It's not that I don't like the Flaming Lips, because I really do. I like that "Do You Realize?" song just like every other girl on the planet. And when I was in high school I would steal my sister's copy of Transmissions from the Satellite Heart when she wasn't home and listen to "She Don't Use Jelly" over and over again. "She don't use butter, she don't use cheese! She don't use jelly, or any of these!"
I can understand why the entire music section would be dedicated to such a band—not only have they been around forever; released a vast, reliable, and steadily evolving and improving catalog of music; and maintained their status as one of the nation's (nay, the world's) most interesting live bands, but they're really, really good.
But I'm not going to the show.
I like the Lips, but I don't love the Lips. I recognize that they're a good band and I love some of their songs. But I don't love them enough to get a ticket, get on the bus, stand in line, stand in the crowd, wait for the show to start, and stand through the show only to hear a few personal favorites.
With that, I have an alternative to the Flaming Lips show (or an addition to, if you want to look at it that way): Track down the film Okie Noodling, a documentary by Bradley Beesley—who also made the Lips doc The Fearless Freaks—about catfish noodling. You can get it via Netflix or special order it at almost any local record store.
What is noodling? It's the dangerous and hilariously nonsensical way that some people in the American Midwest and South (read: rednecks) catch catfish. No poles, no hooks, no bait—these dudes (it's always dudes) are just armed with bare hands and a slightly less than stable mind. The Flaming Lips did the soundtrack for the film, and there's no other band in the world capable of making music that perfectly accompanies such an adventure.
While these grown men reach their arms into a hole and dangle their fingers in hopes that a 100-plus-pound catfish bites on (with teeth!), you can hear the wonderful sounds of the Lips playfully bouncing around in the background. The movie itself is full of interesting and awkward characters, weird and hilarious stories, giant fish and near-death experiences—stuff, now that I think about it, that you're just as likely to get at a Flaming Lips concert.