After twelve studio albums, eight EPs, six compilations, and one indie film, the Flaming Lips are officially the reigning psychedelic rock band in America. Originally from Oklahoma, they've been recording and touring since 1983. Playing their sometimes bizarre, sometimes spacey, but often brilliant music in stage shows featuring elaborate costumes, confetti, light shows, puppets, and frontman Wayne Coyne traversing through the audience in a giant plastic bubble. Their live shows are so epically kaleidoscopic that in 2002, Q Magazine named The Flaming Lips one of the 50 Bands To See Before You Die.
Their music is incredibly diverse, unpredictable, and undeniably weird. It ranges from songs with oblique titles and lyrics such as "Pilot Can at the Queer Of God" and "Psychic Exploration Of the Fetus With Needles" to experimental albums such as the instrumental Zaireeka, which is comprised of four CDs meant to be played at the same time. The band had their biggest hit in 1993 with the song "She Don't Use Jelly," but it wasn't until their 1999 album The Soft Bulletin that they musically hit their high point, with some critics comparing the album's lush harmonies to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. The album even landed on Entertainment Weekly's list of 100 New Classics.
Their latest album, Embryonic, will be released in September 2009, featuring MGMT and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O. Exactly what type of music it will contain is anybody's guess.