1. Try out a bunch of new material that you haven’t yet given things like “hooks” or “choruses.” Choose a new loop that you like and repeat it for about four minutes with lots of distortion. Be as stoned as the crowd.
2. Refuse to play your biggest hits. You’re sick of that shit. Show the crowd you kind of hate them by playing only songs that even you realize are B-sides.
3. Be sober and nervous. Don’t talk to the crowd, just sit there and brush your hair out of your face and wonder why you didn’t take that Xanax that one girl offered you. You could banter with your drummer, but he looks kind of tired.
4. Be too nice to the crowd. Say, “I love [city!]” no matter where you are. Make the crowd cheer for their city with you. Repeat “my fans are the best!” several times.
5. Have a guest performer join you and sing everything you sing in unison.
6. Talk to your other bandmates, but not on the mic. Give them instructions or just banter about something or other that the crowd can’t hear.
7. Stand still the whole time.
8. Always give the same performance, no matter what. Have zero costumes or outfits, no live painters, no masks, no toys, no special dances.
9. Play somewhere where the Flaming Lips once played. You will naturally look unimpressive by comparison, no matter what.
10. End your show with, “We’re selling T-shirts in the back.”
Photo by Jay Gabler, from the 2011 Pitchfork Music Festival