Fred Mills: Flaming Lips Cause a Stir With Last-Minute Black Friday Titles

LIps

Above: Wayne Coyne pleads “no contest” to jury of independent record store operators… Hey, we’ll swap you a sealed vinyl Zaireeka box – there are quite a few remaining – for that Tame Impala EP!

By Fred Mills, Blurt Editor

Record Store Day’s second annual Black Friday bash happens this week (Nov. 29, after Thanksgiving), and while the swag isn’t as heady as the BIG day in April, it’s still pretty impressive. Among the offerings is the Flaming Lips Peace Sword EP, which was announced some time ago and was offered to indie stores via the Lips’ longtime label Warner Bros. Copies have already arrived in most stores preparing for the holiday and will be in the bins Friday.

ENDER'S GAME

The Lips, however, decided to throw a spanner into the works about 10 day ago when they announced two more Black Friday titles: as Rolling Stone recently reported, there’s to be a split EP with Tame Impala featuring both bands covering each other, and a tribute to the first Stone Roses album boasting the likes of the Lips, Peaking Lights, Polica, Stardeath and White Dwarfs and New Fumes. There is also to be a chocolate skull with “brain fluid-flavored” candy (eh?) and a toy frog with “an audio recording of the band’s first-ever demo.” Wayne Coyne told RS that “it got finished just literally yesterday and it’s got a little seven-inch that goes with it. That is our very first demo that we ever recorded that’s never been released before. So you get that in this packet. This little frog that’s kind of a recorder that you can manipulate the sound on.”

The Lips excel at these oddball limited editions, of course, and fans eat ‘em up. So to speak. Great stuff all around; I have bought more than a few myself.

Meanwhile, though, due to the last minute nature of the announcement, said indie record stores are apparently having to scramble to obtain the product (which reportedly isn’t exactly inexpensive, either). It was initially available only at the Lips official web store. It’s no secret that matters such as budgets, ordering schedules and the nuts-and-bolts of planning out inventories have a bearing on such matters, and when a prominent band with a huge fanbase demanding its music pulls a sudden move like this, problems can crop up.

Tellingly, the official Record Store Day website is NOT listing the Lips’ Tame Impala or Stone Roses pieces – because they are not “official” RSD releases. Draw your own conclusions from that. But don’t give them—the record stores—grief if they tell you that they were unable to get the records in time, ‘cos it won’t be their fault.

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