Saying “Wayne Coyen is doing something weird, potentially alienating, but nonetheless awesome” basically describes everything the Flaming Lips frontman has ever done. That being said, he may have unwittingly outdone himself with this one. McSweeney’s, the Dave Eggers-founded publishing house known for its eccentric content, commissioned writer Richard Parks to create a one-hour radio special starring Coyen and The Flaming Lips.
Parks accepted the offer and disappeared for several months, during which time he wrote “Wayne Coyne’s Human Head-Shaped Tumor,” a “continuous-play radio drama in the style of Mercury Theatre’s War of the Worlds,” about a literal head-shaped tumor on Coyne’s leg that speaks to him (there could be a metaphorical message in the text too, but that’s less important than the possibility the tumor might sing a song).
Coyen will be joined by his wife, Michelle Martin-Coyne, Lips manager Scott Booker, actor Paul F. Tompkins, and This American Life‘s Jack Hitt. Some well-known artists have also contributed original music to the show, including Okkervil River, Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste, Eleanor Friedberger, Bill Callahan, Nico Muhly, Oneida, and more.
The special will broadcast on Nov. 24 and 25 at 5 p.m. PST on 89.9 KCRW in Los Angeles (and streaming on KCRW.com). More information about the show can be found at McSweeney’s online. Here’s an excerpt from the FAQ section, just to clear the air:
Q: Is it all real?
A: No, none of it. Except for the head-shaped tumor. Wayne Coyne really does have a head-shaped tumor lodged inside his leg.