Tag Archives: Flaming Lips

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Riot Fest Denver, Day 1 – Review/Slideshow

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Wayne Coyne leads the explosion of love and light at Riot Fest Denver, Day One. September 19, 2014 (Photo: Isobel Thieme, DenverThread.com)

Day one is in the books. Riot Fest started off hot, and ended cool on the asphalt outside of Sports Authority Field last night, with The Flaming Lips winning the night. Die Antwoord had a popular set that welcomed the sunset – but it lacked much more than shock value, really. Gogol Bordello threw a frenetic party full of Eastern Bloc gypsy tunes, which had a huge crowd dancing and jumping for about an hour, but Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips stole the night with their usual psychedelic freakout, starting with a brilliant version of The Chemical Brothers’ “The Golden Path” – I mean, has anyone ever heard the Lips do that one live? Confetti explosions, a giant chromed ballon in the shape of the words “Fuck Yeah Riot Fest,” lights and a walk across the audience in a giant balloon. What more could you ask for?

Aside from some frustrating crowd control details (three – THREE – lines one had to stand in to get a beer? Really?), the show went off smoothly, and the place was packed. Check out our slideshow, and get out there tonight for more!

Don’t forget to follow our Live Blog page for up-to-the-minute news!


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Want a RIOT of your own? Riot Fest Wants to help!

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Igy & the Stooges, Riot Fest 2013

Iggy & The Stooges took over the Riot Fest last year, and invited just about everyone onstage with them! (photo: Christopher Andrew & Cobra Productions)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or maybe in North Korea) for the past month or so, you’re well aware that the Riot Fest & Sideshow is coming to Denver in September – and with the traveling festival’s most impressive and exciting lineup yet (see below). Featuring more heavy hitters than ever before – like The Cure, The Flaming Lips, The NationalWeezer, Primus, Slayer, Die Antwoord, Gogol Bordello, and so many more it’s insane – this year’s festival in May Farms promises to be the best yet. And, it’s no wonder that a huge portion of tickets – the first three price tiers – have already sold out, leaving those of us with day jobs scrambling to find every dime in every couch we’ve crashed on to save up enough to get to go.

BUT – never fear! The Riot Fest team have come up with a way to help make the dream of attending this Summer’s most incredible festival and closing out the Summer of 2014 with an unforgettable bang as affordable as possible: A ticket layaway program! You can find the official rules for the new deal here, but simply put, you can buy as many tickets as you want, and pay them off in monthly installments as the Riot Fest gets closer. Buy your tix in June, and you get four installments to pay for ’em, and in july, you get three installments. How easy is that? Now you can have your riot and eat too!

Not only have the Riot Fest organizers, in cooperation with local promoters Soda Jerk Presents, offered up a great weekend in September (and a nifty way to pay for it), but they’ve also arranged some unforgettable acts with the “10 Years. 10 Essential Albums.” lineup, which will feature ten of the bands in the Chicago and Denver lineups playing their most essential albums, each in its entirety, to celebrate the festival’s tenth year in existance. So far Riot Fest has announced nine of them, three of which will happen in Denver:

Jane’s Addiction: Nothing’s Shocking (Chicago)

The Offspring: Smash (Chicago)

Weezer: “The Blue Album” (Chicago & Denver)

Slayer: Reign in Blood (Chicago & Denver)

Samhain: Initium (Chicago)

NOFX: Punk In Drublic (Chicago & Denver)

Descendents: Milo Goes To College (Chicago)

Naked Raygun: Throb Throb (Chicago)

The Get Up Kids: Something To Write Home About (Chicago)

Not too shabby! A chance to witness some of rock’s most influential bands play their masterpieces, line for line, live!

And keep your eyes on DenverThread – here on our site and on Facebook and Twitter, too, as we get closer to the event. We’ll be running stories weekly featuring individual band profiles, history and trivia (so you can talk up your hipster friend’s parents while you’re waiting for the next act), as well as playlists and record recommendations. Hell, we’ll probably throw in a few contests as well!

See you at the Riots this year! Here’s the official lineup (so far):


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Wayne Coyne exudes a constant, and constantly enlightening, positivity. (Photo: Michael McGrath)

The Flaming Lips deliver Pink Floyd like no other – in their soundtrack to a hell of a life

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Wayn Coyne during a Pink Floyd meets Wizard of OZ freakout at Red Rocks, August 3, 2011. (Photo: Michael McGrath)

Wayn Coyne during a Pink Floyd meets Wizard of OZ freakout at Red Rocks, August 3, 2011. (Photo: Michael McGrath)

In January, ’95 or ’96 (who can say for sure?), after a Flaming Lips show that (despite the fact that they’d opened for, of all bands, Candlebox) remains one that shaped my world view, my friend and I approached an open side door, shivering and giggling as we continued to find bits of confetti in our hair, pockets, gloves and (we would find out later) underpants.  Wayne Coyne – the Lips’ visionary front man – was onstage as the roadies cleared out their equipment. On a whim, I called, and he came as if he’d been expecting us, then spent a good 30 minutes just shootin’ the shit with us.

Coyne made us feel like it was his honor to stand and shiver with us in the snow and laugh about how ridiculous and strange that incongruous Candlebox tour was, along with an appearance on “Beverly Hills 90210,” and how all of it seemed so, so surreal.

… there may not be any other band in the world that carries the psychedelic pedigree of Pink Floyd more aptly than the Flaming Lips. Stylistically, and in stature, the two bands form a perfect progression, from progressive progenitors to psychedelic punk superstars.

Not too long before that night, the Lips had begun to explode their shows into “universal birthday parties,” now their signature act. The intent was that everyone – in the building as well as in the surrounding neighborhood – become a part of the huge party. It was that time that the Flaming Lips became an inextricable part of life for me – a part that wrapped up my whole family in its wild embrace.

And then came the glitter, balloons, bullhorned lyrics and confetti. Birthday parties – universal – fit the bill.

Vitamin' vocalist Lizzie Allen takes on exquisite vocals for "The Great Gig in the Sky." (Photo: Michael McGrath

Vitamin' vocalist Lizzie Allen takes on exquisite vocals for "The Great Gig in the Sky." (Photo: Michael McGrath

Last Wednesday night’s explosive tribute to Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” turned out to be another triumphant groove in the Lips’ giant party history.

See the Reverb review of last Wednesday’s show, and a tremendous photographic retrospective, at HeyReverb.com!

Coyne’s inflatable ball antics – already legendary around the world – reached new heights that night (quite literally), as he walked across the heads and outstretched hands of the sold out crowd, stopping easily halfway up the amphitheater. He stood up inside the ball, and pumped his fists triumphantly before perilously wandering back down to the stage. Meanwhile, confetti cannons shot their loads out from the stage, while 100 Dorothy Gales danced on either side of the stage to Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse,” before the band led us all in “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” from the classic “The Wizard of Oz.” Look at the video here.

The mixture of the classic film and Pink Floyd’s classic record is the stuff of pop psychedelic stoner history – reportedly the two synch up miraculously when played beside one another – and Coyne and co. took full advantage of their relationship. They interspersed masterful renditions of Pink Floyd classics – that actually did more to update them than merely copy them – with often hilarious versions of songs from the beloved film soundtrack.

A clear highlight was Coyne’s attempt to get the entire sold out amphitheater to sing a call-and-response version of “If I Only Had A Brain,” which didn’t fair too well – but not for his lack of trying.

Just like the show had a soundtrack tie-in, so did my life develop one as I grew to follow the Lips over the past two decades, starting in early 1992, when began to build the foundation of my family.

I’d just recently bought my first copy of “Hit to Death in the Future Head,” and was mesmerized by it. As I headed into my last (as in final) marriage, hits like “She Don’t Use Jelly,” “This Here Giraffe” and “Bad Days” appeared and confirmed that the path my partner and I were on met the Lips’ approval.

Wayne Coyne exudes a constant, and constantly enlightening, positivity. (Photo: Michael McGrath)

Wayne Coyne exudes a constant, and constantly enlightening, positivity. (Photo: Michael McGrath)

The Flaming Lips formed the soundtrack to my life then, and they still do.

As a family, we still re-tell Coyne’s story about how hard the band wanted their cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” on “A Priest Driven Ambulance” to be THE sardonic punk anthem they heard. It did nothing but re-legitimize the song’s poignancy to a generation of adult punkers about to step into their lives, and the story remains prescient.

Later, when my wife’s father fell ill, and eventually passed away, “The Soft Bulletin,” that year’s soundtrack, gave us “Race for the Prize,” with its fitting search for a cure. “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” produced “Do You Realize??” just at the time my father-in-law died, and that song has been heard at so many weddings, funerals and family parties in our community ever since.

Coyne and the Lips’ music, lyrics and attitude has done nothing if not try to remind us where we are – really are – now, and how fantastic it all is, despite what our eyes might be telling us.

That Red Rocks show continued to wind into that early August night, much to the chagrin of a surprising number of “Pink Floyd Purists,” reportedly complaining heavily about betrayal in the urinal lines. That in itself is interesting, considering that there may not be any other band in the world that carries the psychedelic pedigree of Pink Floyd more aptly than the Flaming Lips. Stylistically, and in stature, the two bands form a perfect progression, from progressive progenitors to psychedelic punk superstars. The only difference may be in Wayne Coyne’s endless optimism and infectious smile, in comparison to Roger Waters’ and David Gilmour’s – maybe all the Floyd-members’- mostly dour outlook.

Wayne Coyne scrambles back down Red Rocks, atop the heads and hands of the sold out crowd. (Photo: Michael McGrath)

Wayne Coyne scrambles back down Red Rocks, atop the heads and hands of the sold out crowd. (Photo: Michael McGrath)

I’m a superfan – of the Lips and of Pink Floyd. I saw the beauty of the re-telling of “The Dark Side of the Moon,” by the band most qualified to retell it.

More than that, I follow the hallowed rock ‘n’ roll ground that Coyne and the Flaming Lips both create and tread on enough to have given my son Oliver the name “Coyne” as one of two middle names. The other one is mine.

We did it because we wanted there to be a remnant of Coyne’s philosophy alive and attached to him always – in case the wave of positivity the enigmatic singer espouses ever subsides.

So far, the plan has worked.

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The 11th Annual UMS Starts Today – So do DenverThread’s lists – here’s day one

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The 11th Annual UMSIt’s here! And it’s definitely THE highpoint of Denver’s summer music season! A full Red Rocks schedule, the Warped and other festival tours, multiple nights of Widespread Panic – even the monster U2 show in Invesco Field at Mile High – all pale in comparison to the magnitude of this weekend’s pinnacle. The 11th Annual Underground Music Showcase (UMS) starts this Thursday evening, and will dominate a few square miles of South Broadway for the following three nights.

This year’s show features close to 300 bands, comedians , singer songwriters and other talents, and will be housed in a huge number of venues, restaurants, bookstores, skateboard shops and t-shirt shops along South Broadway (here’s a handy listing, with a MAP!) – including two major outdoor stages – from 6th Avenue at the top to Cedar at the bottom.

Needless to say, the choices for live music abound – heck, they’re pretty overwhelming. Let’s face it: there’s no way anyone can possibly see all that the UMS has to offer, and it’d be a miracle to see everything you’d like to see. So let us at DenverThread take a little of the pressure to decide off of your shoulders, with our daily preview lists for this year’s festival.

Through the weekend, we’ll be listing our choices of the best things to see – for a lot of reasons. Whether your tastes run into the sludge-stoner-metal quagmire, meander through dreamy twee-pop or get hypnotically lost in psychedelic shoegaze, we’ll get you where you want to be, and make sure you’re catching something you’ve hopefully never seen before while we’re at it.

We’re also going to run quick, haiku-style reviews of the previous night’s highlights – so you can see what you missed while catching the best – and we’ll be in full collusion with HeyReverb.com with loads of social interaction. Make sure you’re following @DenvrThread and @RVRB on Twitter, and searching for #UMS and #DenverThread hashtags to get the whole story!

Day One – Follow this list, if you can!

Here are our recommendations for a solid foray into the thick of the Rocky Mountain region’s largest single music festival. Times, of course, are scheduled – but may run late (as hard as all those UMS volunteers work to keep things going smoothly!). Scroll down past the top owners to see the DenverThread List!

Owning Thursday’s Lineup:


TRAINING TO BE A BAND ... OR JUST LOOK LIKE ONE. (Photo: Barbizon - the band, not the agency)

3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 7PM

Remember the old-school modeling house? This group of  local heroes from Hearts of Palm and Mouth Full of Thunder and few more offer up some crunchy dance, with a sort of  New Order funky metal tinge.





Guantlet Hair plays reverb-drenched surf punk. (Photo: Gauntlet Hair)

Guantlet Hair plays reverb-drenched surf punk. (Photo: Gauntlet Hair)


Gauntlet Hair
Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 9PM
7 S. Broadway

Denver’s Gauntlet Hair plays a cool, intriguing brand of reverb-soaked, psychedelic surf punk that’s easy to get lost in. The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drodz agrees – and if that’s not enough endorsement, take my word for it! Check out a brand new FREE MP3 from our friends at One Track Mind to see for yourself! GO!



No guarantees if Tiana's a no show!

No guarantees if Tiana's a no show! (Photo: Hot White)

Hot White
Club 404 @ 9PM
404 N Broadway

One of Denver’s most exciting live acts, with a solid No Wave feel – a la Lydia Lunch, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, The Contortionists, etc. But last year’s UMS had the trio performing as a duo because Tiana Bernard – lead singer, bassist and the transfixing center of the live show’s energy – had a conflicting engagement. The result was less a performance than a sad bitch session directed (strangely) at the crowd.



The Bonnie Situation

Aptly named - great garage rock, out of storage! (Photo: The Bonnie Situation



The Bonnie Situation
Club 404 @ 11PM –

Sporting an old school, pre-“Denver Sound” Denver sound, The Bonnie Situation blasts their audiences with a shrill garage punk – fast, loud and explosive. Worthy of the band’s namesake from the film Pulp Fiction, the band features members of local bands The Fluid, Blackouts and others.




And The List . . .

Four toppers just isn’t enough – we know that! So here’s a list of our Thursday night recommendations – in chronological order! (How’s THAT for help in planning!?) Each one has a few words of recommendation/direction. Comment as you will – we’re sticking by them!

Try and make it to all of these – we dare you! If you do, you’ll win the supreme satisfaction that can only come from a job well done! Well, that and a pretty rough hangover, we’d bet….

Bury my BonesClub 404 @ 6PM –  A newer shoegaze two piece – think  Lust Cats of the Gutters howling out moonlight-stricken melodies with Yo La Tengo

Science PartnerSkylark Lounge Verizon Wireless Stage @ 7PM – Tyler Despres’ latest project ( from Dualistics) is full of crunchy, funky pop – think Weezer meets Dump

Vicious WomenClub 404 @ 7PM – Plays a noisy, thrusting industrially pleasing mess – think Big BlackShellacMinistry

Dirty Mittens (Portland) – Skylark Lounge Verizon Wireless Stage @ 8PM – Play a pleasing, misty folk. Think Frente!  Or Nouvelle Vague well mixed with The Head and the Heart.

Amazing Twin (used to be Old Radio) – Moe’s Original BBQ Verizon Wireless Stage @ 8PM – Offers some sublimely sloppy-pop, guitar-driven psychedelic shoegaze folk rock – and features Denver scenesters from Houses, Action Packed Thrill Ride, Hindershot and others.

The Spires (Ventura, CA) – Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 8PM  – play a beautifully quiet rock – think Galaxie 500 redux, put simply, like the band.

Don’ts and Be CarefulsThe Hornet – RMCAD Stage @ 9PM – play Buzzcocks-inspipred dance pop – it’s super fun. And, their new, 2nd album is coming out this fall!

Porlolo3 Kings Tavern – Sailor Jerry Stage @ 10PM – plays a quiet, passionate and darkly humorous style of folk – think a higher-brow, more substantial Danielle Ate the Sandwich (probably asking for it there, huh?).

Fellow CitizensMoe’s Original BBQ Verizon Wireless Stage @ 10PM – play a solid post-rock passion, mixed in intriguing, psychedelic shoegaze – think American Mogwai.

Royal BangsHi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ 11PM – Hmmmmmmm…. This makes us imagine a show where Flaming Lips meets Colourmusic (ALSO a UMS band playing Friday!!), at a Cheap Trick show with The Strokes opening. What say you?

Lexigram (formerly Yerkish) – Skylark Lounge Verizon Wireless Stage@ 11PM – Play a fun, furious post-core prog rock – fast & loud. They recently changed their well-worn name, but not their style – thank God!

El Ten Eleven (LA) – Hi-Dive – Illegal Pete’s Stage @ midnight – is a prog instrumental post rock duo – sort of Ratatat, a shade grunged – they do a great cover of Joy Division’s “Disorder,” which will leave your heart and soul enrapt.

The LandgrabbersClub 404 @ midnight – play a searing-hot style of country garage punk – fast, fun, furious – and perfect to wrap up the night with a few boilermakers.

So that’s our list for Thursday night, July 21, at the 11th Annual Underground Music Showcase. Follow, listen, learn – and love. It’s your town, and your scene!

Follow us!!

Be sure and follow @DenverThread on Twitter to receive live updates on UMS shenanigans! Follow @RVRB – the Denver Post’s HeyReverb.com Twitter, while you’re at it! We’ll be trolling the same places as you, and would love to say hi!

Tune in tomorrow for Friday night’s List!




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Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips on Colbert Report

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Wayne Coyne spoke briefly to Stephen Colbert, and the entire band performed “Convinced of the Hex,” from the new album “Embryonic,” Wednesday night. The new album is scheduled to be released October 13, but you can stream the entire thing online at ColberNation.

Coyne seemed genuinely tickled to be interviewed, but maintained his characteristic charm and warmth. Check out the interview below, and go to ColbertNation.com to see their performance.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Wayne Coyne
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Protests

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The Flaming Lips bury Red Rocks with confetti, lasers and peace

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Wayne Coyne heads back to the stage in his giant ball, after a romp over the heads of ecstatic fans at Red Rocks.

LIVE REVIEW: The Flaming Lips, Red Rocks, Sunday, August 23, 2009

Having seen the Flaming Lips some 12 times over the past 15 years, the question I kept pondering before their next appearance was “How are they ever going to be able to top the last one?”

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