Zappa In Barcelona, 1988

While I have yet to find a mint copy of Frank Zappa’s Best Band’s May 17th, 1988 concert in Barcelona, Spain, that truly does justice to their overall performance, there are still clips on YouTube which are worth watching – especially those which highlight the particular talents of the horn section: Paul Carman (saxophone), Bruce Fowler (trombone), Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugel horn), Albert Wing (saxophone), and the late Kurt McGettrick (saxophone, clarinet). In the following three clips – “Black Napkins”, “Strictly Genteel” and “Bolero” – the horn section certainly shines:
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Westwood One: The Real Frank Zappa

Recorded in Frank Zappa‘s Living Room (the Den) on June 8th, 1989 and interviewed by Mike Reynolds for the Westwood One Radio Network on the occasion of the release of The Real Frank Zappa Book – I’ve edited the interview into four successive parts. Zappa has a wonderful and unique way of describing the times he lived through, and many of the people he’s encountered along the way.

Part One
[audio:FrankZappa1989-06-08Interview (01).mp3]

Part Two
[audio:FrankZappa1989-06-08Interview (02).mp3]

Part Three
[audio:FrankZappa1989-06-08Interview (03).mp3]

Part Four
[audio:FrankZappa1989-06-08Interview (04).mp3]

Frank Zappa on KPFA-FM, Los Angeles, circa 1970

I recently came into possession of an audio clip of Frank Zappa as special guest on “The Johnny Otis Show” which ran on KPFA-FM, Los Angeles, circa 1970. During most of hour they spun old records, yet in this clip, a live-in-the-studio performance, Ray Agee is backed by Frank Zappa and Shuggie Otis on guitars. Frank tells a little story to start, then Johnny Otis urges Shuggie to lend Frank a guitar and they launch into an impromptu blues piece. A nice bit of audio history.

Leave Me Alone – Ray Agee, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis

Zappanale 20 – Highlight: Sheik Yerbouti

Take one Zappa tribute band, Sheik Yerbouti, add three alumni from Zappa’s touring and recording bands – Napoleon Murphy Brock, Denny Walley, and Robert Martin – put them all together on the Zappanale 20 Main Stage, and the result is absolutely, positively, exceptionally gestalt.
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The Rondo Hatton Report

Just spotted over at Andrew’s place: The Rondo Hatton Report, “an independent electronic platform where people can creatively confess their addiction to the music of Frank Zappa”.

A consensus emerged from the 20th Zappanale in Bad Doberan that most of the people who come there just might have something to say, if only they had a place to say it. Ours is no ordinary addiction, after all. We do not come to worship at the Stucco Shrine merely to sing along to some catchy tunes. Many of us have had life-changing experiences at the hands of the Man with the Imperial.

So what’s the deal exactly?

This site is conceived as an online version of an imaginary quarterly journal. We are open to contributions from anyone who has anything interesting to say about the music of Frank Zappa, but to help focus minds and ensure that people a) have a point to make and b) get to it, all texts submitted must be between a minimum of 500 and a maximum of 1500 words.

The first edition of the journal will be uploaded to the site on 21 December 2009, and updated thereafter at three-monthly intervals. This may well turn into something very, very cool…

Frank Zappa And Sex

Paul Carr, who wrote earlier about the ZFT’s agressive copyright policies, has published another paper. This time, the subject is Zappa’s attitude toward sex. The essay closes with a quote from Herbert Marcuse which pretty much hits the nail on the head:

Obscenity is a moral concept in the verbal arsenal of the Establishment, which abuses the term by applying it, not to expressions of its own morality but to those of another. Obscene is not the picture of a naked woman who exposes her pubic hair but that of a fully clad general who exposes his medals rewarded in a war of aggression; obscene is not the ritual of the Hippies but the declaration of a high dignitary of the Church that war is necessary for peace.


Son of Tweezer Glint – Part 3A

More alternate versions. More proto versions. More live versions. I bring you, “Son of Tweezer Glint – Part 3A”, the second to last installment of the series (which will be up for the next two weeks for your listening enjoyment).

Click here to listen to the 45 tracks which make up this mixtape.

Note: The last installment of the “Son of Tweezer Glint” series will be posted on November 2nd, 2009.

Valencia Zappa Film Festival

Manuel de la Fuente Soler is a Media Studies lecturer at the University of Valencia and writer of “Frank Zappa En El Infierno” (Frank Zappa in Hell), an analysis of political discourse in Zappa’s oeuvre. He’s the thriving force behind The University of Valencia’s Frank Zappa Film Festival this November.

Each session will be introduced by different experts in Frank Zappa. The final session will be presented by Didier Mervelet, from Les Fils de l’Invention. The Festival will be held at Colegio Mayor Luis Vives in Valencia (Blasco Ibáñez Av., 23). All the films will start at 7.30 pm.

The Program:

5 November (Thursday)
– 200 Motels (1971)
– The True Story of 200 Motels (1989)

12 November (Thursday)
– Baby Snakes (1979)

19 November (Thursday)
– The Dub Room Special! (1982)

21 November (Saturday)
– Does Humor Belong in Music? (1985)

26 November (Thursday)
– Video from Hell (1987)
– The Amazing Mr Bickford (1989)

3 December (Thursday)
– Uncle Meat (1988)

Attendance is free!