Chronic Town is attempting to blow minds with a two-album listening party at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
The venue is breaking down two rock-art masterpieces, The Flaming Lips’ “Zaireeka” and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.”
“Zaireeka” is the brainchild of front man Wayne Coyne. The album is made up of four different records that are all meant to be played at the same time on four different sets of speakers.
Coyne created the idea for this artistic voyage through sound experiments in a parking lot, Chronic Town’s Jeff Van Fossan said.
“He would record tracks onto different cassettes and play them through multiple sets of car speakers,” Van Fossan said.
Coyne eventually expanded the idea, calling the performance a “boombox experiment” and taking it on tour with The Flaming Lips. He would give out 30 to 50 boomboxes to the audience, telling members when to press play all at once from the stage, Van Fossan said.
“He would conduct them telling them to turn their boomboxes up at some parts and down at others,” Van Fossan said. “ ‘Zaireeka’ became a ‘boombox experiment’ people could do on their own.”
In 1997, Warner Bros. gave Coyne and The Flaming Lips permission to compress this idea into a four-disc album. The albums were sold together so people could create their own “boombox experiment” at home.
Chronic Town is now taking part in the experiment, pressing all four play buttons at once for all to hear, Van Fossan said.
“Even for people that have never heard The Flaming Lips, to experience this kind of music in a setting like this is really immersing and interesting,” Van Fossan said. “A lot of it is noise rock, but a lot of it is beautiful.”
The second of the two presentations is a quadraphonic listening of “The Dark Side of the Moon.”
When the famous Pink Floyd album was first mixed and mastered, it was done so in several different fashions. One of the methods of production used is called quadraphoic recording, Music Underground engineer Matt Steck said.
“Quadraphonic means that instead of having two speakers, you have four,” Steck said. “Not only do you have a sound field in front of you, but you get sort of a 3D sound from behind you, too.”
This method of production was first used in the 1960s and peaked in the 1970s. It quickly died out due to high cost of specific equipment.
The sound created by the technology is comparable to that of modern surround sound, Steck said.
“You have front and rear speakers,” Steck said. “Since the record was mixed by a different engineer, you’re going to hear instruments differently.”
Chronic Town will be presenting a quadraphonic “Dark Side of the Moon” on the loudest speakers that they have.
Hearing an old album in a new way is sure to be an interesting experience, Brian Kass said.
“Pink Floyd is definitely one of the most revered rock bands of all time, and ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is obviously one of the most influential albums of all time,” Kass (sophomore-advertising) said. “Hearing the album played the way it was supposed to be played sounds really cool. It’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
The listening is for those age 18 and older. Entry is free.