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Zaireeka (33⅓ #68)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  75 ratings  ·  13 reviews
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 h ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Continuum (first published October 2009)
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48th out of 113 books — 37 voters

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Not finished, but the sloppiness here goes to eleven. Let's play a quick game of "Which One Doesn't Belong Here?" with the sentence below:

"It's generally assumed that drugs--particularly marijuana and LSD--are both a primary source of inspiration for the band and also an essential component of the Flaming Lips-needs the definite article experience from the perspective of a listener" (Richardson 30).

Let's for the moment overlook the mild asininity of this "generally assumed" truism and deal with
John Lee
Right off the bat, this book is really poorly edited. Typos and grammatical errors abound, and they're fairly distracting. I contemplated giving this book a 1 because of this issue, but held off.

This is a pretty straightforward book about The Flaming Lips and their insane album, Zaireeka. The book goes through a short history of recording technology, the history of the Flaming Lips, and of course the album itself, with a relatively sizable blurb about each song, supplemented by quotes from Wayne
As much as I love music I rarely read books on the subject, but when a good friend of mine lent me this book I knew that I’d have to read it. Both The Flaming Lips and the Zaireeka album are fascinating and compelling subjects. The Flaming Lips are perhaps the most rewarding underground band to have emerged in America in the last thirty years. Their career arc has been one of unbridled adventurousness, always following their muse without concern for commercial gain, whilst at the same time maint ...more
Sep 25, 2012 Eric marked it as to-read
I just found this book at the library's used book store and I don't know if I'll ever actually read it. But it instantly took me back 15 years, so this review is more for my own sake, in order to remember my experience with Zaireeka, the album. It's totally self-indulgent, so no need to read on.

I bought Zaireeka back in 1997 and wasn't able to fully listen to it until my freshman year at college in 1998 when I found another Flaming Lips fan in our dorm hall who would join me in making the playba
One of my favorites in the series. A great combination of a think piece and a simple story of the making of an album.
Feb 25, 2010 Emu rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: music
This was a pretty fun book about what, to me, is the best album ever made. I continue to be blown away by it 13 years after first hearing it. The book does a great job of showing where the album came from and what it's all about and how it feels to listen to it the true 4-stereo way. But sometimes the writing feels a little rushed, and there certainly was no copy-editing done before it went to press. Typos abound! Hey 33 1/3, I would love to proofread your books. Just give me a copy of each of t ...more
The pick of an amazing series of books designed to enrich the way we experience our favourite music. This book, about one of the most unlistenable records ever produced (it requires several people operating multiple CD players simultaneously), will inspire you buy the album and immediately begin begging your friends to bring all their stereos to your house so you can indulge in the beautiful communal musical moment that Richardson so lovingly describes.

Jan 08, 2010 Nathan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ronald Jones
Shelves: 33-1-3-series
This was a good read, and I especially enjoyed the sentiment of the closing moments. I will admit, though it was easy to read, there weren't necessarily too many points that drew me in too deeply as a reader. Still, it was an enjoyable addition to the collection, and one that strengthened ties to a band that everyone I know, including myself, seems to have rubbed elbows with at some point or another.
I haven't listened to this album (4 CDs made to be played simultaneously, so I'm sure -most- people haven't), but the book gave a great overview of The Flaming Lips in particular, and the history of recorded-music-listenership and technology in general. I loved this book and the Lips documentary; funny, since I rarely listen to the band, but Wayne Coyne is genuinely creative and interesting.
i'm enjoying how the crux of this author's essay is about how inconvenient it is to listen to Zaireeka and how it was recorded/planned/created with that intent. One of the better of the 33 1/3 books I've read. The author nails with accuracy the listener's experience. I believe he even pinpointed the precise moment that listeners break into smile.
Bill Fuller
This is a fast read with just enough content to recommend to fans of Flaming Lips and similar bands. There's a few repetitive sections, which is a problem for such a short book, but overall its a decent entry in the 33 1/3 series.
Not quite as detailed as your typical entry in the 33 1/3 series, but it was very fun and interesting to read about one's relationship with this unconventional, inconvenient and quite beautiful Flaming Lips record.
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Mark Richardson has been writing for the Chicago-based online music magazine Pitchfork since 1998, and currently serves as the publication's editor-in-chief. He is the author of Zaireeka, a book in the 33 1/3 series of short books focusing on a single album, and has written for publications including The Village Voice, Metro Times Detroit, The L.A. Weekly, Paste, and Washington City Paper.
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