The Flaming Lips formed in Oklahoma City in 1983, recording a series of EPs and LPs for an independent record company. After a few lineup changes the band landed a contract with a major label, after the rep saw them perform at a show where they almost burned down the venue. Riding a wave of interest in alt rock in the early 90s, the band brought along an interesting mix of psych, noise-rock, and bubblegum melodies.
The band’s second major label release Transmissions from the Satellite Heart delivered an unexpected top 40 hit with She Don’t Use Jelly. The Flaming Lips benefited from the songs’ use on the Beavis and Butthead Show, earning spots on several late night shows and beginning a years long touring schedule. While the Lips released many more critically acclaimed albums and won three Grammys, they have not yet had a song that charted as highly as She Don’t Use Jelly.
The Flaming Lips chose to embrace the socially-distant era, extending frontman Wayne Coyne’s famous performance orb to an entire Oklahoma City venue for a two-night run. Originally planned for December 2020, the two shows finally occurred in January, and featured fans encased in their own bubbles with up to three people to a bubble.
Fortunately, the band won’t need to employ the same technique on their just announced 2021 / 2022 tour which will include a stop in Washington, DC in November.
The bands’ four decade career has now generated more than twenty albums and won them three Grammys. Last years’ American Head is the latest, a release that explores their roots as an American band and features collaborations with Kacey Musgraves.