The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
The Flaming Lips with Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band and more 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center 425 E. California ticketstorm.com 866-966-1777 $100 per night, $150 both nights
It’s been a long year for The Flaming Lips, who, in addition to a grueling tour schedule, made good on Wayne Coyne’s public promise early last year to release new music each month.
“A lot of people thought we already had 10 songs,” the front man said, “but I said, ‘No, we’re not doing that. We’re going to try to do something every month and put it out.’”
This manufactured inertia propelled Oklahoma City’s larger-than-life act into a whole other level of weirdness, manifested in increasingly crazy release formats, like gummy skulls and fetuses that required listeners to eat their way to the encased USB devices, and then the Strobo Trip “light illusion” toy that birthed the six-hour song, “I Found This Star on the Ground.”
“I was remarking to people that you could just take some acid with your friends and play with it all night,” Coyne said.
Multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd had a 25-minute drum pattern already in the works, so the band used that as a starting point for what had then seemed ridiculously ambitious.
“It’s fucking too long,” Coyne said. “Once you get into it, your mind changes. It frees you up. We thought we could do a much longer song that lasts for a month or a week.”
Technological restrictions limited the Lips to 24 hours, and the result, “7 Skies H3,” was housed in a chrome-laden actual human skull for a limited physical release. The cost? A mere $5,000.
“We get drunk on our own ideas. If you’re lucky, you sober up the next day and think, ‘Oh, my God, what the fuck have we done?’” Coyne said. “What I’m doing is not just creating music, but creating a concept and a scenario and a time and an atmosphere that all these things are allowed to be in. When artists start to think that everything they do must be a masterpiece, that’s usually when they start to really suck.”
Looking forward, he is hesitant to define the Lips’ plans in strict terms.
“Years go by pretty quickly for us. Fuck, I can see the end of my life already,” Coyne said. “Of course we have a plan, because we’re playing big festivals, but as far as what we’re going to sound like or do, we’re just going to be fucking going for it.”
On 2012’s agenda includes work on another movie and the long-awaited Broadway musical version of their 2002 album, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” Before that, however, the Lips will hold their fifth annual New Year’s Freakout concert. This year’s event is a two-day affair, with shows on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and a party in between at the Lips-curated Womb gallery.
It also marks the first time the group has brought another large act to the bill: Yoko Ono. John Lennon’s widow and her Plastic Ono Band will join the Lips both nights, with Phantogram and Neon Indian filling the opening slots.
“It was really a long shot to think that the Lennon family would forgo doing something on New Year’s and spend it with the Flaming Lips in OKC,” Coyne said, “but we thought, ‘Fuck it. We’ll ask them, and maybe they’ll want to do it.’ And they said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ It’s just an amazing thing to have in your mind: Yoko Ono is just down the road.”
The change of venue and talent also forces another difference: higher admission prices. While last year’s topped out at $25, this year’s tickets are $100 per night or $150 for both nights, with included after-party admission.
“I know that compared to some things, [$100] may seem excessive, but people buy tickets to basketball games all the time that cost $300 and $400, and don’t even think about it. I know that some of our fans will not be able to afford to go,” Coyne said.
“It doesn’t mean that we’re excluding you. I don’t want anybody to think we’re saying it’s time for Flaming Lips fans to give us their money. They give us their money all the time, and I still feel like this is a fantastic deal. We will do other shows that you can afford, and it’ll be fine.”
Apprehensions about cost aside, Coyne knows his audience, and what fans can expect from the pair of shows.
“You get to be in the loving arms and minds of other Flaming Lips fans. That’s such a great experience, anyway. It’s special. Then there is this fantastic fucking party we’re throwing at the Womb,” he said. “We could have Yoko Ono taking acid at 3 o’clock in the morning in Oklahoma City. That’s just fucking insane. It should just be a fantastic experience.”