Watch The Flaming Lips Perform “God and the Policeman” in Plastic Bubbles on “Jimmy Fallon” | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, November 30th, 2021  

Watch The Flaming Lips Perform “God and the Policeman” in Plastic Bubbles on “Jimmy Fallon”

American Head Out Now via Warner

Sep 14, 2020 The Flaming Lips
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The Flaming Lips released a new album, American Head, last Friday via Warner Records (stream it here). On Friday night they did a performance for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon of the album’s “God and the Policeman,” with each band member in their signature giant plastic bubbles. On the album, the song is a duet with Kacey Musgraves, but she’s not featured in the performance. Watch it below.

Read our review American Head.

Longtime collaborator Dave Fridmann co-produced American Head with the band. The album includes “Flowers of Neptune 6,” a new song the band shared in May via a video for the track. The song featured Kacey Musgraves on additional vocals and was #1 on our Songs of the Week list.

When the album was announced in June, the band shared its second single, “My Religion Is You,” via a video for the song. Then they shared another song from the album, “Dinosaurs on the Mountain,” also via a video for the track. Then they shared a fourth song from the album, “You n Me Sellin’ Weed,” also via a video for the track. Then they shared another song from the album, “Will You Return / When You Come Down,” via a video for the track, which was also one of our Songs of the Week. Finally, the band shared one last pre-release single from American Head, “Mother Please Don’t Be Sad,” via a video for the track, which again made our Songs of the Week list. Then on release day they shared a video for “God and the Policeman,” which is a duet with Kacey Musgraves.

In June, The Flaming Lips performed for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, with the entire band in separate plastic bubbles and also their audience, including some kids, in bubbles. And to make it even more timely, they did “Race for the Prize,” a classic from 1999’s The Soft Bulletin about two scientists racing to find a cure.

Frontman Wayne Coyne had this to say about the album in a press release (it’s an excerpt from a longer essay entitled “We’re An American Band”):

“The Flaming Lips are from Oklahoma. We never thought of ourselves as an AMERICAN band. I know growing up (when I was like 6 or 7 years old) in Oklahoma I was never influenced by, or was very aware of any musicians from Oklahoma. We mostly listened to the Beatles and my mother loved Tom Jones (this is in the ’60s)... it wasn’t till I was about 10 or 11 that my older brothers would know a few of the local musician dudes.

“So… for most of our musical life (as The Flaming Lips starting in 1983) we’ve kind of thought of ourselves as coming from ‘Earth’... not really caring WHERE we were actually from. So for the first time in our musical life we began to think of ourselves as ‘AN AMERICAN BAND’… telling ourselves that it would be our identity for our next creative adventure. We had become a 7-piece ensemble and were beginning to feel more and more of a kinship with groups that have a lot of members in them. We started to think of classic American bands like The Grateful Dead and Parliament-Funkadelic and how maybe we could embrace this new vibe.

“The music and songs that make up the American Head album are based in a feeling. A feeling that, I think, can only be expressed through music and songs. We were, while creating it, trying to NOT hear it as sounds… but to feel it. Mother’s sacrifice, Father’s intensity, Brother’s insanity, Sister’s rebellion…I can’t quite put it into words.

“Something switches and others (your brothers and sisters and mother and father…your pets) start to become more important to you…in the beginning there is only you… and your desires are all that you can care about…but… something switches.. I think all of these songs are about this little switch.”

In November 2019 The Flaming Lips released a new live album, The Soft Bulletin Recorded Live at Red Rocks with The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, via Warner Records. As its title suggests, the album featured a live concert of them recording their acclaimed 1999 album in its entirety with The Colorado Symphony Orchestra (and conductor André de Ridder) at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, near Denver, Colorado.

The Flaming Lips also teamed up with Los Angeles garage rock duo Deap Vally to form the collaborative band appropriately named Deap Lips. They released their debut album together, also titled Deap Lips, in March via Cooking Vinyl.

Read our exclusive interview with Wayne Coyne on his all-time favorite album, from our My Favorite Album Issue.

The Flaming Lips released another new album, King’s Mouth: Music and Songs, back in April 2019 for Record Store Day (followed by a wider release in July 2019). King’s Mouth features spoken word vocals by Mick Jones of The Clash.

Read our interview with The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne on King’s Mouth.

Also read our 2017 cover story interview with The Flaming Lips on Oczy Mlody from our 15th Anniversary Issue.

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