Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Don't Tell Anyone You Don't Own:
The Flaming Lips - Zaireeka

When our friends get together, every once in a while someone will say, "Anyone want to do Zaireeka tonight?" and we'll get that gleam in our eyes. Most of the time we'll laugh it off, recognizing that listening to the album is an event, a challenge, not something you throw together on a whim. Yet in the back of our minds, we're all planning our next foray into the four-disc mind fuck that could only come from Wayne Coyne and Company.

How can listening to an album be a challenge, you ask? For the uninitiated, allow me to explain. Zaireeka was recorded onto four separate discs, each isolating a particular sound element, be it guitar, drums, vocals, static, the sounds of rabid dogs, etc. This means all four discs must be played simultaneously to achieve the full effect. This also means, from a practicality standpoint, you must acquire the following four items (Remember, four is the key number here):

1. Four Zaireeka discs (one album).

2. Four CD players (or other music-playing devices).

3. Four devoted friends with fingers poised on the Play/Stop/Pause

4. Four pounds of patience.

Note: Synching the four discs is nearly impossible, as every CD player requires a different amount of time between hitting "Play" and the song starting. This means 1.) Each listen is different, and 2.) As amazing as Zaireeka is, I still don't know it backward and forward. This also means that even a decade after the album's release, there is always something new to discover, always some unexplored combination of sounds. (Happy 10th Birthday, Zaireeka.)

Once you have assembled the four items (and mind altering substances - optional), you are ready to fly. Go. Do it now. Move around the room while you are listening. Take turns making each disc the focus of your attention. Wallow on the floor during "Driving to Work in the Year 2025 (You're Invisible Now)." Writhe and watch your brain explode during "A Machine in India." Thank me later.

Now, then -- who's up for Zaireeka sometime soon?

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