by Mark Richardson
The writer of Vinyl Me, Please’s The Soft Bulletin liner notes, Mark Richardson, wrote this installment of the 33 ⅓ series about the band’s album Zaireeka. Zaireeka was a complex album composed of four CDs that each included distinct layers of each of the album’s eight songs, designed to be played at the same time from four different CD players.
The book tells the story of the Parking Lot Experiments, which inspired Zaireeka. During the experiments, the band created individual cassette tapes and every person who showed up with a car and a cassette player got a distinct piece of the album that required them to be together in parking lots around Oklahoma City, awaiting their cue, in order to hear the entire piece. Richardson details the experience, as well as the story of how the band convinced their label to release the “simpler” version of the four CDs.