Lately, the Flaming Lips have entered a strange career phase: They announce some outlandish, ridiculous plan, like releasing songs via gummy skull, and then they actually see that idea through to completion. But one of those projects, it seems, is just a bit out of reach for them. The band, who collaborated with trash-pop queen Ke$ha on 2012’s The Flaming Lips And Heady Fwends, announced this April via a Reddit AMA plans for a full collaborative album called Lip$ha. Lips frontman Wayne Coyne later confirmed it in a Stereogum interview and just last month told Rolling Stone it was still a go:
The singer also is still pursuing a collaborative project with pop-star friend and Heady Fwends partner Ke$ha. “We’re going to do it,” Coyne declares of a Lips-Ke$ha album tentatively titled Lip$ha. “I don’t know how exactly and when exactly,” he says,” but yah, I know for sure that we are continuing to make music and I know for sure from her end and our side of it, we are going to put it out.” The singer admits he’s not sure yet whether the album will be a joint-release or come out as a Lips-fronted project, “‘It’s really just a matter of what we can call it contractually,” he says. “I just make music with her because I think she’s cool. The rest we’ll have to let [the record label] sort out.”
But now that album won’t be happening, and nobody is willing to say why.
Coyne broke the news on Twitter today, writing, “As of now… sadly there will be no Lip$ha… I can’t say why… It is sad…” And while you might be tempted to offer some simple explanations for the cancellation (like, say, someone got bored, or people came to their senses), it might have more to do with Ke$ha’s record label and collaborators refusing to give her any opportunity to do the things she wants to do.
In another recent Rolling Stone interview, writer Kory Grow asked Ke$ha whether she had any creative control, and here’s what she said:
Not really. What’s been put out as singles have just perpetuated a particular image that may or may not be entirely accurate. I’d like to show the world other sides of my personality. I don’t want to just continue putting out the same song and becoming a parody myself. I have so much more to offer than that and I can’t wait till the world really gets to hear that on the radio.
So yeah, free Ke$ha.