Friday, August 14, 2009

Flaming Lips concert pick of week


When it comes to trippy sonic excursions, The Flaming Lips have the market cornered. Hatched out of Oklahoma City in 1983, singer Wayne Coyne, bassist Michael Ivins and various bandmates put out several indie albums rife with acid rock, noisy jams and psychedelic insanity.

After hooking up with a major label, The Lips notched their first top 10 alternative/minor pop radio hit in 1994 (“She Don’t Use Jelly”). Then came symphonic gem The Soft Bulletin. Masterful 2002 disc Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots went gold and netted a Grammy (2006’s acclaimed At War with the Mystics won two more).

Earlier this year, atmospheric Yoshimi tune “Do You Realize?” was deemed official rock song of Oklahoma. Keeping with the parameter expanding nature of their music, the band has also done high profile parking lot and boom box sound experiments and a concert tour where fans listened on headphones via Sony Walkmen.

You just never know what to expect from these guys’ shows. Past live jaunts have seen Coyne roll over the crowd in a big plastic bubble (Sugarland recently co-opted this move), utilize bizarre hand puppets and odd projection techniques as people frolic onstage in animal costumes.

Recently, The Flaming Lips put out a digital EP previewing the forthcoming double album Embryonic, due in October. Fellow Sooner State natives Stardeath and White Dwarfs, featuring Coyne’s nephew Dennis on vocals, have collaborated with The Lips on a cool new cover of Madonna’s “Borderline.”

The Flaming Lips, Ghostland Observatory, Stardeath and White Dwarfs at the Fox Theater, 301 S. Garey Ave., Pomona,, Tuesday, Aug. 18, doors open at 7PM, $40.

(This Calendar pick originally appeared in Inland Empire Weekly)

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