Is Oklahoma City's Flaming Lips Alley A Fitting Tribute Or An Insult?

Alleyway described by band's hometown newspaper as 'littered with open dumpsters and poorly lit.'

For a band that's been together more than 23 years, the Flaming Lips have received very little in the way of accolades -- aside from Steve Sanders declaring, "I'm not usually a fan of alternative music, but these guys rock the house!" after the Lips played the Peach Pit on "Beverly Hills, 90210."

But earlier this week, news broke that Oklahoma City, the Lips' hometown, was planning to name a downtown street in the band's honor. While fans of the band initially rejoiced, their revelry was short-lived. Upon closer inspection, it turned out the "street" was actually an alleyway, one that a reporter for OKC newspaper The Oklahoman kindly described as "littered with open dumpsters and poorly lit at night."

Depending on how you slice it, the news was either an egregious jab at the band or a perfect tribute to its scruffy legacy. Most of the Lips' fans seem to be leaning to the latter, and so is Oklahoma City's mayor, Mick Cornett.

"I look at it as a fitting way to honor them, and not just all they've accomplished, but how they've done it," Cornett told MTV News. "At first, we were slightly concerned that naming a previously unnamed alleyway after them might not be very appropriate, but we reached out to them with the idea, and their management gave us their blessing."

Cornett was also quick to point out that The Oklahoman's description of the alleyway -- located near the railroad tracks in Bricktown, the city's downtown entertainment district -- was "an exaggeration," adding that the alleyway was "very high-profile and very safe and clean."

"This isn't just some dark alley in the middle of nowhere. Everyone knows where this is. It's a high-traffic area in Bricktown," he said. "But in naming it, we also realize that it's an opportunity to make the alley -- and all areas in Bricktown -- look as good as possible."

A spokesperson for the Flaming Lips told MTV News that the band could not be reached for comment, as they were en route to Europe. But he did say the band was "very excited and very honored" by Cornett's plan.

The Lips aren't the only Oklahoma City musicians Cornett is seeking to honor. Jazz musician Charlie Christian and country superstar Vince Gill are also in the running to have streets named after them (but unlike the Lips, they'll have proper thoroughfares bearing their names). The proposals will go before the Oklahoma City planning commission next week, and, if passed, they will move on to the City Council for final approval. If all goes according to plan, the streets' names would be changed within the next 30 to 60 days.

And just what would the currently unnamed alley be called if Cornett has his way?

"Simple," he said. "We'd call it 'Flaming Lips Alley.' "

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