For a group of guys from the otherwise sleepy burg of Oklahoma City, the Flaming Lips sure know how to throw a party. The band’s live shows are legendary, featuring frontman Wayne Coyne’s jubilant dancing, fans dressed as Santa Claus, confetti, balloons, laser pointers and, of course, no shortage of the band’s signature psychedelic garage pop. To welcome 2010, the band will host their annual “Freak Out” in their hometown of Oklahoma City on New Year’s Eve. It’s a show that will feature the world’s largest balloon drop, the world’s largest mirror ball and a set by Stardeath and the White Dwarfs (a band fronted by Coyne’s nephew Dennis). And once the new year arrives, the group will play Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety.
Never settling for anything less, the band teamed up with Stardeath and the White Dwarfs to and recorded Dark Side, which they released today exclusively via iTunes. It retains elements from the songs on the psychedelic classic, but reinvents them with the aid of some samples, plenty of noise manipulation, sound effects and plenty of feedback and funk. “On the Run” (which features a guest appearance by Henry Rollins) has been transformed into a disco freak-out, and “Money” now sounds like the entrance music for a robot professional wrestler on Jupiter (which is to say it sounds awesome).
Dark Side of the Moon is available for download on iTunes now (for a mere $7.99!) and tickets to the New Year’s Eve show are still available (at only $10 and $20). Also available: The Flaming Lips’ other album from this year, Embryonic, which MTV News’ James Montgomery declared was the #2 album of the year. Anybody looking to leave 2009 in the dust and welcome 2010 with open, spaced-out arms now has a handful of options, all thanks to Wayne and his band of merry men.