Monday, October 31, 2011

ZAIREEKA! Listening Party

Hand-drawn poster by Amanda Cassidy
Click to Enlarge

November 17
6pm - 10-ish
Little Mountain Gallery
195 East 26th Avenue (and Main)
by Donation (suggestion $5…no one turned away)
All Ages

The Greater Vancouver Music Appreciation Society (GVMAS) presents a music listening session for the Flaming Lips' seminal 1997 album, Zaireeka.

A (brief) description from Wikipedia:

Zaireeka is the eighth studio album by the alternative rock band The Flaming Lips. Released on October 28, 1997, the experimental rock album consists of four compact discs. Each of its eight songs consists of four stereo tracks, one from each CD. The album was designed so that when played simultaneously on four separate audio systems, the four CDs would produce a harmonic or juxtaposed sound. The discs can also be played in different combinations, omitting one, two or three discs.

We are currently arranging to bring in FOUR awesome stereo playback systems, translating into EIGHT channels of beautiful audio, for the purposes of playing this 'record' for your pleasure. We also need: 4 portable CD players, or 4 mp3 players/iPods. Please contact if you're interested in lending a hand or volunteering the power of your stereo/mp3 player/iPod for this exercise.

We are also encouraging everyone with an iPhone/Smartphone/iPad/Laptop to participate in the experimental audio-visual playback of the Lips’ more recent ‘Two Blobs Fucking’. TWELVE devices are needed for the full range experience. Volunteers will be asked to pre-load the youtube clip on arrival at LMG.

We also need a projector.

The evening, beginning at 6pm, will go as follows:

Listeners assemble @ Little Mountain Gallery. Intro to GVMAS.

6.30 - 7 pm: BLASTULA screening
A special screening of the short doc ‘Blastula’ (2009, 21.00 mins), on the making of the Lips’ 2009 album ‘Embronic’.

7 - 7.30 pm: ‘TWO BLOBS FUCKING’
First experiment in playback/listening: ‘Two Blobs Fucking’. Playback time: Aprox 4.00 mins.

Available here:

Full list of clips:

Before Zaireeka begins, the listeners and participants will be encouraged to take a breather and ‘refresh’ themselves and their ears, minds and souls in whatever desired fashion (without breaking the sound-law barrier exterior to the Gallery…IMPORTANT).

7.30 - 8.30 pm: ZAIREEKA BEGINS
A short intro by Wayne Coyne and GVMAS on Zaireeka, followed by: ZAIREEKA! (aprox. 60 mins with intro - album length 45 mins)

8.30 - 9.00 pm: BREAK-TIME!
Breather of silence to process Zaireeka, followed by observations and discussions (if desired) on the experience of Zaireeka. Self-’refreshment’ and ear-mind-heart-soul enhancement if desired or necessary

9.00 - 10.30 pm: WE CONTINUE…
We will vote to begin the playing of  either the Lips’ JUST-released (meaning, as of TODAY, October 31st 2011) ‘Twenty-Four Hour Song’ (that’s right…TWENTY FOUR FUCKING HOURS OF MUSIC in one continuous stream) or the incredibly EPIC six-hour ‘I Found This Star On The Ground’ included on their September release Strobo Trip ‘E.P.’ (or V.E.P., as in ‘VERY Extended Player’). We can begin the vote NOW on this page.

Link to Twenty Four Hour Song:

Link to ‘I Found This Star On The Ground’:

Here’s a description (sourced from Rolling Stone magazine) of the six-hour song by Wayne of the Lips.

“This is one song that goes on for six hours, yeah. Now I’ve realized, it’s insane. When we started doing it, it didn’t seem like it was that big of a deal. So we were like, “Yeah, we’ll do a song that is six hours long – it will be fun.” But then you get into it and your like ‘Fuck, what the fuck were we thinking?” 
The song will be released in conjunction with a strobe light toy that the band are putting out. The Strobe will come with animations that ‘come to life’ when you shine the strobe on them. Coyne explains that once you have the song and the strobe going, acid is the 3rd ingredient needed to experience I Found This Star on the Ground in full: 
“Part of my reasoning is that I wanted there to be some type of music that you could play while you played with this toy – you spin this little disc, and it has these little animations on it that kind of come to life when you put this strobe light on it. And you could play with it for hours. I mean, I don’t know if you could play with it for six hours, but it’s kind of meant so that kids can like, take LSD and play with it.” 
When asked how the listening experience will be for people who are not using the strobe light toy and who are not on acid Coyne stated: 
“Well, I think a lot of people would probably do what I would do: They might go through it and listen to it a couple of minutes at a time and think, "Okay, that sounds cool." You could take a certain section of it every night if you wanted to, and you know, just listen to it. I don’t think you would find it easy to just have six hours where you’re completely listening to music, unless you were kind of doing it the way that it’s intended. It’s not intended for intense listening. It’s intended to be, while you’re fucking your girlfriend, this on in the background. I mean, you’re supposed to be doing something cool while this plays.”

More here: 
If anyone already owns or plans to purchase the Lips’ Strobo Trip E.P. with its accompanying ‘toy’, please let us know.

We encourage you to engage in some ‘activity’ in this process. There will be drawing materials and other amusements but you are free to bring materials of your own choosing to preoccupy yourselves with during the experience. Or you can choose to do nothing at all.

Sadly, we will not probably have the opportunity to play these tracks in their entirety, as LMG is curfewed to 10.30 pm out of respect for the neighbourhood. If anyone should so care to host a 24-hour long song party in the near future please don’t hesitate to contact, join or become part of GVMAS.

Also, GVMAS would like to establish beforehand that this is a LISTENING party, meaning we would like there to be an understanding of the value of attention, listening, and silence during playback. If you wish to exit these listening conditions, you are free to exit the Gallery for as long as you require. But, with the exception of the playback of ‘Two Blobs Fucking’, we ask that mobile phones be switched off or set to silent. Thank you (in advance). These conditions will be re-iterated preceding session playbacks.

A Few (Personal) Words About The Flaming Lips: 

The Flaming Lips manifested some thirty years ago in Oklahoma City.

They have gone through a variety of manifestations, with the core (founding) members being Michael Ivins and band ‘leader’ Wayne Coyne, and now, ‘musical genius’ Steven Drozd.

I first heard + saw the Lips in ‘93 or ‘94, or whenever Hit To The Death Future Head came out…I don’t remember. I don’t remember the show much either (at the Commodore) except for Wayne’s Okie accent, for some reason.

I kinda lost track and interest until around the time of The Soft Bulletin, and even then didn’t pay attention til Yoshimi, and then had a sorta lingering interest until Sean ‘Slightly Birch’d’ Ramsay gassed me into ‘Embryonic’ at his place. Their increasingly psychedelically-drenched forays have been in constant rotation in my ears since.

More recently, the Lips have been embarking on stranger and wilder odysseys, and in this particular year of Two Thousand and Eleven, have decided to dispense with the traditional album format altogether, instead issuing their music on USB Thumbdrives in ‘packages’ such as the Gummy Skull ‘EP’ (yes, the songs were ‘packaged’ on a marijuana-flavoured thumbdrive one has to eat through to listen to…). 

They also recently (in 2010) released a full-length rendition of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, a record Coyne has had avowed appreciation for since his early teenage days. In tribute to that (shared) appreciation, we are going to ‘mood-induce’ the Gallery with comfortable and felty things, space heaters, lava lamps, candles, blankets, pillows, and possibly an ‘apothecarist’s station.

This is the inaugural event to announce the start of The Greater Vancouver Musical Appreciation Society. This will be just about everyone’s first time (including my own) virgin listening of Zaireeka. 

More Lips links and references:

Wikipedia entry:

Official Site:

The Fearless Freaks (feature-length doc on the Lips):


‘Zaireeka’ by Mark Richardson, published in the 33 1/3 series by Continuum Books, 2009

Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips.’ by Jim DeRogatis, published by  Broadway Books, 2006

About The Greater Vancouver Musical Appreciation Society

The Greater Vancouver Music Appreciation Society is an ad-hoc organization for the collective enjoyment of MUSIC. Operating in the Greater Vancouver vicinity, the aim of GVMAS is to ir/regularly congregate for sessions devoted to listening, discussing, playing and exploring all things music or sound in its many forms and permutations.

With no fixed address, GVMAS proposes to host events in and around Vancouver homes, venues, public spaces and etcetera. 

GVMAS is seeking to arrange:

• Music listening / sound playback parties
• Music- /sound-related film screenings
• Lectures, discussions, workshops
• Sound walks / excursions
• Collaborative play sessions
• Sound meditation / expression experiments

…while exploring things like:

• Explorations of acoustic space
• The body as instrument
• Movement and sound
• The science of sound
• The inner ear / the attentive ear
• Music and memory
• Biography and music: your listening as history
• The aesthetics of LOUD, contrasted with softness or silence
• Does silence actually exist?
• Hearing loss versus ‘dead’ listening

Blog for the Greater Vancouver Music Appreciation Society:

Thursday, October 6, 2011



Welcome to GVMAS

The Greater Vancouver Music Appreciation Society is an ad-hoc assembly for the collective enjoyment of MUSIC.