The Flaming Lips

    Zaireeka

    9

    I am at my friend Chris’s house. It’s his thirty-fourth birthday. He had called me earlier in the week. "Hey, man, I’m having some people over Friday night for my birthday. We’re going to listen to Zaireeka."

    [more:]

    Not surprising. Chris adores the Flaming Lips, and he is a sound wizard. I’ve used his studio before. The man can hear a computer buzzing three rooms away. I look around at the four towers of candlelit stereo equipment, pour a short glass of Maker’s Mark, and sit on the sofa.

    "Naw, man, sit on the floor, right here."

    I crouch down, arrange myself among a pile of pillows, and take a sip of whiskey. In front of me is the main system. Is that an ADAT machine? And the receiver is set to VCR? For Zaireeka, Chris shares, he is not going to hit the play button on all four CD players at one time, like the album recommends. He has already put all four CDs on Alesis ADAT, which is hooked up to a mixing board. All the levels and EQs are in one place, so he will not have to scurry around. This is going to be good.

    "Here we go," he grins at me, his fingers dashing around the buttons.

    This is amazing. There must be 100 tracks here. Jet engines, acoustic guitars, ten-part harmonies all sung by Wayne Coyne in that Kermity cadence, coming at me from four directions, rising and spiraling. It’s like Dark Side of the Moon, if Pink Floyd had consumed enough drugs to narcotize a small city. This music is — "What’s that, Chris? They didn’t what? Really? Are you kidd — " I’m sorry, um … just a sec, excuse me.

    "None at all? No fucking way. Not even — no way! Chris, you lie. Nothing?"

    The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it. The Flaming Lips did not take any drugs during the recording of Zaireeka. I cannot fucking believe it.

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