Archive for September, 2008


The young aspiring musicians among you may find this website of interest: Bandcamp. You get to have your own homepage, upload your music, allow for streaming your tracks, set your price per track, etc:

We provide fast, dependable streaming and downloads of your entire catalog, and we do it for free. Give away your music, sell it for a set price, or let your fans name their price — it’s up to you.

Best of all: it doesn’t have the sleezy, seizure-inducing looks of MySpace — quite the contrary. Here’s an interview with the makers.

Piracy Settlement-O-Matic

Former online cigarette salesmen now enforce copyright:

Taking their cue from Amazon’s one-click ordering system and the RIAA’s settlement-o-matic website, a company named Nexicon is developing a technology that tracks users who share music and film illegally, and then demands payment for the downloaded file. According to ZDNet, the company is currently conducting a test of the system using Frank Zappa tracks, and is actively monitoring some 19.6 billion file transmissions every day.

Emphasis mine.

Jimmy Carl Black: Stick Man For Ever!

I just received my copy of Jimmy Carl Black’s “Stick Man For Ever!” in the mailbox from Cafepress. Except for lacking the appropriate ID3 tags to the mp3 tracks when I uploaded the CD onto my computer, and the non-existent liner notes (a playlist would have been helpful, too), which I chalked up to the obvious hurry to get this limited edition CD out and available so as to aid Black with imminent medical bills.

Thanks, Barry, for sending me the playlist:

* Blonde Haired Woman
* Stick Man
* Low Ridin Man
* Lady Queen Bee
* Ocean and Love
* Thank You, Come Again
* Teenage Credit
* 59 Chevy
* Freedom Jazz Dance
* Black Limousine
* Indian of the Group
* Chief Old Fox

Some have suggested that there are “no FZ influences” on this CD, but I suggest they need to listen a little closer, and also recall both the beginnings of the Mothers of Invention as a basic blues band, and the style and tone of music being performed in and around those beginnings. Almost all the tracks on Stick Man are full of killer blues riffs which remind me of early Mothers recordings found on various Zappa CD’s (think of the presence of saxophone, bass, guitar and drums) such as “Memories of El Monte” on Cucamonga, “Original Mothers At The Broadside (Pomona)” on Mystery Disc, and various individual tracks on Joe’s Corsage and Xmasage. I am also struck by the familiar Zappa themes such as the relationship between males and cars, boys and girls, teen culture, and L.A. cultural references which are also found on Stick Man.

Indeed, sometimes the influences are not as obviously “in your face” as on other CD’s by Zappa alumni, but they are there. And if you’re also a Grandmothers fan like me, this CD is a must have from one of the most endearing members of the early Mothers. That it’s helping him pay his medical bills in his fight against cancer, makes it all the more worthwhile. Pick up your copy here today.

Richard Wright 1943-2008

On BBC News – and on the Wikipedia. R. I. P.

Monday Mailbag

Some stuff from the inbox:

  • Warren Cuccurullo has a new album out called “Playing in Tongues” which reunites him with Missing Persons/Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio. To be released on Edel Records.
  • German tribute band Sheik Yerbouti ft. Napoleon M. Brock announce fall tour dates.
  • Joe’s Garage, the Musical premieres September 26 — Heidi Johnson writes: “I peeked in on rehearsals and this show is going to rock! It’s dirty, raw and hilarious. With a band that would make Frank proud these musicians are hitting these complicated music pieces perfectly and the lyrics are blending together with the dance in the best kind of way.” Tickets here.
  • A video hommage to Cpt. Beefheart: curated by Gary Lucas, Beefheart’s former guitarist/manager, with many special guests including Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Suicide’s Alan Vega, Kurt Loder, even David Lynch.
  • Zappatika writes: “We are slowly starting to put together the final schedules for this November Ed Mann Project (EMP) tour, and it looks like there will be a lot of fun and a lot of GREAT music! Dates are coming in thick and fast and we have venues lined up in Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and the UK.”
  • Idiot Bastard points out a bunch of Jimmy Carl Black download-only albums. Quoth Andrew, “It goes without saying that JCB will benefit greatly from any sales. So, eyes down, look in.”

The Tubes, “Whiz Quiz” 1974

Mike Cotten at The Tubes Project has uploaded yet another gem with this clip of “Whiz Quiz” from The Tubes‘ 1974 show at California Hall in San Francisco. Inspired by “Let’s Make a Deal“, the clip also shows early Tubes’ member Re Styles in character as Patty Hearst (if you recall that 70s game show, contestants had to dress up in order to play the game). Also in this clip are early versions of “Peter Gunn” & “Perry Mason” themes that would later appear as “Crime Medley” on The Tubes’ highly successful live album, “What Do You Want From Live?

Note: “Whiz Quiz” is currently available on the CD, “Dawn of the Tubes: Demo Daze and Radio Waves” LABEL: Phoenix Gems. Release date: March 21, 2000.

Jeff Simmons: The Straight Years

album art

album art

After years of listening to scratchy vinyl (with all their inherent pops and hisses), poor quality tape recordings, and substandard mp3’s, I finally received the 2CD set of Jeff Simmons‘ classic psychedelic album, “Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up” combined with the original soundtrack from “Naked Angels” in the mail yesterday from The Jazz Loft out of Bellevue, Washington. Both albums were re-issued on CD in 2007 by World In Sound Records.

Lucille… contains 10 catchy and heavy, hard-driven, blues-rock and folk tracks that we are all familiar with, particularly those tracks that Frank Zappa either composed himself, or co-wrote with Simmons — under the synonym ‘La Marr Bruister — such as the title track ‘Lucille…’ or ‘Wonderful Wino’ or performed lead guitar on such as ‘Raye’. Carefully re-mastered, Lucille… also has two bonus tracks, ‘Bucket of Blues’ and a more than eight minute extended live blues jam of ‘Lucille HMMU’. These two tracks alone make this purchase worthwhile. Listening to ‘Bucket of Blues’ one can easily understand what Zappa saw and heard in that young Jeff Simmons that led him to sign him to Straight Records. These tracks sound as fresh now as when they were first recorded. Also included in this 2 CD-set is a 20 page booklet with all original artwork, and other memorabilia Simmons’ vaults (posters, cool photos, linernotes).

cover art

cover art

CD #2 Naked Angels, a soundtrack for the Roger Corman-esque biker movie is a sequence of mostly instrumentals which combine melody and fuzz guitar; heavy, psychedelic surf-rock. At times, it reminds me of some of the shorter instrumental tracks found on ‘Uncle Meat.’

Need More Cowbell?

Sure thing, here you go. Previously: U2, Metallica, The Beatles and more.

For good measure, check out the original SNL skit.

Sarah Barracuda

Sarah Palin

I’ve been meaning to post an entry on Sarah Palin, but honestly: I do not know where to begin.

I’m not American and so strictly speaking this is none of my business, but let me just tell you this: if you’re going to vote the McCain/Palin ticket into office, you, Sir, Madam, will be scaring the shit out of the rest of the civilized world.

Got It?