Archive for April, 2010

Tunes, Treats & Torrents – Peach Noise

Ever so often a cover band comes along that absolutely impresses me with their ability to interpret Zappa’s compositions in fresh, bold new ways. The French cover band Peach Noise is one such band.
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Tunes, Treats & Torrents – Fattore Zeta

Italian band Fattore Zeta describes itself as a “jazz tribute to Frank Zappa” band. Their unique covers, interpretations, and arrangements of Zappa’s compositions – with their use of instruments in unexpected combinations – is really quite extraordinary (Listen to “Oh No” and “Blessed Relief” on their website). The band released their first album in 2006, entitled “(R)umori Jazz“. Their second, entitled “Dio Fa“, released in 2009, captured the band’s concert at Zappanale 19.
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Spam 2.0

Hey guys ‘n gals! Just wanted to warn you of a new comment-spam technique I’ve come to identify here at KUR. The M.O. goes something like this:

  • Spammer picks a random comment from a past post/thread
  • Spammer copies said comment
  • Spammer pastes said comment to the same post, with a signature link leading to what appears to be a harmless weblog
  • Ignorant KUR moderator (moi, that is) approves comment
  • Spammer happy!
  • Happy spammer turns harmless weblog into dubious link-fest

Lesson to be learned: be aware of “new” comments that already look familiar to you — the author/spammer’s signature link will be a dead giveaway, as their sites all look identical. I’m monitoring this closely so it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Still, if a comment you wrote shows up again, signed by someone else: you’ll know what’s going on. Feel free to contact me when that happens.

Echinda’s Arf (Of You) – In Rehearsal

This video sent to KUR via Andrea “HotRats” Rizzardo of four unnamed Milan musicians rehearsing Zappa’s “Echinda’s Arf (Of You)”. Today, Milan. Tomorrow, Bad Doberan.

Zappa, Prague, & Prazsky Vyber – Then & Now

While researching tracks for the next KUR mixtape, I happened upon some historical footage of Frank Zappa’s visit to Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1990 – and a chance to reacquaint myself with the metal group, Prazsky Vyber, with which Zappa performed one of his last guitar improvisations, “Improvizance v A dur s Franken Zappou” with guitarist Michal Pavticek in 1991:
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Theoretical5

Live, Absolutely free form improvisation @ lo-tek studios in beautiful downtown Mar Vista.

THEORETICAL 5:
Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals)
Warren Cuccurullo (guitar, samples)
Arthur Barrow (bass)
Larry Klimas (saxophone)
Andy Kravitz (drums, percussion)

See all six of their videos here.

Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix — Part Two

Part Two will certainly be a treat for both new and old freaks alike. New freaks will get to hear some Zappa standards in entirely unique and often extended versions while old freaks are reminded just how much of a showcase these songs were – not only for Zappa’s virtuoso guitar ability, but for every musician that played in his various ensembles (in this case, 1975 to 1982). Albeit, some of these audience recordings are more raw and raunchy than others (sound drop-outs, cut-ins, cut-outs, tape flips — all of which I have left intact), I have chosen only those that showcase exceptional ability, technical and creative prowess, as well as historical and educational value.

That said, place your headphones to oblivion back on – raise the volume a notch or two – sit back, let Frank transport you into another place, another time…

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

Note: Part Three will be posted on or around May 15th, 2010.

The Lost Patio

As patios go, The Zappa Patio is a pretty heavily consulted one among Zappa fans. So when it goes offline for whatever reason, Zapheads with funny names such as Knut Skogstad jump to the rescue. The Patio appears to be back online again now, but I wanted to inform everyone that KUR has a recent mirror available at all time, just in case something goes awry. Now, to figure out what to do when KUR itself goes offline for whatever reason…

Mothers In Da House – The Don & Bunk Show

In the last few years, with the cost of touring becoming so high, musical acts (to my knowledge Mike Keneally is also performing these intimate concerts) have had to innovate, playing whenever and wherever feasibly possible – including community halls, church basements, and, yes, fans’ living rooms.

On March 28th, 2010, The Don & Bunk ShowDon Preston and Bunk Gardner performed an intimate concert at Maclean Studio (aka his living room).

In macleanstudio’s words:

“If you ever get the chance to host a concert at your house with these guys, take it. Such genuinely nice fellows bringing with them musicianship from another dimension. It was great hearing those Zappa tunes. We were all pretty much spellbound. We can’t wait to have them back here on Cape Cod. I hope I’m that cool when I’m 77 !!!”

Note: The Don & Bunk Show, A Zappa Retrospective, Sullivan Hall, New York City, NY, 1 Apr 2010 is available to torrent at Zappateers here.

Tunes, Treats & Torrents – The Grandmothers

The first version of The Grandmothers came into being in 1980, formed by original Mothers of Invention and Soul Giants alumni Don Preston, Jimmy Carl Black and Bunk Gardner. From almost the start, the group was a thorn in Zappa‘s side (who’d probably thought he’d seen the last of his former bandmates when he forced them into the cold when he disbanded the original Mothers in 1970) when Zappa himself became the target of the new band’s on-stage satire and was apparently particularly upset over a dummy of himself that was being used in various provocative ways. Thus began a pattern of the Zappa family and its legal minions fighting with various members of the Grandmothers over the right to perform and record original Mothers of Invention compositions. At one point in the early ’90s, the Zappa estate quashed a new recording deal for the Grandmothers with a major label that was unfortunately not interested in working with the band unless it was allowed to use the name of the Mothers of Invention.
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