Anyone following the shenanigans of the Flaming Lips are aware that the band has been releasing music this year in various unorthodox forms. Said forms include flash drives embedded in gummy skulls and fetuses, found within specially made toys and in the more traditional form of 12 inch records. Each release has ben severely limited, creating a very palpable desperation amongst fans. Toys and records are flipped on ebay for over 4 times their normal price and none of the music is available digitally. The Lips themselves do not even sell the music, in any of the aforementioned forms, on their website. All of these releases are marked as “The Flaming Lips 2011.” It’s been said that all the music may be compiled at the end, but that is still a couple of months away. Recently they have recorded a six hour song and will attempt to record a twenty-four hour song which will be housed in a human skull. Where can a band possibly go from there? I can confidently say that no band has followed the current path that the Lips are on, and that’s something that I find hard to properly digest.
This release strategy has been picked up by indie blogs and a few more mainstream media outlets, but it’s fair to say that by the time this is all over the majority of people will not be aware that it happened. There is something special in that; that this incredible thing was happening while most people weren’t looking. There is also something sad about it for the same reason. Most likely what the Flaming Lips are doing will mean nothing for music or the industry as a whole; just for the mega-fans who wait outside of their indie record store to get a shot at something incredible and unique.