Flaming Lips

Wiz Khalifa, Bassnectar, Flaming Lips Headline Scottsdale’s True Music Fesitval

Wiz Khalifa, Bassnectar, Flaming Lips Headline Scottsdale’s True Music Fesitval

Shiny new music festival, the so-called “True Music Festival” has just announced its first round of performers, and it’s an eclectic mix.

The one-day festival, on December 14, is set to take place in Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields at Talking Stick this December for the first time ever and Bassnectar, The Flaming Lips and Wiz Khalifa are among its headliners.

On the press release for the event, festival founder Jarid Dietrich had this to stay about the whole thing:

“We are incredibly excited to bring this level of talent to Arizona. This first round of artists should give people a glimpse at the direction we are headed and the unique experience we want to bring to the state.”

More artists are expected to be announced in the coming weeks and as well as, obviously, music. The festival is also set to include what said press release describes as “a wide array of vendors, art installations, roving performers and more.” No, I don’t know what a “roving performer” is either, but I bet it’s good.

The whole thing looks to be very significant for Arizona, and more specifically, Scottsdale with it taking place in a fancy new complex. Here is what they say about its location:

“Centrally located between Phoenix and neighboring Arizona State University, the venue is a part of a new 140-acre state-of-the-art complex, which serves as the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. Uniquely positioned on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, it is one of the most desirable geographic regions of the entire metropolitan Phoenix area.”

See? Pretty cool huh?

Anyway, the festival is expected to offer a platform for smaller artists too, and if this line-up is anything to go by, True Music Festival is looking like one of the more varied and egalitarian festivals around.

Flaming Lips Team with Tame Impala for Handful of Dates

Flaming Lips Team with Tame Impala for Handful of Dates

Psychedelic noise makers The Flaming Lips are set to co-headline a short string of dates with Australian rockers Tame Impala across the East coast, and then in California this fall, including a Halloween special, the ominously titled Blood Bath, in San Francisco on October 31st.

The announcement follows The Lips’ plans to extend their US tour with a handful of West Coast dates, and both bands will be accompanied by blues rockers White Denim.

All three bands will also play shows in Los Angeles at the Greek and then again at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

The Flaming Lips are no stranger to shared tours, having played a few dates with The Black Keys earlier this year, and Tame Impala are currently on a world tour with a few Flaming Lips meet-ups, as well as shows with The National.

The pair ought to make a lovely couple – with The Flaming Lips having been perfecting their experimental sounds since ’83, and Tame Impala maturing into more than Beatles-wannabes over the last few years.

The Flaming Lips are famous for their excessive live shows featuring balloons, puppets, elaborate lighting and confetti so the question is: Will Tame Impala be able to handle all the crazy?

Probably. Because Tame Impala identify their music as “psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music”. No really, here is the first section on their website’s “About” page:

“Tame Impala is the movement in Orion’s nebula and the slime from a snail journeying across a footpath. To humans however, Tame Impala is more of a ‘music ensemble’, but its various other forms should not be disregarded (colour that humans can see is only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum, the rest is just as important to other things!)”

HAHAHAHA. I think this may the start of a beautiful relationship.

Flaming Lips, Drive-By Truckers Part of Bud Light’s 50 Concerts in 50 States Series on August 1

Flaming Lips, Drive-By Truckers Part of Bud Light’s 50 Concerts in 50 States Series on August 1

Bud Light is bringing live music to the entire country on August 1 with its new 50/50/1 event.

What does that mean, exactly? The beer company has teamed up with Live Nation, Universal Music Group and Myspace to present 50 concerts in all 50 states on the first day of August this year. Bands participating in the event include Flaming Lips, Drive-By Truckers, the Gaslight Anthem, the Hold Steady, Mastodon, Best Coast, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Wavves, among many others. Well, 42 others, to be exact.

All of this is to help promote Bud Light’s new Music First mobile app, which will be used to give away more than 500,000 prizes this summer. Among them, of course, are tickets to 50/50/1 events. Other prizes include Universal Music Group downloads and Live Nation concert cash.

The event is obviously a marketing ploy from a company famous for its marketing, something Budweiser VP of marketing Paul Chibe in no way denies.

“Doing a bunch of little things doesn’t add up,” Chibe said in an interview with Billboard. “What you want to do is have the opportunity to do something that can reach a large audience and in a global way and be something that we can scale across the country. This is a perfect example of something that we can do and bring this kind of experience to our drinker.”

But marketing campaign or not, the company is presenting some great bands during the event. It should be pointed out that all events are 21-and-up.

Not all the acts for the events have been announced yet, but you can keep up-to-date on, you guessed it, the Music First App. Additionally, it would appear that there may be even more than 50 events, as multiple cities currently are listed in both California and Texas.


Stream New Albums From Flaming Lips, Iron & Wine

Stream New Albums From Flaming Lips, Iron & Wine

A week from tomorrow (April 16) is one of the biggest album release days so far this year. The following is just a partial list of the big names putting out albums that day: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Willie Nelson, Fall Out Boy, Ghostface Killah, the Meat Puppets, Steve Earle, the Flaming Lips and Iron and Wine.

Fortunately for those that can’t quite wait that long for these albums, the latter two artists have made their upcoming records available for streaming.

Iron and Wine’s fifth studio album, Ghost on Ghost, is available for streaming as part of NPR’s great “First Listen” series. Frontman and only constant member Sam Beam said in a press release that the songs on this album move away from the “anxious tension” present on his last two releases: “This record felt like a reward to myself after the way I went about making the last few.”

As a big fan of his early, more intimate acoustic work, I never thought Beam had found away to make his Southern poetry songs work with more fleshed out instrumentation until Kiss Each Other Clean came along. This new one finds Beam heading an 11-piece group – I hope he continues his last album’s fine tradition.

The Flaming Lips new album The Terror also is up at the “First Listen” section of NPR’s website (told you the series is pretty great). It’s hard to believe that this year marks Wayne Coyne & Co.’s 30th year as a band, and this new album is the group’s 13th studio record.

With an extremely unpredictable discography, this may be the first album from the band that has been described as “terrifying,” though Coyne himself has labeled it “disturbing.” That said, NPR says the album “still finds a way to reward deeper exploration, as cracked loveliness seeps into moments that soar tentatively.”

SXSW Review: Flaming Lips, Divine Fits, Jim James @ Auditorium Shores

SXSW Review: Flaming Lips, Divine Fits, Jim James @ Auditorium Shores

On Friday, we headed over to Auditorium Shores, a beautiful, spacious outdoor venue, to catch three much buzzed about SXSW acts: The Divine Fits, Jim James, and the Flaming Lips. This open air venue was chosen to provide a free opportunity for local Austinites who didn’t shell out hundreds of dollars for wristbands & badges to see a few of the festival’s high-profile acts. The gracious open air setting provided a much welcome reprieve from the sweaty, smoky, and mostly miniscule venues that dot the streets of Downtown Austin. On the short walk across the Colorado River and along the shore to the entrance we witnessed pups chasing their tennis balls into the water, lots of kayakers, and even a few paddle boarders paddling to the beats from the passing party barge. It was a great reminder that the city of Austin is much more to offer than simply SXSW.

First on the afternoon bill was the much buzzed about Divine Fits. Comprised of Austinite Britt Daniel of Spoon, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade, Sam Brown, and Alex Fischel, the band played no less than eight sets by the time they hit the stage at Auditorium Shores. The Divine Fits are still a young entity, having played their first gig a mere nine months ago in Austin.

Britt Daniel commented that it was really great to finally be playing for people from Austin after schmoozing with industry people all week. Their set was mostly comprised of tracks from their first full length album A Thing Called the Divine Fits, including a cover of Nick Cave’s “Shiver.” Daniel & Boeckner toggled vocal responsibilities back and forth throughout the set. Obviously, for the Spoon and Wolf Parade fans in the audience, it was hard to not recall certain songs when Daniel’s voice would hit a certain inflection, or when Boeckner would make a particular hook. I can’t say the Divine Fits are superior to either band, but the collaborative cohesion does generate a new, curiously interesting sound.

A quick set change gave way to the peculiar sounds of Jim James, front man for My Morning Jacket. Dressed quite formally in a black suit, white shirt, and necktie he was ready to launch into the jams or start preaching to the masses, all depending on his mood. He dove into tunes drawn from his latest solo release Regions of Light and Sounds of God. Opening with “State of the Art (A-E-I-O-U),” he played eight more tracks. Much like he does with MMJ, James stretched songs out with long jams whether it be letting the music inspire him into interpretive dances or pulling out the brass to solo on the saxophone.

James’ solo material isn’t a radical departure from his My Morning Jacket sound. It is a bit more striped down in places and doesn’t rely on the trippy psychedelic distortions as much. He served up a solid set which was his third performance of the week at SXSW.

The Divine Fits and Jim James were worthy openers, but it was clear that the fabled live show of the Flaming Lips was the performance everyone had flocked in to see. The sparse audience for much of the afternoon swelled to 10,000 as the 8 o’clock hour arrived. The Lips were their usual eccentric selves, cluttering the stage with mirror ball orbs and extraterrestrial lighting to make the photographers cringe. Those coming to see blinding confetti, college girls in extra skimpy outfits and Wayne Coyle in the hamster ball had to be a bit disappointed.

Much like many artists playing SXSW, the Flaming Lips were trying out tracks from their upcoming album The Terror that is due out April 16. The new songs are patented Lips in their trippy and bizarre formula. Just add your favorite drug of choice and let the mystical blindness take you away. They didn’t just lean on the new material, as they pulled a few hits off of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots towards the end of the set. The clever Coyne even played off the rampant Justin Timberlake rumors, saying he was backstage. What actually appeared was Jim James. Probably not the face the ladies and their burning loins were hoping to see.

Overall, the Auditorium Shores was just what SXSW needed. The week is filled with insider events and venues largely blocked off to the industry elites. Music is first and foremost about the fans and that is the biggest thing SXSW has forgotten over the years. The Auditorium Shores is a small way to give back some of that great music that has made this industry what it is. If you keep neglecting the fans, there will be no reason for anyone to come to Austin each year.

Black Keys, Flaming Lips, Avett Brothers Headline Louisville’s Forecastle Festival

Black Keys, Flaming Lips, Avett Brothers Headline Louisville’s Forecastle Festival

The Black Keys, Flaming Lips and Avett Brothers will headline the 11th Annual Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky this year.

This festival, which highlights music, arts and activism, will take place July 12-14 this year. Other notable performers include Animal Collective, Big Boi, Alabama Shakes, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Bob Mould, Killer Mike, Matt & Kim, Tift Merritt, String Cheese Incident and Kentucky native Jim James of My Morning Jacket.

The festival will be held at Waterfront Park in Louisville, with late night shows taking place on the Belle of Louisville steamboat, as well as venues around downtown Louisville. The String Cheese Incident will play at the Palace Theater (July 13), but tickets must be purchased in addition to the regular festival price.

Depending on when you buy, three-day passes for the event will cost between $125 and $180, with the latter being the full price for general admission, and also will be the price at the gate if tickets are still available. Additionally, a VIP pass is available for $475, which includes special entrances and viewing areas as well as an air conditioned lounge, exclusive bar and bathrooms and a poster.

The festival will once again welcome the Bourbon Lounge, which celebrates Kentucky’s great bourbon legacy – the official site reports that 95 percent of all the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky. The Bourbon Lounge will be expanded this year, with further details to come.

In addition to the notable music headliners, the event’s website notes that, “Forecastle has consistently promoted local artists as well as focusing on environmental activism and outdoor recreation. Past Forecastles have featured prominent organizations, industry leaders, and distinguished speakers, such as Christopher Sands and Robert Kennedy Jr.”

Beale Street Festival 2013 Rumors: Black Keys, Flaming Lips, Sheryl Crow

Beale Street Festival 2013 Rumors: Black Keys, Flaming Lips, Sheryl Crow

Updated February 28 10:34am – The projected line-up was dead on. Add to the mix Gavin DeGraw, AWOLNation, Three Days Grace and you’ve got the complete picture.

The Beale Street Music Festival has been held in Memphis for nearly 40 years. And for just as long, fans have speculated on the lineup before official announcements are made, and this year is no different, though we have a little more to go on than in years past because of the festival’s social media presence.

Last year, the festival’s Facebook page began “liking” the performers that would appear at the event in advance of the announcement of the official lineup. And the same thing has happened this year, and assuming this is an indication of the lineup it should be very strong, and will include Black Keys, Flaming Lips and Sheryl Crow.

Here’s the full list of artists that have been “liked” so far: Phoenix, The Black Crowes, Bassnectar, ZZ Top, Alice in Chains, Mavis Staples, Smashing Pumpkins, Patti Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis, Public Enemy, Hall & Oates, The Wallflowers, Deftones, Cracker, Papa Roach, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Gary Clark, Jr., Dwight Yoakam, Lucero, Charles Bradley, The Joy Formidable, Deer Tick, Vintage Trouble and Yngwie Malmsteen.

What we do know for sure is that this year will celebrate the 37th anniversary of the event, and will be held May 3-5 at Tom Lee Park in Memphis.

Of course, organizers of the event won’t confirm that the “Likes” on Facebook represent the lineup, but that could be because they are not allowed to do so by contractual agreement.

“We have a great social media presence. We manage three pages for Memphis in May and have well over 100,000 fans from all over,” said Memphis in May executive vice president Diane Hampton when asked about the Facebook acts by The Commercial Appeal. “It’s a very active page and we like a lot of music. Other than that, I really don’t have any specific comment.”

Hampton does say that she thinks the speculation is a positive thing.

“Speculating about a lineup is part of the new social craze for festival fans,” she continued. “Looking at who’s playing where and when and surmising they’re coming to this festival or that festival… that’s all part of the social interaction. I think it’s good for us, good for festivals in general.”

Memphis in May is a month-long festival that also includes a barbeque contest, classical music night and an international week in the city in addition to the rock music festival.

Elton John, Flaming Lips, Belle & Sebastain Featured at Isle of Wight’s Bestival

Elton John, Flaming Lips, Belle & Sebastain Featured at Isle of Wight’s Bestival

Elton John, Flaming Lips, Snoop Dogg and Belle and Sebastian will headline the 2013 incarnation of the Bestival music festival held annual on the Isle of Wight.

Not to be confused with the Isle of Wight Festival, Bestival will be held September 5-8 this year, and will mark the 10th anniversary of the event.

Other acts performing this year include The Knife, The Roots, M.I.A., Franz Ferdinand, Sinead O’Connor, Johnny Marr and The Walkmen. Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Band and DJ wise we’ve cast our net far and wide… as ever Bestival 2013 will be a magical mix of the old and the new, the vintage and classic rubbing shoulders with the ultra modern and left field,” said presenter Rob da Bank in a statement. “From one of the biggest selling artists of all time and certainly the best at fancy dress, Elton John, through the party blazing hip-hop of Snoop Dogg through the amazing rare shows from the likes of The Knife… this will be our best Bestival yet.”

Elton John even got a statement together for the announcement.

“I haven’t played any of the major festivals in the UK in recent years, so when the opportunity to play Bestival came up I was very interested,” John said. “I’ve heard that the Bestival audience comes in fancy dress and I can’t wait to see that, they must all look amazing from stage. At various times I have worn enormous feathered head-dresses, cloaks, hot pants, jumpsuits, clown suits, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, French Maid, The Eiffel Tower and The Statue of Liberty onstage! Wearing fancy dress makes us all feel less inhibited so I think it’s a great way to enjoy live music.”

As you can tell from the statement, much of the audience arrives at the festival in various degrees of “fancy dress.”

Bottle Rock Festival Premieres with Black Keys, Flaming Lips, The Shins

Bottle Rock Festival Premieres with Black Keys, Flaming Lips, The Shins

The first ever Bottle Rock Music and Arts Festival will feature Black Keys, Flaming Lips and the Shins, among many others.

The festival will be held May 9-12 in Napa Valley, California and will focus on food, wine, comedy and beer as well as “over 40 of today’s most relevant bands,” as the event’s website puts it. Other notable acts performing at the festival include Alabama Shakes, Jane’s Addiction, the Wallflowers, Black Crowes, Primus, Bad Religion, Blues Traveler, Donavon Frankenreiter, Allen Stone, Ben Harper, Mavis Staples, Cake and Rodrigo y Gabriella.

In addition to these bands, it is reported that the festival will feature a full comedy lineup. Food and beverage options will come from more than 100 venders, 300 wineries and a local brewery.

The event will take place at the Napa Valley Expo, and will occupy the majority of the property at the site. The Expo is located “in the heart of downtown Napa,” and features “four buildings, many equipped with commercial kitchens, plus plenty of outdoor exhibit space all in the heart of Wine Country!”

The official website for the Bottle Rock Festival states that tickets will be available February 3, but has not other information about them. The Napa Valley Register reports that the music acts will perform on three separate stages around Napa Valley, including the Uptown Theatre. The paper also states the festival will be presented by two natives of Napa Valley, Bob Vogt and Gabriel Meyers.

The festival joins other music events in the area, most centered around wine and food as well. Festival del Sole and Music celebrates classical music, and there’s also the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. The largest festival in the area is the Robert Mondavi Summer Music Festival, which celebrated its 43rd consecutive festival last year with headliners O.A.R., Plain White T’s and Natasha Bedingfield.


The Black Keys, Flaming Lips Team Up on a Handful of Tour Dates

The Black Keys, Flaming Lips Team Up on a Handful of Tour Dates

The Black Keys and the Flaming Lips will team up for a handful of shows this spring.

The first of four scheduled shows to feature both bands will take place on April 28 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and will be followed by a concert at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh on April 30. The two groups will then travel to Atlanta for a show at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood on May 2 and finally to Nashville for a Bridgestone Arena show on May 3.

The Black Keys will headline all four shows, and there’s no word yet on whether the groups plan to schedule any more shows together.

The new shows are the only U.S. shows currently scheduled for the Black Keys, though the duo does have a few South American shows scheduled for March and April. They will play the Jockey Club in San Paulo, Brazil (Lollapalooza Brazil) on March 30, the Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo in Montevideo, Uraguay on April 2, the Quilmes Festival in Buenos Aires on April 3 and finally will stop at the Lollapalooza Chile Festival on April 7.

The Flaming Lips also will appear at Lollapalooza Brazil, and following their stops with the Black Keys will head to Europe for a few dates, including two nights at the Roundhouse in London on May 20-21, and then appearances at the Hultsfred Festival in Hultsfred, Sweden (May 14) and the Northside Festival in Aarhus, Denmark (May 15).

The Oklahoma band will release their 15th studio album, The Terror, sometime this year. Steven Drozd, multi-instrumentalist for the band recently described his feelings on the album to the Monterey County Weekly

“Usually we finish a record and think we should’ve done something different,” Drozd said. “This is the first record in a long time where I can’t think of anything I’d want to change about it.”

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