Mothermania Re-released

This just in via ZFT’s newsletter: Mothermania is now available as a digital download:

This Frank Zappa download is available in DRM-free, MP3 256KBPS and FLAC format. FZ’s MP3’s will play on iPod® and all MP3 players.

Priced at $18 for 256 Kbps mp3, $25 for (lossless) FLAC.

Bah humbug.

65 Responses to “Mothermania Re-released”

  1. braxtophiliac says:

    $25. YEAH MAN!
    Now the ZFT has finally gone troppo!

    Cool it, honey

  2. Matt says:

    Another slap in the face to the fan base. Can’t wait to hear the official and unofficial defenses of the price.

  3. Thinman says:

    I’m still waiting for my Lumpy Money order at http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/poprock/detail/-/art/Frank-Zappa-Lumpy-Money/hnum/8160907 for several weeks now. Because they are still waiting for their order from the ZFT.

    It must be the ZFT’s goal to prevent people from buying. Do they really think the average consumer will have any interest in purchasing Zappa goods under these circumstances (not delivering orders/ridiciously high prices for downloads)?

    Th.

  4. Birdman! says:

    What are the differences between the album versions and these? I’m sure I’ve read them before, but being compilation-averse, I forget them immediately.

  5. Trodolf says:

    Short version: The Only in it for the money mixes are unique, in some cases restoring parts that were edited out of the original album. If you’re hardcore, you need this, if you’re casual, this is the one to get.

    But 25 dollars for a download?

  6. jane23 says:

    The only conceivable reason for this release is for the cover photo.

  7. tim says:

    can any kind person explain the diff between the $18 for 256 Kbps mp3, & the $25 for (lossless) FLAC? i’m technically retarded, but i have two teenage sons who are up to the task & i’b be lookin to download & burn to cd as i don’t have an ipod. seems like only yesterday i converted from hollow log to cd, youngsters!

  8. vince says:

    Is it THAT expensive to press a CD these days?!?!?!

  9. Bálint says:

    Vince: no, it’s NOT a cd.. only a download… 🙂

  10. George says:

    Seems like GZ’s business plan reads something like “analyze the going rate for mp3 downloads and then double the price”.

    Screw ZFT. I can go to livedownloads.com and get whole concerts of great music on mp3 for about ten bucks a few bucks more for lossless. GGGEt that, GGGGail?

    By the way, where the hell is my October 2008 Birchmere ZPZ download that was supposed to be ready “about a week after the show’?

  11. Bálint says:

    ..but anyway, there’s a new “link” at zappa.com showing “GZ sez” – of course with no content at all. Yet.
    Maybe there will be The Answer.

  12. one day wants to reach the wisdom of urban says:

    good great more releases from the vault viva la zappa keep going ZFT
    i go and down load ASAP:) Wonder what is next :)))

  13. Rick Wood says:

    Or, you can get the 256 Kbps mp3 album for $10.89 by clicking on the album cover and individually adding each track to your cart ($.99 each), which works. “It Can’t Happen Here” is same version as on MOFO so you may not need that one.

    FLACs are $3.00 each, making total cost $33 if you prefer doing it that way!

  14. evaristo says:

    [spits his drink] HOW MUCH??

  15. Empire Hancock says:

    If they had just done a quick cd reissue of this, even without bonus tracks or whatever, I would have ordered it in an instant, but no damn way am I paying that much (or, really, anything) for frickin’ mp3s.

  16. Trodolf says:

    This is the FZ-approved and mixed Mothers compilation, good for casuals who only want one album. Several of the mixes are unique, so the hardcore fans will be happy to have it. jane23 is neither, I guess.

    And tim, if you want to burn the files to CD, get the FLAC files. That should get you a CD quality CD. 256 kbps Mp3’s aren’t so bad (you need to get below 100 for true pain), but they’re not cheap enough to be worth the reduction in quality; you’re paying a fanatic’s price, get the fanatic’s product, right?

  17. Birdman! says:

    That’s a great avatar, Evaristo. It looks like you’re choking a little after spitting out a psychedelic-colored, vaporous drink.

    Tim – if I understand correctly, the real difference is in dynamic range. Both use the full dynamic range of a CD – the difference between the volume of the loudest and softest signals – but in digital media, dynamic range is not continuous (like on vinyl or other analogue media), it is divided into discrete “steps” or “levels” of volume. The FLAC is “lossless”, so it will sound exactly like a CD. With a 256 kbps MP3, the dynamic range is resolved into fewer “levels”. Subjectively, I think most people describe this as having “less depth” or “clarity, and that the MP3 might sound “thicker”.
    In a car, I really can’t tell the difference between 256 kbps, 320 kbps, and a normal CD. On a good stereo, I can if I’m relly listening, but to hear the difference yourself, you should definitely use something like Windows Media Player and rip a well-recorded, well-engineered song that you are very familiar with. Rip it at a few different bit rates – 64 kbps, 256 kbps, and 320 kbps. You will definitely hear the difference with the lossy 64 kbps, especially when you compare it to the original CD (it helps if your computer is hooked up to your stereo, otherwise use good headphones for the comparison)

  18. xorg says:

    More basic business ineptitude from the ZFT. Over-priced and non-essential, unless you are an obsessive FZ collector. In today’s market, at that price, I expect a double CD of new material. Not a half-baked remix of an old LP.

    I keep hoping for releases from the vault of stuff we haven’t heard before which is not merely another live version of the usual favourites. Maybe there isn’t anything there after all…

  19. pet a llama says:

    beer

  20. tim says:

    thanks trodolf & birdman for the enlightening information. i’ll have to wait til after mother’s day before i can indulge. i’m obviously a sucker for anything from the original MOI. those early albums muddled, melted & molded my mind. i enjoy listening to them & i don’t have a record player right now. maybe some of you are on fixed incomes or just scraping by. i’m sorry. i can pay the few extra $ i don’t care what zft does with ’em. maybe they’ll use them to help keep out the next republican candidate 3 years from now. (sorry for the sobering thought!)

  21. Paul Sempschi says:

    [quote comment=”5426″]More basic business ineptitude from the ZFT. Over-priced and non-essential, unless you are an obsessive FZ collector. In today’s market, at that price, I expect a double CD of new material. Not a half-baked remix of an old LP.

    I keep hoping for releases from the vault of stuff we haven’t heard before which is not merely another live version of the usual favourites. Maybe there isn’t anything there after all…[/quote]

    “the vault’s a myth”?

  22. Chuck says:

    What is crazy is that there is a good LP transfer floating around already on torrents that the ZFT has to compete with.

    Secondly someone will pay the $25 and then it will inevitably leak out as a torrent as well in which case why bother downloading it for $25.

    To survive in the download world these days as a small seller you really need to nuture some respect with your fans so that they want to support you. ZFT do the opposite so of course this download model will fail and everyone loses out.

  23. ZFT fails again says:

    [quote comment=”5424″]This is the FZ-approved and mixed Mothers compilation, good for casuals who only want one album. Several of the mixes are unique, so the hardcore fans will be happy to have it.

    [/quote]Troldoff I’m just Annoyed That there’s no CD of this one that the FANS have wanted re-released for so long AND the fact that it’s so overpriced.

    [quote comment=”5429″]i’ll have to wait til after mother’s day before i can indulge. i’m obviously a sucker for anything from the original MOI. those early albums muddled, melted & molded my mind. i enjoy listening to them & i don’t have a record player right now. maybe some of you are on fixed incomes or just scraping by. i’m sorry. i can pay the few extra $ i don’t care what zft does with ’em. maybe they’ll use them to help keep out the next republican candidate 3 years from now. (sorry for the sobering thought!)[/quote]

    IMO Ditigal dl’s are ok IF priced reasonably But to be Devil’s Advocate I have had HDD crashes in the past thereby making parts of my digital library un-available to me.So I Like having a PHYSICAL FACTORY MADE copy just in case something happens so that I can still enjoy the fine music.

  24. ZFT fails again says:

    [quote comment=”5431″]What is crazy is that there is a good LP transfer floating around already on torrents that the ZFT has to compete with.

    Secondly someone will pay the $25 and then it will inevitably leak out as a torrent as well in which case why bother downloading it for $25.

    To survive in the download world these days as a small seller you really need to nuture some respect with your fans so that they want to support you. ZFT do the opposite so of course this download model will fail and everyone loses out.[/quote]Which IMO is why the zft should have PRESSED CD’S of this fine rare gem as the REAL fans have been wanting this re-released for so darn long and when it finally is it’s released only as a digital dl.

  25. jane23 says:

    [quote post=”1747″]good for casuals who only want one album. Several of the mixes are unique, so the hardcore fans will be happy to have it. jane23 is neither, I guess.[/quote]
    I have been a hardcore zappa fan since 1965, thank you.
    I didn’t need Mothermania for $3.00 when it originally came out on vinyl and I still don’t need it.

  26. urbangraffito says:

    I applaud the re-release of Mothermania — this compilation (compiled by Zappa himself) has some tracks on it which are unique mixes or edits [go to: http://www.lukpac.org/~handmade/patio/vinylvscds/mothermania.html%5D — even if it is over-priced. If you want CD quality sound, like Birdman! says, download the FLAC file (it also has the benefit of being able to be converted, if you so wish, to whatever other format your music player requires). As a completist, I will be downloading this in FLAC format.

    As for the PRESSING of PHYSICAL CDs of older albums, how does this financially benefit the ZFT when we ourselves have the very means of burning our own CDs of these old gems once the FLAC files are made available? I actually think this is smart business thinking on the ZFT part. How many other, old Bizarre and Straight titles are just waiting to be re-released in this fashion? Isn’t that worth paying a little extra to save some of these titles for complete obscurity?

  27. ZFT fails again says:

    [quote comment=”5436″]
    As for the PRESSING of PHYSICAL CDs of older albums, how does this financially benefit the ZFT when we ourselves have the very means of burning our own CDs of these old gems once the FLAC files are made available? [/quote]

    It benifits them as they can satisfy more of the FZ customer base (read as those that can’t/won’t purchase digital dl’s for whatever the reason is).

  28. Fudge says:

    If ZPT were smart financially, they woud sell more downloads if they charged less, say $7.99 for MP3s and $12.99 for FLAC.

    I mean, they are spending NOTHING on this. They own the masters and besides a little studio mastering time (again, their own studio) it’s not worth $18-$25 for a friggin’ download.

    They don’t even have to print up real covers, real CDs, and mail them in real packages to real people. I don’t understand this business model where they think they should charge more money for a simple download, and charge less for a real CD that I can buy in a real store. Plus, the less they charge for downloads, the money they sell and create a better business model.

    But this is just insanity.

    They might wise up and sell it at a reduced price when the downloads are skyrocketing in a month or so, but it will be too late then as everyone would have got it from a torrent by then. Stupid.

  29. Fudge says:

    That should be “aren’t skyrocketing”…

  30. Alex says:

    [quote comment=”5420″][spits his drink] HOW MUCH??[/quote]
    More like…”Wait a second…”
    *Pours coffee, takes sip*
    *Spits coffee*
    “HOW MUCH?!”

    Everyday Simpsons references are just as important as everyday FZ references.

    I was actually excited for this with the alternate versions and mixes…but $18 is too much for mp3’s.

  31. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”5439″][quote comment=”5436″]
    As for the PRESSING of PHYSICAL CDs of older albums, how does this financially benefit the ZFT when we ourselves have the very means of burning our own CDs of these old gems once the FLAC files are made available? [/quote]

    It benifits them as they can satisfy more of the FZ customer base (read as those that can’t/won’t purchase digital dl’s for whatever the reason is).[/quote]

    Times, they are a’ changing. Just the other week I discovered that my favourite independent CD/record store is going out of business. The owner just cannot compete with online music downloading and torrent sites, so after 30 years he’s moving on to something else.

    In the same manner, I see the ZFT changing their business model, moving away from the physical CD, itself. Are their prices really any different than those niche jazz labels from Germany I’ve ordered so many re-issues from over the last couple of years? Add shipping and handling along with all the various levels of taxation imposed on goods and services, how are these niche businesses to survive next to those download wholesalers like iTunes, CDBaby, et al?

    You pay for what you get. And getting Zappa has always been somewhat pricey — from collecting his entire official catalog, to specialty items like colored vinyl, to original vinyl pressings, to all the related and various sundry items produced and recorded by all the alumni. I think it’s important to separate one’s rancor for the Trust’s past deeds and their bona fide efforts at steering a new business course in troubled economic times.

    Time will tell, I think. Consider this, though. If they go out of business, they won’t be releasing anything at any price.

  32. Paul Sempschi says:

    If they go out of business, then the tapes’ll probably be sold to a more competent music label who will follow a sounder business model. This could mean cheaper prices on higher quality items. The prospect of releasing stuff by download is terribly exciting, because it allows for a greater volume of goodies to be released quicker and cheaper.

    That being said, there is absolutely no reason why this download should cost more than most cds. It never ceases to amaze me how the ZFT can take a great idea and just vomit all over it: The Corsaga, The Torture Never Stops, etc.

  33. zft fails again says:

    [quote comment=”5446″]If they go out of business, then the tapes’ll probably be sold to a more competent music label who will follow a sounder business model. This could mean cheaper prices on higher quality items. The prospect of releasing stuff by download is terribly exciting, because it allows for a greater volume of goodies to be released quicker and cheaper.

    That being said, there is absolutely no reason why this download should cost more than most cds. It never ceases to amaze me how the ZFT can take a great idea and just vomit all over it: The Corsaga, The Torture Never Stops, etc.[/quote]I totally agree lumpy/money is 50$ (16$ a disc)without shipping.So why is this a 40 odd minuite recording priced so high since it costs them not nearly as much time as a phisically pressed cd would.IMHO around 10-12$ for LOSSLESS would have been much more fair and then I would probably have found a way to get this leagaly but the outragous price has me quite po’ed

  34. zft fails again says:

    [quote comment=”5447″][quote comment=”5446″]If they go out of business, then the tapes’ll probably be sold to a more competent music label who will follow a sounder business model. This could mean cheaper prices on higher quality items. The prospect of releasing stuff by download is terribly exciting, because it allows for a greater volume of goodies to be released quicker and cheaper.

    That being said, there is absolutely no reason why this download should cost more than most cds. It never ceases to amaze me how the ZFT can take a great idea and just vomit all over it: The Corsaga, The Torture Never Stops, etc.[/quote]I totally agree lumpy/money is 50$ (16$ a disc)without shipping.So why is this a 40 odd minuite recording priced so high since it costs them not nearly as much money as a phisically pressed cd would.IMHO around 10-12$ for LOSSLESS would have been much more fair and then I would probably have found a way to get this leagaly but the outragous price has me quite po’ed[/quote]

  35. Lerch says:

    [quote comment=”5431″]Secondly someone will pay the $25 and then it will inevitably leak out as a torrent as well in which case why bother downloading it for $25.[/quote]

    Well, this I heartily disagree with. What you’re challenging there is the whole business model of DRM-free downloadable music. I say fuck anyone who buys music and makes a torrent of it. Throw their asses in jail for being dicks.

    However, I heartily *agree* with the idea that $25 is just simply too much, especially for this best-of-type album. ZPZ, this is the first posthumous release of FZ music that I have no plans to purchase. Downloads (even CD-quality FLACs, which you are wise to offer) should cost *less* than the physical product. Get your prices calibrated back down to when you offered Joe’s Corsage on CD for $14.99 (though even then they fucked us on shipping).

  36. Matt says:

    I don’t understand the idea of supporting ZFT no matter what they put out. Would you buy a Pinto from Ford in the hopes that they’ll manufacture a good car in the future? If you buy crappy product, the manufacturer then thinks, “Great! They will buy any crappy thing that I put out, so I will continue to make crap.” There is no motivation to make a better or less expensive product.

    ZFT is a business. Like any other business, they need to earn the respect and patronage of consumers. IMO, their prices show disregard for their consumers. Check out their other prices on the Barfko-Swill website. Forty dollars for t-shirts? Forty dollars for posters? No thanks.

    If ZFT ever closes shop, it will be their fault, not ours.

  37. peter says:

    argh, I alread lived through and got screwed by the Recording Industry doing away with vinyl…I’m not gonna let them burn me again, especially for something that has ZERO value the moment you buy it. If the ZFT fails to get their pricing in order I will retaliate, take matters into my own hands, send them an appropriate amount of cash in an unmarked envelope.

  38. Thinman says:

    A good Mother’s Day business idea would have been to give this away for free –it’s a compilation that could direct people to buy the original albums.

    Th.

  39. braxtophiliac says:

    $25 are pornographic but that’s still no excuse for ‘192kps for free’ etc etc
    Please delete this link, Barry, Thanks

  40. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    [quote comment=”5457″]
    Please delete this link, Barry,
    Thanks[/quote]
    Fair point, and comment deleted. Sorry Roland — no links to illegal dl’s please…

  41. tombo says:

    Woah. Music was there before it was a business. The “music business” we are referring to never was a music business, it was a “merchandise and distribution business”. The people making the most money out of a musicians work are the guys pressing the cds, running the studios, owning the shops etc etc etc.

    To complain about this system dying is like complaining about the death of the “i read stories to you for money” business when everyone learned how to read. Or the “I drive you places” business when everyone owned their own car.

    IMO the ZFT is mostly set up as an “Approved Editions” Business, selling the works of a late artist. So it makes perfect sense to price it differently than “songs”. Of course, in comparison to any other band selling for 99cents a piece on itunes, the price is ridiculous. As is the price of an “approved Beuys Edition” over a print from the postershop. Problem is: You can never tell the difference between the two with mp3. And that’s where the analogy ineviteably fails.

    Still: I don’t think the ZFT will go out of business, as long as a single FZ product is being sold, performed or broadcast anywhere. Because that’s where the music becomes business: When collecting licensing fees for its use. No cost, all profit. And even if Zappa is not on heavy rotation, let them collect 500 bucks a day in worldwide license fees and they can run their “approved editions business” happily ever after.

    And no, I will not buy it. I still have my transfer from the original vinyl (now sold) somewhere.

  42. Joey says:

    [quote post=”5436″]Isn’t that worth paying a little extra to save some of these titles for complete obscurity?[/quote]

    Is anything from Zappa’s catalog really in trouble of falling into “complete obscurity?”

  43. Bongo "Fury" Bob says:

    It looks to me like you can download each song for $.99, there are 12 songs…. less than 12 bucks?! You can buy the vinyl for $25….

  44. Tim says:

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but $25 for a 40-minute compilation in CD-quality format is absurd. It costs at least $10 more than manufactured, printed and shipped Zappa CDs you can find in a decent record store, where there are actual production costs to contend with. How does that make sense? Their only cost to distribute this is in bandwidth. The ZFT either has a terribly expensive web host, or they’re going to make a pretty lopsided profit on each download.

    Compilations, IMO, are the gateway drug for an artist. And while this one does have some completist appeal, it’s still just a compilation. In that respect, I think the ZFT would be better served making it available at a lower price than your average iTunes download in order to reel in younger fans.

    But that’s just how I’d do things. They can price it however they want. Were it cheaper, they might have gotten a curiosity purchase from me. But as it stands, this is definitely priced out of my range.

  45. metafunj says:

    [quote comment=”5418″]Or, you can get the 256 Kbps mp3 album for $10.89 by clicking on the album cover and individually adding each track to your cart ($.99 each), which works. “It Can’t Happen Here” is same version as on MOFO so you may not need that one.

    FLACs are $3.00 each, making total cost $33 if you prefer doing it that way![/quote]

    I just checked this out and yes you can buy the whole album cheaper invididually as Mp3s, yay for loopholes! You can also here samples. I don’t think there is enough different here to merit purchasing this. I don’t need to here different stereo mixes. Now I understand that most of the releases are material that have been heard in one form or another, but there has to be some new stuff for me to sink my teeth into.

    I’d like to see some more releases with pieces like basement music or an album consisting of the best Dupree’s, Kong, Pound, etc crazy jams.

  46. Roland says:

    Sorry Barry, stupid me. Excuse me, please. But who is braxtophiliac?

  47. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”5460″][quote post=”5436″]Isn’t that worth paying a little extra to save some of these titles for complete obscurity?[/quote]

    Is anything from Zappa’s catalog really in trouble of falling into “complete obscurity?”[/quote]

    I’m not speaking of anything from Zappa’s catalog, Joey; rather, those now obscure titles by artists that Zappa signed to Bizarre/Straight Records which the ZFT still has the rights to. It’s these titles that I see having a particular value for download, particularly for we completists that are interested in hearing every artist Zappa associated with (especially in the late 60s and early 70s).

    I agree, their prices are indeed outrageous, but what would any other Zappa freak pay to get his hands on this material? I think the ZFT knows this, and even if only a small percentage actually download these titles, it will probably make it worth their while to release more.

  48. braxtophiliac says:

    [quote comment=”5465″]…/ But who is braxtophiliac?[/quote]
    Who gives a fuck? 😉

    bx…also known as buffalo_voice – You don’t read THE FORUM?

  49. Walter says:

    BECAUSE WE’RE THE BREAVED, DOESN’T MEAN WE’RE FUCKING SAPS!!!

  50. Alex says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhI0OVs_zj0

  51. peter says:

    [quote comment=”5468″][quote comment=”5460″][quote post=”5436″]Isn’t that worth paying a little extra to save some of these titles for complete obscurity?[/quote]

    Is anything from Zappa’s catalog really in trouble of falling into “complete obscurity?”[/quote]

    I’m not speaking of anything from Zappa’s catalog, Joey; rather, those now obscure titles by artists that Zappa signed to Bizarre/Straight Records which the ZFT still has the rights to. It’s these titles that I see having a particular value for download, particularly for we completists that are interested in hearing every artist Zappa associated with (especially in the late 60s and early 70s).

    I agree, their prices are indeed outrageous, but what would any other Zappa freak pay to get his hands on this material? I think the ZFT knows this, and even if only a small percentage actually download these titles, it will probably make it worth their while to release more.[/quote]

    Everything ever released on Bizarre or Straight is available on either cd, vinyl, or download except for the GTO’s and Larry Fischer records.

  52. urbangraffito says:

    I’m certainly no expert on what is, or isn’t available currently which was initially released by Bizarre/Straight. I do know that the rights to a title such as “Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up” had to be bought back by Jeff Simmons in order for him to re-issue it (and that was just in the last couple of years). How about Essra Mohawk’s debut title? Or early Lenny Bruce? Certainly, vinyl copies may still be available (for a price) or vinyl-rips for download, but I’m certain a re-release of pristine copies of these recordings for download in FLAC format would be welcome to any avid collectors audio collection.

  53. peter says:

    Hey Urban: No, EVERYTHING is recently issued (past few years) except for the 2 I mentioned. Most of the cd’s are on the budget Collectors Choice label, others for d/l on itunes or amazon. Outside of a couple singles the catalog is easy enough to collect.

  54. Paul Sempschi says:

    Gee, I hope they release the “Zapped” compilation in mp3 format as well as flac…

    There’s also The GTO’s album as well as an “Evening with Wild Man Fischer”… mind you, you can get all of this stuff, plus the two Ruben spin-offs at a decent audio quality and FOR FREE via bittorrent.

  55. SOFA - Philostopher/Chef says:

    [quote comment=”5543″]I’m certainly no expert on what is, or isn’t available currently which was initially released by Bizarre/Straight. How about Essra Mohawk’s debut title? Or early Lenny Bruce? [/quote]
    That would actually be late Lenny, ug. When FZ recorded him, Lenny was doing his Censorship monologues; that was not too long before he OD’d. His earlier shit was more funny.
    (Not that his trial transcripts weren’t funny, but…)
    I can’t really enter the thread conversation, as I have all the stuff mentioned on vinyl.

  56. urbangraffito says:

    A slip of the tongue on my part, Sofa. Thanks. It would be “late” Lenny, of course.

  57. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”5544″]Hey Urban: No, EVERYTHING is recently issued (past few years) except for the 2 I mentioned. Most of the cd’s are on the budget Collectors Choice label, others for d/l on itunes or amazon. Outside of a couple singles the catalog is easy enough to collect.[/quote]

    Thanks peter for this information (I was unaware of this label).

  58. Andre/Project Object says:

    Well this is a great, lively set of posts. So rich. I’m so psyched that the vast majority of people understand CLEARLY where we are in 2009 vis a vis music distribution, cost, pricing, etc. People understand the role of a COMPILATION has not changed, not since the time this album CAME OUT… the time of ‘loss leader’ releases that even the greedy record company understood would DRIVE SALES OF THE ALBUMS each song came from.

    People understand that at this point in the game — you NURTURE the fans, the hardcore, you don’t PUSH THEM AWAY and PISS THEM OFF at every turn. When there’s a delay in promised downloads – you don’t get smarmy & defensive… “this is hard work!! It takes time to mix all this down !!”….what you do is be contrite, remember YOU were the one who made delivery date promises -NOT the fan!
    Then you offer the true fans a real bonus for their patience.

    There’s so much to say here…how do I keep it brief (I won’t, sorry…!) But I’ll try to stick with a few points I haven’t seen anyone raise yet, so as not to be redundant. I TOTALLY agree with those saying the price is insane — for what this release is.

    1. First I gotta point out — WOW—so,….finally, Jimmy Carl Black gets on the site??!! There’s been NO Mention since he died, wow!!

    I censored what I originally wrote at this point. I really wanna refrain from the direct insults — you decide – how that makes you feel, what does that say about the priorities and level of respect coming out of that camp? What does it really say, on a human level?

    It makes me so angry that they dissed this great, great man and such a close friend of Frank’s — and INTEGRAL part of those fantastic years. Yeah, yeah , in later years he and Frank had fallen out — is that so unique a story?? Most of the time it ends with the people getting older and making up. We’ll never know – but we DO know that the RIGHT THING to do in the case of ANY of these musicians being lost is to just give them.

    But it’s unforgivable to not have paid respect to Jimmy Carl Black. When you know he is a marketable face, voice and personality. To not put ONE SENTENCE saying “RIP JCB” even… wow that is some real deep shit, folks. Dark, deep stuff. Think about it . Have you EVER seen someone do that – Can you search the annals of rock, jazz, whatever. Go look at some sites. When someone dies — no matter HOW estranged they were from the band — it’s COMMON COURTESY and …just human — to say a brief word and send wishes to the family, publicly. I mean , maybe Tina Turner had a good excuse to say “No comment” when Ike Turner died, but she’s not selling overpriced downloads on her site — with his face grinning at you.

    And voila! Now there’s Jimmy on the zappa site — in the Mothermania artwork!!

    She’s got no problem using his image to sell a record !! Isn’t that fucking unreal??? All part of the circus folks.

    TO THIS DATE, months after his death – they have not seen fit to honor the dear departed Mr Black WITH ONE GODDAMNED WORD of respect or grief….but now will gladly trade on his coolness – which is CERTAINLY a big part of the grungy, edgy, freaky, scummy attraction of these early Mothers!! Tell me his fucked-up, grinning visage isn’t HALF of what attracted you to that side of the tracks when you saw the cover to Freak Out!?!? Hahhahahhah!!! We love you Jimmy!

    2. Oh, I get it – Suddenly MP3s are ok?? In more than one interview and I’m sure in a post or blog somewhere — GZ continually has cited “Zappa music is not to be compressed!!!” as a reason not to have him on iTunes, amazon etc.

    In the rational universe where iTunes is the #1 seller (for better or worse), that’s a stance widely seen as commercially suicidal, or at least uselessly stubborn. Yet she ALWAYS says that’s the primary reason, pompously asserting that his music is somehow more special than ANY other music (which BTW is a belief of hers that’s really at the root of all these problems)

    So – now she is selling what she has termed over and over as INFERIOR… A collection of mp3s. For way more than an album on itunes, certainly for 40yr old tracks that we’ve all bought 6 times…

    FLACs.. —but for $25?????

    She has, again, apparently no idea of what the market is bearing!!! These are desperate money-raising moves. From the fan perspective – there are far better deals out there for UNRELEASED rare & live material. full show King Crimson FLACs for cheaper, anyone??

    Or at http://www.dead.net . Tons of streaming live stuff. Free.
    Amazing quality. Serving the hardcore fans. Keeping them engaged. Keeping them buying tickets.

    Or check out the NIN app. It’s FREE for the iPhone, and other platforms soon, and amongst 10 other cool things — it lets you stream ANY TRACK from ANY of the 20 or so NIN releases. Free, anytime. This is part of the FUTURE, folks. Why even have a hard drive or own the music, when artists will give you access to EVERYTHING they have ever done, all the time, wherever you are.

    The key is — that’s not for everyone – the revenue stream at that point becomes THE LIVE SHOW ONLY – and that has been a venture of diminishing returns for the ZPZ. Everyone sees they have played smaller and smaller places over the years, and struggled to maintain the budget by charging MORE per ticket…coupled with pretending “oh we WANTED to play smaller places…it’s intimate..”. Now they’re struggling with pay cuts, being an opening act and…trying to raise funds with overpriced downloads!

    What they SHOULD be doing now is making the recorded stuff very cheap and/or free. Thereby BUILDING the fan base and driving fans to the shows. Of course, this also drives fans to go see 100 other bands worldwide, including my band’s shows, so there’s a dilemma for them !!

    Sigh. Another one for the books.

  59. James says:

    [quote post=”1747″]1. First I gotta point out — WOW—so,….finally, Jimmy Carl Black gets on the site??!! There’s been NO Mention since he died, wow!![/quote]
    This was my first thought too

  60. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”5577″][quote post=”1747″]1. First I gotta point out — WOW—so,….finally, Jimmy Carl Black gets on the site??!! There’s been NO Mention since he died, wow!![/quote]
    This was my first thought too[/quote]

    Unfortunately, James and Andre, Jimmy hasn’t been too active since he passed (but you know how much I love Jimmy Carl Black…hell, all the original Mothers…so, I write posts about them whenever I can topically slip them in). Still, one should balance the yearning for nostalgia and more up to date happenings in the universe of Zappa, the Mothers, the Grandmothers, Beefheart, Geronimo Black, etc., and all the various alumni.

    Believe me, if it’s at all topical to the post I’m writing, I’ll write about Jimmy. I agree, he never got half the attention he deserved. As for how Zappa.com treats Jimmy’s memory, that’s their business (and exactly that, a business). When all the former Mothers settled with Zappa in the early 80s, that gave FZ (and his legal heirs) rights to all the early Mothers of Invention material (including album images). In exchange for said settlement, all participants weren’t allowed to speak publicly about the settlement (perhaps this is why there has been no mention of Jimmy Carl Black since his passing, Andre). Anyhow, if you enter Jimmy’s name into the KUR search function at the top right of the page you’ll see exactly how many posts his name has appeared in (besides the most recent one, and the post announcing his death).

    As for Zappa.com’s business practices, one can agree that they are indeed trying to influence demand. By limiting where fans of Zappa’s music can purchase his music (I’ve noticed over the last couple of years a steady decline of where FZs music can be bought and downloaded [i.e. iTunes]) perhaps they believe they can also dictate price above what the market suggests. Where else are FZ’s studio quality recordings (Mothermania) made available in FLAC format?

    Indeed, Nine Inch Nails may be able to offer their music for free, yet they also have other sources of income to compensate.

    What does Zappa.com have? A tribute band and FZ’s image and a vault (now somewhat less than mythic). It seems to me they are still working out – through trail and error – what works for them and their business model. Perhaps they’ll have to chuck the entire model out the window. Who knows?

    One thing is for certain: they are not, and never were, the mouthpiece for the Mothers of Invention. Only those who were members of that illustrious group can be. So that Zappa.com does, or does not say anything upon Jimmy Carl Black’s passing shouldn’t be taken as a snub.

    They are merely a business, plain and simple.

  61. Andre/Project Object says:

    UG, agreed on most of that, and some of it I said in a more long-winded fashion. And – not being critical of you here, I just take the very cynical, 10yr + view on this — and see it as one more decision driven by the same anti-fan arrogance as all the OTHER fucked up decisions.

    MY BAD — I should have been more specific – I was never referring to “this site” as in KUR, at all, in fact all I was referring to was zappa.com, and ONLY to the abscence of just ONE SENTENCE regarding JCB’s passing.

    I don’t and never have expected them to update us on Jimmy’s tours etc over the last couple years. In fact – she WENT AFTER Jimmy and Eugene Chadbourne , I think they were putting a track on some new release a couple years ago.

    Not to pick an argument — but I still think that you don’t have to be anything CLOSE to “the mouthpiece for the Mothers..” to simply acknowledge the death of a key musician in Zappa’s history — especially when you’ve created this bizarre image of being the SOLE OFFICIAL ARBITERS of the ZAPPA STORY. Am I crazy on that?? All I am talking about is ONE SENTENCE within a day or two of his passing. To ignore what was very big news on all the wires, was a purposeful stick-poke in the eye.

    I totally agree with ya that all these decisions are “business-driven”. Call me crazy – if that’s the perspective -then I think it would be good for business to ACT like you cared one of the principal Mothers has died.

    Totally agreed that NIN has the live music revenue stream — that’s why I said “that’s not for everyone”. But ZPZ/ZFT has the same situation in many ways — the ONLY real way to generate REAL funds at this point in the biz is live performance…and merch at said concerts. Plus the ASCAP, BMI level compensation for protected performances and broadcasts of the material etc. They COULD make good money on direct CD and D/L sales …if there were sensible delivery options and pricing.

    FINALLY they get into the digital download age – like anyone I applaud them coming on board, but it’s a bit like waking up in about 1988 and saying “Hey let’s invest in this whole MTV/ROCK VIDEO THING, looks like it’s a good idea…”.

  62. urbangraffito says:

    [quote comment=”5580″]Not to pick an argument — but I still think that you don’t have to be anything CLOSE to “the mouthpiece for the Mothers..” to simply acknowledge the death of a key musician in Zappa’s history — especially when you’ve created this bizarre image of being the SOLE OFFICIAL ARBITERS of the ZAPPA STORY. Am I crazy on that?? [/quote]

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Andre. Since FZ’s passing they have, indeed, painted themselves as “the SOLE OFFICIAL ARBITERS of the ZAPPA STORY.” And anyone with an opposing point of view (alumni included) have been attacked, harassed, or bullied. By doing so, by setting the terms of interviews well beforehand (so they will be simpatico to their view of Zappa history), thinking that they and they alone know how to interpret copyright and performance law, and telling anyone who doesn’t tow their line they are anti-Zappa (and god forbid, speaking for Zappa) they have painted themselves into a corner they cannot possibly talk their way out of easily without losing face. And, frankly, Andre, that’s what I think a lot of this boils down to: EGO, plain and simple.

    I, too, am glad that Zappa.com has finally joined the digital download age – but I think it’s far more likely that they’ll lower their prices before they start showing their public love for the former Mothers.

  63. James says:

    [quote post=”1747″]MY BAD — I should have been more specific – I was never referring to “this site” as in KUR, at all, in fact all I was referring to was zappa.com, and ONLY to the abscence of just ONE SENTENCE regarding JCB’s passing. [/quote]

    Yeah, thats what I was agreeing with! Nothing to do with KUR!

  64. Ben says:

    1. Go to Barfko Swill download page
    2. Recoil in horror at $25 price for .flac
    3. Google “Mothermania Torrent”
    4. Download
    5. ?????
    6. Profit

  65. Mudshark says:

    Hmm, let’s see, $18 to buy the MP3 Mothermania “album” download as a one-shot deal, or $10.89 total to download each of the 11 individual $0.99 MP3 tracks … I want to meet the genius who came up with this pricing scheme (not to mention the suckers who bought the $18 “album”).

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