Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix – Part IV

It’s that time of the month, fellow KUR-Meisters, when I dip into my personal, not-so-mythic, vault of Zappa field recordings to compile the latest KUR mix: the “Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix – Part IV“. What is Part IV? Part IV is 200 tracks from the maestro’s last two touring bands, ’84 and ’88, beginning with a Rehearsal session from December 23rd, 1987. Why 200 tracks? 200 allows for the best performances of each respective tour to shine through…

Click here to listen to the mixtape. Enjoy!

Note: In the tradition of leaving the best for last, the fifth and final installment of the Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix will arrive on July 15th, 2010.

35 Responses to “Immaculate Voodoo Butter Mix – Part IV”

  1. metafunj says:

    I miss the last mix :(

    I’ll be sitting this one out. I never really liked the 88 solos and 84 are just ok. Seems like once he put that guitar down for a few years he never came back to the way he played before. The 88 solos sometimes sound forced and don’t resemble “air sculptures” to my ears.

    Also does anyone find the plunkity plunk plunk timbre of the 88 guitar a distraction from the actual notes. All I can think about is how i dislike his tone, the metal pick, and the way that particular guitar sounds.

    A more uplifting thought I had was, how about a mix of the best sidemen(or women) solos?

  2. Thinman says:

    Meanwhile, as the years go by and by – and some of the gleaming glitter seams to be fading – I like the 1984 tour much more than 1988.

    But – thank you again for this impressive collection.

    Th.

  3. Thinman says:

    And a rare Scott Thunes on fretless bass during The Black Page!

  4. Bob says:

    can we play on iPad?

  5. urbangraffito says:

    One of the reasons this mix is so f#$k&ng long, metafunj, is to allow for the very flaws of which you speak. Certainly, neither tour was a complete success, but by the same token, both tours had their share of highlights. I believe I’ve captured the latter in this mix by concentrating primarily on those tracks, and those concerts which FZ, himself, used as source material for ‘Them Or Us’, ‘Broadway the Hard Way’, ‘Make A Jazz Noise Here’, ‘The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life’, ‘Does Humor Belong In Music’, ‘YCDTOSA4′, ‘YCDTOSA6′, and ‘Trance-Fusion’. Which exactly is which I leave up to the ears (and the inventiveness) of my fellow KUR-Meisters. Sit this one out at your own risk.

  6. Bálint says:

    Beautiful music – in ashamingly-unbelieveably-BringsTearsTomyEyes-ly high audio quality… Gosh! :-)
    (thnx)

  7. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Our Man In Canada has outdone himself once again.
    Kudos, Urb. Kudos!

  8. KnirpsForMoisture says:

    Another fine collection, Mr Urbangraffito!!! Some great tracks there and totaly agree with what Balint and Barry have said before me.

    Thanks for taking the time and trouble to put this together and share with us – I for one will enjoy these delightful little morsels and look forward to your next installment!!

    Thanks!!

  9. Dark Clothes says:

    The guitar workout that finishes the mixtape is a treat, if you like abstract, loose guitar improvisation. And Pound for a Brown from Skedsmohallen is the first recording I’ve heard of a concert that I actually attended, so I enjoyed that, if only for the memories of the sex noise audience participation.

  10. Dark Clothes says:

    There’s something very endearing about the rehearsal tapes from 1987 – the music has a more organic sound than most of the official releases of that band. Or am I idealizing? Check out Big Swifty and Sofa and compare to the Jazz Noise and Best Band versions.

  11. Thinman says:

    A quote from Dark Clothes:

    … the music has a more organic sound than most of the official releases of that band. …

    That is probably because the recording is more dry and close up in a smaller rehearsal space.

    BTW: was Tommy Mars still present at those rehearsal dates? I hear some organ stylings here and there that could be him.

    Th.

  12. Sterbus says:

    Nice thing to say about those particular 1987 rehearsals is that FZ actually wasn’nt there… I have 2cd’s worth of those tapes and it’s strange but somehow good to have all the vocal harmonies (but without fz line!) and no 5 minutes solos for those who want to remain focused on the written stuff and arrangements…

  13. Robert says:

    A quote from metafunj:

    Also does anyone find the plunkity plunk plunk timbre of the 88 guitar a distraction from the actual notes. All I can think about is how i dislike his tone, the metal pick, and the way that particular guitar sounds.

    Ah, the plinky-planky issue again. Hm. I have mixed feelings about this. Sometimes i like that guitar sound, sometimes i don’t. It has a “pants down” attitude towards it that reveals the raw guitar notes in a “Pick: Meet String” kind of way. Depending on what FZ plays, this is a revelation or an annoyance.

  14. metafunj says:

    I remember the “Any Kind of Pain” solo from BTHW was really good, but the clean really suited that song and he was picking fairly softly. The other problem with the tone is the delay. It sounds like the guitar has too much delay and chorus on it.

    I have decided to listen to some of these tracks. The rehearsal tapes do sound pretty good. I especially like hearing Ed Mann’s short solos and a short snippet of Keneally soloing on Black Napkins.

    I’ll try some more tracks and hopefully find something that strikes me with a memorable melody.

  15. rob says:

    If you can’t find anything of interest in these 200 tracks, you may be at the wrong site…

  16. jonnybutter says:

    Thanks again and again UrbanG. 84 and 88 are not my favorite years for Zappa touring bands, but as usual with Frank, there is a lot to like no matter.

  17. Plooker says:

    I always ending up listening to Scott, what a player. Too bad he does not have a tribute band, amazing parts.

  18. Brad Henserling says:

    This is probably common knowledge, but there is a synclavier sample in the ’88 tracks that I’m curious about. Where does the, “I mean that” quote come from? I don’t recognize it from the PMRC hearings, was it a band member?

    Urb, I didn’t expect to like this mix as much as I do, much obliged. The rehearsal tracks are a blast.

  19. metafunj says:

    Sorry, I was listening to the mix before the blog was updated and thought that it was mainly focusing on guitar solos like the last mix but as I listened I realized many songs didn’t have solos and then I realized that this mix wasn’t just FZ guitar solos. So yes, there are interesting moments.

    I’m kind of unsure why the 84 Montana and Black Page #2 were included. I feel as those songs were ruined, in spite of Nappy singing on Montana. I guess it was a moment of historical importance for the 84 tour. I should mention that Montana is my favorite FZ song and I love the Over-nite Sensation version. So I am certainly biased here.

    A quote from rob:

    If you can’t find anything of interest in these 200 tracks, you may be at the wrong site…

    A quote from urbangraffito:

    One of the reasons this mix is so f#$k&ng long, metafunj, is to allow for the very flaws of which you speak. Certainly, neither tour was a complete success, but by the same token, both tours had their share of highlights. I believe I’ve captured the latter in this mix by concentrating primarily on those tracks, and those concerts which FZ, himself, used as source material for ‘Them Or Us’, ‘Broadway the Hard Way’, ‘Make A Jazz Noise Here’, ‘The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life’, ‘Does Humor Belong In Music’, ‘YCDTOSA4′, ‘YCDTOSA6′, and ‘Trance-Fusion’. Which exactly is which I leave up to the ears (and the inventiveness) of my fellow KUR-Meisters. Sit this one out at your own risk.

  20. Jake St. Vitus says:

    A quote from Jake St. Vitus:

    Where does the, “I mean that” quote come from?

    …I always thought that it was a soundbite of Billy Crystal impersonating Fernando Lamas. I could be totally wrong. Having a hard time finding a YouTube clip to back this up. If I do, I’ll post it.

    And GREAT MIX URBAN!

  21. jonnybutter says:

    A quote from jonnybutter:

    …I always thought that it was a soundbite of Billy Crystal impersonating Fernando Lamas.

    I think that’s right, although it also sounds like an impression of Sammy Davis Jr. to me,

  22. Jake St. Vitus says:

    A quote from Jake St. Vitus:

    also sounds like an impression of Sammy Davis Jr. to me

    Totally. I think it is indeed a Sammy D impersonation, not Lamas.

  23. Jake St. Vitus says:

    A quote from Jake St. Vitus:

    Sammy Davis Jr.

    And again YouTube provides…!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paEVnvHXG4Q

    at 1:11 seconds, you get the “I mean that”

  24. metafunj says:

    Isn’t that just Scott Thunes saying “I mean” “I mean that”?

  25. Hugh says:

    Jonnybutter is right. Scott is mimicking Crystal’s imitation of Davis. Everybody was doing the “I mean that” bit here after Billy popularized it.

    A quote from Jake St. Vitus:

    And again YouTube provides…!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paEVnvHXG4Q

    That is some funny shit!

  26. Hugh says:

    A quote from Jake St. Vitus:

    GREAT MIX URBAN!

    Yes, that is indeed one heavy duty voodoo butter mix.
    But, I need more cowbell!

  27. Stewart says:

    Just listening to this for this first time. The rehearsal stuff is fantastic. Love this, thanks very much. Thinman pointed out Thunes’ fretless on napkins, what a great bass player he is. He’s also using it on Sofa which makes the story of him shouting at a certain keyboard player at Zappa’s Universe gig for leaving the moog on the wrong setting so he had to play it on the bass for the first time ever interesting. To be fair it was 3 years later I suppose.
    Wow what the hell just happened at the start of black page?? Ed or Bobby with the transpose button on or something??

    Actually I think Thunes is using the fretless from Cleveland onwards, possibly earlier. Amazing playing with the odd tuning issue (I actually can’t believe he’s playing fretless on those tunes AND matching the horn melodies AND organising and listening to everyone else). I wonder if FZ heard a few of the flat notes and told him to ditch the fretless? Great stuff all round here, now for the actual tour stuff. (sorry for going on a bit!)

  28. Thinman says:

    Interesting how un-Thunes-like he sounds when playing the fretless with all those Jaco-licks.

    I remember him playing the fretless on two occasions: ’88 tour in Bremen, Germany. Don’t remember which song, but because of technical difficulties there was no bass at all for a moment and he had to return to the Precision. The other occasion was Steve Vai in ’93 also in Bremen, where he used a fretless fivestring at least on For The Love Of God. Could have been the same instrument in ’88. We should ask him.

    Th.

  29. Thinman says:

    A quote from Thinman:

    … We should ask him.

    I tried. His e-mail address on http://www.geoscott.com doesn’t work anymore.

    Th.

  30. Bálint says:

    Scott Thunes’s playing shines through this recording – I’ll have to check out Make a Jazz Noise again, seeing the differences (if there are any). I love his playing, and he seems to be having fun: fast, sometimes close to improvisation, and it’s sound is quite fine, too.

    BTW as far as I know, he was the Clonemesiter on this tour, but it seems to me that I hear Mike Keneally’s voice, controlling the band. Am I wrong?
    (Oh, and again: while loving the bass all the way through, I almost do not have any impression of the guitar(s). Its sometimes there, but… nothing special, almost unnecessary. But the bass… Hey! That’s amazing!)

  31. Bálint says:

    “Scott Thunes’s playing…” – of course I’m talking about the Rehearsal Tapes ’87. Sorry.

  32. Thinman says:

    A quote from Bálint:

    … (Oh, and again: while loving the bass all the way through, I almost do not have any impression of the guitar(s). Its sometimes there, but… nothing special, almost unnecessary. But the bass… Hey! That’s amazing!)

    Every FZ-lineup that was heavy on horns didn’t have much guitar. For example lots of guitars on ZINY are later studio overdubs.

    This here rehearsal is heavy on keyboards too. Not much guitar if any from Ike or Mike. They also didn’t waste time with the guitar solo spots when Frank was absent.

    Th.

  33. Stewart says:

    Yeah, there is a huge variation here with what he plays on the MAJNH recordings, just shows how on top of it he was – sometimes playing the root notes, sometimes matching the horn lines. How he was the fall guy for the break-up of the band supposedly based on his inability to support the others musically is beyond belief. By all accounts not the easiest person to deal with and struggling with confidence towards the end of the tour but his ability and original way of incorporating the low-end into the music shine through. As I understand it he was responsible for the different arrangements, horn parts etc as well which is a huge job. I think the ’88 material is the best arranged Zappa music out there with the possible exception of some of the one-off performances eg yellow shark. I am so glad Frank finally returned to having a horn section for the 88 tour!

  34. Bálint says:

    What a beautiful release it would be, with these otherwise unreleased orchestrations: all the rehearsal tapes, with unreleased tour-solos edited in the middle of them.

  35. Dark Clothes says:

    A quote from Bálint:

    What a beautiful release it would be, with these otherwise unreleased orchestrations: all the rehearsal tapes, with unreleased tour-solos edited in the middle of them.

    That’s a thought!

Comments for this entry have been closed.