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Flaming Lips announce summer tour, July wide release date for 'King's Mouth' album

The Flaming Lips. Photo by George Salisbury
The Flaming Lips. Photo by George Salisbury

Oklahoma City-based art-rockers The Flaming Lips have announced a 12-date U.S. summer tour, which the three-time Grammy Award winners will launch in Wichita, Kansas, on July 23 and wrap up in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Aug. 7.

 The trek will feature The Claypool Lennon Delirium - which includes Primus' Les Claypool and Sean Lennon - and Particle Kid, Micah Nelson's (son of Willie Nelson and brother of Lukas Nelson) musical project.

Local venue pre-sale will begin at 10 a.m. local time Wednesday. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday. Special VIP packages will also be available for those who want the ultimate Lips experience; this will include early access to the venue, so fans can be part of the pre-show warm-up on stage during soundcheck for a few songs. Frontman Wayne Coyne and members of The Lips will then spend some time for an intimate meet and greet before fans have the chance to grab the best seats in the house close to the stage or be first at the merch booth before the crowds enter the venue, according to a news release. 

To go along with the tour, The Lips' 15th full-length studio album, "King’s Mouth: Music And Songs," will be widely released July 19 on vinyl, CD and digital via Warner Bros. Records. 

As previously reported, “King’s Mouth: Music and Songs,” was released earlier this month in a limited-edition gold vinyl pressing of 4,000 copies for Record Store Day. 

The follow-up to 2017’s “Oczy Mlody,” the album features otherworldly music from and inspired by Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne’s immersive art installation the “King’s Mouth,” which began its royal life about eight years ago inside the band’s Oklahoma City arts center The Womb.

“Often times, you’ll see something and you’ll just think, ‘How did they think of that?’ But the good news is that you don’t ever really think of it all at the same time. You thought of this, that didn’t all work, but a bit of it worked, and then that evolved into this thing,” Coyne told me in a recent interview inside the recently reopened Womb. 

“If you walk in here now, and you’re 10 years old, I’m hoping it completely blows your mind ‘cause you’re like, ‘Oh my God! How do you do this!?’ … But it’s what all great art does: it’s an evolution that in the end exposes itself as this insanely magical, original thing. But it’s just little by little, little by little, little by little, and having time to keep working on it, having imagination to keep trying it again.”

Initially inspired by a bizarre Japanese TV show and later by the band’s bombastic concerts, the “King’s Mouth” eventually evolved in OKC into a royally immersive installation, where people can crawl inside the giant head, lie on their backs and view a stunning music and light show devised by the Lips and their team. With the encouragement of John Lewis, a curator at Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum, Coyne penned and painted a fantastical fable to go with the silvery visage.

 That story and series of paintings was adapted into the companion book “King’s Mouth: Immersive Head Trip Fantasy Experience,” and The Clash’s Mick Jones narrates the otherworldly tale on the new album. Listen to the ethereal track "All for the Life of the City": 

In 2015, Coyne and his cohorts developed a traveling version of the “King’s Mouth” that has exhibited at the American Visionary Art Museum, the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, and Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Coyne celebrated Record Store Day 2019 signing copies of the vinyl exclusive at the Brooklyn record store Rough Trade NYC, where the mobile version of the “King’s Mouth” is on view through May 31.

While the king was on the road, the original installation was hidden away with the closure of The Womb. But OKC artist collective Factory Obscura, in conjunction with the Lips, last month reopened the landmark with free admission to mark the first phase of its upcoming immersive art experience “Mix-Tape” as well as the original “King’s Mouth.”

Factory Obscura Co-Founder and Director of Logistical Creativity Kelsey Karper estimated at least 5,000 people visited The Womb in the first month it was reopened. The gift shop carries the “King’s Mouth” book, soap dishes and air fresheners, she said, and will offer the new album upon its wide release in July.

“The King’s Mouth immersive/child-like qualities are born from the same spark and womb as The Flaming Lips’ live performances. The King’s Mouth adventure was made for humans of all sizes, ages, cultures, and religions,” Coyne wrote in a statement. 

The original Flaming Lips “King’s Mouth” arts installation is housed at The Womb, 25 NW Ninth. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free through mid-September. For more information, go to

In other Lips news, Steven Drozd has created "The Sorcerer's Orphan" podcast, which details the band's 35-year recorded career in multiple parts. The highly praised and incredibly informative series illustrates the bands inimitable independent creative spirit behind every Lips recording. The current Episode 6 of "The Sorcerer's Orphan: A Song by Song History of The Flaming Lips" highlights King’s Mouth. Check it out here.


Related Photos
The Flaming Lips. Photo by George Salisbury

The Flaming Lips. Photo by George Salisbury

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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1... Read more ›