Archive for April, 2008

Will Southern Rock Rise Again?

Where are the likes of a Jim Mangrum and a Ruby Starr today? Or the likes of such groups as Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band? Do these kind of groups even exist anymore? Groups such as Black Oak Arkansas and Molly Hatchet can still be found touring from time to time, albeit with slightly altered line-ups. Will southern rock rise again? If the following video of the Kings of Leon performing “Pistol of Fire” live on Later… with Jools Holland is any indication, southern rock is appealing to an entirely new generation:

I also found this video of the late Warren Zevon performing “My Shit’s Fucked Up” live on Later… with Jools Holland:

Later… with Jools Holland is a contemporary British music television show hosted by Jools Holland. It has been running without a break since 1992 as part of BBC2‘s late-night line-up, usually around 11PM, and features a mix of both established and new musical artists, from solo performers to bands and larger ensembles.

Signals, Noise & Fog

It’s been a bit of a busy week for me, fellow fen! However, here’s some stuff that didn’t pass by my radar unnoticed:

  • In Japan, this and that hits the streets. Says Thomas Marrot: “the plot happens in Frank Zappa Street where human and animal characters live together in a “funky & pop” city.”
  • A Zappa Music Map
  • Soundpainting: “the live composing sign language created by New York composer Walter Thompson for musicians, dancers, actors, poets, and visual artists working in the medium of structured improvisation.”
    A bunch of clips, again via Thomas:

  • Some books we ordered from Amazon.co.uk finally arrived!
  • Armed America — portraits of gun owners in their homes.
  • Painting elephant — this is nothing short of mesmerizing.

.. and then there’s this:

Buenos Aires Smog

…have a great weekend!…

La Cucaracha Esta de Fiesta

Does humor belong in music? Course it does!
I have received just yesterday Ween’s last release “La Cucaracha” as a present from Barry (thanks honey!)
Once again, the band at its best, taking the shit out of almost any genre (including: house!) and delivering impeccably.

However I must warn you, this is one of those “either you get it or you don’t” sorta things.
Unlike other petulant musicians, Gene and Dean don’t mind about fansites offering online a bunch of unofficial mp3’s. They know that’s how people get hooked to their music! If you are completely new to them, pick for instance “The Golden Eel”, “Bananas and Blow”, “Flutes Of The Chi”, “The Mollusk”, “These Nuts” to have a taste.
The band’s official website is regularly updated by Dean Ween, who also keeps a weblog: Brownietroop -have to sign up to be able to read- with a personal diary and fishing report. By the way, they are currently producing a fishing show where you can enjoy their exquisite music: SKUNKED.
I love these guys!

The Frank and Mikey Show

I was recently arranging and updating my personal MySpace profile page when I came across these two video gems: Frank Zappa’s “Watermelon in Easter Hay” live with Mike Keneally and the rest of the 1988 band, and The Mike Keneally Band live performing “My Dilemma”.

Frank Zappa: Watermelon In Easter Hay

Mike Keneally

Hot ‘n Nasty

It’s Wednesday, hump-day, and you are no doubt in need of something special to get you through those mid-week doldrums (perhaps brought on by a certain vaultmeister’s recent non answer). So, here’s Jim Dandy to the rescue, so to speak, with Black Oak Arkansas‘ “Hot ‘n Nasty” followed by “Lord Have Mercy On My Soul (Halls of Karma)”. I don’t think anyone can possibly view these two videos, the first especially, without realizing where Van Halen got much of its stage act.

Interview With Joe Travers, 2008

PZ– Is there any upcoming release from the Vault that you can tease us with?
JT– I could get in trouble for that.

Well, that’s about ALL the info’s you cen get about future releases. Well well. The whole interview is at PlanetZappa.

Feel the Urge to Splurge?

Don\'t be the last cow in your pasture to download a copy.

On Sunday, April 13th, after a four year hiatus from micro-press publishing, Greensleeve Editions released the inaugural issue of Splurge, a zine which decodes and defaces the ostentation of contemporary consumer culture; by any means necessary. Just take the zine’s sardonic title, for instance. We know our world is set up in such a way as to make it virtually impossible to avoid consumerism. And beyond all other distinctions, we are still consumers. We are consumers when we wake up each morning, and we are still consumers when go to sleep each night. Is that the end of the relationship? Like cows being led to the barn for milking, or slaughter? We need not go quietly into that barn of consumerism. Which is exactly what Splurge aims to do: bear witness to the shortcomings of corporate and consumer culture.

Between Splurge’s covers lie several “subvertisements” fake ads altered to seem real. The zine also features a section of fake classifieds (“subifieds”?) which offer derisive tidbits of scathing criticism:

“REMOTE, IMPERSONAL West Edmonton Mall requires Dolphin impersonators to replace live ones which have died. 3 shows a day M-F, 4 shows on Saturday. Payment in halibut, cod, salmon. Free antibiotics.”

“LOVE ME TENDER. Constipated, hopelessly drugged out fat former rock star widely reputed to be dead seeks woman to take quality legal downers with. Must love peanut butter and banana sandwiches and be willing to relocate to Memphis, TN.”

Also found between Splurge’s covers are rants, raves, monologues, articles and even a book review. To download a free copy click

(remember, folks, you’re linking to a 70Mb .pdf — some people don’t like clicking on something that causes them to download something).

Splurge is best viewed from Adobe Reader. You can download free Mac and PC Versions

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Wherein Barry Copyrights His Facial Hair

That’s right, you heard right: any and all of my facial hair varieties are hereby copyrighted! You see, being the type of original artist whose legacy is to be protected by my wife upon my biting the big one, I can easily imagine a scenario whereby some East-German lowlife scumbag rips off one of my iconic facial hair designs for a logo concept, thereby confusing fans across the globe.

Copyrighted Facial Hairone, two, three, four, five, six
Click the above image to view all of my Copyrighted Facial Hair Designs (hovering your mouse over the pictures will allow you to navigate back and forth). Any of you so much as think about copying these Facial Hair Designs, I’ll have my Burger Kuhnt scumbag lawyers all over you faster than you can say the words “Accept No Substitute”!

Word to the wise…

Today’s Headline: ZFT vs Arf Society

Der Spiegel, on the day of the ZFT vs Arf Society/Zappanale trial:
Mother Of Intervention: Zappa Festival Defends Itself from… Zappa.

Quoth Goil Zeepee:

“One of the reasons you file a trademark is to protect the works of a person,” Gail Zappa told SPIEGEL ONLINE in a telephone interview. “I felt we were getting into territory where we were putting the audience at risk in terms of who Frank was. You become concerned.”

Thomas Dippel:

Dippel says that the Zappanale has long tried to get the kind of official rubber stamp that Gail Zappa insists is available. He claims that letters have been sent and that Zappanale people even met with Gail in Amsterdam at the beginning of the 1990s. He also says that he invited the Zappa family — including Gail, Dweezil and Moon — to an unveiling of a Zappa statue that now graces Bad Doberan.

Gail — who refers to the statue as an “impish creature” that “doesn’t look like Frank Zappa unless you argue that putting a moustache on any face looks like Frank Zappa” — says that very little communication has taken place with the Zappanale.

I guess you know where our sympathies lie, right?

Bat Chain Puller

Barry and I had a very interesting discussion the other day concerning why some Zappa fans also become big Captain Beefheart fans, while some do not. The crux of the biscuit, so to speak, comes down to Beefheart’s appeal, lyrically, since both Frank Zappa and Don Van Vliet are appealing musically. For example, I offer the following live version of Bat Chain Puller from the French Chorus TV show in 1980 (I suggest you turn it up loud, too):