UPDATE – April 8, 2014
“According to the Lips’ representative, Scurlock is no longer a member of the band,” Pitchfork reports. No details have been given by Flaming Lips members or their representatives.
The post below was published before the break of dawn on March 23rd, just a few hours after the Lips’ BUKU set concluded. Since then Matt Duckworth has been confirmed as the drummer in the green wig at that show. Matt also acted in the group’s April Fools Funny or Die videos, and drums for the entirety of Flaming Side of the Moon (both recorded the weekend of March 29th). Matt is best known as Stardeath and White Dwarfs’ drummer and a touring member of The Evangelicals. Besides his resume as a drummer, Matt has worked on recording sessions with local bands (i.e. The Breakfast Machine, Gentle Ghost, Brainwasher) and has been a frequent recording partner for The Flaming Lips since 2012. Among other contributions, Matt’s drum programming is prominent on the Lips’ collaboration with Bon Iver, “Ashes in the Air.” Matt previously toured with the Lips as a roadie. The original post on the Lips BUKU set from March 23rd follows below.
On March 22, 2014 The Flaming Lips co-headlined New Orleans’ Buku Music Project.
Curiously missing in action was Kliph Scurlock, the band’s live drummer since their fall 2002 tour with Beck. No official explanation of this has been given (though twitter comedians Amber E. and “Cajunflag Testing” fueled speculation that Kliph is no longer with the band by tweeting from the show that he is said to have quit; note emphasis on the word “speculation“). In his place for most of the show was an unidentified drummer in a hat and green wig (believed to be Stardeath and White Dwarfs’ Matt Duckworth). Additionally Steven Drozd, the Lips multi-instrumentalist and drummer since 1991, played drums for the second half of “Race for the Prize” (Steven was the sole drummer in the band from the time he joined until mid-2002, and continued that role in the studio until 2009’s Embryonic split drum duties between Steven and Kliph).
The Lips made no mention of any of the above during their set, though Wayne did say “a lot of out friends our here with us” in his banter before “Race for the Prize,” perhaps in part a reference to the mystery drummer.
Despite the possible band changes, the Lips’ BUKU set was among their best recent performances (albeit too short). They opened with a sublime “Sleeping on the Roof” (audio stream), followed by “Look…The Sun Is Rising” (stream) and “The Terror” (stream) – all continuously (that is, without much banter), an emotional triptych of a beginning. They also played particularly moving versions of “Silver Trembling Hands” (stream), DEVO’s “Gates of Steel” (stream) and set closer “Spoonful Weighs a Ton” (stream). But what stood out the most was Steven’s drumming on “Race for the Prize,” his first performance on drums during a regular Lips set since the summer of 2002. He couldn’t have picked a better song to come back with – “Race For The Prize” is one of his career defining drum parts. Stream audio highlights of the Lips at BUKU via the above links, and see the full setlist and photos from the show below.
If it turns out that Kliph is in fact no longer with the Lips we wish him the best for his future endeavors, including his work with Gruff Rhys (whose new album and film, both titled American Interior, feature Kliph).
Sleeping on the Roof
Look…The Sun Is Rising
Race for the Prize
Virgo Self-Esteem Broadcast
Silver Trembling Hands
Try to Explain
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (part 1)
Gates of Steel (DEVO cover)
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (The Beatles cover)
A Spoonful Weighs a Ton
Encore: Do You Realize??