Om Flaming Lips' Zaireeka
Zaireeka is the anti-headphone and the anti-mp3. It purposely makes the two biggest developments in end-user music in the last 30 years irrelevant. Zaireeka is not mobile. It is not personal. It is not solitary, cannot be easily controlled, and can't easily be consumed in small doses. So another way to think of Zaireeka is as a one-off piece of technology that comes in a highly inconvenient dead-end format. The Flaming Lips' 1997 album Zaireeka is one of the most peculiar albums ever recorded, consisting of four CDs meant to be played simultaneously on four CD players. Approaching this powerful and complex art-rock masterpiece from multiple angles, Mark Richardson's prismatic study of Zaireeka mirrors the structure the work itself. Thoughts on communal listening and the "death of the album" are interspersed with the story of the Zaireeka's creation (with assistance from Wayne Coyne) and an in-depth analysis of the music, leading to a complete picture of a record that proved to be a watershed for both the band and adventurous music fans alike.