If you’re on Facebook, you may have come across a recent meme there which states simply:
15 albums that have had a big impact on me.
Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you’ve heard that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.
Myself, Alex and Urbangraffito ended up posting our fifteen minutes of fame albums “that have had a big impact on us”, and thought it might make for interesting blog fodder. As first in a series, here’s my list – in no particular order, and annotated for good measure.
I recall the first time I ever encountered the work of Gil Scott-Heron, I was in my mid teens and I had just borrowed a load of records, among them his 1971 release, Pieces of a Man from the public library on a whim (I had never heard of him before). I did that a lot back then – borrow whole batches of vinyl records during the summer vacation and listen to albums all week long. When I got home and slipped Pieces of a Man onto the turntable for the first time, Gil Scott-Heron blew my mind, especially with spoken word and vocal jazz tracks like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and “Lady Day & John Coltrane” (all video clips below) to name just a few. Continue reading “Gil Scott-Heron – Me and the Devil (2010)”
So, you’re interested in learning to play The Black Page #1 on guitar? Check out this video from Polygon Head, angrily shake your fist at the guitar gods, and go back to your Neil Young Harvest songbook (that’s what I did):
Sometimes I am quite delighted to discover a fan-made Frank Zappa video like the one posted above. It reinforces my belief that the future of FZ’s public image is in the right hands: creative, open-minded, technology embracing hands. This is how I always envisioned Zappa’s legacy being spread. Continue reading “Who IS The REAL Frank Zappa, Anyway?”
Gary Lucas, who has been called “a modern guitar miracle” (Rolling Stone), “The Thinking Man’s Guitar Hero” (The New Yorker) and “One of the 100 Greatest Living Guitarists” will give a lecture and musical demonstration devoted to his mentor and childhood hero Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart.
Gary will show rare video footage of the man and the band, delve into his complex artistic oeuvre as both a composer — by performing some of his fiendishly difficult solo guitar compositions live — and as a painter by showing slides of his formidable paintings and drawings.
Funny little note at the end: “No one under 18 years old will be admitted.”
In my youth, I felt like I had an easier time introducing my friends to Zappa. I used to simply play “Bobby Brown Goes Down,” because when you’re 14 or 15 years old, it’s the funniest thing you could possibly hear. It had swear words in it, he was making fun of the jocks we all collectively hated, and it was catchy as Hell! Similar cases could be made for other tunes like “Stick It Out,” “Catholic Girls,” and “Jewish Princess.” Continue reading “Defending Zappa?”
Welcome to KUR’s 2nd Annual Virtual Zappanale Mix for August 2010. For those of us who cannot make it to this year’s festival in Bad Doberan, I have compiled an eclectic mix of some of my favorite FZ covers by well known alumni – and some other not so well known. On this virtual stage, time and space does not matter as acts appear fresh from 1969, while others are temporarily brought back from the hereafter for just one more kick at the can, so to speak, all together in one mix. Of course, I’d love to be there in Bad Doberan, and perhaps I will go there one day, myself. Until then, enjoy the music of the maestro. And the spirit of the Mothers…