Skip to content

Watch Flaming Lips Go Dumbo-Savant for Tame Impala’s ‘Elephant’

Flaming Lips, Tame Impala, "Elephant," cover, video

The difference between Dumbo and less-funny-looking elephants was that (spoiler alert!) the little guy could fly. It’d be tempting to make a similar statement about Flaming Lips’ psych-warped cover of tourmates Tame Impala’s stomping “Elephant” — not least because the video finds Lips frontman Wayne Coyne shrouding his head as if with Dumbo ears — but in reality these two beasts aren’t so different, after all. Via Pitchfork, the clip essentially shows Coyne & co. taking a song by a band they influenced and playing it back with their own dash of post-The Terror zaniness. The Aussie band behind Lonerism has always carried traces of their Oklahoma elders’ wide-eyed mix between sweet melodies and noisy adventurousness, and here’s a relaxed, smart, low-key way of celebrating those similarities. It’s less scary than Dumbo, but roughly as trippy.

Tame Impala are due to return the favor as part of a four-song collaborative EP that’s expected to be available at the two bands’ tour dates together into November. Separately, the Lips have joined the lineup for My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday festival, set for January 26 to 30 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, one hour south of Cancun. This would be newsworthy in its own right, but we feel compelled to bring it up considering Coyne says in a press release that “being with (MMJ’s) Jim James is like hanging with an outlaw who just broke out of jail, but this outlaw is also Jesus Christ at the last supper … and there is music everywhere being made by magic birds that leave diamonds in your drinks.” Pink elephants on parade, man.