The Flaming Lips perform a Tiny Desk (home) concert. // NPR
The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.
Wayne Coyne has appeared inside a bubble for over a decade. At concerts, he'd roll over the tops of adoring fans, their outstretched hands keeping him aloft. That was novelty long ago; now it seems prescient. For this Tiny Desk (home) concert, Wayne and his bandmates are seemingly quarantined from one another, with the bubble-sharing green-haired drummers and keyboards pairing off, playing together yet apart.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that going to a Flaming Lips concert stoned is a thing. The Flaming Lips have always embraced the surreal. Drugs are undoubtedly part of the culture, and on their new songs from American Head, drugs are at the core. These are songs for the lost, the overdosed dreamers, the damaged, the car crashed. On the album's opening track "Will You Return/When You Come Down" (which also begins this concert), Steven Drozd asks in falsetto, "Will you return? Will you come down?" while Wayne Coyne responds, "Thinking back to those lost souls / And their ghosts / Floating around your bed / Hear it said / Now all your friends are dead."
This visually enchanting Tiny Desk comes down to earth, with technical glitches that are fun to witness and keep it real.We hear old tunes sparking old memories, including "Be Free, A Way" from 2013's The Terror and "It's Summertime" from 2002's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. It's a thoughtful treat from a band that keeps on giving.
- "Will You Return/When You Come Down"
- "God And The Policeman"
- "Be Free, A Way"
- "It's Summertime"
- Wayne Coyne: vocals
- Steven Drozd: keys, vocals
- Michael Ivins: bass
- Derek Brown: guitar, vocals
- Jake Ingalls: keys
- Matt Duckworth: drums
- Nicholas Ley: percussion
- Video By: Blake Studdard for AtriaCreative.co
- Director: Blake Studdard & Wayne Coyne
- Audio By: Michael Ivins
- Producer: Bob Boilen
- Video Producer: Maia Stern
- Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin
- Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
- Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
- Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann