Shantel Mitchell for NPR
Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips performing live at Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn.
This time last year, The Flaming Lips rang in 2010 in epic fashion by covering Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. The band then did an encore performance of the album during its memorable set at this past summer's Bonnaroo. For New Year's Eve this year, the Lips plan to run through their seminal 1999 classic The Soft Bulletin for a home crowd in Oklahoma City. For most other groups, that would be enough to warrant a break to relax and recharge the batteries. But the exuberant psychedelic rock band has even bigger plans in 2011.
As Rolling Stone reported this morning, The Flaming Lips will jump right back into recording new material with longtime producer Dave Fridmann, as soon as January. But instead of a traditional album, singer Wayne Coyne says the band will release songs every month of the year, as soon as each is completed, while filming the creative process.
A lot of artists have looked for ways to get music to their fans much faster. But for The Flaming Lips, it sounds like the band wants more creative immediacy than a typical album release cycle might allow. These videos will likely be cobbled together to make a larger film. As for distribution, Coyne hints that the music could take the form of vinyl, or even little toys.
For a band always looking to adapt musically, The Flaming Lips' members have once again found promising ways to engage their fans and put their own spin on it. Should be something fun to look forward to in the new year.