Thursday, January 13, 2011

A 50th Birthday Video Celebration For Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, plus a bit of Madness

I have a book called This Day in Music, which lists numerous births, deaths and other anniversaries for every day of year. It's pretty fun to reference and--excepting anything that's happened since being published in 2005--has always seemed rather thorough.

But while it lists four birthdays for January 13, including two that have some pertinence to me--Graham McPherson (known by the moniker Suggs), the lead singer for British ska sensation Madness, turns 50 today and Zack de la Rocha, lead singer for Rage Against the Machine, turns 41--it missed a pretty big one (at least in my book) that I discovered on Wikipedia.

Wayne Coyne, lead singer, guitarist and chief songwriter for The Flaming Lips, also turns 50 today. I have enjoyed the Lips since 1994, when my friend Jordan introduced me to their album Transmissions From the Satellite Heart and their great single, "She Don't Use Jelly."

The video for that song--which still remains my favorite by the Lips, despite a boatload of great work since--is below, followed by a few others that showcase the Flaming Lips' quirky brilliance and their ability to do knockout cover versions.

Happy Birthday Wayne.

In 1994, I went to Lollapalooza in Tinley Park, IL. The Flaming Lips were on a side stage and I only saw them do one song. But it was the one below, and I've never forgotten it. Though I am glad someone caught it on video and posted it to YouTube years later.

Awhile back, I was in Oklahoma City, OK, the hometown of the Flaming Lips and saw them immortalized with this street sign, intersecting with that of another local hero.

As I mentioned above, today is also the 50th birthday of Suggs, the lead singer of Madness. While never as big a fan of theirs as the Flaming Lips or myriad other bands--in fact, their only big U.S. hit, "Our House," kinda annoyed me when it was popular--I've come to realize their output and UK fame was rather substantive.

Though I've come around on "Our House" and also like "Baggy Trousers," "It Must Be Love" and others, the one below, "My Girl" is my favorite.

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