On The Bus

ZPZ on the road again – a few words from DZ:

It’s true we’re back on the road. We’re headed to Minneapolis to start the 08 tour with a bunch of new material. The same core band is with me along with our good friend and special guest Ray White.

A lot has transpired since the Japanese tour ended back in January. We’ve released the 06 DVD in wide distribution, I’ve started some preliminary work on the the Austin DVD, I’ve mixed about a dozen songs for a live ZPZ 07 record (Due out later this year) and I have completely rebuilt my guitar rig from the ground up in order to more accurately reproduce some of Frank’s signature guitar tones. And on a personal note, 2 weeks ago my wife and I welcomed our second child into the outside world. Her name is Ceylon and her big sister Zola is very fond of her already.

There’s a tiny mp3 there of DZ’s guitar-work.

23 Responses to “On The Bus”

  1. Rob says:

    Go worth Dweezil! Love the tone & can almost hear “A Watermelon in Easter Hay’ a-comin’ on…Still brings tears to my eyes to hear the original!

  2. urbangraffito says:

    Do you remember the last time Dweezil recorded and released something uniquely original?

  3. Bálint says:

    Well, his solo recordings are not that bad either, but anyway: if you’re a musician, and you “only” play other people’s music – that is not ‘nothing’. There are people sitting in orchestras, playing “only” what ancient composers wrote; there are guys who are “only” drummers in a band. These things can be creative, also!
    I think DZ does a great job as a musician – okay, that will not make him (and the family) to be the best company leader or publisher or aninheritor, or it will not excuse his (and the familys) incorrectness. But I dont think we should go against him as a musician. (The best live G-Spot Tornado was made by him, at least to me…).

  4. Bálint says:

    …okay, his setlist-making creativity is not on the top right now… 🙂

    1. Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow
    2. St. Alphoso’s Pancake Breakfast
    3. Sharleena (the original version, according to Dweezil)
    4. Pygmy Twylyte
    5. Idiot Bastard Son
    6. Cheepnis
    7. Joe’s Garage
    8. Wet T-shirt Nite
    9. Outside Now
    10. He Used to Cut the Grass
    11. Packard Goose
    12. Cosmic Debris
    13. G-Spot Tornado (played flawlessly)
    14. Willie the Pimp

    Almost nothing new…

  5. Virgil Proudfoot says:

    Amost nothing new? This is only the second half of the setlist, and six songs out of fourteen–Sharleena, Idiot Bastard, Wet T-Shirt, Outside Now, He Used to Cut the Grass, and Packard Goose–are new to this band. Almost nothing new? What are you smoking, dude?

  6. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”1350″]Well, his solo recordings are not that bad either, but anyway: if you’re a musician, and you “only” play other people’s music – that is not ‘nothing’. There are people sitting in orchestras, playing “only” what ancient composers wrote; there are guys who are “only” drummers in a band. These things can be creative, also!
    I think DZ does a great job as a musician – okay, that will not make him (and the family) to be the best company leader or publisher or aninheritor, or it will not excuse his (and the familys) incorrectness. But I dont think we should go against him as a musician. (The best live G-Spot Tornado was made by him, at least to me…).[/quote]

    I’m not going “against” Dweezil “as a musician,” Balint. It just strikes me that I haven’t heard anything really uniquely original from Dweezil since the release of ‘Automatic’ (which except for a few novelty tracks, I found quite outstanding). As for who would make the “best company leader or publisher or inheritor” — who would you rather see running a record company? A musician, or someone who cannot play a single instrument: and only sing accapella (off key) with a room full of lawyers?

  7. Virgil Proudfoot says:

    [quote comment=”1351″]…okay, his setlist-making creativity is not on the top right now… 🙂

    1. Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow
    2. St. Alphoso’s Pancake Breakfast
    3. Sharleena (the original version, according to Dweezil)
    4. Pygmy Twylyte
    5. Idiot Bastard Son
    6. Cheepnis
    7. Joe’s Garage
    8. Wet T-shirt Nite
    9. Outside Now
    10. He Used to Cut the Grass
    11. Packard Goose
    12. Cosmic Debris
    13. G-Spot Tornado (played flawlessly)
    14. Willie the Pimp

    Almost nothing new…[/quote]

    I count six of the above never before played by this band, and this is only the second part of the show.

  8. Balint says:

    Hi Virgil – yes, you’re right, I did not know it was only part of the program. As for the counting: I’ve “counted” some tunes as “Joe’s garage stuff”, some of these were played last year I think, there is a block from You Are What You Is – I’d expect some more stuff from 82 maybe, Moggio, etc. The first tour was totally new to me, like 30 songs to learn? Thats a lot! I loved it all, the second… I think 4-5 new song (might not be correct) and now most of it is from the previous years – I’d expect NEW stuff! 🙂
    As far as I know NOW, it was:

    Rock You Like a Hurricaine /Purple Lagoon
    Imaginary Diseases
    Tiny Lights
    Beautiful Guy
    Beauty Knows No Pain
    Flakes
    Broken Hearts are for Assholes
    Bamboozled By Love
    King Kong
    Yellow Snow
    St. Alfonzo
    Father O Blivion
    Inca Roads
    Joe’s Garaga
    Wet T-Shirt Night
    Outside Now
    He Used to Cut the Grass
    Packard Goose
    Cosmik Debris
    —————-
    Magic Fingers
    Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy

  9. bernard says:

    You know I do not like that much “sons of ‘ playing the music of their father again – as good as they’re able to – note after note.
    However it’s a hard struggle to leave the shadow of your very talented father.

    What can you do in that case? There are just two choices. Deconstructing or keep implementing the music. Nobody will ever be grateful for what you’re doing.

    Good to see that there’s a new – and female – generation. Ceylon & Zola. It’s about ” carrying on”.

    Did you ever think about your own ancestry? Did you ever discover that – in many ways – you might be the mirror image of your granddad, more than that of your dad?

  10. xorg says:

    Dweezil sounds like a bit of a nerd, obsessed with duplicating exactly what FZ did. Fair enough if that’s your thing, but something I liked about FZ was the way he would change things around and not try to duplicate what he’d done before.

  11. Jeroen says:

    It’s nice to hear the songs perfectly played. I’ve never seen Frank live, so for me it’s making up for being too young in the eighties. But what I really loved about the show in De Melkweg (Amsterdam) last year was the fun and the trainwrecks during the improvised sections. They were taking chances, and that was good.

    Having said that I truely believe that their arrangement of Pygmy Twylyte is better than any FZ arrangement I know of, so I sure as hell hope it’s on one of the productions he’s working on!!

  12. Hugh says:

    Maybe I’m being paranoid but have you noticed the reviews for the new ZPZ tour on the zappa forum are all posted by ONLY new members with just 1 or 2 post to their credit? Interesting.

    And so far no sighting of watermelon on the set list.
    I’m still on the fence about going again this year. I was hoping for new special guest this time around. I might save my money and wait for the Grandmothers to show up in the U. S.

  13. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”1376″]Maybe I’m being paranoid but have you noticed the reviews for the new ZPZ tour on the zappa forum are all posted by ONLY new members with just 1 or 2 post to their credit? Interesting.

    And so far no sighting of watermelon on the set list.
    I’m still on the fence about going again this year. I was hoping for new special guest this time around. I might save my money and wait for the Grandmothers to show up in the U. S.[/quote]

    It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, Hugh. After seeing ZPZ once (at those prices!!!), why see them again? If I want note for note reproduction, I’ll listen to an album. What I want to hear when I go to a performance of FZ’s music is the Zappa irreverence, the irreducible sardonic quality of the Zappa spirit; not some rote reproduction (no matter how technically perfect it might be). Perhaps that is why ZPZ and the ZFT are focusing so much on new fans and a more youth oriented demographic — these fans may not realize that there is more to FZ and his music than what ZPZ and the ZFT is presently delivering to them.

    That’s why I was quick to purchase tickets when I heard that the Grandmothers (or Grande Mothers Re-Invented) were coming to town. Don Preston, Napoleon Murphy Brock, Roy Estrada — now these guys understand the spirit of the music of The Mothers.

  14. Michael Pabst says:

    [quote post=”159″]Maybe I’m being paranoid but have you noticed the reviews for the new ZPZ tour on the zappa forum are all posted by ONLY new members with just 1 or 2 post to their credit? Interesting.[/quote]

    I stopped reading those “reviews” – there is no variation on the basic Trendmonger theme.

    M.

  15. Bob Again says:

    whatever happened to Duke Ellington (witha drum sola)?

  16. Chuck says:

    I must say ZPZ have unavoidably dug a hole with their approach of reproducing records. For the more complex or instrumental music it works very well. Stuff like G-Spot, Pygmy or Yo Mama the musicianship really can bring these preformances to life.

    However for the lighter, more entertaining music they are quite dull with the exception of the guests. Ray White could sing a phone book and make it great.

    I find all the crazy mucking around stuff a bit contrived and Dweezil’s humble nodding is just annoying.

    They can play really well but they can somehow just end up very dull… I guess why Sheila is so liked because she exudes an excitement and character.

    Still we are comparing them to our idealised version of FZ shows… listening to a lot of tapes shows some tours were probably less than amazing (think 75 to 77) and were probably saved by FZ’s huge stage persona and the character of his musicians.

  17. Alex says:

    ANOTHER ZPZ DVD and ANOTHER disc?! What the Hell, man?! His mother literally lives on top of a treasure trove of gems what with the vault, and this is what we get?

    Seriously. If I want to hear live Zappa, I’ll crank up one of his many live albums (or bootlegs – thanks KUR!) or if I’m wanting to watch one, I’ll put on Baby Snakes.

  18. Rob says:

    Apparently ZPZ has decided to release everything as the go. Maybe there’s no more room in the vault…

  19. Chris says:

    [quote post=”159″]If I want note for note reproduction, I’ll listen to an album. What I want to hear when I go to a performance of FZ’s music is the Zappa irreverence, the irreducible sardonic quality of the Zappa spirit; not some rote reproduction[/quote]

    This is why I love Project/Object so much.

    I believe that Dweezil’s heart is in the right place, but this note-for-note crap flies in the face of what Frank stood for, if you ask me. And why the hell are they selling ZPZ CDs and DVDs? Who wants to buy music and/or video of a cover band, especially when they sound exactly like the artist they’re covering? What’s the point?

  20. Chris says:

    Uh, that last quote was supposed to be prefaced by the words “a quote from urbangraffito,” but you probably already figured that out. Sorry.

  21. xorg says:

    The point is that Dweezil and the ZFT are aiming at a new audience and not us old farts who already have the FZ recordings. The ZFT will make more money per unit sold of ZPZ stuff than they do on FZ stuff sold through Ryko.

  22. jane23 says:

    Hey dudes
    gail and dweezil will continue to promote and sell zappa music
    it’s the only thing they have left of him
    seriously though, what should dweezil do, reorchestrate all of frank’s music so that it does not sound like the original?
    so what if the only thing dweezil can do is play his father’s music?
    shut up and play dad’s guitar.

  23. bernard says:

    Awful heritage: to be the son of…

    What ever you do, it’s not good, according to those ( all very different minds) who watch/ listen to you.

    Compare it with for instance :
    – Ravi Coltrane
    – JS Bach’s sons
    – etc.

    You just have to earn a living, like your father did, in his time.

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