Lip Service The Flaming Lips want to dissect your brain with sound. Local boy John Murray wants to help out his favorite band. On Sunday, Nov. 2, at 4:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill Murray's throwing a free listening party for the new four-CD Lips record, Zaireeka. The party will be Lipless, but it still looks good for two reasons. First, Murray (who plays bass in local band Hugh) is a fan -- totally removed from the Warner Bros. publicity machine: You won't have little street-level corporate ladder climbers scrambling around with advertising and silly cassette singles. Second, the Bottom of the Hill might be your only chance to hear Zaireeka played right. See, the new Lips record is an experimental musical event; to listen to it you're supposed to have four synchronized CD players and eight speakers. The effect of noises that play off one another from speaker to speaker should be something like a living room version of head Lip Wayne Coyne's parking-lot experiments, in which a grand noise is created out of dozens of car sound systems playing simultaneously. At an experiment Riff Raff witnessed earlier this year the result was a collectively experienced garage orchestra, a wonderful and disorienting cacophony of multiple source noises bouncing off concrete and zigzagging across the lot. ("March of the Rotting Vegetables" is a lot experiment that shows up on the record.) The Bottom of the Hill doesn't exactly have a vast, echoey chamber, but eight speakers of Zaireeka should be big enough all on its own. (J.S.)
Goth Hop Scratch-master DJs (turntablists) have jumped into just about every style of music, yet a few genres remain understandably left alone. That's why the Trocadero's Oct. 30 matchup of all-around dope turntablist DJ Quest and local goth rockers Switchblade Symphony seems so unthinkable. Will Quest cut up hip-hop tracks or old Christian Death? Will Switchblade's goth Barbies swagger and mug like hip-hoppers? Will full-makeup goths start sportin' (black) Adidas and oversize basketball jerseys (No. 666)? Nah. Riff Raff knows how Quest is gonna pull it off: He'll simply spin the records backward. (R.A.)
By the Number As the annual Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert blooms into the most creative environment in the United States, San Francisco continues to reap the yearlong artistic harvest. There are so many weekly weird events -- from Seemen to art cars to rampaging Santas to Chicken John's weekly game show at Cell -- that no self-respecting oddball can keep track of it all. Attendance at most of the events comes from word-of-mouth and occasional e-mail missives, but videographer and ad hoc publicist Scott Beale, coordinator Danielle Engleman, Candace Locklear, and Philip Bonham wanted to make sure that the computerless and those without active day-planners could always get the tip. Together, they conceived a voice-mail messaging system that provides constantly updated events information about the stranger goings-on in town. Of course, no one could figure out a name for it -- how to encapsulate a car-smashing and whitesploitation movies and all-night dancing with interactive art? "Let's make it cryptic and mysterious," said Beale. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Number. In the interest of avoiding the who's-on-first routine altogether, the Number's number is 289-6666. Call the Number and you get a revolving cast of characters ("pseudo-celebrities," says Beale) who introduce the line, offer nightlife options, and perform odd little speeches, skits, or songs (two weeks ago some freak made guttural noises to "I Got You Babe"). (J.S.)
Riff Raff riffraff: Robert Arriaga (R.A.), Johnny DiPaola (J.D.P.), Karl D. Esturbense (K.D.E.), Jeff Stark (J.S.), Silke Tudor (S.T.), Heather Wisner (H.W.), and Bill Wyman (B.W.). Send Bay Area music news, band stories, or petty gripes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to Riff Raff, c/o SF Weekly.