On June 27th The Flaming Lips will oversee VH1’s O Music Awards – the world’s first 24-hour livestreamed awards show – and play concerts in a Guinness World Record setting 8 different cities in one day (breaking a record held by Jay-Z). The Lips have been preparing numerous songs they’ve NEVER performed in concert for these webcast shows, among them: “This Here Giraffe” (from 1995’s Clouds Taste Metallic), “It’s Summertime” (from 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots), “The Rain Song” (1973 Led Zeppelin cover) and tracks from their new Heady Fwends collabs album. They’ll also be joined for once-in-a-lifetime performances by a wide range of peers including Jackson Browne, Neon Indian, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, New Fumes and Phantogram.
UPDATE All the unbeleivable rumors are coming true. Links to watch last night’s performances – including “Be My Head,” “The Song Remains the Same” with Grace Potter, and “It’s Summertime” – are marked in red printed updates (under the “what to expect” sections, written last week).
And get this – it looks like Steven Drozd will make a partial return to playing drums in concert:
In addition to watching all 8 shows (and the rest of the 24 hour award show) live at omusicawards.com (with accessibility for mobile and tablets), you can also follow the Lips on their trek via photos and commentary from fans on a bus trailing the Lips posted in real time to this blog on June 27-28th. From now though the live-blogging post, previews and the latest updates will be posted at facebook/TheFutureHeart and twitter/FutureHeartDay.
Below is a detailed show-by-show guide for all 8 gigs: who they are playing with, what live rarities and covers you can expect to hear, how to get tickets etc…
Who Will Join The Lips: New Fumes
What To Expect: Among other weirdness, The Lips will live début both Yoshimi classic “It’s Summertime” – a fitting start to the tour given the date – and their Heady Fwends collaboration with New Fumes, “Girl, You’re So Weird.” As for New Fumes – fresh off touring all three legs of Polyphonic Spree’s comeback tour – his “paranoid soundscape” interpretation of Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (aka the epic theme music in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey) from New Year Freak Out #5 is a possibility. So are Future Heart favorites like “Teeth of the Sun” and “Intrusion” (watch both and the rest of New Fumes’ set from his Tulsa show with the Lips last September here).
UPDATE This prediction was spot on. Watch The Flaming Lips perform a pair of gems released almost exactly one decade ago: “It’s Summertime” and “Do You Realize???”. “Girl, You’re So Weird” totally rocks live! A stream is forthcoming. There was also an official kick-off by the Memphis’ Mayor – watch here.
Where It’s At: Memphis, TN at The Handy Park Pavillion (downtown, on historic Beale Street across from the statue of W. C. “Father of the Blues” Handy)
When: June 27; Doors 3:30 PM (this and all times listed below are Central Time…though supposedly the webcast starts at 7:30 Eastern?!)
How To Get Tickets: Buy Tickets for just $21
Why: New Fumes is awesome. The Flaming Lips kinda are too…
Who Will Join The Lips: Gary Clark Jr and Hour of the Time, Majesty Twelve (aka HOTT MT, otherwise known as the “LA weirdos” that showed up at Wayne Coyne’s doorstep on his birthday).
What To Expect: Gary Clark Jr’s blend of blues power, soul singing and rock six-string heroics have been heating up festivals in 2012 (watch him at Coachella, Hangout and Bonnaroo). Just miles from the infamous Highway 61 and 49 crossroads (where Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil in blues lore – and nearby the former homes of Son House, Ike Turner and Sam Cooke), expect this show to be more than warmed-up by Clark by the time the Lips make their entrance….
Wayne Coyne confirmed HOTT MT will collaborate with the Lips, but hasn’t specified material. “Be My Head” – which hasn’t been played since 1994 – is rumored to be played. Also, HOTT MT wrote and recorded their single “Never Hate Again” with Coyne. So there’s that….
HOTT MT also contributed to the initial Lips/ Ke$ha sessions. The Flaming Lips will need a vocalist at one of the 24 hour shows to fill in for K money on “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)’s” concert debut … it would apt if HOTT MT helped…
** UPDATE The rumors were true: HOTT MT joined the Lips for “Be My Head” and “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded).” Watch the former here and Gary here.
Where It’s At: Clarksdale, MS at Ground Zero Blues Club (TRIVIA Across from the city’s Delta Blues Museum, this restaurant/ club is owned by Morgan Freeman).
When: June 27; Doors 6:30 PM
How To Get Tickets: Info here
Why: HOTT MT also released their début album on Wayne Coyne’s birthday (free stream it here). More reasons:
Who Will Join The Lips: Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
What To Expect: Grace Potter is working with the Lips on a track for a new Tim Burton film. Although it’s unlikely to get played at this show, Wayne has said Grace will join the Lips on “a couple of Led Zeppelin songs” and revealed one of them is “The Song Remains The Same” (the opening track of 1973’s Houses of the Holy – not coincidentally, Steven Drozd’s favorite Zep LP). The Lips have also been working on Drozd’s beloved “The Rain Song,” the second track from Houses. It’s presumable they’ll play both with Potter. Other classic rock 101 possibilities include part of Dark Side of the Moon. Last June at Harmony Festival Wayne Coyne attempted to have Grace join the Lips during “Brain Damage/ Eclipse” but she declined (see a snippet of them backstage in the video below). Maybe the time has come…
** UPDATE Again, all the rumors were true. Watch Grace and the Lips play “Song Remains”… “Rain Song” is forthcoming.
Where It’s At: Oxford, MS at The Lyric. The venue’s website notes it “was originally a livery stable owned by William Faulkner’s family in the early part of the 20th century. During the 1920’s it was converted into a theatre for live performances and silent films and named The Lyric Theatre. The advent of motion pictures saw The Lyric evolve into Oxford’s first movie theatre. In 1949, William Faulkner walked from his home in Oxford (Rowan Oak) to his childhood stable for the world premiere of MGM’s “Intruder in the Dust” that was adapted from one of his novels. The Lyric stopped operating as a movie theatre in the 1970’s and was left abandoned for many years until the early 1980’s when it was restored and converted into office spaces and a health center. In 2007, The Lyric underwent an extensive restoration process and was returned to its original use as a theatre and began operating again on July 3rd, 2008.” The more you know…
When: June 27; Doors 9:30 PM
How To Get Tickets: Sorry…SOLD OUT
Why: Barenaked ladies… That is, if history repeats itself. As you can see in this video, when The Lips played “The Song Remains The Same” regularly in 2008 (perhaps inspired by the bare buns on Houses of the Holy’s LP cover), a group of nude women would run onstage and dance around Wayne, nightly…
What does Grace Potter think of that? Not sure, but she did recently reveal “being sexually and physically aware of each other [is] a huge part of who we [The Nocturnals] are. Even on the bus, out of the public eye, we’re still like that. [chuckles] I’m grabbing everyone’s asses and that’s just how it is…” She’s also said, “If I could perform naked, I would. It’s just, to me, about being really comfortable on stage…But of course, you never see my pussy….”
Also, Grace will join the Lips on the bus. Who knows what they’ll come up with between show stops. Again, in her own words (via omusicawards): “I actually begged to be a part of it…I’m comfortable on buses and I love to take that journey. Wayne is such an interesting guy. I feel it’s going to be such an interesting process to see exactly the kind of madness we’re going to get into…Maybe I’ll bring my hot plate on the bus and cook a little something for Wayne. Some grilled cheese, something simple that is fuss-free. Maybe I’ll do some sort of bruschetta or something like that…but I’m going to be the queen of taking away the distracting antics and reminding us of what we’re there for! And that is to dominate Jay-Z and make a world record!”
Who Will Join The Lips: Neon Indian
What To Expect: “Is David Bowie Dying??” – the Lips collaboration with Neon Indian – is by far the most-played post-Embryonic song in Flaming Lips setlists since 2011. When Neon Indian played the Lips’ New Year’s Freak Out on the first of 2012, Alan Palomo sat in with the Lips (that performance was released as an official live video – watch it, plus more details, here). This live collab will almost certainly be repeated…
Where It’s At: Jackson, MS at Duling Hall
When: June 28, 1 AM
How To Get Tickets: Tickets are sold here for $20 + $5.55 (additional fees)
Why: To access your brain stem state of mind. Alan recently discussed creating the Lips/ Neon Indian collaborative EP with Fuse: “Wayne was particularly good at tapping into this brain stem state of mind — like there’s the instrument, that’s the sound, there’s the song. It was great. I can’t even really put it into words. I would be so lucky to work with them again.”
Who Will Join The Lips: Jackson Browne and young country singer Hunter Hayes – how’s that for a Flaming Lips opening line-up!
What To Expect: Jackson Browne and his friends The Flaming Lips both played This Land Is Your Land – A Woody Guthrie Centennial Concert this past March. Although the Lips haven’t given any hint what they’ll play at this show, it’s possible the Woody songs they arranged especially for their Guthrie tribute set will get a second airing – including “Along the Rain and the Sun” with Jackson Browne. It’s been rumored the Lips will play “These Days” – a Browne song first recorded in 1967 by Nico, and later popularized by Gregg Allman and Jackson himself. There’s also the possibility of Heady Fwend cut “Ashes in the Air,” with Browne singing Bon Iver’s part. Either way, it’s confirmed the Lips are playing with their buddy Jackson.
Where It’s At: Hattiesburg, MS at Benny’s Boom Boom Room
When: June 28, 6:30 AM
How To Get Tickets: Tickets are $15 + $5.40
Why: Hayes is a Lips fan (he recently told O Music Awards, “I love the fact that we’ll be on the same bill…such a cool mashup of musical corners of the world“). But is Hayes a Woody Guthrie fan? Maybe we’ll find out….
Who Will Join The Lips: Phantogram and Neon Trees
What To Expect: Phantogram recently covered Pink Floyd’s entire Dark Side of The Moon with The Flaming Lips at two festivals: Hangout (watch in the below video starting at 42 minute mark) and Free Press Summerfest (Houston). If Phantogram is on the bill a selection from that album is a no-brainer. But then again, there is supposed to be a big surprise at this show. It could be a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” – which Phantogram and the Lips prepared for Free Press, but didn’t play – or “Control Report #16” (the working title of the song now known as “You Lust,” an unreleased Phanto/Lips collaboration due out late 2012 on the Lips next album). Though The Flaming Lips don’t frequently debut songs live, it wouldn’t be the first time (or even surprising given the adventurous nature of these 8 shows). Hey…you never know…
Where It’s At: Biloxi, MS at Hard Rock Casino
When: June 28, 9:45 AM
How To Get Tickets: Tickets – $18.69 + $6.81
Why: “Breathe, breathe in the air don’t be afraid to care…” Also, this may be one of your last chances to see Neon Trees for a while: drummer Elaine Bradley is about 7 months pregnant (and amazingly still up for touring).
Who Will Join The Lips: GIVERS and Linear Downfall
What To Expect: We know Linear Downfall recently finished recording their new album (with Wayne and Kliph by their side). We also know they will play two unspecified songs with the Lips on June 28th. We think one of them will be King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man” (which the Lips played for the first time in concert last week with Deerhoof, and which Linear Downfall stayed up all night on March 21st to record at The Flaming Lips’ Pink Floor Studio). Other than that, your guess is as good as mine ….
….so perhaps this is the place to reiterate that this is a special day (emphasis on the word special). The Lips are set to live début at least FIVE songs – including “This Here Giraffe,” “It’s Summertime,” Heady Fwends collabs and classic rock covers. They also working on an unidentified song from Zaireeka (their 1997 album consisting of four CD to be played simultaneously). If they play “Be My Head” – as teased on twitter – it will be the first Transmissions from the Satellite Heart song played since 2008 excluding show staple “She Don’t Use Jelly” (only two other cuts from that album have been played in the past decade: “Plastic Jesus” and “Slow Nerve Action”). But most of all, it can not be overstated how rare it will be if the Lips play “This Here Giraffe” – especially if Drozd takes to the drum stool. Of Cloud Taste’s Metallic’s 13 tracks, only three have been played after 1996 (“Bad Days” and “Lightning Strikes The Postman” – both most recently in 2009 – and “When You Smile” but not since 2000). “This Here Giraffe” and two others Clouds cuts have never been performed live! Again, there’s nothing indicating these songs will be played at this specific show, but it’s worth getting exciting over the suggestion they’ll play all these songs over the course of the eight shows on this day…
Where It’s At: Baton Rouge, LA at Varsity. Says GIVERS’ Taylor Guarisco: “When you step back and look at Louisiana as a bed of music, it’s one of the most fertile beds out there. It seems cool that The Flaming Lips would come down and do shows in Baton Rouge.”
When: June 28, 12:30 PM
Tickets are SOLD OUT
Why: If you have to ask you’ll never understand…
Wayne Coyne: “When you’ve been a band for as long as we have—which is almost 30 years—you want there to be these very unique occasions your fans can say they the only time you played that song, and they saw you do it…”
** UPDATE Grimes is apparently no longer appearing due to illness, and probably Ke$ha and Roger won’t be able to make it either (according to an inside source). But read on for what might have been:
What To Expect: It’s speculated the Lips will collaborate in concert with Grimes, Ke$ha and – in Wayne’s words – “perhaps even our friend Roger Daltrey” at New Orleans’ House of Blues. It’s unconfirmed if Roger will have his harmonica with him…
Yes, in a nod to the Lips’ 24 hour bus tour the legendary frontman of The Who may join the Lips on a version of his classic “Magic Bus” – schedules permitting. Daltrey is pictured above with Wayne and Michelle Coyne after his 2009 masterclass at the Lips-associated Academy of Contemporary Music. Grimes is speculated to sing “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” with the Lips, filling in for the part Erykah Badu takes on Heady Fwends. K Money is presumed to join the band for Fwends’ opener “2012 (You Must be Upgraded)” – which coincidentally has an underling rhythm a bit similar to “Magic Bus” (via Bo Diddley). Read about her recent ambition to “resurrect rock and roll” (under the spell of Iggy Pop) here; watch the Lips rehearsing “2012” last week for this show at 2:51 in the video at top of this page, or here; and watch them record the song with Ke$ha earlier this year below.
Where It’s At: New Orleans, LA at House Of Blues
When: June 28, 4:00 PM
How: Ticket sell here for $27 + $10
Why: Recently Grimes’ Claire Boucher teamed with sculptor Morgan Black for a line of vulva-shaped finger jewelry (now what does that remind you of?)…
ISpy a “pussy ring” on Claire in the Jools performance below:
All journeys through Mississippi Delta should end in New Orleans. This isn’t just a matter of geography or tracing the Mississippi River, it’s the heritage of American music. If you start in Memphis – home to blues legends, Sun Studios and Stax Records – the only fitting end is to trace backwards through time to the begining: the New Orleans of Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong…