Archive for January, 2009

John Mayall & His Bluesbreakers


Now that the weekend is here, and you’ve finally got some room to move, why not kick it off with these two live videos of John Mayall and His Bluesbreakers (probably the seminal british blues band) performing “An Eye For An Eye” and “Room To Move”. Just think of all the fantastic musicians who were Bluesbreakers at one time or other: Peter Green, Eric Clapton, John McVie, Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Aynsley Dunbar, and Mick Taylor just to name a handful. To this day, The Turning Point, John Mayall’s live album recorded at Bill Graham‘s Fillmore East on July 12, 1969, is still one of my top ten albums.

Note: In November 2008 Mayall announced on his website he was disbanding the Bluesbreakers to cut back on his heavy workload and give himself freedom to work with other musicians.

Pygmy Twylyte – Five Versions

I was going through my Zappa collection the other day, and I noticed I had quite a few versions of Pygmy Twylyte. The first four are covers by Tribute/Cover Bands, and the fifth is one of my favorite proto-versions from 1973, Texas:

Ed Palermo Big Band (Sonar, Baltimore, MD, 21 Sep 2006)

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Quintette Gaucher (Quintette Gaucher Plays the Music of Frank Zappa)

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Project/Object (Visualite Theatre, Charlotte, NC, 5 Jan 2002)

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Great Googly Moogly (Fasching, Stockholm, 15 Mar 2007)

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Frank Zappa (Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX, 26 Oct 1973)

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How do you think these later versions match up to the earlier version performed by FZ’s own band?

Odds & Ends

Let’s skip the witty opener and get right to the bulleted list, shall we?

Lumpy Money: The Playlist

Now that Lumpy Money orders are officially being shipped, I’ve added this 3 disc release to the discography pages. As ever, the Mighty Wiki has more background info. If anyone has had a chance to give this one a listen, feel free to leave a comment — here or at the discog page.

Holland Doc: Zappa Documentary

For those who missed the posting of this documentary the first time around, here’s it is again (in all it’s glory). Documentary by Roelof Kiers. Zappa talks about his youth, his interest in explosives, blues, guitars, non-Western music and the establishment of The Mothers of Invention. Also, about the unknown possibilities of the vacuum cleaner in family Zappa.

Tom Waits: Musik & Mythos

It took our pal Tommi Brem and his associate Daniel Knapp two years to translate Jay S. Jacob’s Tom Waits biography, “Wild Years: the Music and Myth of Tom Waits”, into German — Tommi at one point likened it to birthing a baby elephant.

Now, finally, the book is about to be published and ready for pre-ordering.

Tom Waits Illustration Preview

You may remember that Sharl and I were approached to create chapter illustrations for this book, as well as a cover. Given the subject, that turned out to be great fun, despite a near fatal computer crash.

For those interested: if you pre-order the book, you get a free set of high-quality postcards with all 12 illustrations printed on them.

As for Sharl and I: we’re chuffed to have been part of this project! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go camp near the mailbox and await the arrival of my copy :-)

Thursday Mix: Mothers Auxiliary

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When one thinks of the ever expanding web of musicians who both directly played with Frank Zappa, then those who have then played with those musicians in turn, it’s not very surprising the enormous effect that FZ had on the musical forms and musicians with which he came into contact. Just check out my own personal sampling of Zappa alumni, along with those who have recorded and performed live with him in my mixtape, “Thursday Mix: Mothers Auxiliary”, to get your own idea.

Perhaps now that Zappanale successfully fought off the ZFT’s ill-conceived litigation, we just might see some of the names in this mixtape perform at the Zappanale in the coming years?

Click here to listen to the mixtape (Be prepared, fellow KUR-meisters, it’s a BIG one).

Note: If anyone feels we are infringing their copyright, contact us and we will remove the item in question.

ZFT Litigation Frenzy: School of Rock Edition

I kid you not.

Incredibly, having just lost the Zappanale lawsuit, the ZFT is now going after Paul Green’s School of Rock — more specifically Napoleon M. Brock’s envolvement therein. Here’s the Berger-Kahn letter (pdf). Quote:

It recently came to our attention that Napoleon Murphy Brock and the Paul Green School of Rock All-Stars are currently scheduled to perform the music of Frank Zappa [...] We understand that this tour is billed as “Napoleon Murphy Brock Performs ZAPPA with the Paul Green School of Rock All-stars”. Please be advised that none of you possess any license, permission or authority to publicly perform the songs of Frank Zappa.

Should you wonder where your precious Barfko Swill dollars are headed for, look no further: this is it.

Unbelievable.

ZFT vs Zappanale: Gail Loses

Taken straight from Der Spiegel (and translated to English by yours truly):

His name belongs to me, thought Zappa widow Gail — and so she started a lawsuit against the music festival “Zappanale”, organized each year in his honor by a Fanclub. She has failed however to convince the Düsseldorf civil court.

Yay Zappanale! So. That was money well spent, wasn’t it Gail?

Here’s the article according to Google Translate, if you’re in for a laugh.
Update: here’s the article in English.

Hat tip: Robert Graf-Waczenski!

1973 Monday Conference & RDNZL

I love FZ’s deadpan delivery of lines that contain words such as “organs” and “gratification” in the interview part — also a nice version of RDNZL: