Stop The Presses!

The Flaming Lips’ “Zaireeka Phone”: The Best Quadrophonic Ringtone Ever!

Lyndsey Parker
Stop The Presses!

Back in 1997, Oklahoma eccentrics the Flaming Lips somehow convinced their major label, Warner Bros. Records, to release a quadruple-disc album, Zaireeka, that required listeners to play four perfectly positioned stereos simultaneously in order to achieve the desired surround-sound result. (Each disc contained elements for each of Zaireeka's eight songs, with one disc featuring the main melodies and the other three featuring vocals and sound effects.) The limited-edition album became a cult favorite, despite the fact that, well, not too many people had easy access to four CD players back then.

This quadrophonic sonic experiment actually sprang from the Lips' equally ambitious, legendary "parking lot experiments" of the mid-'90s, during which madcap band leader Wayne Coyne would stand on the hood of a car with a megaphone and order hundreds of boombox-wielding fans, assembled in a cavernous parking garage, to play tapes of Lips music all at once to create an echoing cacophony of sound. Sometimes these experiments worked, other times they went very awry (if an errant participant pushed the "play" button at the wrong moment)...but either way, it was always a good time.

Well, now it's 2011. Wayne Coyne incredibly just turned 50 this week (happy birthday, Mr. Coyne!), and analog artifacts like boomboxes, cassette tapes, and even CDs are pretty much things of the past. So the Lips have brought the Zaireeka concept to the modern age with...iPhones, of course!

Click below to check out the "Zaireeka Phone" demo (which took place in a bath tub, of course, for extra echo) by Wayne Coyne, fellow Lip Steven Drozd, and a quartet of smartphones.

Now all we want to know is...where can we get four iPhones? Come on, Verizon, hook us up.

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