Wayne Coyne had a weird year, didn't he? He turned into kind of a creep? He wrote some music with Ke$ha (who deserves better), directed a NSFW video featuring Amanda Palmer in a bathtub, directed another NSFW video featuring Amanda Palmer having sex with porn star Stoya, brought a grenade to the airport, and got into a fucking strange and gross fight with Erykah Badu. Badu had contributed a vocal for "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" to the Flaming Lips' Heady Fwends LP, for which Coyne subsequently helmed a video. As Tom said when the action went down:
"The video, which was truly weird and pretty uncomfortable to watch, has since been taken down, but it featured Erykah's sister Nayrok -- who looks a whole lot like Erykah -- rolling around very naked in glitter and blood and white goo."
Neither Badu sister was happy with the video (which the Lips later claimed was "unofficial and unapproved"), leading to a vitriolic Twitlonger post from Erykah, which included lines like:
As a human I am disgusted with your what appears to be desperation and poor execution. And disregard for others. As a director I am unimpressed. As a sociologist I understand your type. As your fellow artist I am uninspired. As a woman I feel violated and underestimated.
Hope it works out for ya, Wayne.
Really i could give a shit less.
O, And on behalf of all the artists u have manipulated or plan to manipulate, find another way.
These things have been said out of necessity.
And if you don't like it
you can KiSS MY Glittery ASS.
O and Nayrok told me to tell u to kiss her ass too.
Coyne responded to this not with contrition, but sarcasm. He tweeted:
"Hey @fatbellybella I kissed it!!!! Thanks!!!!!!" (That came with a photo, of Coyne with glitter on his lips.) He continued: "Yessss!!! Nice ass!!!!," "Dang!!!!! @fatbellybella you really know how to do it!!!! You hatin on me has gotten the video 100,000 more views !!!LOVE LOVE LOVE," "You were right on! @fatbellybella you said we gonna make a video that is controversial and gets everybody talkin!You the master!! Love you." He then retweeted people supporting him in the argument and calling him a genius.
Badu followed up with:
"again, you're welcomed. You Enjoy it. People need to see the greed up close. AAAAnd you DO NOT have the ass of 26 year old." She then tweeted to Coyne's wife: "hi was wondering when u were gonna sober up and say somethin.your husbands an ass and u know it-tell the truth.Do not lie."
Argue all you like about the quality of music produced in 2012, but no one can deny the truly outstanding beefs to which we bore witness in The Year That Was. Social media has made those dust-ups easier and more immediate, of course; 40 percent of our 10 Biggest Band Beefs Of 2012 started or built steam on Twitter and/or Facebook. (That percentage would be at an even half if either blogs or online poker-discussion forums were considered “social media.”) The other half started either in traditional media or in real life — as it happens, both IRL confrontations included on this list ended in physical violence.
It was that kinda year: A lot of people talking a lot of smack on Twitter; a small handful showing up at the club with a knife or an agenda. Perhaps most interestingly, though, the beefs that claimed our Nos. 1, 2, and 3 spots centered not on petty personal melodramas, but industry-based outrage. These were vocal and heated disagreements whose roots lay in a fundamental philosophical divide over new technology. Laugh all you like about the words and actions of parties on either or both sides — heck, I laughed plenty myself; it’s the best medicine! — but the questions at the cores of those feuds are Big Ones: What are the responsibilities of the artist, the industry, the audience? None of these beefs led to bloodshed, but the revolution’s most explosive moments are likely in its future.
But we’re not here to speculate — we’re here to look back on a year of sweet beefery. So let’s get started. The Countdown kicks off here.