UPDATE – April 1, 2014
April fools! Turns out Flaming Side of the Moon is a Funny or Die hoax conceived by Jake Fogelnest to “[ridicule] the blogosphere.” Pictures, videos, GIFs, tweets, quotes, commentary and more concerning the Lips’ epic prank are continually being added to this post.
Out of the blue last night a press release announcing a new Flaming Lips album began spreading around the internet, appearing first on Good Reads and a blogspot page called Portable Infinite, both published by the same author, Alexander Laurence. Today more sites published the same statement, while others – most notably Pitchfork – paraphrased it. Read the unedited press release below:
March, 31st 2014 – (Burbank, CA.)
THE FLAMING LIPS continue to explore the rich world of PINK FLOYD with their new digital release, FLAMING SIDE OF THE MOON.
Designed as an immersive companion piece to the original 1973 album, DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, listeners are encouraged to listen to the new LIPS album while listening to DARK SIDE at the same time. FLAMING SIDE OF THE MOON was also carefully crafted to sync up perfectly with the 1939 film, THE WIZARD OF OZ. For ideal listening conditions, fans are encouraged to seek out the original Alan Parsons’ engineered quadraphonic LP mix of DARK SIDE, but it will work with the album on any format. Available now through all participating digital outlets.
A limited edition 100 vinyl copies will be distributed to friends and family of THE FLAMING LIPS.
Much more LIPS information to be announced soon.
Until then go to www.flaminglips.com
…an album designed to be listened to while watching The Wizard of Oz and listening to Dark Side of the Moon. Far out man!
Except it seems more like an April Fools joke than an actual album. Let’s weigh both sides. What do you think?
Reasons The Press Release Is Plausible
- The Flaming Lips love Pink Floyd….
- …and Wayne Coyne has listed The Wizard of Oz Soundtrack among his favorite albums on numerous occasions (for instance, he ranked ranked it #3 on his ballot for Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003).
- Wayne said in 2011, “There’s a lot of fantastical, ridiculous, musical movies out there that, to me, are nauseating. Wizard of Oz should be one of those – out-dated, overdone, with horrible music – but it rises above what it’s made of.”
- 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. Cause for celebration?
- The band first paired Floyd and Oz together in 1999 at an interview/ performance on KCRW. Though the Floyd cover they chose for this session was “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” from Wish You Were Here, not Dark Side, they also discussed syncing the film with Dark Side. Hear for yourself in the top video above.
- The Lips segued Dark Side’s “Breathe” into “Over the Rainbow” and then “Us and Them” as the first encore of their career changing set at Bonnaroo 2003 (also above).
- In 2009 they released a full remake of Dark Side with Stardeath and White Dwarfs.
- At Bonnaroo 2010 the Lips played their own set of originals, then Dark Side top-to-bottom with Stardeath for their second set.
- The Lips covered all of Dark Side together with songs from Wizard of Oz at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on June 15, 2011.
- The Lips also performed Dark Side in full (albeit without the Oz tunes) for the Dave Matthews Band Caravans in 2011 and at Hangout and Free Press Summer Fest in 2012. The Hangout set – which you can watch here – was performed with Phantogram, was webcasted live and has since been aired numerous times on Palladia (it broadcasts at least once every few weeks on the TV channel and is next scheduled for Sunday, April 13th).
- Fan dancers along the side of The Flaming Lips’ stage during concerts from Spring 2011 through all of 2012 wore Oz costumes (as shown below).
- UPDATE – The Lips’ Warner Bros. publicist Rick Gershon telepathically commented on this very post, “this no joke.” See for yourself below.
- But the #1 reason to believe this album is, like, for realz, is. . . Pitchfork said so (and both the Lips and Coyne’s twitter accounts retweeted Pitchfork saying so).
- UPDATE – And now there’s an actual stream, also on Pitchfork!
- ….Or below with this soundcloud player:
Reasons The Press Release Seems Like a Prank
- For starters, why is the press release dated March 31st when it was spreading across the web two days before that? Was it leaked? Or just premature?
- Flaming Side of the Moon? Does that sound like a joke?
- And what’s up with that album cover? It looks nothing like any of the Lips’ art. At least not the lettering.
- The press release concludes with a link to flaminglips.com – but there’s no mention of the album on that site.
- Nor is there any info at the Lips’ press site or their facebook page. There is however news of Wayne’s third “Record Store Tour” to sell remaining skull boxes of the Lips’ first EP tomorrow, on April Fool’s Day and April 3rd.
- The line that jumps out the most from the press release is “fans are encouraged to seek out the original Alan Parsons’ engineered quadraphonic LP mix of DARK SIDE.” Does that sound like a joke? If not, can I borrow your record player and quadraphonic stereo system?
- It also claims it’s “available now through all participating digital outlets” yet there’s nothing on iTunes or any other site suggesting it even exists. (To be fair, maybe there will be on March 31st, the day the press release is dated).
- It states “100 vinyl copies will be distributed to friends and family” but (a) pressing only 100 copies seems economically unsound (have the Lips ever made less than 500 of any vinyl release?)
- …and (b) why would they mention something not available to the public in a press release?
- Most of the common features of an album announcement – a tracklist, personnel, release specifics, quotes from the band or acclaiming them – are missing from this press release.
- Even the timing of the announcement was odd. Who announces an album at 9pm on a Saturday night?
- Neither the band nor anybody involved in their inner circle has made any mention of this album, ever. Considering how much Wayne has recently been instagramming about other projects – his new band with Steven Drozd Electric Würms, several Record Store Day releases including a vinyl edit of their “24-hour song” “7 Skies H3,” a collaborative cover of Sgt Pepper – doesn’t it seem odd this wouldn’t get the faintest of attention?
- Unlike some music snobs and uptight hipsters that use the Lips’ every release as a reason to ridicule the band, they do have a sense of humor about their music and image.
- But the #1 reason to not believe this album is, like, for realz, is… Pitchfork said so (which is to reiterate once again that most music news on the web is little more than rewritten press releases, or stories copied from other sites . . . regardless of factual accuracy . . . or concern if their coverage becomes a game of “Telephone”… like last year when Consequence of Sound, NME and many others all reported on the Lips’ “new” music video for their cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” . . . it was seven years old . . . which is funnier when considering Consequence of Sound was suspicious enough to suggest The Terror was an April’s Fool joke upon its initial press release just a few weeks before that). . .