Categories
Experimental Indie Rock

The Flaming Lips – Dinosaurs On The Mountain

The Flaming Lips take the concept of social distancing to its psychedelic, yet logical, conclusion in the video for new single Dinosaurs On The Mountain. Vocalist Wayne Coyne has been using a giant hamster ball as part & parcel of his stage show for absolutely years now, I saw it in person in 2006 at the O2 Wireless Festival. He used the prop to roll around on the heads of the crowd, it was quite thrilling. In the Dinosaurs On The Mountain video the whole band ha been given their own personalised hamster balls to perform the song in (except for the drummers, they have to share one big ball, but as a concession they wear facemasks). And not just the band. The audience watching the performance are in hamster balls too. It looks weird but not in a good or a bad way. Just weird. Wayne is wearing disposable surgical gloves too. It’s a great way of acknowledging current events & temporally anchoring the song/video in 2020. s

The song is in similar vein to the previous two singles from forthcoming album, American Head, blending Psychedelia & melancholia into a sad but stirring ballad. Arpeggiated synth squelches & ticking clock rhythms, warm piano chords & gently strummed guitars shimmer & float over a rocksteady dual-drummer beat. Wayne Coyne’s vocals on the chorus see some artistic use of autotune, swathed in fog banks of echoey reverb to give them a distant, faraway effect. They sound displaced, temporally. Lost in time with the dinosaurs, on Coyne’s chidhood hillside, silhouetted against the starry sky.

Taken together the song & the video add up to one of the most compelling, & weird, audio/visual art experiences of the year. It’s by far my favourite out of the three new singles too.

So tell me now
So tell me now
How’d it happen
After the lava flows
Maybe no one knows
Now that it’s burned off the scum of the Earth

I wish the dinosaurs
Were still here now
It’d be fun to see them playing
On the mountains

Up on the mountain they’d be all alone
You can’t just leave them
On the side of the road
You know they’ll never make it on their own
All alone, all alone

Up on the mountain that mountain’s too high
You can’t just leave em there you
Know that they will die
They won’t make it even if they try
All alone, all alone

Oh I’m just wishing
Oh wishing
Something else had happened
All those years ago
Things could have been so great
But now I think it’s too late
To see them playing on the mountains

Up on the mountain they’d be all alone
You can’t just leave em on the side of the road
You know they’ll never make it on their own
All alone, all alone

Up on the mountain that mountains too high
You can’t just leave em there you know
That they will die
They won’t make it even if they try
All alone, all alone

In an accompanying video Wayne Coyne explains the inspiration behind the song, which I briefly alluded to above.

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