The Flaming Lips have been writing and performing their imaginatively indie, yet undeniably catchy music since the early 80s. Not many bands can say they have lasted through decades, but this longevity is more than deserved for this crazy group. However, as their original fan base gets older along with the band members, The Flaming Lips, although very well known, still need to find ways to connect to a newer, younger, and broader audience.
The beautiful thing about The Flaming Lips is that they have managed to keep their same unique sound throughout the decades, but keep it current. Recently, they have taken genius steps into keeping their image and sound fresh by collaborating with some interesting personalities over the past year. A relatively new indie band called Neon Indian was an obvious and suitable choice. The two bands have a similar make up, and the fans who like The Flaming Lips would probably enjoy Neon Indian as well. The Lips have had collaborations with other befitting artists, however they have also ventured into some other not so familiar genres.
Bon Iver is an artist who has really paved his way in the industry within the past few years. He has released two amazing albums while also collaborating on huge hip hop tracks with Kanye West and Jay-Z. Bon Iver has proved to be diverse, so it is understandable as to why a collaboration with The Flaming Lips would make sense in a way, while not being an obvious pick.
Even so, the list of collaborators only gets stranger…
Erykah Badu could very well be the queen of Neo-Soul. She oozes hip hop, and steals the attention of any person who has seen her on stage. I would probably never think of pairing this amazing songstress with the eccentric Flaming Lips, however, she too has spent some time working with the band.
But it gets stranger even still….
Ke$ha. The woman has a dollar sign in her name. She has had multiple top 40 hits, and likes to sing about brushing her teeth with whiskey. She relates to the party goers of the pop world, and has everyone from the ages of 12-25 singing along with her on the radio.
“Do You Realize – that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize – we’re floating in space –
Do You Realize – that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize – that everyone you know someday will die
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes – let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round”
“Do You Realize” -The Flaming Lips
“Ain’t got a care in world, but got plenty of beer
Ain’t got no money in my pocket, but I’m already here
And now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger”
“Tik Tok” – Ke$ha
I believe the comparison of those two lyric samples say enough about the two artists.
However, the Lips have still managed to find common ground and even record multiple songs with this pop princess!
After reading about this, and thinking about it, and thinking some more…it sort of makes sense. As I have stated before, it takes a Renaissance Man to stay alive in the music industry today. Not only in the business world, but as a musician as well. Honestly, all of these musicians sticking their toes in each others genres together is opening up opportunities for broader fan bases. The industry is so insane right now, but that does not mean that the fun, and creativity has been taken out! If The Flaming Lips are talented enough to work in multiple genres then why shouldn’t they?
Diversity, openness, and capability to venture into other musical paths will keep this band alive for even more decades to come. The industry does not have time for single minded creatures anymore, and The Flaming Lips have realized this, and are rollin’ with it.
Check out a more detailed interview with Wayne Cohen (The lead singer of The Flaming Lips) on PitchFork! http://pitchfork.com/news/46048-wayne-coyne-talks-new-flaming-lips-album-working-with-keha-and-coldplay-blood/