the Flaming Lips by Mark Bufano

The Flaming Lips website plays in the band?
Wayne Coyne (middle of picture)  (born in the early
sixties in some hospital)Guitar/vocals, design
Michael Ivins (right of picture) : Born in Omaha,
1963, Bass guitar, sound engineer
Steven G Drowdz (left of picture) : Born 1969,
describe the music to someone who has never heard
of it
Sci-fi artistic rock n roll with dressed up
 animals on stage

Hear It Is (1986)
Oh My Gawd!!! (1987)
Telepathic Surgery (1989)
In a Priest Driven Ambulance (1990)
Hit to Death in the Future Head (1992)
Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (1993)
Clouds Taste Metallic (1995)
Zaireeka (1997)
The Soft Bulletin (1999)
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
At War with the Mystics (2006)
Embryonic (2009)

Favourite books and films :
Bjork, Aphex Twins, oldies, Cool Hand Luke, Life in the Emergency Room (TV docu), Bee Gees Spacemen3 (= now Spiritualized, ed), Stereolab, Motown, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Futurama, X-files, Star Wars, Star Trek, Mogwai, Air, Talk Talk, Taxi Driver OST, Beatles “Revolver”, David Bowie “Low”, Withnail and I, Bladerunner, Kingpin and many many many more
Interests: gadgets, cats, listening to music, sushi, pubs,
pictures "borrowed" from the Website, others are by radioeuropa

DKav writes:

The Flaming Lips last album “Yoshimi Battles the pink robots” impressed me much when I heard it, so it was about time to visualise the band and hopefully go completely over the top in our reporting, and yet keeping our facts correct. Tickets for the small venue in Vienna were sold quite quickly, so it looked very much to me like I would have to write some article about tour buses or sound engineers but by strange coincidence, I met Mark at the Flex bar and when I heard that he had been following their tour, and realised that we got along on style so well, I asked him if he could write about the band for us, after all a fan who is a writer must get some kind of challenge. I bet you’ll enjoy this dear reader as much as I do. (radioeuropa)

The Flaming Lips
Vienna 01.03.03
Rimini 15.03.03

by m74  (Mark Bufano)

Well this started out as a one show review, but has morphed into two...lucky - and as well as me perhaps - yes I think so.

First, a bit about the
A foreigner in a foreign place, I search for something I Know: The Flaming Lips. The Flex club is situated between a river and a metro station; reached only via a poster strewn passage. As I am early, I take the path to "free entry" which happens to be behind 2 tour buses. Once inside I haggle a bit with the security and have a few moments chat with Wayne Coyne(Lips' frontman) as they soundcheck.

The stage seems impossibly small for the grandier and spectacle that is the Lips' live show. After securing a ticket and some beers I check the opening band, Brendan Benson. They do not necessarily grab me so I sit it out and opt for more alcohol. 45 minutes later I come back into the long, cavernous as fuck, club to find it buzzing. A few fans have gone so far as to fashion their own animal costumes - bravo! Now, I would tell you more but I am saving that for the Rimini, Italy show. But, I will say that the sound at Flex fucking sucked, despite being told, "Flex has the best sound is known throughout Europe" by an Austrian lad. Sorry Flex, but your lo-fi, crackling system just simply put-licks.


Now 2 weeks later I am in Rimini, Italy and have spotted some posters advertising the show around town (not to mention some mind-blowing fashionistas!). I find out the club is 20 minutes outside Rimini, but a bus goes to and fro gratis. Before that: drinking a liter of some not so delicious red wine at my hotel, while practicing my shite italian. On the bus (once again 2 hours prior to the show) I hear some English and inquire. It's a small gang of U.S. students down from Florence and without tickets as well. Club Velvet sits next to a small lake on a desolate road up in some hills. Seeing the familiar buses and roped off area I say 'ciao' to my bus compadres before heading into the restricted area. A few practiced Italiano Phrases.

I get into the club and straight into the bands pre-show din dins. Feeling impressed with myself I carry the vibe over and introduce myself to the Lips forever sunglassed bassist, Michael.

He's very unassuming and chatty: “yeah, I think this show is working out nicely”. The bus homies get in too, so everyone is straight. Apparently, the Lips were supposed to play this exact club 15 years ago, but had some issue at the border and subsequently didn't. The show takes place downstairs in large multi-levelled space. Brendan Benson is playing and this time (as Velvet's sound is impeccable) I find them to be quite good-just good rock plain and simple. Prior to the Lips some huge colored ballons......

.... start bouncing their way above the crowd-then the animals! A chicken, monkey, elephant, zebra, tiger and two pink rabbits flood the stage waving high power flashlights into the crowd - Wayne fitted neatly amongst them in a tan suit. The zebra is Michael, and the pink rabbits are the drummer, and Stephen, the Keyboard player, beats tour de force, as well as lending some high pitched vocalisations. All of this only accentuates the Lips' deep, multi-faceted chaotic symphony of sound.

An opening video alerts the crowd that they are about to witness, "THE GREATEST SHOW OF ALL TIME," as a topless girl wiggles with live symbol crashes...then suddenly-POW!! More ballons, confetti and more sound than we deserve fills the room. During "Battle ON" images of candy-colored spandexed women doing aerobics intertwines with the boxing scene from Cool Hand Luke (Paul Newman at his finest). During "Yoshimi"  Wayne encourages everyone to sing along, with his nun hand puppet; whose projected fish-eye via his mic cam. An Asian school girl cafeteria bloodbath complete with automatic weapons the visual protocol. Wayne pauses, as he is known to do, and explains, "..that this craziness kind of resembles a birthday party..don't you think? it is always someone’s it anyone's tonight?" Two hands shoot up (as mine had only 4 months prior) and the entire club with the Lips sings these two lucky kids happy birthday. White smoke fills the club to be amplified by 4 strobe lights, one of which dangles from Wayne's neck for "lightning strikes the postman." The Italians lost in the haze are reassured with the triumphant and endearing, "All we have is now," and "A spoonful ways a ton." "Waiting for superman" and "She don't use jelly" receive the crowds accented chorus with the actual videos projected on the big screen behind the band. Wayne lets us in on a secret, " know, who knows how long you, me, Stephen or any of us will be around..we have to live each in the present." With that the emotion invoking "Do you realize" urges us all to follow suit. As always their shows end too soon, bet we're granted a 2 song encore.

The Flaming Lips always leave me feeling as if I just walked through Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Oompah Loomphs taking me through gum drop forest and chocolate rivers. The crowd wanders about as I have visions of us all riding on the backs of pink rabbits
with mono-chrome wings, leaving a trail of silver confetti in our wake. All in our path are mesmerized by the convulsion-inducing strobe lights that beam wildly from our eyes. The Flaming Lips continue to inspire me (as they have since I first saw them 4 years ago) and in times like these an uplifting free-for-all is the perfect prescription for worldly ails. The Flaming Lips are unlike any other band (much like Ziggy Sradust and the Spiders from Mars in their time) lying on the outskirts of their peers. Utilizing their colorful, trans-dimensional extacticism to harness all that is truly wonderful.

So if for some god awful reason you don't have at the very least "Yoshimi battles the pink robots" and "The Soft Bulletin," the two latest albums in their career spanning 20 years.....GO OUT and BUY THEM!!
Log off and can brighten and dazzle. Happy listening and thanks to dominique for this opportunity.

It's rather thank you, Mark and bravo to the Flaming Lips!!!

Mark Bufano aka m74, writer from Oregon!
listen to his friend's band called Reuben's Accomplice from Arizona

OKLAHOMA CITY – "Do you Realize?" by the Flaming Lips on Monday was named the state's official rock song. By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau

During the 2008 legislative session, the Legislature approved House Concurrent Resolution 1047 which established a selection process for the song. Oklahomans nominated 454 songs. A panel narrowed that to 10. More than 21,000 voted on line for the official rock song.

The 10 finalists included: "Heartbreak Hotel," co-written by Oklahoma school teacher Mae Boren Axton and recorded by Elvis Presley "Let's Have a Party," recorded by Wanda Jackson
"Walk, Don't Run" recorded by the Ventures
"After Midnight," written and recorded by Oklahoman J.J. Cale and re-released by Eric Clapton

"Never Been to Spain," by Oklahoman Hoyt Axton and made famous by Three Dog Night

"Home Sweet Oklahoma," written and recorded by Leon Russell

"Oklahoma," by the Call

"Move Along," by the All-American Rejects

"Endless Oklahoma Sky," by John Moreland and the Black Gold Band

At War with the Mystics