This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Flaming Lips…
…so BBC 6 is celebrating with a week of special programming highlighted by the band’s appearance on Steve Lamacq today (Thursday, May 23). Tune in here for a “chat with Steve” followed by a special career-spanning concert, broadcasted live this evening at 6:00 (that’s UK time, 1:00 PM E.S.T.). A stream will be available on demand for exactly one week afterwards, here.
“We’re supposed to do 10 songs of 30 years of the Flaming Lips for the BBC,” Steven Drozd explained to MTV last month about today’s show at Maida Vale. Based on recent setlists and a photo Wayne Coyne tweeted from a rehearsal, today they’ll likely play “Bag Full Of Thoughts” (the opening track on the Lips’ debut EP, last played in 1985), “Love Yer Brain” (another ’80s gem, brought back to their setlists in 2006 but not played since), “Moth In The Incubator” (a standout from breakthrough Transmission from the Satellite Heart, which turns 20 next month), Zaireeka’s “Riding To Work In The Year 2025” (re-arranged sans the “Your Invisible Now” section, and re-introduced to their nightly rotation at last week’s stunning show at Wellmont Theater), and an orchestral-minded version of Soft Bulletin live standard “Race for the Prize” (premiered at Chattanooga’s Track 29 on May 4th). According to the BBC, “If we can get it past Health and Safety, there will be the full Flaming Lips Stage show, including lasers, dancing bears and that giant inflatable ball the Wayne Coyne walks through the audience on.”
“We’re promised a legendary Flaming Lips stage spectacular…it’s going to be a massive, memorable celebration,” reads the BBC’s preview.
Today’s show is one of several BBC 6 programming blocks dedicated this week to the Lips. Last Sunday they were featured on Now Playing @6 Music, the BBC’s weekly show that allows fans connected through social media to create a playlist of songs by or related to that week’s chosen artist. Songs ranged from signature Lips (“Yoshimi,” “She Don’t Use Jelly”) to The Beach Boys “God Only Knows” (covered by the Lips last year) to cuts by friends and followers like MGMT and Tame Impala. See the tweets at the bottom of this post and listen here (stream ends this Sunday, so hurry).
Next Sunday (May 26th), Wayne Coyne will present his “very own 6 Music Playlist attempting to cover the band’s 30 years in just 60 minutes.” The preview states Coyne will also discuss: “the music that has influenced the band’s career…expect tracks from the likes of Gavin Bryars, The Beatles, Beastie Boys and, perhaps surprisingly, Madonna.”
Mentions of The Lips are also popping up on various other BBC 6 shows this week, for instance:
Additionally, the BBC is providing Wayne Coyne print-out masks here. “To celebrate the wonderful, creative, bonkers and colourful Flaming Lips, why not print out your very own Wayne Face,” their site encourages. “You can email us photos of you having your own Flaming Lips party to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us @bbclamacqshow.”
So, how else are the Lips celebrating 30 years?
“Now that you mention it,” Steven Drozd told MTV, “it seems like we should do something here (in the US). I could see Wayne coming up with some sort of retrospective show…maybe we could expand that and make it a full-on show sometime this year.”
Watch Wayne discuss 30 years here. The Future Heart’s look at the band’s three decades continues with June’s “30 Years of Weird” week, then other surprises to follow. More information coming soon at twitter/TheFutureHeart and facebook/TheFutureHeart.