Tag Archives: The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips – A Spoonful Weighs A Ton (1999)


I saw The Flaming Lips at the Brixton Academy on Saturday night. It is the 20th anniversary of their opus The Soft Bulletin and frontman Wayne Coyne and pals treated us to the full album. ‘A Spoonful Weighs a Ton’ follows the album’s opener ‘Race For The Prize’. Now that’s a strong start.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1995

A compilation to get the ears humming this weekend. My favourite 9 sounds of 1995, the swansong year for Britpop. Needless to say, Oasis and Blur feature.

The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979

The Flaming Lips – Placebo Headwound

Oasis – The Masterplan

Underworld – Born Slippy

Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees

Sparklehorse – Cow

Teenage Fanclub – Versimilitude

Blur – The Universal

Moby – When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die


Honourable mentions also go to: Pavement for ‘We Dance‘; Yo La Tengo for ‘Blue Line Swinger‘; Ol’ Dirty Bastard for ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya‘; Rob Dougan for ‘Clubbed To Death‘; Sparklehorse for ‘Saturday‘; and Radiohead for ‘Planet Telex’ and ‘Street Spirit’.

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The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt.1 (2002)


Experimental, playful and top-of-their-game, The Flaming Lips were the bee’s knees in 2002. Part 1 of the title track off Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots always warrants a sing-a-long. The band and associated record labels have recently announced a Greatest Hits to be released in June. Not surprised to see this song feature; but what, no ‘Placebo Headwound’?!

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9 of the best – sounds of 1999

A compilation for the weekend. My favourite songs of 1999 in no particular order:

Röyksopp – So Easy

Blur – Coffee And TV

Dr. Dre – Still D.R.E.

Wilco – She’s A Jar

Pavement – Spit On A Stranger

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I See A Darkness

dEUS – Instant Street

The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize

Sigur Rós – Starálfur


Honourable mentions also go to: Pépé Bradock & The Grand Brûlé’s Choir for ‘Deep Burnt‘; Mos Def for ‘Ms. Fat Booty‘; Shack for ‘Comedy‘; Pete Heller for ‘Big Love‘; The Flaming Lips for ‘A Spoonful Weighs A Ton‘; Moby for ‘Porcelain‘; and Death in Vegas for ‘Dirge‘.

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9 of the best – sounds of noughties

I give you my favourite nine sounds of the 2000s in chronological order. It would seem that 2004 was peak noughties to these ears…

The Avalanches – Since I Left You (2000)

 The Strokes – Modern Age (2001)

The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize? (2002)

Broken Social Scene – Stars And Sons (2003)

The Walkmen – The Rat (2004)

Sébastien Tellier – La Ritournelle (2004)

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla (2005)

 Midlake – Bandits (2006)

Beirut – Nantes (2007)


Honourable mentions also go to: Lambchop for ‘Up With The People’ (2000); Outkast for ‘Ms. Jackson’ (2000); Ian Brown for ‘F. E. A. R.’ (2001); The Shins for ‘New Slang‘ (2002); Kings Of Leon for ‘Red Morning Light‘ (2003); Radiohead for ‘A Wolf At The Door’ (2003); Mew for ‘Comforting Sounds’ (2003); Kasabian for ‘Club Foot’ (2004); Danger Mouse for his remix of ‘Public Service Announcement’ (2004); The Good, the Bad and the Queen for ‘Herculean’ (2006); The Hold Steady for ‘The Chillout Tent‘ (2006); The Strokes for ‘You Only Live Once’ (2006); and Jay Electronica for ‘Exhibit C’ (2009).

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9 of the best – sounds of 2002

Before we get to the nitty gritty of choosing some favourite sounds of the year, a quick canter back to 2002, with songs in no particular order:

The Knife – Heartbeats

The Flaming Lips – Do You Realize?

Supergrass – Prophet 15

Layo & Bushwacka – Lovestory

Sigur Rós – Vaka (Untitled)

The Notwist – One With The Freaks

Boards Of Canada – Alpha And Omega

Interpol – Obstacle 1

Wilco – Ashes of American Flags


Honourable mentions also go to: John Murphy for ‘In The House, In A Heartbeat‘; Múm for ‘Green Grass Of Tunnel‘; The Promise Ring for ‘Become One Anything One Time‘; People Under The Stairs for ‘Acid Raindrops‘; The White Stripes for ‘Fell In Love With A Girl‘; The Libertines for ‘Up The Bracket‘;and Red Hot Chili Peppers for ‘Universally Speaking‘.

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The Flaming Lips – Race For The Prize (1999)


Wayne Coyne

Have I really waited 5 years to post this song? The revolutionary sound of The Soft Bulletin. This was The Flaming Lips in 1999 and the glory of their ‘Race For The Prize’. “They’re just humans/With wives and children!”

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Grandaddy – He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot (2000)



Jumping a decade, the new millennium had hit and The Flaming Lips had released their brilliant LP Soft Bulletin to top off the 1990s. And so, it was no coincidence that I was lapping up all things americana and psychedelic. Released in May 2000, The Sophtware Slump is the second studio pressing from Grandaddy. The opening track ‘He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot’ is lush, conceptual and multi-layered. Have a great week.

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Neon Indian – Polish Girl (2011)


Neon Indian

Neon Indian is Mexican-born Alan Daniel Palomo from Denton, Texas. The stage name was conceived by an ex-girlfriend of Palomo’s, who was also the subject of his song ‘Should Have Taken Acid With You’. She was not the ‘Polish Girl’. Paloma had already worked on a collaboration with The Flaming Lips in 2011. On his second album Era Extraña, he was lucky enough to retain the production of Dave Fridmann. Have a great weekend.
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The Sea and Cake – Sound and Vision (2003)

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The Sea and Cake

In 2003, The Sea and Cake released the album One Bedroom. In there was an elaborate version of David Bowie’s ‘Sound and Vision’. The song has the sort of sound that The Flaming Lips might’ve created with the work.

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San Cisco – Wild Things (2012)


San Cisco

Cisco’s Jordi Davieson can sound like the Australian love child of Thomas Mars and Ezra Koenig. But at other times, he, Scarlett Stevens and bandmates have a fair crack at psychedelic pop rock. ‘Wild Things’ is off their 2012 self-titled debut album. The sound has more than a touch of The Flaming Lips about it, which is never a bad thing.

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The Beatles – Now and Then (1995)

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The Beatles 3

Not strictly a Beatles song as Lennon wrote and part-recorded ‘Now and Then’ in the late 1970s. However, Yoko Ono later passed Paul a batch of unfinished tracks to mark their mid-1990s Anthology compilations. The tapes included demos of this track, ‘Free as a Bird’ and ‘Real Love’. The three Beatles began recording their version in 1995 by overdub. It was then discarded only to later appear on a 2009 bootleg. This floaty and ever-so-nearly-lost gem sounds part Fab Four, part The Flaming Lips.

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The Kissaway Trail – La La Song (2007)


The Kissaway Trail

After finding their coupled lead-vocal sound, Thomas Fagerlund and Søren Corneliussen started to create Kissaway Trail’s debut album. It was released on Bella Union a year after the label had brought us the superlative Trials of Van Occupanther. At times, the sound evokes The Flaming Lips and Arcade Fire. Not too shoddy a list of references.

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The Flaming Lips – A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So) (2003)


The Flaming Lips

Let’s push on through the weekend. It’s a decade since The Flaming Lips released the Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell EP as an interim between the full length Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots and its follow-up At War With the Mystics. It was late November, and at the end of the extended play, they snuck out a festive track. Unlike ‘Christmas at the Zoo’ off Clouds Tastes Metallic and anything off their freakout film Christmas on Mars, ‘A Change At Christmas’ mixes the trademark synthesizers, drum machine and heart-swelling positivity with sleigh bells and chimes. It all culminates in some joyous sentiment: “I think it’s all going to work out just fine”.

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