The Flaming Lips' Steven Drozd's 6 favorite summer songs

Alternative rock's unpredictable mainstay recommends songs by The Stooges, Tame Impala, Miles Davis, and more

Oklahoma City's own fearless freaks The Flaming Lips have spent nearly three decades crafting everything from brash punk-rock to mind-melting psychedelia to experimental noise. While their latest album, The Terror, replaces The Lips' trademark acid-tinged optimism with droning synthesizers and devastating bleakness, lead guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd was eager to offer a musical antidote to his band's most recent crushing masterpiece. The Week recently caught up with Drozd on the phone to talk about musical memories from his childhood, tequila shots, and the embarrassment that comes with liking a Journey song. Below, six songs he recommends for a fun summer night:

1. Tame Impala, "Apocalypse Dreams"

"The sun is about to go down. It's about 8:30 and you just had your first cocktail. You've got your friends in the backyard; maybe you're swimming or something. If you put this song on, it can be like it's 1976 and you're a kid again. Tame Impala is one of my favorite bands on the planet right now."

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2. Donna Summer, "On The Radio"

"Now I'm gonna back to my childhood, in the late '70s. There's a song by Donna Summer called 'On The Radio.' It's one of my favorite songs of all time, and it seems to fit in the mold of the summertime jam. Even though the sentiment is kind of depressing — it's a really sad song if you pay attention to the lyrics — it's got that disco beat, and great production."

3. Miles Davis, "Sivad"

"This song is a freakout; a total funk jam that makes you just want to get up and destroy something. It's just awesome. People talk about Saturday night jams, and this one is definitely way at the top of my list. It makes you want to take a couple shots of tequila and go speed around in a car — not that you should do that — but that's what it makes you feel like doing. It makes you feel like f---king something up."

4. Led Zeppelin, "The Song Remains The Same"

"I gotta throw a Led Zeppelin song in here — I just have to. This song is a good way to prime yourself to go out on a summer night. I have memories of my older brothers in one of their bedrooms; they'd have like eight of their stoner buddies over. They'd put that record on and be taking bong rips, drinking Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill, and getting ready for the night. I remember being in the room watching them getting ready to go out and thinking, man, I wish I could go out with them… but I was too little."

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Samantha Rollins

Samantha Rollins is's news editor. She has previously worked for The New York Times and TIME and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.