Flaming Lips have been rolling out quite a bit of new music this year — not in the conventional fashion, of course, but it’s hardly been a conventional band during its 28 years.
So far the Oklahoma art rock troupe has released a limited edition EP, hand-delivered to record stores by its members; a song called “Two Blobs F***ing” that came out in 12 separate parts on YouTube designed to be played together; and a four-song USB drive encased in a life-sized skull made from seven pounds of Gummy-style candy gelatin. And more is coming, including old-fashioned flexi-discs that will be packaged on cereal boxes.
“Everybody’s in the same quagmire now: How do you release music? What would be interesting?” says Lips frontman Wayne Coyne. “I’d just like to release music all the time and just put it out in all kinds of weird formats and not just collect it until we’re ready to put out (an album) every two years or so.
“We’re not making our music less available. We want people to have it. And we know that if we put it on iTunes, virtually at the same moment someone will post it and it becomes out there and available virtually for free. But we still want it to be heard.”
Also on the horizon for the Lips is a theatrical adaptation of its 2002 album “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” with director Des McAnuff (“The Who’s Tommy,” “Jersey Boys”). The show, which will also incorporate songs from “The Soft Bulletin” and 2006’s “At War with the Mystics,” is “in the early stages of production” Coyne says, and should be workshopping soon.
“It’s a big deal,” Coyne says. “It’s hokey and wonderful and poignant and powerful. It’s really become a perfect combination of my fantastical robot-world vision and (McAnuff’s) little, internal, humanistic version of what that music is. I really believe it could work — and luckily I don’t have to do much!”
Flaming Lips perform Friday, May 13, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $49.50 and $35. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.