wayne made a poster with his own blood in 2010 it was a web sensation – countless posts (most of which were nothing more than the above video with a brief description of what’s on it) were posted on seemingly every music news blog – even sites that didn’t usually cover The Flaming Lips. The pure sensationalism of printing a concert poster with the blood of the band’s frontman – and making a video of it – was too attention-grabbing to ignore and some blogs used this as the final confirmation that Wayne Coyne wasn’t just pretending or trying to-be weird – he really was a nutcase.
But there was more…
Though virtually no blogs (other than the very one you’re reading right now) picked up on it, supposedly all the other ACL posters (that is, the ones printed normally) have Wayne’s bloody thumb print:
Even with the news of the charity generated by the blood poster two and half months after the initial posts, it still seemed odd to some… but blood imagery is decades old for The Flaming Lips…
Throughout their nearly three decades as a band, they’ve posed for loads of pictures with fake blood – which Wayne has also used many times in performance, most famously while performing “The Spark That Bled” and less famously in the ’80s for their Exorcist shows.
One of the most famous of Wayne’s blood pictures is the cover of their first photo book, Waking Up with a Placebo Headwound. This picture comes from Wayne’s period of wearing white suits constantly, partly for dramatic contrast with his fake blood (inspired by a tragic photo of Miles Davis after being beat by racist cops).
Blood features heavily in some of their videos – “Waiting for a Superman” had so much blood they had to make a “clean edit” and “The Sparrow Looks Up At The Machine” seems designed to be a NSFW viral disturbance. Wayne even went so far as becoming a “blood brother” with Andrew W. K. (at least that’s what he said) back when the latter was at the peak of his party hard days. When Ben Kweller had a nose bleed at Austin City Limits 2006 and generous fans helped him by throwing tampons up to the stage, Wayne asked for the same treatment when the Flaming Lips took the stage on the next day of the festival….
Aside from photos, videos, concert showmanship, books and lyrics there’s also Wayne twitter – which he uses, among other things, to tweet pictures of his blood. In fact, though news of the 2010 poster spread like wild-fire on the web on October 12, it was actually tweeted by Wayne days before, and for weeks ahead of that he took to twitter with related photos.
…And lets not forget the influence of Iggy Pop on the Lips, and moreover, KISS – the band that spat up blood as a regular part of their show and famously printed their own line of comic books with their own blood.
Wayne talked about blood in the violence issue of Paste, on the shelves exactly two years before the 2010 blood poster. He said, “At one point all of us had fake blood, and we poured it all over our heads—more like Carrie, I guess, than The Exorcist… I knew when I went to do it again, you can’t just grab this shit and get it all over the place because musicians are trying to play some intricate little things, and stickiness is the enemy of all that.”
Preview Jim James, Nick Cave and Edward Sharpe’s contributions to The Flaming Lips with Heady Fwends in the videos below, followed by the tracklist:
Side 1 – (Groove sentence, “You and me – we know that love is true”)
- “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)” – with Ke$ha
- “Ashes in the Air” – with Bon Iver
- “Helping the Retarded to Know God” – with Edward Sharpe
- Locked groove (Ke$ha, “Shit”)
Side 2 – (Groove sentence, “You always want to shave my balls”)
- “The Supermoon Made Me Want to Pee” – with Prefuse 73
- “Children of the Moon” – with Tame Impala
- “That Ain’t My Trip (Hippy Goes Out with Violent S&M Vampire Gal)” – with Jim James
- “You, Man? Human?” – with Nick Cave
- Locked groove (“Tree-iP”)
Side 3 – (Groove sentence, “I’ll ask the insect, ‘Oh does he feel pain when he dies'”)
- “I’m Working at NASA on Acid” – with Lightning Bolt
- “Do It!” – with Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band
- “Is David Bowie Dying?” – with Neon Indian
- Locked groove (“Do It”)
Side 4 – (Groove sentence, “So girl…you and me can watch each other pee…”)
- “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” – with Erykah Badu
- “Thunder Drops” – with New Fumes
- “I Don’t Want You to Die” – with Chris Martin
- Locked groove (Ke$ha, “I Don’t Want To Die”)
Follow music news and the latest Flaming Lips updates at twitter/FutureHeartDay and facebook/TheFutureHeart.
I love your intensive Flaming Lips coverage. If I don’t have a show to see them, I was have this blog! :) I’ll be grabbing up this double vinyl set. That’s a huge run (10K) for vinyl nowadays.
Thanks indieethos. And yep, this should be an interesting one. Much more on the way…