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Watch the Flaming Lips’ Supremely Deranged ‘The Terror’ Freakout on ‘Letterman’

The Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne, "Look... The Sun Is Rising" David Letterman

All due respect to Justin Timberlake’s week-long run on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (we liked the album, after all!), but the last couple of nights have been fantastic for boundary-pushing past-your-bedtime TV performances. First there was Deerhunter’s wiggy, bloody-handed Fallon walk off on Tuesday. Then, last night on Late Show With David Letterman, Flaming Lips brought The Terror with another theatrically provocative performance that might’ve left some viewers looking suspiciously at their nightcaps.

As at the Oklahoma band’s South By Southwest concert, frontman Wayne Coyne stood cradling a baby doll on a set draped with TP-like strands; the imagery also recalls yesterday’s video for “Ashes in the Air,” the Lips’ collaboration with Bon Iver. The song, the new album’s “Look… The Sun Is Rising,” is powerfully visceral, too: alternating between whispery harmonies and distorted howls, atop a droning fuzz-skronk pulse. And though Coyne revealed yesterday his group is working on a collaborative LP with Ke$ha titled Lip$ha, not a speck of glitter was in sight. Still a fairly shining TV moment.