Archive for February, 2011
The Mats/Morgan Band featuring drummer and composer Morgan Ågren and keyboard player and composer Mats Öberg were no doubt one of Zappa’s most eclectic musical discoveries when he invited them to perform with him and his 1988 band as guests at their Stockholm performance on January 5th, 1988. Indeed, Mats and Morgan played an integral part in the series of Zappa tribute concerts which made up Zappa’s Universe. They’ve also revealed their virtuosic “chops” performing the music of the late Don Van Vliet with Freddie Wadling and Denny Walley on The Music of Captain Beefheart – live. Any fan of Zappa or Beefheart’s music will find Mats and Morgan’s music extremely appealing, and like both those icons, the music of the The Mats/Morgan Band is difficult, if not impossible, to categorize containing juxtaposing elements of jazz, electronic music, fusion, waltz, dance music, avant garde/free jazz, techno, rock, metal, progressive, and modern classical music.
I’d like to dedicate this particular post to my friend, and fellow KUR-Meister, Balint, who recently reminded so well that sometimes it’s worthwhile just to post just for the fun of it all, and for the love of the music, itself. Nothing could come closer to that description than the few videos I recently discovered while surfing about the internet of The Space Brothers and Mike Keneally (also featuring Bryan Beller) performing on August 16th, 2009, at the Red Dock Saloon in Saugatuck/Douglas, Michigan, on the lakeshore of Lake Michigan – a venue well known for it’s good food, cold beer, loud music, and nasty bathrooms. Although the audio is somewhat muddy at times, the guitar work in these videos is often absolutely sublime – especially the guitar work in their cover of Frank Zappa‘s “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama” (above). There are instances I am reminded how much I miss FZ’s live guitar improvisation, and why Keneally is considered “the leading progressive rock genius of the post-Zappa era”. Listen to their cover of “Cosmik Debris” as well as a riff from “Inca Roads” (both below) and decide.
Another Scott Thunes interview, from planetzappa.com (2001):
PZ: Is there any question you’ve never been asked that you would like to answer?
ST: Probably. Actually, there is: Do you believe that it was a mistake to work with Frank Zappa instead of staying in San Francisco and continuing to attempt to get into the Conservatory of Music as a Conducting Major, also taking composition lessons with David Sheinfeld and playing in a band with your brother, Derek? Yes.
What I have now has very little to do with my previous musical endeavors. Without getting too metaphysical about it, I didn’t meet my wife through music or anybody having anything to do with my musical life. I might have a nice career teaching music somewhere, or playing piano in a nice piano trio. I have a good bass I like to play, I have a couple of bass amplifiers that I wouldn’t have otherwise. But I would trade all that for a steady classical gig. What I ended up with from my time with FZ was a hatred of professional rock music and most rock musicians. A despising of wasting my personal time with idiots who care nothing for me as a person. At least with a straight gig, I can come home to my lovely family. In ROCK, you have to stay away from all that you love for months at a time, and have people who you didn’t choose to be with (road managers, roadies, t-shirt people and truck drivers – both of the latter groups of people who are usually MUCH nicer to hang out with than the ‘standard’ rock associates).
I’ve been told by FZ tour managers that any of FZ’s musicians can be replaced easier than roadies. You want to spend your time with these types of people that shit on you whenever they want while you’re trying to play impossible bass parts and keep your head on straight while roadies are helping the other band members fuck with your head? IT IS NOT WORTH IT!
The wind quintet Le Concert Impromptu perform Frank Zappa compositions “King Kong” (above) and “Peaches en Regalia” (below) in these extracts from Jean-François Zygel‘s series ‘The Music Box’ with additional guest Didier Lockwood. The theme is on “Bach to the Future”, the concert impromptu interpreter of works by Bach, Reicha, Zappa and other improvisations. Originally broadcast on France 2 on August 26th, 2010.
I still recall with great fondness the day I discovered Traffic’s 1967 debut album, Mr. Fantasy and their psychedelic tour de force, “Heaven Is In Your Mind”. Unlike many psychedelic groups of the era, Traffic had the special ability to combine elements from various musical genres – progressive rock, jazz fusion, psychedelic rock, and blues – into a unique sound which would reach it’s creative zenith on their 1970 release, John Barleycorn Must Die.
A cover band called Denkichi Coverd (?) from Japan (?) playing very good covers (!). I love the presence of the acoustic guitar – the playlist becomes a video stream (from YouTube) if you click on the upper left corner.
Herr Thomas, head cheese over at Zappanale, just announced this year’s headliner (drum roll):
Yes, that would be Eddie Jobson!
Flashback to December 17 2008, when KUR received the following email:
I’m recording a new project soon and I wrote NEW music for The Black Page. If I sent you guys a copy of the album and you like it would you mind saying so on killuglyradio? (It is going to be a digital release via my own site so I don’t stuck w/a shitty bitrate.)
Whereupon I responded:
New music for The Black Page? Sounds exciting! I’d love to hear this so by all means, do send us a copy if you want. I’ll be sure to give it a listen and give it a mention at KUR. Do you have a site where I can download the track(s)?
Fast Forward to the present:
As you can tell by the date stamp on the email, it took me a lot longer to get this project done than I thought. New music for the Black Page is here:
Glass Ghost, Burning Castle. Check it out.
Project/Object – The Music Of Frank Zappa – is back on tour with Zappa vocalist/guitarists Ike Willis and Ray White, Denny Walley, and Don Preston & Bunk Gardner (Feb 22 only) – along with Andre’ Cholmondeley on guitar and vocals,
David Johnsen on bass and vocals,
Eric Svalgard on keyboards and vocals, and introducing Ryan Berg on drums on the following dates and venues in February 2011: