Archive for February, 2011

King Kong – Mother of All Monster Songs

From its first introduction in 1967, Frank Zappa‘s “King Kong” was a composition made for solos – horn solos, keyboard solos, drum solos, guitar solos. “King Kong” had them all. It was also a vehicle for extensive jamming. So, no matter the tour, no matter the particular ensemble, Zappa was there to determine exactly how structured the piece would or wouldn’t be, and what kind of atmosphere the particular solos would create – thus making “King Kong” a fan favourite whether it was performed by the original Mothers of Invention, the Hot Rats Band, The Roxy Band, or any of Zappa’s ensembles from the 1980s.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #14

Like a lot of other North American listeners, my first exposure to the progressive rock group, Yes, was via their edited for radio version of “Roundabout” from their fourth album, Fragile. Albeit a small hook, given the edited version, yet like everyone else I, too, was blown away by the sheer prowess of the full length version, as well as the rest of the album. For the rest of the 1970s, the album Fragile was in nearly every record collection I ever looked through. Now, if that isn’t a gage of a truly classic album, I don’t know what is.
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Mothers of Invention on Vinyl – Are You Experienced?

When I came across these posts on YouTube, I could not help but share them here at KUR. Not because of the individual tracks themselves (which have been digitalized) – “Aybe Sea” (above) which closes side one of Burnt Weenie Sandwich and Uncle Meat‘s “Nine Types of Industrial Pollution” (below) – but because as these videos illustrate so well, a way of experiencing music which newer technologies have so hurriedly bypassed. I’m speaking of the whole tactile experience of listening to the vinyl record, itself: from how you held it in your hands, set the vinyl on the turntable, adjusted the amplifier and equalizer, then sitting before your stereo system, examined the album cover in your hands while the music filled the room.
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Sunday Big Note – Listening Session #13

Growing up as a Canadian teenager in the 1970s, one could literally count the number of well known “homegrown” musical groups and artists on the fingers of one’s hand (okay, maybe two). The trouble was that, at the time, Canada really didn’t possess a viable recording industry. For any Canadian musician or group to “make it”, they literally had to leave the country to do so. Whether you were Joni Mitchell, Anne Murray, The Guess Who, The Sparrows (who would become Steppenwolf upon their move to the U.S.), Denny Doherty (of The Mamas & the Papas), or Neil Young you had to relocate south if you wanted any kind of career.
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FiDO plays ZAPPA – Too Big To Fail (2011)

FiDO plays ZAPPA – the Swiss 10 piece orchestra – has been one of my absolute favorite Zappa tribute bands since I first heard their CDR, FiDO plays ZAPPA Live @Sudhaus Basel in 2007, followed by their incredibly energetic 2008 DVD, FiDO plays ZAPPA on the Dental Floss. Now in 2011, FiDO plays ZAPPA present their first studio album: Too Big To Fail.

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