Flaming Lips, Lighting Bolt Meander in Space

[caption id="attachment_8454" align="alignnone" width="630" caption="Wayne Coyne performs with the Flaming Lips, July 2011. Photo: Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage"][/caption]

The Flaming Lips have been going collabo-crazy this year, with Wayne Coyne approaching seemingly everyone about working together in one capacity or another, including: Deerhoof, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Weezer, Panda Bear, Neon Indian, Philip Glass, James Murphy, Prefuse 73, MGMT, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Nick Cave, Peaches, Lykke Li, Ke$ha and Jimmy Page. Many of these overtures have resulted (as is typical with the Lips) in some fascinating-in-theory live collaborations. And some have ended with real, holdable, recorded material -- all not very interesting.

The Lips' newest studio collaboration involves noise-rock band Lightning Bolt, who they released a 12" and video with this week. The four songs -- "I'm Working at NASA on Acid," "I Want to Get High But Don't Want Brain Damage," "NASA's Final Acid Bath," and "I Want to Get Damaged But I Won't Say Hi" -- are part of a mini-concept involving drugs and space. But the most striking thing about the songs is how little affect they have on the listener -- for all the druggy traversing going on, there's not a frown or a smirk to be had, just roughly a half-hour's worth of zoning out between you and the record's close.

The Flaming Lips and Lightning Bolt have been at it for a long time -- going by recorded output, roughly 25 years in the Lips' case, and 12 years for Lightning Bolt. Both have come to define in large part their respective genres -- the art of being far-out, and a punk-noise assault from concentrate. But maybe there's a reason these new tunes live on vinyl. [Stream via Consequence of Sound.]