Approaching Pavonis Mons By Balloon (Utopia Planitia)

Album: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)

Songfacts®:

  • Pavonis Mons is a volcano on the surface of Mars. That may not seem like much, but Mars contains the largest volcanoes in the solar system. It is very difficult to approach Pavonis Mons by balloon, as Mars has a very thin atmosphere. NASA projects even involve flying a robotic balloon probe to explore rough terrain like Valles Marineris. So, please, do not try this at home.
  • This won the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. After nearly 20 years in existence, it was the Flaming Lips' first Grammy.
  • The Flaming Lips are known for some rather lengthy song titles including, but not limited to, "Five-Stop Mother Superior Rain," "Psychiatric Exploration of the Fetus with Needles," "Guy Who Got a Headache and Accidentally Saves the World," and "One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning."
  • This was originally recorded for a scene in Wayne Coyne's sci-fi film Christmas On Mars, which also starred the rest of the band, but it didn't end up fitting the tone of the movie. He explained in the notes for the film's soundtrack: "The scene, which was never shot, was hazily imagined to be a 'pleasant' hallucination where Steven's character is looking out of a window and, since it's always dark outside, he dreams of watching a sunset with some hot air balloon coming in fro a landing on the surface of Mars. Well, the flavor and dumb triumphantness of didn't seem to fit. We tried, but it seemed too upbeat and 'pop' for Christmas On Mars ... but having it be part of the Yoshimi song collection seemed perfect."

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