Musically speaking, the Flaming Lips are stalwarts. They’ve released umpteen, psychedelia-laden albums both heartrending and convivial. The true essence of their art, though, lies in the vibrant theatrics they apply to everything to do—both onstage and off, musically and otherwise.
Just two weeks ago, at the David Bowie tribute concert at Radio City Music Hall, Wayne Coyne sat on the shoulders of Chewbacca with LED’s streaming down his body while performing “Life on Mars.” Now Coyne and company have memorialized Bowie once again, releasing a new video for “Space Oddity”—and it has all the astral aesthetics and outlandishness that “space” and “oddity” connote.
The video opens with the band performing a mock Bowie funeral in the sanctuary of a church. Coyne, garbed in a spacesuit, leads the elegy, performing to pews of white balloons and a couple of grieving nuns. When said nuns “take [their] protein pills” (aka drugs), the proverbial countdown to “liftoff” commences and shit gets real. Put your helmets on.
Electronics suddenly infiltrate the song. Kaleidoscopic walls swirl in the background. Blue waves of light pour from the alter, providing a fluidic plane that makes Coyne appear like he’s “floating in the most peculiar way.”
Flowers and bliss ensue until the final plead: “Can you hear me Major Tom?” At that point, Coyne falls beneath the blue waves and white noise spills over the mix before the song ends abruptly.
En masse, the video is a colorful homage to the original and its creator; it’s vivid, astute, and unforgettable—just like Bowie and most everything else the Flaming Lips do.
Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments.
Let’s take a deeper dive into David Bowie’s legacy below: