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  • The Flaming Lips - Parking Lot Experiments
2. PARKING LOT EXPERIMENTS: Sticking with the idea from Zaireeka that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, the Flaming Lips conducted a series of experiments in which they enlisted up to 40 volunteers to sit in their cars in a parking lot and play unique cassettes, recorded by the band, simultaneously. The Lips also performed the experiment with modified boomboxes, and Wayne Coyne "conducted" his charges to adjust volume, speed, and tone.

The Flaming Lips have always been weird, and they have a penchant for showing it off in pretty spectacular, and sometimes head-scratching, ways. They’re currently in the midst of an attempt to break the record of most concerts performed in 24 hours (a record held by Jay-Z — he did seven in that span back in 2006) as part of MTV’s O Music Awards, but that seems like a normal thing to do compared to releasing a 24-hour long song on a hard drive housed in a human skull. So, yes, The Flaming Lips skew strange. In honor of keeping it weird, here are 11 of their strangest stunts, ranked in reverse order, from least insane to most WTF.

Comments (18)
  1. Seems like most of their weirdest stuff has happened recently. Next up: Concert on Mars. The ticket prices are outta this world. I’ll shut up now.

    • The weirdest stuff that we know about anyway. I bet they were at their weirdest in their early 20s. The Fearless Freaks highlighted their early journey pretty well.

      Wayne Coyne’s house/appearance in Google Maps street view and the Womb installation are noteworthy points in Flaming Lips history as well.

  2. They just tied Jay-Z’s record! They have less than three and a half hours to get from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. Very intense because Wayne is so lackadaisical with time.

  3. ewww a cover album?! Weird Stunt!

  4. I suppose that’s a question of semantics. It’s definitely an odd choice!

  5. Sorry but I’m refusing to page through to add to your hit count. Love your site though. I have been following The Lips close enough to have my own list. Still, one wonders if this stuff comes easily for them or if it’s a case of try-hard. Let’s hope the music doesn’t suffer as a result – any reports if these marathon concerts are up to par?

    • The first and last concerts were the whole bloody affair, no punches pulled Flaming Lips shows. Each show in between was a 15-20 minute mini concert with legit and diverse openers (Gary Clark Jr., Neon Indian, Grace Potter, Big Freedia, MNDR, and Givers to name a few) and then collaboration artists for the Flaming Lips segments (some crossing-over with Grace Potter and Alan Palomo, but including bigger names such as Jackson Browne and Roger Daltry (and lesser known acts like Phantogram, New Fumes, Linear Downfall, and HOTT MT)).

      It was probably the coolest online stream I’ve ever seen as the whole tour was documented from the tour bus to the stage and concurrently running with the Online Music Awards. Between shows included tomfoolery from Wayne, Chris Pontius, Alan Palomo, Grace Potter, and a few tv personalities running parallel with segments/commentary from comedians (Jim Florentine, the Sklar Brothers, and Mike Catherwood/Lauren Bell Bundy) at their last stop in New Orleans. There was also an interesting third camera that was set on the production crew the whole time that was a great look at the stress, worries, and less celebrated work of the people who make sure everything flows.

      It was a wild ride with a few glitches here and there (there was one obnoxious host on tour, Shira Lazar, whose portion of the tour I had to turn off momentarily, and there were some live stream mixing problems that weren’t any worst than those heard in the Bonnaroo or Coachella live streams) that definitely earned the record. Also, there were some awesome crazy fans whom chartered a tour bus to go with the Flaming Lips to every stop, and a few of them got to ride and chill with Coyne and crew from Baton Rogue to New Orleans. The OMA’s made sure to include twitter fan questions for Wayne, Pontius, and other people on the tour bus (which included fessing up to the Erykah Badu debacle) and a question panel with journalists from the Rolling Stone, Spin, and a few other publications.

      I wish that the whole event was promoted more by blogs ahead of time as I just kind of accidentally stumbled across it 1/4 (missed the first two cities but there was a recap and videos of the performances) in and was mostly hooked until the end (thank you Sklar Brothers). There are a bunch of videos at which give you the gist of what went down in and between each city (focusing more on the performances than the awards, segments, or hijinks).

  6. The Yoshimi musical is a great idea. Whenever I listen to the album I just can’t help but think it needs to be supplemented by jazz hands and wooden dialogue.

  7. Rumor has it that Wayne recently released a solo song thats negative 12 hours long and plays on a frequency that can only be heard by dogs.

    Unfortunately, the only copy of it is on a flash drive encased in Wayne Coynes frontal lobe.

  8. Perhaps a more fitting list about the Flaming Lips would be Least Weird Things The Flaming Lips Have Ever Done, so this time it wouldn’t just be a list of all the major strides The Flaming Lips have taken.

  9. How was Yoshimi their first commercial hit? “She Don’t Use Jelly” was enough of a hit on MTV and rock radio that the Flaming Lips played on 90210. You even reference that fact for your number one.

  10. I went to a headphone concert and sadly you didn’t get to keep the headphones. Was a pretty cool experience though.

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