Flaming Lip Service

The Flaming Lips: The Fearless Freaks – I have a few Flaming Lips albums, but I don’t really know a whole lot about their history. I actually can’t remember how this 2005 documentary ended up on our Netflix queue, but I got around to watching it last night. As far as my own history with the band, I do remember hearing “She Don’t Use Jelly” on the radio when I was in high school, but I mostly just thought it was bizarre. I gained more of an interest when I became aware of their 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, which I loved. I’m not sure why I never got around to checking out their earlier work, and for that matter their later work after At War with the Mystics. The documentary isn’t totally linear, but it chronicles the band’s history from their beginnings as a local punk band in Oklahoma, and through their experimentation with different sounds throughout the years. There are appearances from several celebrities, and a lot of interaction with Wayne Coyne and Steve Drozd’s relatives. The title comes from a backyard football team that Wayne formed with his family. Steve’s history of playing with his father’s polka band is mentioned, and his heroin addiction provides the requisite conflict for a film about a rock band. Also featured are the experiments Wayne did with multiple cars playing tapes in a parking lot that led to the album Zaireeka; and some footage of him making his low-budget film about a disgruntled Santa Claus on Mars, which was apparently finally released in 2008.

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